Author Topic: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer  (Read 8883 times)

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Online TheSteve

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Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« on: October 25, 2015, 06:57:49 am »
I recently bought an HP/Agilent/Keysight 8714C network analyzer. There were three optional features that needed keys to be enabled. 

-LAN(network) port
-Ibasic control
-SRL fault detection

Software only features just beg to be enabled right?

Now I have no idea how to generate the keys but instead found some information on changing an HP 8711 to an HP8712, in that document they detail how to enable the extra features. You can find that document here: http://www.ko4bb.com/manuals/216.113.200.6/HP_HP871x_network_analyzer_Other-howtoconvertanhp8711atoanhp8712a.pdf

The 8714C is very similar but not quite the same, I decided to experiment a little and wanted to share the values to change for others who may wish to do the same.

My 8714C has an AMD 28F020 flash memory which stores the bootloader as well as the option features. It is a socketed PLCC 32 chip on the main CPU.

If you remove the chip and read it you will see the bootloader at the beginning and the programmed features, your serial # etc at the end. When a feature is enabled a new entry is  programmed/added to the flash. The first entry starts at the end of the flash and each new entry is above it. It seems they do this so no data ever needs to be erased. It is also why on the option entry menu screen they document how many more changes you can make. When you run out flash space you can't enable any more features. The number seems to be above 200 - there are only a few options so I doubt anyone has ever run out of space.

The entry that needs to be modified is it the newest one which will be furthest from the end of the flash. My machine had no options enabled by default but still had a few entries. Each entry had additional information added such as serial #, mac address, etc and was clearly the factory programming each feature - one at a time.

The mod is so simple I don't think I need to include an actual screen shot from my hex editor.

The entry further from the end of the flash should look like this(in decimal):
!\C87*C.........US38060349. ..0060B08785C2. 
In my case US38060349 is my serial #.
You simply want to change the 4 bytes before your serial # to all zeroes. Once that is done program the flash memory and put it back in your 8714C and you will have every possible software option enabled. This will not enable the options that also require hardware such as the attenuator and AM delay. It will also not suddenly convert your 50 ohm unit to a 75 ohm unit.

Have fun - these machines are ~20 years old but were built to last.

Variations of this mod should work for the entire 8711, 8712, 8714 family.

edit - added some pics of a 2.4 GHz skew planar antenna I made to experiment with the analyzer. My target frequency was 2440 MHz, I got pretty darn close.

Further edit - here is a different link to k04bb's website which has very useful service information for this series of analyzers:
http://www.ko4bb.com/manuals/index.php?dir=HP_Agilent/HP_871x_Network_Analyzer
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 06:28:06 pm by TheSteve »
VE7FM
 
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2015, 08:12:03 am »
I do not have a network analyzer but one day I will.
So, thank you for this information that I will store away.

But your pdf link above is dead.
Can you attach the pdf here?

Thanks for your great work.
There are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who can not.
 

Online TheSteve

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2015, 06:26:40 pm »
The link still works for me, maybe try it again. The site has a lot of useful information on this series of network analyzers so I will add another link
VE7FM
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2015, 06:50:56 pm »
That's a useful link thanks :)

I have an old 8714B here that I've owned for many years and it's good to see that they are releasing detailed CLIP info for these old VNAs.

I was lucky in that I bought an ex rental unit and it came with lots of options and lots of external stuff too including the external two port switching test set and external detector probes and various precision RF cables etc. It all came in a couple of HP flight cases.

It has the AM delay, the attenuator, the SRL and HP BASIC options fitted.

I don't think I have the LAN option though...not sure if LAN offers something I can exploit but the link to those CLIP files has made my day. Thanks! :)
 

Online TheSteve

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2015, 07:02:18 pm »
They are a great series of analyzers - quick and easy to use. They also use N connectors on the front, nice for the home user who doesn't want to buy APC7 adapters.

Also they are very serviceable and easy to take apart - you have to love a product that has complete instructions to take it apart on the bottom of the unit. It even says which sizes of screwdrivers you'll require.

I wish more hardware was built to this standard.
VE7FM
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2015, 07:09:51 pm »
I especially like the quality of the CRT display. Despite its age and fairly heavy use my CRT is still crisp and clear with no burn and the Smith Chart graphics are very detailed with good display resolution on the trace data.

When I do upgrade to something newer/faster with full 2 port capability I will miss the display quality and the ease of use of this VNA.
 

Online TheSteve

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2015, 05:43:13 am »
Just a little follow up to my post. I decided to try playing with the ethertwist function today(standard 10baseT lan). First I configured the hard copy button to output to my Samsung printer which is on my network. The Samsung printer happily accepted the RAW data on port 9100 and printed a very nice screen shot.

If I telnet to the 8714C I get the SCPI parser which is kind of expected. I think the biggest surprise is when I went to the network analyzers IP address in a browser. Low and behold there is actually a web server built into this sucker! Not only does it have detailed HTML help files but you can easily save color screen shots.
It also accepts FTP connections and it looks like I can transfer files such config, cal data and screen shots.

Moral of the story -  using the hack posted above to enable the LAN feature is certainly worth it.
VE7FM
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2015, 10:23:26 am »
Thanks for the update, very interesting information.

It looks like yours has a color screen or is that just from the screen capture?
The one I see on ebay US has a monochrome screen, it seems.
Are there two different types of HP 8714C around?
Or was the color screen an option?
 
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Online TheSteve

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2015, 05:43:10 pm »
They all have the standard green screen. The 8714x series all have 640x480 VGA out though and provide some basic color(that you can customize) to the VGA port.
I have ordered an 8.4 inch 640x480 LCD panel with VGA driver board that I plan to install in place of the green monitor. Assuming it all works out you will see the details of the install here. I think it will work out great though and the panel/driver etc were only 80 bucks shipped.
VE7FM
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2015, 03:37:56 pm »
I had a look at the back of my 8714B today and noticed a couple of things that may be of interest to people looking to buy one of these analysers.

My 8714B doesn't have a LAN port so I guess this is a new feature for the C version. Also mine doesn't have a 15 pin VGA connector at the back either. However, it does have a basic (mono) video out connector.

Looking a the options sticker mine has six options fitted. I think some are internal SW options, some require internal hardware and some require external hardware. Mine came with a load of external cables and some RF detector heads and a two port switching test set as part of the options.

 

Online TheSteve

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2015, 05:47:53 pm »
Yes, it seems the C/ET/ES versions have LAN and VGA out. There are two hardware based options - AM Delay and the attenuator, the others are software based. Well technically there is a third option - 75 ohm impedance - those units generally go cheap.
VE7FM
 

Offline ZS6GST

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2016, 01:57:43 pm »
Hi Steve, I am a retired ham with my principle toy being an HP8713C analyser. I plan to upgrade it from a scaler to a vector analyzer using the method published by Massimo. Following which it will also be nice if a can activate all its options. Do you perhaps have a copy of the ROM of your HP8714C and if so, would it be possible to provide me with a copy?? 73

 

Offline Tony_G

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2016, 08:55:23 pm »
I have an 8714C but not with the LAN option turned on - Before I go out and buy a programmer just for this, does anyone know if there is a keygen or equivalent?

TonyG

Online TheSteve

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2016, 03:56:05 am »
Hi Steve, I am a retired ham with my principle toy being an HP8713C analyser. I plan to upgrade it from a scaler to a vector analyzer using the method published by Massimo. Following which it will also be nice if a can activate all its options. Do you perhaps have a copy of the ROM of your HP8714C and if so, would it be possible to provide me with a copy?? 73

Not a problem - the 28F020 images have been attached - my original and the patched version with the options enabled.

If you need any assistance please post or PM.
I have also converted a 8711B to an 8712B to enable the full vector options.
VE7FM
 

Offline ZS6GST

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2016, 11:45:53 am »
Steve, You made my day. Thank you  ;D

Tony_G, I read somewhere that HP did provide a means of burning an HP87.. ROM 'in situ' but not sure if it operated via an app stored on a floppy or via a controling PC with HP-IB.
 

Offline Tony_G

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2016, 02:33:33 pm »
ZA6GST - Thanks for the reply.

The machine can have it's firmware updated via the floppy drive but I haven't seen anything about doing it with a generic ROM image (as compared to whatever format the LIF based updater uses).

If you ever remember where you saw that, please shoot me the info.

Thanks,

TonyG

Online TheSteve

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2016, 04:46:14 pm »
I haven't come across any key software or flashing software - it wouldn't surprise me if both exist though.
If you do buy a programmer I can recommend the TL866, that is what I have been using.
VE7FM
 

Offline Tony_G

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2016, 04:37:02 pm »
Just got back from a conference and my programmer was delivered. Hooked it up and made the change and it all works nicely now. Can see the web page, prints in color to my PCL6 printer. Excellent.

Hardest thing was working out how to get the el cheapo Chinese IC extractor to grab the IC.

TheSteve - Thank you very much for your work on this.

TonyG

Offline BFX

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2018, 08:32:47 pm »
I have 8713B and going to update to 9714B :)
Finally a have time to "hack" this guy.

Some photos at beginning:
 
 
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Online TheSteve

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2018, 08:58:57 pm »
Very nice! Looks like it will appreciate a good cleaning.
VE7FM
 
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Offline BFX

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2018, 09:03:49 pm »
Very nice! Looks like it will appreciate a good cleaning.
For sure, and also check power supply capacitors and visual inspect of boards.
 

Offline BFX

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2018, 04:59:26 pm »
Here is my boot rom content its little bit different from others what do you suggest?
 

Online TheSteve

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2018, 05:13:25 pm »
What happens if you change address 01FF8F from BF to FB ?
VE7FM
 

Offline BFX

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2018, 05:29:08 pm »
I didn't try yet because I was so surprised to do this in this way.
 
 

Offline BFX

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Re: Enable those extra features on your HP 8714C network analyzer
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2018, 05:31:48 pm »
Also your suggestion is little bit not clear for me .
"The entry further from the end of the flash should look like this(in decimal):
!\C87*C.........US38060349. ..0060B08785C2. 
In my case US38060349 is my serial #.
You simply want to change the 4 bytes before your serial # to all zeroes. Once that is done program the flash memory and put it back in your 8714C and you will have every possible software option enabled."

There is to change to zeroes an now you wrote to put FB.
 


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