EEVBlog #862 – BK Precision 8601 DC Electronic Load

Dave takes a look at the BK Precision 8601 DC Electronic Load and compares with his older 8500 model.
A teardown and some playing around with the software

DIY Electronic Load:
8500 Teardown:


MAX6250 Reference

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ElectronicMarine says:

why still those displays… they consume in time then they are custom made in 5 years you cannot find them annymore… why not putting a nice color dysplay like a 4 inch or 2 4 inch displays…

jjensen2492 says:

Nice device. Thanks for your effort.

According to the papers you show onscreen it should be possible to have constant wattage, they named it cw. Look at the end of your video.

Zippy says:

OMG Dave, you sound a real “know it all” about electronics? but really you know nothing! Can you do a video/vlog about how your voice is so high? thanks 🙂

stephan mantler says:

Bummer, no Mac love on the software side.

(not that I really expected that)

Star Gazer says:

I suspect you can’t export to Excel because you don’t have Excel.

Manuel Gorman says:

How’re you getting the USB connection halfway across your workshop? Isn’t the max USB cable length ~5 meters?

Stonewall78 says:

BK software is horrible, the 8500 software was the worst. If I moved the window from one monitor to the other it would shrink the display down to nothing. You would have to stop the program and restart it to see anything again. I also went through a half dozen of those 232 usb adapters to get one to work and half the time the usb wouldn’t see the adapter.
I would say the new software is a bit better but it still has a long way to go. As does their customer support for that matter.

James Hyde says:

* Complains can’t export to Excel
* Opens Libre Calc.

I guess if you don’t have Excel installed, it won’t let you?

Good bit of kit though!

Jānis Bērziņš says:

Keysight offers great information in it’s SCPI Learning Page
I’m sure that some developer will take an advantage of developing software to use with BK Precision 86**

Kyôdai Ken says:

15:25 – The resistors look werid…. O_O

Al Pal says:


mbaker335 says:

The software industry has not moved on from the 1960s. Just imagine if everytime you wanted to design some equipment and you had to design an op amp from scratch and implement it in discrete components. I have this argument with developers at work. Every couple of years they produce the same applications over and over doing everything from scratch. Drives me nuts when good hardware is always let down by a massive software fail.

Justin L. says:

Must be nice to have all this stuff given to you. I am a disabled EE currently trying to survive and learn more and can’t even get used things donated or discounted to me.

Jason Patterson says:

Was the solder joint on the right power transistor’s drain as bad as it looks in the video? 12:10 It looks like it’s barely soldered in at all…

David Teles says:

29:01 The problem was the baud rate, i was screaming at my screen. (SPOT THE BAUD RATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Albert Morganti says:

+Sage Edwards 13:32 We need to get the Electrig in tip top shape before we send it into Dave for a review. 15:46

Fahraynk says:

Ahahaha Dave is like the school teacher that takes 5 points off for the floppy wires on the exam !

Evan Perry says:

do you work with industrial electronics? love your vids, have helped me alot

Julian Nicholls says:

Binding post porn 🙂

esmaeil nam says:

Nice video thank you

auwdioslave says:

I’ve been looking at the BK 8600 series for my job, but the 500V maximum voltage was a bit too tight for us. We ended up going for an 800V 2.1kW H&H PLI2108 which arived today. New toy day is a good lab day 🙂

Jamie Phillips says:

you should do a teardown on a Programmable AC Power Source model 9805

Jamie Phillips says:

BK Precision Programmable AC Power Source model 9805 this thing rocks

abc03833 says:

Doesn’t RTFM and it doesn’t work: Great Video Dave!

Youssef Messaoudi says:


VoltLog says:

The built in rise and fall measurement could be useful in some automated pass fail test for power supplies where the waveform has been validated previously in the design phase and wouldn’t change in production.

bluephreakr says:

> _Paste into Excel.._
> Uses LibreOffice Calc

Props for showing stuff working on open-source software, but calling it *Excel* just because it’s a spreadsheet program? That’s just like if I was looking at a copy of Fedora and assuming it was Debian because it’s Linux.

Clint Jay says:

USB/Serial problem? Probably got an FTDI hidden somewhere in it 😉

DaWalkDude says:

Dave, how do you manage to get the datasheets of dodgy/obscure components like you’ve done in the past?

Sean Anderson says:

You’re being pretty hard on something, when there was probably instructions that you didn’t follow to get the USB mode to work, =p just saying. This is not a windows machine, designed to spoon feed the dumbest users, its a professional piece of equipment, you won’t know everything from just “plugging it in and running it”. Read the instructions man. I know it’s exciting to play with your new toy, believe me, i know that feeling all too well, thats a nice new toy ya got there.

stefantrethan says:

Unless the load input is grounded (which would be a problem in itself) that mains connection with only basic insulation to the input terminals does not comply with most safety standards.

Youssef Messaoudi says:

hi i want to learn a can bus

Jensen567 says:


The Itech versions are available with the new 2 line display. The equivalent range to the BK 8600 seem to be the ITECH IT8800 series. I haven’t dug into the datasheets, but it looks like the IT8812C is the equivalent to the BK 8601. That isn’t to say the BK isn’t worth the extra cost if you want the service, especially if you are talking about using the instrument in a business environment. For the home gamer it doesn’t matter quite as much.

The ITECH IT8500+ (the + being the important part) also seems to have the 2 line display, although the digits are the 14 segment style, not the dot matrix style. But the IT8500+ series has models that will do 600W in the same form factor, so for someone who regularly deals in high power stuff but still wants a small footprint it can have its advantages.

over2there says:

+EEVblog: Could you do more fundamental videos? Or videos where you prepare something for production?

Tim Halfwerk says:


Leon Kernan says:

USB to serial adapters can be a huge pain. They’ll work with one device and fail with another for no good reason.

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