Author Topic: PXI PXIe RF Gear - Agilent / Keysight vs NI  (Read 1620 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ZL1CVD

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • Country: nz
PXI PXIe RF Gear - Agilent / Keysight vs NI
« on: October 08, 2018, 04:21:44 am »
So, HAM radio is my hobby & I have recently acquired a NI PXIe-1065 18 slot chassis with PXIe-8106 controller. From the research I have done, am I correct that Agilent/Keysight does not provide free software for their RF modules ( M9365A, M9214A, M9300A, M9308A, M9310A, M9311A, Etc)?

What I want to do is add modules as I can afford them. If I buy a RF generator, I want to be able to fire up a simple application to generate RF. But from what I can see, NI is the only vendor to supply ready to run, free basic applications for their RF gear. Is this correct? Or does NI only provide free apps for basic things like scope, dmm, audio analyser, etc.

I do understand that drivers are available and I can write my own applications. But if I fork out for a module, I'd like to think there is at least a basic application that I can run. Note I do not consider a trial version, that expires, a basic application, its more of a advertising hook..

I see some pretty cool Agilent / Keysight modules – just trying to work out for my application, if I should just avoid them. So any advise would be greatly appreciated..

73s de Chris ZL1CVD
 

Offline ZL1CVD

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • Country: nz
Re: PXI PXIe RF Gear - Agilent / Keysight vs NI
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 03:41:21 am »
So no replies but so far I have found... :-//

- Agilent sucks for used PXI, PXIe RF equipment, stay clear - especially if you plan running Windows XP. Drivers are all over the place, have to load this before you load that only to find need a later version of this - 3 hours later to find out your OS is no longer supported. |O

- NI does a much better job but is not ideal. Their web site leaves allot to be desired and takes a bit to get used to. Download rate is horrific for a company that charges so much for its hardware.  :wtf: I'm on fibre connection and getting 50K max from NI - average driver download is 10 hours +!!! But at least when you get the almost 2GB, it works.

- If your looking to get into PXIe RF gear, grab yourself an Agilent E6621A. Its loaded with NI gear!!

Will drop more when I learn more. Pics to follow..

73s de zl1cvd
 

Offline ZL1CVD

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • Country: nz
Re: PXI PXIe RF Gear - Agilent / Keysight vs NI
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2018, 04:34:13 am »
OK, so a Agilent E6621A (with BB1 option) includes the following:

Innowireless PXI/e Modules
----------------------------------------------------------
- Innowireless PXI Module CGU4.0 (Agilent PXIe reference module? has AD9956 ADF4360
- Innowireless PXI Module IFU (looks like an dual RF broadband amp - used to increase IF gain)
- Innowireless PXI Module PWU (power supply +/-12V, +5V5 & +3V3) - runs TFT display n such..
- Innowireless PXI Module SST6.0 ADU x2 (2x LTC2285 dual DACs), fibre, 2x UTP
- Innowireless PXI Module SST6.0 DAU x2 (2x DAC5687 dual ADCs), fibre, 2x UTP

If anyone has data or drivers on these Innowireless modules, please please share.

NI PXI/e Modules
----------------------------------------------------------
- PXIe-1065   18 slot Backplane Motherboard & PSU
- PXIe-8106   2.16 GHz Dual-Core Embedded Controller
- PXIe-5601   RF Downconverter 10MHz to 6.6GHz
- PXIe-5611 x2   RF Upconverter Module/IQ Vector Modulator
- PXI-5652  x2   RF and Microwave Signal Generator/500KHz-6.6GHz

+ other modules include MCL power divider, 10W 0.5~6GHz AWT power divider, LS01012 PIN attenuator, MCL attenuation, Agilent DPDT relay, Inoowireless dual I/Q IF switch, Etc

To create a NI PXI-5663 6GHz VSA, add 1x NI PXIe-5622 IF Digitizer

To create a NI PXI-5673 6GHz VSG, add 1x NI PXIe-5450 I/Q AWG

Another Agilent one to watch out for is E6651A. It too uses NI PXIe chassis but not sure what modules are installed.

Hope this is of help to someone. Pic is attached. Have more if wanted.,




« Last Edit: October 21, 2018, 04:37:39 am by ZL1CVD »
 
The following users thanked this post: thm_w

Offline TiN

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4206
  • Country: us
  • xDevs.com/live - 24/7 lab feed
    • xDevs.com
Re: PXI PXIe RF Gear - Agilent / Keysight vs NI
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2018, 09:14:20 am »
Do show more, interesting stuff :)
YouTube | Metrology IRC Chat room | Live-cam | Share T&M documentation? Upload! No MB limit, firmwares, photos.
 

Offline dkozel

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 116
  • Country: gb
Re: PXI PXIe RF Gear - Agilent / Keysight vs NI
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2018, 11:42:51 am »
Yes! Please more photos!
 

Offline ZL1CVD

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • Country: nz
Re: PXI PXIe RF Gear - Agilent / Keysight vs NI
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2018, 04:02:32 am »
The PXIe-8106 controller in E6621A can be upgraded to Windows 7 64-bit. I upgraded memory to 4GB and added a Chinese 128GB IDE SSD. It actually runs quite well. Things to note:

- NI do not have a driver packet for the controller as they stopped support at XP.

- Windows 7 has almost everything as standard.

- Suggest you install all Windows updates before you start installing NI stuff.

- The under $10 Windows 7 Ultimate CD Key and ISO download on eBay really does work well. I purchased item 153036208790 and was instantly delivered the CD Key and download details for both 32 & 64-bit ISO's. also a handy PDF instruction sheet. Windows registered flawlessly & updated fine.

- You need to locate Windows 7 8110 WDT driver on the NI site - have a good hunt, I found it on one of their forums.

- NI4882 needs version 15.5 GPIB drivers. NI does not have these on their site anymore. I contacted NI support who was extremely helpful and eventually provided a link to the file.

- Try not to install anything Agilent or Keysight on it. If you really must, research 1st and create a restore point and backup. The Keysight installers are hopeless - several failed midway on me. I think they expect to be loaded on Agilent controller.

NI have been exceptionally helpful. I actually receive email from them wanting to know how I got on after providing the driver I wanted and suggesting other things to look in to. Sure they are drumming up business but very professional and good to see. Well recommended...
 

Offline coromonadalix

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2913
  • Country: ca
Re: PXI PXIe RF Gear - Agilent / Keysight vs NI
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2018, 04:08:49 am »
Damn  thats a lot of signal "pipes"   i recall the old windows screen saver  pipes  loll

Nice to see an good support from NI
 

Offline tmbinc

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 231
Re: PXI PXIe RF Gear - Agilent / Keysight vs NI
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2018, 03:45:50 pm »
I have an E6621A as well. I looked into the E6651A but i figured out that it was based on the older aeroflex modules (PXI and don't work in PXI/PXIe hybrid slots).

One of the SST6.0  on mine is broken (doesn't detect the DSP if i remember correctly) so I hacked the firmware to behave as a single baseband unit.

It would be interesting to interface with the ADU/DAUs as technically they have everything you need for a 100 MHz AWG/VSA. Ideally I would just love to send over the stream over the ethernet ports. I started writing custom code to interface their DLLs but at some point ran out of time :/
 

Offline KD1RX

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
  • Country: us
Re: PXI PXIe RF Gear - Agilent / Keysight vs NI
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2020, 09:30:56 pm »
Just curious if anyone's cracked an E6651A yet.  I just picked up the 3 GHz version of the E6621A and can confirm that it still has the PXI-5652 6.6 GHz generators in it.  I was sure it was going to come with 5651s, but was happily proven wrong.  Given that it's perfectly functional, it seems borderline criminal to part it out.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf