Author Topic: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA  (Read 22201 times)

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Offline Neganur

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #50 on: October 30, 2015, 10:50:59 am »
Yell and shout, that ecal is worth it.

Nice VNA :) I hope you didn't pay too much for it.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #51 on: October 30, 2015, 10:53:23 am »

Also, if I were you I'd go there in person asap, and make sure you get everything you won. During pickup, things tend to be a shambles and small items go missing to other people.

Absolutely. You may also find a dumpster full of oddments they couldn't be bothered to list, or unsold stuff going for a song  8)

A few years ago I won a van-full ( I mean to the long-wheelbase, high-top roof) of components & other stuff at a tender sale. One item had gone missing - as well as offering me one un-lotted item as compensation, as the day went on I kept finding odd boxes and bins of stuff that hadn't be listed & they let me have all of it for  nothing.  All they cared about was clearing the place.
For sales where there are lots comprising multiple items, there can also be scope for doing deals with other buyers for parts of lots.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 10:58:05 am by mikeselectricstuff »
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Offline G0HZU

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #52 on: October 30, 2015, 11:20:26 am »
Yell and shout, that ecal is worth it.


Don't worry, I'll make sure they log any missing items when it is collected. If it's missing, then it's missing and all I can do is renegotiate the deal.

I paid for it yesterday and they said they would send collection info but I've not heard anything yet. Assuming they don't operate on Saturdays then it's looking like Monday for collection. They give you one business day to pay and 2 business days to collect which seems a bit unrealistic. I suspect the collection time window will be wider than this in reality.
 

Offline Godzil

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #53 on: October 30, 2015, 12:02:32 pm »
Arg, I should have then reply when they asked me about that stupid VAT number and for my phone number :(
When you make hardware without taking into account the needs of the eventual software developers, you end up with bloated hardware full of pointless excess. From the outset one must consider design from both a hardware and software perspective.
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Offline Chris Jones

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #54 on: October 30, 2015, 01:08:35 pm »
Yell and shout, that ecal is worth it.


Don't worry, I'll make sure they log any missing items when it is collected. If it's missing, then it's missing and all I can do is renegotiate the deal.

I paid for it yesterday and they said they would send collection info but I've not heard anything yet. Assuming they don't operate on Saturdays then it's looking like Monday for collection. They give you one business day to pay and 2 business days to collect which seems a bit unrealistic. I suspect the collection time window will be wider than this in reality.

I read on the listing for my item that the collection must be done before "11/27/2015". They really should honour this since I think it forms part of the contract, though I would agree with previous posters' suggestions not to leave anything easily pocketed (like an e-cal), for a second longer than necessary.

My invoice said "shipping arrangements must be made within 2 business days from the time an auction invoice has been sent." The way I read it, the collection has to be arranged within 2 business days of the invoice being issued, but as long as it is arranged within that window, the actual pick-up could be later.

Still, I feel that they would be being unreasonable if they expect me to arrange delivery when they still haven't given me the address where the goods are to be collected, nor quoted for their own delivery option to allow me to compare with my quotes. They said they would tell me after I have paid, but now I have paid and they still haven't told me anything more yet. I guess they won't be back until monday.

 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #55 on: October 30, 2015, 01:57:50 pm »
Hi Chris
Thanks for clarifying about the delivery window :)

Some good news about the Ecal module. I have been in touch with Equipnet and the Ecal unit is definitely with the VNA as one of their staff has kindly checked the VNA and it is all there ready for me. So it all looks good :)

I'm hoping to collect it on Monday.
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #56 on: October 30, 2015, 02:34:29 pm »
Chris,
I've pm'd you with email and phone contact details for Equipnet both at the warehouse and in the USA.
The staff at the Bridgend (UK) warehouse seem very helpful and may be able to offer you advice about efficient methods for shipping to NZ.

Check your private message box :)
 

Offline dkozel

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #57 on: November 01, 2015, 07:27:53 pm »
I'm going to head down to do a pickup this week, assuming I schedule a pickup and figure out transport. Is anyone else planning on going this week? I'd be free and interested in grabbing a coffee or lunch if so.
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #58 on: November 02, 2015, 05:14:54 pm »
Update:
My payment cleared this morning at the UK depot so I ended up doing a mad dash to Wales to collect my VNA. The alternative was sorting out a friend to collect it and have it here by the end of the week. I just couldn't wait that long....  ;D

Sadly, it's not all good news. My heart sank when I unpacked the VNA because it had a label on it saying 'intermittent step attenuator'

However, the step attenuator seems fine. I've repeatedly tested it across -55dBm to +10dBm in 1dB steps for the last hour or so and it seems faultless even if I tap the VNA case to give it some vibration. Maybe it's been repaired or maybe the mechanical step attenuator was just sticky through lack of use and someone marked it as faulty. It seems fine now.

The Ecal unit seems to work as well although it took about 20 minutes to click the 'READY' LED to show it's internal temperature was warm and stable. So that was a worry until I read the manual and this is the typical time it takes to warm up.

The Ecal units are brilliant to use because you can do a full 4 port calibration in a few seconds. To do it with a mechanical cal kit like an 85033E would take about 15 minutes of wrestling with short/open/load terminations and a torque spanner and a LOT of button presses.

The VNA is in nice condition and the touch screen seems perfect as do all the front panel buttons. So I'm relieved that it all seems to work and the VNA looks tidy. Not sure I'd want to go through this experience again though...

When I was there I saw Chris Jones' sig gen waiting to be packed up. I had a quick look at it and it seemed OK in a cosmetic sense. it's obviously been in a busy RF lab and it's in similar condition to a lot of our sig gens at work. Not mint but not scruffy either.

I'm copying across all the cal/restore files to a secure archive at the minute but see below for a quick image of it. It runs Windows 2000 as the main OS and it has several USB ports allowing connections for a mouse, the Ecal kit and a thumb drive etc.






« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 06:19:45 pm by G0HZU »
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #59 on: November 02, 2015, 06:47:28 pm »
I'm going to head down to do a pickup this week, assuming I schedule a pickup and figure out transport. Is anyone else planning on going this week? I'd be free and interested in grabbing a coffee or lunch if so.

I went today the moment the money cleared partly through impatience and partly because of concerns about the responses I was getting from Equipnet. I would recommend you go and collect as soon as you can.

Also, make sure you take time to check your items because they may be tightly wrapped "fetish style" in clingy bubble wrap making the item hard to recognise at a glance. So before you leave the premises, check your item's serial number tallies with the invoice etc.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 06:54:38 pm by G0HZU »
 

Offline dkozel

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #60 on: November 02, 2015, 08:51:10 pm »
I'm catching a train from Glasgow so unfortunately can't just make a dash. :) I'm glad your pickup went well. I'm emailing with them now to coordinate a pickup tomorrow or Thursday.
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #61 on: November 02, 2015, 11:17:29 pm »
Glasgow! wow... it's going to be a long day for you by train/taxi .

I just tested the other accessory that came with the VNA and this seems to work fine although I can't quite work out why this was included with the VNA. It's an HP 87405A preamplifier module designed for use with their various portable spectrum analysers.

http://cp.literature.agilent.com/litweb/pdf/5091-3661E.pdf

There isn't much point using this with a VNA and there is no power connector on the VNA anyway. However, I did try it on my E4406A signal analyser and it seems to work fine as it has the required power socket.

See below with it being fed a test signal at -40dBm at 50MHz via a long piece of coax cable with about 1dB loss. So the preamplifier has about 24dB gain in this crude test. However, I can't see me ever using this with the E4406A. I think it may also work with the HP8568B analyser and some of the HP859x series analysers. I'm probably going to stick this on ebay.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 11:22:35 pm by G0HZU »
 

Offline dkozel

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #62 on: November 13, 2015, 05:07:42 pm »
More of those R&S CMW500s. How on earth could they have needed this many?

http://www.equipnet.com/auctions/catalog/select-offering-12%2b-rohde-and-schwarz-cmw500's/729/
 

Offline crispy_tofu

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #63 on: November 14, 2015, 04:54:05 am »
Wow, and pricey too! I wonder how much the units from the original auction sold for...  :-+
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #64 on: November 14, 2015, 07:37:31 pm »
Has anyone else got their test gear back from the auction? My VNA is working fine and so is the Ecal module. I'm really pleased with it.

It's possible to add extra software features to the VNA via a simple flex licence/keycode and I've worked out how to do this so I've added the option 010 to mine which adds the time domain. I've also added option 008 (Frequency Offset Mode) so I think it is now fully loaded. See the image below for the options it came with and the second image shows the added options.

I'm going to have a play with the time domain option this evening. It seems to be unlocked OK so I'll be deep in the manual this evening :)


« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 07:48:02 pm by G0HZU »
 

Online PA0PBZ

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #65 on: November 14, 2015, 08:19:53 pm »
Another FLEXlm bites the dust, good work  :-+
Keyboard error: Press F1 to continue.
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #66 on: November 14, 2015, 08:32:16 pm »
It took me a bit longer than I expected... I was too scared to try and do any debugging within the analyser itself so I worked out how to (forcibly) run the entire VNA program on an old Win 2K laptop.

Even then it wasn't easy because the program supports several models and I had to hardcode it to run in E5071B mode and I also hardcoded it with my serial number. Then it was easy to find/get the keycode to put in a licence file using an old version of softice :)

It was a bit weird seeing the VNA screen running on a PC but you can see that this program was written to be simulated on a PC because you can still operate all the usual stuff via the tab menus at the top of the screen using the PC mouse. So it's possible to navigate the various menus as if it was the real VNA. So you can get into System\Service menu\Enable Options and play with the options menu etc :)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 08:54:31 pm by G0HZU »
 

Online TerraHertz

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #67 on: November 14, 2015, 09:10:40 pm »
It took me a bit longer than I expected... I was too scared to try and do any debugging within the analyser itself so I worked out how to (forcibly) run the entire VNA program on an old Win 2K laptop.

Even then it wasn't easy because the program supports several models and I had to hardcode it to run in E5071B mode and I also hardcoded it with my serial number. Then it was easy to find/get the keycode to put in a licence file using an old version of softice :)

[sustained applause!]
Well done! It's always fun to read about DRM schemes being defeated, and that deserves a detailed writeup.
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Offline G0HZU

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #68 on: November 14, 2015, 10:32:35 pm »
Thanks :) I'm quite pleased because I don't really hack about with software much these days. So maybe I'm not as rusty as I thought.

I've had my first play with time domain mode and it's extremely impressive :)

I stuck a 3mm wide strip of sticky copper tape to a single sided piece of (A4 sized) FR4 PCB and put a couple of SMA launcher connectors on each end. I then calibrated the VNA (in 2port mode) with the Ecal unit up to 8.5GHz.

I then put the PCB inline and put the VNA in TD mode. I found I could place a small metal object on the PCB trace and move it and see the discontinuity as a sharp peak on the VNA display. The resolution is pretty good. Good enough for PCB based work.

I assumed the resolution would only be good enough for cable faultfinding but it appears to be much better than this. I'm definitely going to recommend we buy this option for one of our ENA/PNA analysers at work.

I spotted that Agilent have posted a cheesy video on Youtube promoting TDR mode using the ENA analyser .

See below.



« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 10:48:09 pm by G0HZU »
 

Offline Chris Jones

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #69 on: November 17, 2015, 12:08:46 pm »
Has anyone else got their test gear back from the auction?

Yes, I received the 2042 sig gen today.

As expected (and corresponding to the price), it is faulty, but could be a lot worse. When I turned it on at 5GHz, it was missing about 10dB of output power. This got worse and worse at lower frequencies, so I suspect an open-circuit somewhere in the signal path that is being bypassed by capacitive coupling. When adjusting the output level up and down, one of the mechanical attenuator steps seemed extremely un-repeatable, so I think an attenuator's microwave relay has a contact problem. I hope it is just dirty, but it is possible that someone has had this thing in an automated rack thrashing the relays all day for years, in which case the plating might be worn off which might require a more adventurous solution. Anyway a good excuse to take the covers off, in which case I might as well dump the roms in case it forgets one day. Also I might find out what is in the "low noise tray" that the 2030 series doesn't have.

If anyone has a service manual for the 2042, I'd be very grateful. The service manual for the 2030 series is on the web and that should be a big help but the correct manual would be much nicer.

Chris
 

Offline PioB

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #70 on: December 08, 2015, 02:40:16 pm »
Hi dkozel,

do you know if  some simple data acquisition software is available for the SS420x (or the 35900) or do both of them have to be operated with Agilent ChemStation or OpenLab in order to get data digitized? I wanted to play around with some high resolution data acquisition and found these two boxes used (the 35900 with GPIB/RS232 Interface card this time).

Otherwise it'll be some DAC board where one can get the data off easier...

Attached: the insides of the SS240x

I'm considering trying to stretch it out to the auction on the 19th to try and catch the Agilent (Scientific Software Inc) SS420X 24 bit data logger, but I don't have the flexibility. It's hiding in a medical items auction, so someone can probably get a very nice deal on it.
 

Offline KE5FX

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Re: AUCTION: (UK) Test Gear From NVIDIA
« Reply #71 on: February 14, 2017, 09:53:08 pm »
Thanks :) I'm quite pleased because I don't really hack about with software much these days. So maybe I'm not as rusty as I thought.

I've had my first play with time domain mode and it's extremely impressive :)

I stuck a 3mm wide strip of sticky copper tape to a single sided piece of (A4 sized) FR4 PCB and put a couple of SMA launcher connectors on each end. I then calibrated the VNA (in 2port mode) with the Ecal unit up to 8.5GHz.

I then put the PCB inline and put the VNA in TD mode. I found I could place a small metal object on the PCB trace and move it and see the discontinuity as a sharp peak on the VNA display. The resolution is pretty good. Good enough for PCB based work.

I assumed the resolution would only be good enough for cable faultfinding but it appears to be much better than this. I'm definitely going to recommend we buy this option for one of our ENA/PNA analysers at work.

I spotted that Agilent have posted a cheesy video on Youtube promoting TDR mode using the ENA analyser .

See below.


Thread necromancy time: What measurement is actually being made in this video?  I've never seen a VNA -- or a TDR, for that matter -- used to render an eye diagram before.
 


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