Author Topic: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything  (Read 92925 times)

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Offline BenchVue Team

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BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« on: October 27, 2015, 03:51:07 pm »
Hey EEVBlog members! We’re part of the Keysight BenchVue team and we are here to answer your questions on BenchVue. We’ll be monitoring this thread to answer your questions. Ask us anything!

Our new 3.0 release has some really useful new features that enhance your bench. Some new features include:
-   An all new design of the digitizer section of the DMM app
-   WaveGen support for over 70 oscilloscopes. WaveGen is the function generator option built into many oscilloscopes
-   New models are supported for a total of over 300 Keysight instrument models
-   A smaller download package that includes apps for the most commonly used instruments
-   New Test Flow app that allows you to create automated  sequences within BenchVue. This app is designed for you to rapidly prototype customize your own tests. Check out our BenchVue Test Flow Youtube Playlist for more information.


-   A new app tab that shows you what apps you have installed and information about each app including what instruments are supported by that app. You can use the app tab to update apps, initiate trial periods, and install licenses.

For more information about BenchVue we have a bunch of videos found here:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2XuMA5AwNUxs50YwvEy_5AHu8Hg6l8VM

You can download the new version at www.keysight.com/find/benchvue.

Regards,
David
Brian
Jeff
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 10:30:44 pm by BenchVue Team »
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2015, 04:17:03 pm »
Hi guys,

I tried out a previous version of BenchVue shortly after I bought my 34465A meter.

As I know you appreciate, test equipment needs to be boringly dependable and reliable. Your instruments generally are, which is why I've more-or-less standardised on them in my lab. They generally work really well.

That's why I was disappointed with the stability of BenchVue. The install process didn't go smoothly, and the software itself just wasn't stable enough in use. I'd love to give you more details, but alas I uninstalled the software soon after deciding I was better off without it.

Has reliability, stability and ease-of-use been a high development priority in this release? Or has it been primarily about adding features?

Much as I hate to say it, I was also disappointed to see silly limitations in the free version, like the limit on data logging time. I've spent a lot of money on HP / Agilent / Keysight equipment, and finding myself being asked to pay even more just to remove artificial limitations on a tool which would help them all work together is irksome. Please reconsider this business decision.

Andy.

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2015, 04:33:01 pm »
Hello,
Based on the user guide:
I see there is still no support for the 3458A, no matter the interface or Ethernet bridge. I'm very disappointed.
The software team had to spend several days to write a calibration (for our stuff) script for it, and now modifying it, or writing a new one is a management decision, being a big hassle.
I would really like if one of your software would finally really support that unmatched meter.
Also, I would like an interface which looks like it is designed by and for engineers. Meaning ribbon and white background, not some fancy gray something with custom buttons and such.
For the moment I've updated from 2.xxx and it crashes on start, so not very happy about it.
 

Offline gslick

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2015, 04:34:54 pm »
Any chance you would add support for the Mobile Communications DC Source 663xx series?

I have some 66309D that might be interesting to use with BenchVue.
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 04:47:29 pm »
If we're on the subject of equipment support, is there any chance it'll ever be able to download data from my HP 4395A network analyser?

(Long shot, I know, but it would be really worthwhile... not sure how much longer it'll be physically possible to use floppy discs to get data off it!)

Offline AlxDroidDev

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2015, 05:29:54 pm »
I just bought a Keysight DSO1072B, but I am forced to use an outdated version of IntuiLink.

Is there any chance Keysight will make BenchVue compatible with my DSO1072B ?
"The nice thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from." (Andrew S. Tanenbaum)
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2015, 05:45:58 pm »
Any chance you would add support for the Mobile Communications DC Source 663xx series?
They could start by writing a driver for the 663x series System DC PSU's. Then it is just another few SCPI commands to tack on for the 663xx versions.
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2015, 05:52:28 pm »
If we're on the subject of equipment support, is there any chance it'll ever be able to download data from my HP 4395A network analyser?
(Long shot, I know, but it would be really worthwhile... not sure how much longer it'll be physically possible to use floppy discs to get data off it!)

You could try using Softplot but this isn't free.

http://www.aphena.com/sptorder.htm

I use this at work a fair bit. However, despite having loads of old HP4396 analysers at work, I don't think I've tried using them with Softplot. But it does work fine with oldish analysers like the HP8714 or the 8753 series. You can export plots or S parameter data from the VNA via GPIB. It also works with various spectrum analysers.

I tried out Benchvue at work nearly a year ago to do a load of screenshot captures from a PSA spectrum analyser. It did OK but was a bit fussy to run and it wasn't totally stable. However, it got the job done.

The alternative is to write something yourself.

For my old E4406A signal analyser I wrote a Windows app to grab high quality screenshots from it via GPIB to PC. This was heavily based on Agilent's own E4406A VBasic sample code for this and it works really well so I hardly had to change their code to suit my needs. You can grab and view and save multiple screenshots in gif format like taking pictures with a camera if you customise their code a bit and provide the screen space on the PC monitor to hold all the images. It saves them all to the HDD at the same time.

« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 06:16:15 pm by G0HZU »
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2015, 05:53:04 pm »
Hey EEVBlog members! We’re part of the Keysight BenchVue team and we are here to answer your questions on BenchVue. We’ll be monitoring this thread to answer your questions. Ask us anything!

Is the BenchVue Mobile Android app available via other means than Google Play store only?

http://www.keysight.com/main/editorial.jspx?cc=GB&lc=eng&ckey=2428702&nid=-32762.1080833&id=2428702

Considering that not all Android devices can have Google Play (and not everyone wants to run Android with the invasive Google Services), and that this is an app that targets technically savy people (engineers), I'd think that a direct download of the apk file could be offered. Failing that, at least put it on the Amazon Android Store as well.
 

Offline BenchVue Team

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2015, 06:10:40 pm »
AndyC_772 - BenchVue's quality goal is the same as for our hardware; uncompromising quality. Our R&D team has strived to design and test as many combinations and scenarios as we can. BenchVue has had some road bumps in stability and we have received reports of crashes. This release and past releases have tried to address those. If a particular user setup has caused some stability issues, please use BenchVue's built-in reporting to send a report to our support team. We take all of our support issues seriously and try to resolve them with either the user or with our development team.

BenchVue's design focus is to be easy to use. We strongly feel that many engineers are starved for time and learning an instrument can be time consuming especially when using it with a PC. BenchVue tries to offer a software tool that allows for the most common tasks to be completed easily with a short learning curve. We are hard at work trying to add new features but at our core we need to be simple to learn.

As for the limitations in the free version, we are always looking at business scenarios and determining what is most valuable for the consumer and how Keysight's business is affected. T&M is a very competitive space and we want to keep providing valuable free offerings.

~David
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 06:28:00 pm by BenchVue Team »
 

Offline BenchVue Team

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2015, 06:24:34 pm »
Hello,
Based on the user guide:
I see there is still no support for the 3458A, no matter the interface or Ethernet bridge. I'm very disappointed.
The software team had to spend several days to write a calibration (for our stuff) script for it, and now modifying it, or writing a new one is a management decision, being a big hassle.
I would really like if one of your software would finally really support that unmatched meter.
Also, I would like an interface which looks like it is designed by and for engineers. Meaning ribbon and white background, not some fancy gray something with custom buttons and such.
For the moment I've updated from 2.xxx and it crashes on start, so not very happy about it.

Thank you for your input. The 3458A is a special DMM, I had the pleasure of redesigning the production test system for it many years ago and it is still the highest performing DMM in Keysight's arsenal. While the 3458A is not supported at this release, we are continuing to add new models all the time. I will make sure that it is included in our product planning and considered for future support.

This will be true for all requests in this thread. Development and SQ (software quality) takes time and resources but please voice your opinion on what types of instruments you would like to see supported. We will be keeping track of this thread and are actively working to add instruments.

BenchVue is designed by engineers for engineers. The engineers that we focus on are users that aren't programmers and want to be able to accomplish a task simply. BenchVue is Keysight's answer for users that have struggled to connect their PC to their instrument. For users that need to document their results but still use a camera to take a screenshot. For users that need to visualize their results in a graph but might struggle with the various data types and keeping track of results. We have had feedback on our user interface and are constantly working on improvements. I can't speak of future plans in detail but the gray background feedback has been taken to heart.

If you are already experiencing crashes, please use the built in feedback tool that BenchVue has (if BenchVue allows you to get that far). If not, we would be glad to work with you to solve your problem. Feel free to PM us on the EEBlog and we can work with you to get it resolved.

~David
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 06:30:06 pm by BenchVue Team »
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2015, 06:34:25 pm »
BenchVue is Keysight's answer for users that have struggled to connect their PC to their instrument. For users that need to document their results but still use a camera to take a screenshot.

OK, this is cool. Capturing screen shots from an instrument with an Ethernet port and a built-in web server is easy, but there's a massive opportunity here to update and support older equipment.

I know my 4395A is old, but it works perfectly, and it's providing me with a capability that there's simply no way I could have if I had to pay for newer kit with luxuries like USB and Ethernet built in.

If you're looking for reasons to charge for BenchVue, don't do it by putting in limitations and then charging to take them out again. Do it by adding support for instruments that are still in service but which would otherwise be difficult to interface with modern equipment.

I'd pay for a software package that would let me control my 4395A from a PC via a generic GPIB-to-USB adapter. Not silly money, of course, because I *can* still use floppy discs, but the current cost of the 'full' version of BenchVue would certainly become justifiable.

Offline nctnico

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2015, 06:43:37 pm »
I have not looked at Benchvue at all so my question may be stupid: I see a lot of requests for supporting additional instruments. Is there a way to add support for an instrument by yourself (scripting, DLL, etc)?
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2015, 06:45:34 pm »
How about adding "plug-ins" with a standard API so people could develop instrument drivers themselves and share with community? All that work on the nice GUI and stuff has been done, more instrument drivers are going to be behind the scenes SCPI and maybe some image uploads to make it all pretty. Good ones could be included by Keysight as standard distribution with new versions of BenchVue?
 

Offline rosbuitre

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2015, 06:49:30 pm »
Hi guys
Good to see you around here, have always responded to all question of my BV, excellent predisposition, is appreciated  :-+

Regards
Osvaldo - Rosario
My instruments: DMM Keysight 34461A / Tektronix DMM916 / Fluke 12, Rigol DS1074Z, Deer DE-5000, Siglent SDG805 / SDP3303D, Dayton Dats2
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2015, 06:49:36 pm »
Thank you for the release v3 of BenchVue
I have been using BenchVue for over a year now and it works really great for the applications I had.

Integrating more instruments, like the counters 53220A and 53230A would be really great!

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Offline georges80

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2015, 09:39:08 pm »
I have a 33250A and have tried your benchlink waveform software. The 'trial/unlicensed' version is quite limited and the 'list' at $766 for the complete version is a heck of a lot of $$ for not much capability.

Seems a very rudimentary piece of software to charge so much for. Given the test equipment is already premium priced and a large investment, the software costs are just another painful pill to swallow/justify. Maybe a large company doesn't see that as an expense, but for the little guy that's a lot of money for what is just a 'drawing' program...

cheers,
george.
 

Offline BenchVue Team

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2015, 10:14:09 pm »
How about adding "plug-ins" with a standard API so people could develop instrument drivers themselves and share with community? All that work on the nice GUI and stuff has been done, more instrument drivers are going to be behind the scenes SCPI and maybe some image uploads to make it all pretty. Good ones could be included by Keysight as standard distribution with new versions of BenchVue?

As of right now we have a list of instruments that BenchVue supports (www.keysight.com/find/benchvueinstruments). What does BenchVue instrument support mean? By plugging your supported instrument into your PC via USB, LAN, or GPIB. BenchVue can recognize the instrument model number, come up with a small thumbnail of the actual instrument, and recognize what type of instrument it is so that the right app opens. When the right app opens, the appropriate controls and measurement capabilities are shown.

I am very encouraged to hear that people recognize the nice value that BenchVue brings and want the ability to add their own. Message has been received and we will see what we can do about it.

As a side note, if you are a bit of a programmer, you can use the SCPI block in BenchVue Test Flow to send commands to any SCPI enabled instrument. Test Flow is a new app and it brings a level of flexibility that BenchVue has not had before.

~David
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 10:16:37 pm by BenchVue Team »
 

Offline BenchVue Team

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2015, 10:15:59 pm »
Hey EEVBlog members! We’re part of the Keysight BenchVue team and we are here to answer your questions on BenchVue. We’ll be monitoring this thread to answer your questions. Ask us anything!

Is the BenchVue Mobile Android app available via other means than Google Play store only?

http://www.keysight.com/main/editorial.jspx?cc=GB&lc=eng&ckey=2428702&nid=-32762.1080833&id=2428702

Considering that not all Android devices can have Google Play (and not everyone wants to run Android with the invasive Google Services), and that this is an app that targets technically savy people (engineers), I'd think that a direct download of the apk file could be offered. Failing that, at least put it on the Amazon Android Store as well.

I'll see what I can do about this. Give me a few days and I'll update this thread.
~David
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2015, 10:21:02 pm »
How about adding "plug-ins" with a standard API so people could develop instrument drivers themselves and share with community? All that work on the nice GUI and stuff has been done, more instrument drivers are going to be behind the scenes SCPI and maybe some image uploads to make it all pretty. Good ones could be included by Keysight as standard distribution with new versions of BenchVue?

As of right now we have a list of instruments that BenchVue supports (www.keysight.com/find/benchvueinstruments). What does BenchVue instrument support mean? By plugging your supported instrument into your PC via USB, LAN, or GPIB. BenchVue can recognize the instrument model number, come up with a small thumbnail of the actual instrument, and recognize what type of instrument it is so that the right app opens. When the right app opens, the appropriate controls and measurement capabilities are shown.

I am very encouraged to hear that people recognize the nice value that BenchVue brings and want the ability to add their own. Message has been received and we will see what we can do about it.

As a side note, if you are a bit of a programmer, you can use the SCPI block in BenchVue Test Flow to send commands to any SCPI enabled instrument. Test Flow is a new app and it brings a level of flexibility that BenchVue has not had before.
That SCPI block sounds interesting. One of the purposes I can think off is to set an RF generator to a certain output frequency and then read the level from a spectrum analyser. A poor man's spectrum analyser with tracking generator so to say.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2015, 10:31:52 pm »
And by the sounds of it, not using some perverse GUI programming method like LabVIEW! (that thing twists my melon man - even after I have deleted all files in a project, de-installed and re-installed LabVIEW, nothing short of reinstalling Windows on clean HDD stops it from "remembering" some fuckup I did. I really HATE it for that!)
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2015, 10:47:05 pm »
Hey EEVBlog members! ... Ask us anything!

Why are cows big and mice small? Why don't you get cows the size of mice, or mice the size of cows?
 

Offline Messtechniker

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2015, 10:52:08 pm »
Hey EEVBlog members! We’re part of the Keysight BenchVue team and we are here to answer your questions on BenchVue. We’ll be monitoring this thread to answer your questions. Ask us anything!

Well, unfortunately the BenchVue 3.0 update did not work out well for me. The older version (2.7 I think) worked but did not see much use. The update installed with an error message of some sort which I don’t remember. My Keysight 34465A appeared at the bottom in the list but when selecting it for operation BenchVue 3.0 crashed (Windows 7 32 bit with dual screens). After this I uninstalled the whole affair because I was bent on doing something productive (see my contribution here - No. 4 in https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/building-your-own-voltage-reference-the-jvr/60/), instead of troubleshooting a programme I intended not to use very much anyway. Sorry folks.


Yours – Messtechniker
Agilent 34465A, Hameg HMO1022, R&S HMC 8043, Voltcraft VC 940 and M-Audio Audiophile 192
 

Offline BenchVue Team

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2015, 11:03:03 pm »
Quote
That SCPI block sounds interesting. One of the purposes I can think off is to set an RF generator to a certain output frequency and then read the level from a spectrum analyser. A poor man's spectrum analyser with tracking generator so to say.

Exactly! Even though BenchVue doesn't currently support RF Sig Gens, if Connection Expert can find it, BenchVue's SCPI block allows you to control it, and I did so with an N5182B MXG. It's only a few commands to set the power level, mode and frequency and turn on the output. Now, synchronizing an MXA with the MXG to make a network analyzer, well, that's not as trivial, although you certainly could do it point by point in a loop, export the data to Excel and use Excel to plot it. The SCPI block allows you to read data, but it has to be fairly simple - boolean, double or string. So you can't do a screen capture for example. Still, it is a great new feature. We had a lot of requests for that.

Brian
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: BenchVue 3.0 now available – ask the BenchVue team anything
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2015, 11:22:19 pm »
No way to show such a graph in Benchvue?
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 


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