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Using the right tool to measure Electrostatic Voltage

I was visiting a customer recently and an interesting question was posed  regarding ESD Analysis. What is the advantage to using the Prostat CVM-780 Contact Voltmeter as opposed to the Trek Model 347 DC-Stable Electrostatic Voltmeter?

These instruments have different technologies and are used in different ways. The Trek Model 347 instrument is a “Non-contact” bench top type requiring AC power, while the CVM-780 is a “Contact” battery operated portable measuring device, using rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride batteries.  

The following are 3 important features you should consider when purchasing a Static Voltmeter:

Being a true electrostatic voltmeter, not a field meter means that it reads real voltage, without confusing it with electrostatic field strength, which can be distinctly different.

  • The Prostat CVM-780 makes direct contact with a conductive item without causing discharge and makes an extremely accurate measurement –typically far more accurate than a non-contact instrument such as the Trek 347 in a similar application. Why? Because the CVM-780 makes direct contact with the conductor being measured; the Trek 347 non-contact sensor is looking at field effects at a distance from surfaces being measured.


  • The CVM-780 was designed to measure electrostatic voltage that actually exists on conductors of electronic devices, subassemblies and circuit boards to assess the possibility of CDM (Charged Device Model) damage. It is a process analysis tool for a variety of measurement applications.


  • The CVM-780 is supplied  with all the tips and accessories necessary to use the instrument. The Trek 347 requires use of specific probes for various applications.

Overall, the CVM-780 Contact Voltmeter combines the ease of use of a  digital voltmeter with the high input impedance and low input capacitance of a true electrostatic voltmeter in a small, portable, battery operated package.

Prostat has a very descriptive video on their website for the CVM-780 Contact Voltmeter, that can be found at http://www.prostatcorp.com/contact-voltmeter.


The Prostat CVM-780 Contact Voltmeter uses a unique active probe design which is fully guarded and shielded for minimal interference with the surrounding E field.


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