Author Topic: [CLOSED] AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.  (Read 4090 times)

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Offline MasterT

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[CLOSED] AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« on: August 22, 2018, 11:55:37 pm »
Get myself a new toy, can't make it operational. Link to product:
https://www.ebay.ca/itm/AD9959-Radio-Frequency-RF-Signal-Source-Generator-4-Channel-DDS-Module-DC5V/183317556697

After spending a few hours on software potential bugs tracking, I resolved to make  a hardware inspection. Power and clocks certainly come first, and here is a surprise. As can be seen from the picture, board has 25 MHz TXC oscillator installed. Running at 3.3V it outputs 4 Vp-p ( at least what I see on a scope, may be overshot), seems too much for 1.8V DDS core.

 And what worse, pin 24 is set to high, and according to DS internal oscillator is activated.
Page 20, table 4. http://www.analog.com/media/en/technical-documentation/data-sheets/AD9959.pdf

 Original EVAL board from analog has a crystal, and it makes me think, that copy-paste  stupid mistake happened.  If external oscillator is used, pin 24 must be low, and voltage divider needs to be installed to reduce drive down to 1000 mV (max value from DS).

Whats options do I have? Return board to seller? I have no idea how to do it, but cutting traces does not make me feel good.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 06:23:01 pm by MasterT »
 

Online Bud

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2018, 12:19:48 am »
This IC is priced by byADI $51 CAD in quantities >1000. The whole board is only CAD $40. Chances are it is a counterfeit IC. Your findings about the clock circuit may be another indication of it. Perhaps the Chinese clone does require 4V clock and gives no shit about pin 24.

Edit: you can replace the clock oscillator with one that has a suitable amplitude.

Edit: You can make a close up photo of the chip, send it to ADI and ask if they can confirm the chip is genuine. If they say it is not you can open a dispute and get a refund.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2018, 01:58:38 am by Bud »
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Offline xaxaxa

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2018, 04:22:31 am »
This IC is priced by byADI $51 CAD in quantities >1000. The whole board is only CAD $40. Chances are it is a counterfeit IC. Your findings about the clock circuit may be another indication of it. Perhaps the Chinese clone does require 4V clock and gives no shit about pin 24.

ADI parts prices are fairy tales and fantasy. What you see on the official website is 10x higher than what people actually pay for them. For example ad9363 costs >$100 on digikey, $80 @ 1k qty on the AD website, but in reality is worth $10 on the spot market. Another good example is the ADF4350, $12 on digikey, $0.5 in real life.
 

Online Bud

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2018, 05:57:59 am »
Real life that is price in China? 
I have seen counterfeit piece of shit "Cypress" USB controllers and "ADI" DDS ICs , Chinese made fakes. So no, China does not count.

Show me a reputable supplier that sells AD9959 for less than ADI bulk pricing.
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Offline CJay

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2018, 09:30:24 am »
@MasterT Open an ebay case and have a dialogue with the seller, don't mess about with the board until you have permission to do so or you're sure there's no other option, if you work on it then the seller could refuse to refund/replace.

As for the belief that it must be counterfeit if it's cheap, yes there are fakes but cheap does not in the vast majority of cases mean fake.

I have bought genuine AD9851 parts at a fraction of their list price from an excess inventory broker who's warehouse is 15 miles from my home, I've no doubt whatosever that this market is exponentially larger and much cheaper in HK and China.

I've also no doubt that the price breaks you see on AD and Digikey bear no resemblance to the prices volume manufacturers pay, 10,000 pieces is a sample order for some.
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Offline MasterT

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2018, 12:55:48 pm »
Chances are it is a counterfeit IC. Your findings about the clock circuit may be another indication of it. Perhaps the Chinese clone does require 4V clock and gives no shit about pin 24.
Good things if it's counterfeit, I'm sure original AD IC would be dead on first switch on, having 3.3V square wave with 100 mA current capability on it's Ref-clk input .

I checked what kind of clock ADF4351 board has, that I bought on ali a while ago about the same price.  1.5Vp-p for 3.3V IC, seems correct.

The seller offers a replacement. I'd take a chances, still want DDS generator for my garage lab
 

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2018, 03:16:45 am »
This IC is priced by byADI $51 CAD in quantities >1000. The whole board is only CAD $40. Chances are it is a counterfeit IC. Your findings about the clock circuit may be another indication of it. Perhaps the Chinese clone does require 4V clock and gives no shit about pin 24.

Edit: you can replace the clock oscillator with one that has a suitable amplitude.

Edit: You can make a close up photo of the chip, send it to ADI and ask if they can confirm the chip is genuine. If they say it is not you can open a dispute and get a refund.
Beat me to it.
This is one of those things that I see from time to time on E-Bay that send off all kinds of alarm bells, I avoid this stuff like the plague.
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline cncjerry

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2018, 04:14:44 am »
Most of the time when you cant get these boards running it is related to the eval code being developed on either 32bit or Windows XP, not 64bit.  I had a heck of a time getting a 9959 board running on anything other than windows XP.  No logic behind it, just wouldn't run until I used XP. 

The odds of the 9959 chip being counterfeit are almost zero. Maybe the cypress chip if it has one but the 9959s unlikely.  Try XP and go from there.  The other issue generally is that you have to be careful to use the wall wart they supply or the correct power.  Don't assume 5v or 12v or whatever.  I blew a board once using 12V when 5v was spec'ed.

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Offline MasterT

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2018, 09:28:43 am »
Most of the time when you cant get these boards running it is related to the eval code being developed on either 32bit or Windows XP, not 64bit.  I had a heck of a time getting a 9959 board running on anything other than windows XP.  No logic behind it, just wouldn't run until I used XP. 

The odds of the 9959 chip being counterfeit are almost zero. Maybe the cypress chip if it has one but the 9959s unlikely.  Try XP and go from there.  The other issue generally is that you have to be careful to use the wall wart they supply or the correct power.  Don't assume 5v or 12v or whatever.  I blew a board once using 12V when 5v was spec'ed.

Jerry
There are different kind of boards, official from Analog has DDS AD9959 + supplementary uCPU , so DDS synthesizer could be interfaced and configured from PC, over USB interface. uCPU serves as an USB->to->SPI bridge.
This is what, probably, you mean.
But if you click a link from first message, there would be a picture of the board I've got, cheapest  version w/o any bridges. Consequently, there is no USB, just raw SPI bus pin header.

I'm still  waiting a replacement, "ticket" is open on ebay. I'd post updates when I received one.
 

Offline cncjerry

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2018, 07:01:31 am »
You're right, my 9959 board has a second board linked to the 9959 board with a flat  cable.
 

Offline astro10

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2018, 02:12:36 pm »
Any luck making this board work? For the price, I was planning on buying one to play around with it.
 

Offline MasterT

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2018, 03:08:36 pm »
Any luck making this board work? For the price, I was planning on buying one to play around with it.
I didn't try to repair, put it aside.  I'm still waiting for replacement, they told me on ebay - they send one. Situation is quite risky for me, my ebay protection is gonna to expire on 26-09-2018, and if the seller cheats on me - and didn't do anything just pulling a time, than I lost $42. Was hoping to receive a package before this warranty on return expire...
 
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Offline metrologist

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2019, 03:23:02 pm »
what happened? Has anyone seen a "good" module? Are the AD9910 modules any better?
 

Offline MasterT

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2019, 03:59:01 pm »
what happened? Has anyone seen a "good" module? Are the AD9910 modules any better?
Not me, never seen. I was not thinking right, trying to get replacement for a module, that has a flow in design. And a seller didn't actually bother to  send anything second time.
I break a chip in a half, completing autopsy, and 100% sure IC is a junk, out of 56  wires between a silicon and  external pads I counted no more than 10.
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Online OwO

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2019, 01:05:19 pm »
I break a chip in a half, completing autopsy, and 100% sure IC is a junk, out of 56  wires between a silicon and  external pads I counted no more than 10.

Take a picture? I'm curious how you can break open a QFN and still be able to see bond wires.

How are you interfacing with the board? If you are programming the registers yourself from an arduino or something then I'm 99% sure the problem is with your code. From my experience in troubleshooting designs the parts are the last thing to blame, and 9 times out of 10 the problem is the software (even board mistakes are not nearly as common as a simple one-character fuckup in your code). Add the fact that this is a pretty popular board on taobao selling at about the same price, with 83 good reviews out of 83 total reviews it's close to impossible it is a scam product (it is possible you got a dud by chance but still unlikely).
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 01:12:04 pm by OwO »
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Offline metrologist

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2019, 02:23:45 pm »
I had good luck controlling an ebay AD9850 module with an Arduino.
 

Online Bud

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2019, 02:59:47 pm »
Reviews on taobao tell me exactly nothing. Is there one saying "i have tested it in all major configurations and it worked fine"? Most of the people give reviews based on how pretty the product looks. Did they test the PLL multiplier? Did they test with an external 1GHz clock? Did they test the LPF bandwidth? Did they test amplitude control? Frequency and phase resolution? Does ouput matches specification in the datasheet?
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Online OwO

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2019, 03:45:15 pm »
The OP's issue was he couldn't get the board working at all, or presumably no output. If you told me the board has design flaws XYZ which means it won't meet spec under conditions NNN and none of the taobao buyers caught that then I'd believe you. I'm just saying the conclusion (the chip is a nonfunctional fake) is highly improbable given there being no negative reviews out of 80 reviews. Do you think people who review products by how they look would be buying a AD9959 dev board?
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Online Bud

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2019, 04:25:48 pm »
You may be surprised how many people buy stuff and never get to using it, myself included mostly because of long shipping times and i lose interest by the time it arrived, or my priority changed.
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Offline MasterT

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[CLOSED] Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2019, 06:22:25 pm »
I break a chip in a half, completing autopsy, and 100% sure IC is a junk, out of 56  wires between a silicon and  external pads I counted no more than 10.

Take a picture? I'm curious how you can break open a QFN and still be able to see bond wires.

How are you interfacing with the board? If you are programming the registers yourself from an arduino or something then I'm 99% sure the problem is with your code. From my experience in troubleshooting designs the parts are the last thing to blame, and 9 times out of 10 the problem is the software (even board mistakes are not nearly as common as a simple one-character fuckup in your code). Add the fact that this is a pretty popular board on taobao selling at about the same price, with 83 good reviews out of 83 total reviews it's close to impossible it is a scam product (it is possible you got a dud by chance but still unlikely).
Didn't take any pictures.
IC is a fake, it was obvious from the beginning. But I was o'k with that. The board itself is too thin and flimsy to survive traveling in the unprotected envelope.

 I just re-checked product link from my OP, and to my surprise ebay say "be the first to write a review".

Do I need a proof, that I write a review? And a picture, or better screen shots?
This conversation is leading to no where. Thread was started to get an advice from people that have hands-on experience with a module, but it turns out there is no one.

And it's too late anyway.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2019, 06:28:42 pm »
Take a picture? I'm curious how you can break open a QFN and still be able to see bond wires.

Hot 98% sulfuric acid and sodium nitrate can open packages without dissolving the Al/Au bonding wires. I've done that before.
It will, however, dissolve Cu bonding wires, so it is not a good practice to extract power chips (particularly QFN/DFN power ICs and MOSFETs).

Better if you have hot sulfuric acid and hot 68%+ nitric acid, but that stuff is pretty hard to come by without a license. So I use in-situ produced nitric acid instead.
 

Offline metrologist

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Re: [CLOSED] Re: AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2019, 07:54:20 pm »
I just re-checked product link from my OP, and to my surprise ebay say "be the first to write a review".

Do I need a proof, that I write a review? And a picture, or better screen shots?
This conversation is leading to no where. Thread was started to get an advice from people that have hands-on experience with a module, but it turns out there is no one.

And it's too late anyway.

It may be too late for your board, but I hope you are not getting offended. There are still questions and I think there was hope you could provide more information, even if just anecdotal and for others. I may still buy one and see. Maybe if I can't figure it out I can send it to someone who is more apt. and they can report.

It seems whatever problem there was with the OP's board that it is not likely a systemic issue because people are far more vocal about failures, and is this the only mention of a failure of this module?
 

Online Bud

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Re: [CLOSED] AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2019, 10:18:22 pm »
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Offline edigi

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Re: [CLOSED] AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2019, 12:00:12 pm »
Maybe I'm late to the party here but just to note that I think I have the same board (from a different seller though; from around the same time this thread started) and I could make it work (at least it could output 100 MHz and 200 MHz since in single tone mode).

I did not modify the board in any way.
I have no way to know if the chip is fake or original but I heavily suspect that it's original.

I've used Arduino + ESP32 and controlled the 9959 via SPI.
A cleaned up (from leftovers of many similar projects since I tested quite many different boards from e-bay; btw. I've got all of them - and that's not a short list- working after some time) version of the test code attached.

Note: If you need more information about the board I can make photos of it since I still have it (somewhere; I'll need to dig it out) but I don't provide support related to the board/the attached code/how to use 9959 since it was just a hobby project for me, not anymore interested in 9959 usage and I'm not affiliated with anybody that has anything to do with this board (ADI, e-bay seller or designer/manufacturer of the board). Also my code is not necessarily the best example, since bit fields are compiler dependent, but I'm lazy (and prefer readability) and so far I had no problem with this.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 07:32:55 pm by edigi »
 
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Online Bud

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Re: [CLOSED] AD9959 ebay board troubleshooting.
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2019, 01:57:53 pm »
That is great that yours worked but you probably won't dispute that it worked outside of the manufacturer specification with the incorrect reference clock configuration and the clock amplitude exceeded the specs by 4 times, as well as unequal DAC shoulders loading as I pointed out in the other post above. Guarantee, if you could measure the DAC output phase noise and spurs they would be awful, because the output phase noise directly depends on the quality of the clock. None of careful RF designers, except maybe the ones from Rigol,  would use the DDS chip under such conditions.
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