Author Topic: Agilent E4418A freezes while attemting to read sensor calibration data  (Read 293 times)

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Offline Veli

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Hi all,

I have recently purchased an Agilent E4418A which for long time i wanted to own.

The instrument powers up fine and passes all self tests without RF sensor connected to it.

If however i connect the sensor before or after system boot, the instrument freezes up while attempting to read our RF sensor calibration data.

Both sensor (E9322A) and cable are fine because they work well on another E4416A at work.

So far i have done the following:
1. Ohmed out front panel sensor connector along with cable
2. Replaced 2 RAM chips (U11 & U12)
3. Replaced battery backup RAM chips (U39 & U40)

None of these made any difference and the instrument keeps freezing up upon connecting external sensor.

Any ideas?
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 03:06:16 pm by Veli »
 

Offline kirill_ka

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Re: Agilent E4418B freezes while attemting to read sensor calibration data
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2019, 02:59:07 pm »
Hmm... I thought E4418 is not compatible with E9320 power sensors...

That's what the product page at keysight.com says:
" Operates with the EPM-P (E4416A/ 17A) series and P-Series (N1911A/ 12A) power meters"
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 03:03:31 pm by kirill_ka »
 

Offline Veli

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Re: Agilent E4418A freezes while attemting to read sensor calibration data
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2019, 03:20:00 pm »
Hello,

You may be absolutely correct.

Not that you've mentioned it, I noted (and corrected) a few issues in my post:
1. My instrument is E4418A as opposed to B.
2. The instrument at work is actually E4416A not 4418.

Agilent web site does indeed seem to indicate that E4418A is not compatible with E9320A family of sensors:

- The E4418A is a low-cost, high-performance, single-channel, programmable power meter. It is fully compatible with the 8480 series and the E-series power sensors (except the E9320A family). Depending upon which sensor is used, the E4418A can measure from -70 dBm to +44 dBm at frequencies from 100 kHz to 110 GHz.


Sensor cable however plugs just fine on both ends (instrument and sensor).

One would think if the sensor is indeed incompatible, there should be some sort of hardware pin or at the very least, some sort of sensor incompatibility error message as opposed to entire instrument completely freezing up.

I will do some more research into this.
 

Offline TheSteve

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Re: Agilent E4418A freezes while attemting to read sensor calibration data
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2019, 04:23:26 pm »
Have you installed the newest firmware?
VE7FM
 

Offline Veli

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Re: Agilent E4418A freezes while attemting to read sensor calibration data
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2019, 03:53:17 pm »
Hello,

I have checked version of the firmware on the instrument against what's on Agilent web site.

Both are equivalent, so I though it is not necessary to update again.
 

Offline kirill_ka

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Re: Agilent E4418A freezes while attemting to read sensor calibration data
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2019, 01:57:02 pm »
Note that even with E930X sensors which are supposed to work with E4418A, you may need to upgrade the measurement board firmware.
And that firmware is not easily available.
N848X also seem to require the newer measurement board firmware.
https://community.keysight.com/message/19458?commentID=19458#comment-19458
 

Offline Veli

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Re: Agilent E4418A freezes while attemting to read sensor calibration data
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2019, 01:46:58 pm »
Here is the final update to this post and issue about this Agilent E4418A.

Turns out, there was nothing wrong with this instrument after all.

The reason why the instrument froze when sensor is connected is because I connected E9322A sensor to it via BLUE sensor cable.

Both the sensor (E9322A) and blue (E9288A) cable are incompatible with this power meter.

The instrument calibrated just fine when i connected proper (11730A) cable and sensor (E4412A).


I am still puzzled why would Agilent (HP) allow incompatible cable and sensor to be connected to an instrument rather than having some sort of mechanical notch.

At the very least, rather than freezing the instrument, the software should be able to recognize and error-out improper sensor/cable as oppose to just completely freezing.

Thanks Kirill and Steve fro your comments.


I hope this post and my experience will help someone else in similar situation with this instrument.
 


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