Author Topic: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown  (Read 7893 times)

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Offline caroper

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EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« on: July 10, 2012, 01:51:37 pm »
Was I just trigger happy and tried to watch it too soon or is there a problem?


This video is private.
Sorry about that.


Edit: It was me being Trigger Happy, Works fine now.
Tantalizing glimpse of a couple of USB/PS prototypes on the bench in the last few seconds :)

« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 02:38:20 pm by caroper »
 

Offline Torrentula

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 03:04:28 pm »
Any ideas why they are using serpentine shaped traces going from the device under the black heatsink to the main processor under the other huge heatsink?
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 03:26:48 pm »
Egalisation of trace length. All signals see the same electrical length to avoid skew.
Singe this machine runs so fast and has two channels the data needs to arrive at exactly the same time. Any delay of a signal in respect to another will be seen as a glitch.

Dave: this kind of machinery is easiest opened of you take the front panel off. Look at the sides of the frontpanel ( short sides ) . There will be two screws per side. Take them out. The entire fornt pulls forward. The bnc connectors will stay as they are screwed in the chassis. Once the front is off you will find two or three screws and that entire metal plate with fans will lift out.

I have seen similar constructions on my 81101 as well as on the 54831 scopes.
The reson for the air douct is noise. They could have gotten away by putting 4 or 5 little fans simply vertical with a bit of plastic ducting but then you get the mosquito problem... Wheeeeeeeee. Little fans sound like mosquitos. So agilent solves that by having biiiiig fans and a bit of metal.

The germany plant ( boeblingen) has traditionally been their signal generator design house. Over the years they have come up with a number of really kick-ass designs. The most notably ones were the 8112 and 8116, which, for their time, were top notch and in production for two decades... After the three asics went obsolete they released the 31120 and many a customer complained that there was no alternative for the 8116... Yeah you got arb but not 50MHz... And not the crazy stuff like burst and slope control.

Used 8116 sold for more money than they had cost new. If you had a setup with one and it died , there was no alternative.
Even today, 10 years after last production the 8116 still catches a high price on ebay.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 03:50:56 pm by free_electron »
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Offline KAlSi3O8

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 06:48:16 pm »
Any ideas why they are using serpentine shaped traces going from the device under the black heatsink to the main processor under the other huge heatsink?

My guess is that these are clock lines from the huge device going to the black heats inked device where they are phase detected and that information is used to calibrate the timing in the huge device.

Also we did not see any memory to hold the waveform data on the front of the board. So the RAM must be on the back as well as a second AD9739 for the second channel. The huge device probably controls the memory and all the sequencing and triggers. Whenever you get these really fast generators, clock and data timing is really critical and requires a lot of calibration and control. My guess anyway. Really hard to say for sure.
 

Offline JuiceKing

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 07:44:13 pm »
That was fun. When you review this please do tell us how successfully they kept down fan and airflow noise.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 10:29:20 pm »
Dave: this kind of machinery is easiest opened of you take the front panel off. Look at the sides of the frontpanel ( short sides ) . There will be two screws per side. Take them out. The entire fornt pulls forward. The bnc connectors will stay as they are screwed in the chassis. Once the front is off you will find two or three screws and that entire metal plate with fans will lift out.

Yeah probably.
Truth be told I ran out of time. Finished the video a minute before SWMBO demanded I be home  ;D
Follow up video?

Dave.
 

Offline Architect_1077

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 10:34:15 pm »
Quote
Follow up video?

Why not?  ;)
 

Offline Oakley

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 12:10:13 am »
I really hate to be ignorant here, but what is the purpose of the PFANG, and what would one use it for?
Are you going to demonstrate it?
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2012, 12:21:22 am »
I really hate to be ignorant here, but what is the purpose of the PFANG, and what would one use it for?
Are you going to demonstrate it?

I can "demo" it. But as far as using it in real world leading edge applications, that might be hard to demonstrate.
It can be used for countless things, usually quite niche. Like simulating serial signals so you can test the worse case performance boundaries.
The PDF gives some examples:
http://cp.literature.agilent.com/litweb/pdf/5989-6433EN.pdf

Quote
Emulate effects like...
• Capacitive load of the channel
• Asymmetric delay
• Crossing point deviations
• Duty cycle distortions
• Arbitrary transition times
• Level noise
• Delays from/to electrical idle
...By de? ning the transitions so that the
previous bit in?uences the current bit

And that's just the pattern generator.

Dave.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 05:28:31 am »
Yeah probably.
Truth be told I ran out of time. Finished the video a minute before SWMBO demanded I be home  ;D
Follow up video?

Dave.
Ah.. The higher authority....

Truth be told, i' more interested to see what is under that plate.. Itll be the output stages and thats far more interesting than a heatsink covered pile of digital muck in a bga. Nothing to be realy learned from that. The output stage may be more interesting....
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Offline firewalker

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 05:46:27 am »
What software they use? A custom OS or something like the Linux kernel? Or no need for an OS on such a device?

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Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2012, 07:36:29 am »
What software they use? A custom OS or something like the Linux kernel? Or no need for an OS on such a device?

It does take some time to boot. Says something about Agilent P2000 Embedded BIOS, and a progress bar.
It's definitely some OS of course, but which I'm not sure.

Dave.
 

Offline Lukas

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 11:30:35 am »
I did some research on the firmware update for this instrument.
The update consists of two  Windows Embedded CE binary images, so the 81160A is Windows CE based. Furthermore, I could find strings such as "AuthenticAMD", "GenuineIntel" or "AMD Geode" in the image. Since I'm unfamiliar with Windows CE, I couldn't do any further research.
 

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 11:50:08 am »
I did some research on the firmware update for this instrument.
The update consists of two  Windows Embedded CE binary images, so the 81160A is Windows CE based. Furthermore, I could find strings such as "AuthenticAMD", "GenuineIntel" or "AMD Geode" in the image. Since I'm unfamiliar with Windows CE, I couldn't do any further research.

Nice work. Windows CE it is.
Usually they put a sticker on the outside saying so.

Dave.
 

Offline tom66

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 01:32:53 pm »
^To me that would dissuade my purchase, I mean why does something like this even need a kernel, it doesn't multitask does it?

I was disappointed to see a crummy cap in the power supply, I wonder if that will prove to be a problem later on.

Also it looks like only one 12V @ 15A but that's still a helluva lot of power. Do you know what it uses while running and while in standby?  ;) 6W or 0.6W?
 

Offline Lukas

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2012, 01:56:43 pm »
^To me that would dissuade my purchase, I mean why does something like this even need a kernel, it doesn't multitask does it?
If you really need such a bit of kit, you won't care whether it's running Linux, CE, VxWorks or something proprietary (unless you are a fanboy). If it's done well (I'd expect that from Agilent) you won't notice that it's running a full-blown OS. Hence it has Ethernet, an off-the-shelf embedded OS simplifies development a lot.
 

Offline Sionyn

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2012, 02:07:47 pm »
i guess from the amd x86 chipset its running windows
eecs guy
 

Offline T4P

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2012, 02:09:11 pm »
I did some research on the firmware update for this instrument.
The update consists of two  Windows Embedded CE binary images, so the 81160A is Windows CE based. Furthermore, I could find strings such as "AuthenticAMD", "GenuineIntel" or "AMD Geode" in the image. Since I'm unfamiliar with Windows CE, I couldn't do any further research.

That's a AMD Geode being used that used to be a NatSemi Geode GX chip
Not sure if it's still in production though, but clearly it looks like it's still in production
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2012, 02:46:07 pm »

Nice work. Windows CE it is.
Usually they put a sticker on the outside saying so.

Dave.
Your x3000 scope is a winCE too. Don't know if all of em have stickers. I noticed it on the agilent scopeday a couple of weeks ago ( they had a whole day about scopes and spectrum analyzers with free breakfast and lunch at their HQ here. )
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Offline Stephen Hill

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2012, 02:57:18 pm »
That's a AMD Geode being used that used to be a NatSemi Geode GX chip
Not sure if it's still in production though, but clearly it looks like it's still in production

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geode_(processor)#AMD_Geode
"the processors will still be available with the planned availability of the Geode LX extending through 2015"
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2012, 03:44:33 pm »
So this can run Stuxnet.
 

Offline Lukas

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2012, 03:45:27 pm »
So this can run Stuxnet.
Windows != Windows CE
 

Offline M. András

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2012, 08:50:29 am »
keept it away from the itnernet :)
follow up video would be welcome :)
but those coils/inductors looks crap compared to the rest of the insides
 

Offline OndraSter

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Re: EEVblog #308 - Agilent 81160A PFANG Teardown
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2012, 12:57:44 pm »
If anybody wants dumps of the firmware, version 1.0.3.0
http://www.multiupload.nl/7JHBGJRPCC (recovery partition? I am aware only of SLDR/ULDR from WP and WM for updates, never seen full recovery or update with gwes and such?!)
http://www.multiupload.nl/4TRTY9NMB9 (system partition)
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