Welcome to the GPIB Toolkit!
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The GPIB Toolkit is a collection of free Windows utilities that will help you make and record research-quality measurements with GPIB-based electronic test equipment.
This is version 1.986 of the Toolkit, released January 23, 2021.
For troubleshooting help and additional application notes, check the FAQ.
The GPIB Toolkit is provided with full C++ source code for public- and private-sector, educational and Amateur Radio / hobbyist use. Comments and feedback are always welcome.
John Miles, KE5FX
Note: As of July 2016, some false positives have been reported from certain virus scanners including Microsoft Security Essentials/Windows Defender. As long as the confirmation dialog includes a valid signature for Miles Design LLC, the file's code signature is intact, and you can safely disregard these warnings. This issue appears to have been resolved in the 1.225.1983.0 antivirus definition update.
7470.EXE is a Win32-based emulator for the HP 7470A plotter. See its User Guide for more information.
PN.EXE is an automated phase-noise measurement utility for HP, Tektronix, and Advantest spectrum analyzers. See its User Guide for more information.
SSM.EXE is a spectrum surveillance monitor application for HP, Tektronix, and Advantest spectrum analyzers, as well as Signal Hound USB spectrum analyzers. See its User Guide for more information.
PROLOGIX.EXE allows you to select and configure a Prologix GPIB-USB or GPIB-ETHERNET adapter for use with the GPIB Toolkit applications. It can also be used to select a National Instruments adapter, or to configure the GPIB Toolkit to work with an otherwise-unsupported TCP/IP or serial adapter.
Most of the GPIB Toolkit applications support both Prologix and National Instruments GPIB adapters. By default, the Toolkit expects to find a National Instruments device at GPIB0. When using a Prologix adapter, it's necessary to edit the CONNECT.INI file to tell the GPIB Toolkit where to find the Prologix adapter's virtual serial port or network address.
This task is easy to accomplish with PROLOGIX.EXE. Simply run the program, select the Prologix or National Instruments adapter in the device list, and press the Update CONNECT.INI button. (Be sure to exit from PROLOGIX.EXE before attempting to run any other GPIB Toolkit application.)
You can use the Edit CONNECT.INI button in PROLOGIX.EXE as a convenient way to modify your existing GPIB configuration manually, regardless of whether or not you're using a Prologix adapter. Editing the file also gives you access to additional options for troubleshooting and optimization. See the comments in CONNECT.INI for more information.
Beginning with the V1.50 release of the GPIB Toolkit, it is no longer necessary to select Device or Controller mode in PROLOGIX.EXE unless you wish to use the optional Terminal or Advanced Settings controls. Each Toolkit application will configure the Prologix adapter's mode and address settings as needed.
VNA.EXE allows you to save and load control/calibration states for HP 8753, HP 8510, and HP 8720-series vector network analyzers. Touchstone .S2P files can also be acquired from these models, as well as from the FieldFox portables. VNA.EXE can eliminate the need for a disk drive in many cases.
Release 1.00 of 5-Feb-13
- Fixed some compatibility issues with Prologix GPIB-USB and GPIB-ETHERNET adapters
Release 1.10 of 23-May-13
- Added 'Save .S2P file' button
Release 1.20 of 15-Jun-13
- .S2P export functionality verified compatible with HP 8510B. Renamed 8753.EXE to VNA.EXE to reflect support for multiple instruments
Release 1.30 of 28-Aug-13
- Added the ability to export .S2P data in dB/angle or real/imaginary format as well as the default magnitude/angle format
- Added the ability to specify the reference resistance for saved .S2P files
Release 1.40 of 28-Sep-14
- Added progress indicator for lengthy operations
- On 8753-series VNAs, the .S2P export function now restores the previously-active parameter when finished. Previous versions left S22 active.
- Improved reliability of .S2P export function when using Prologix adapters
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Release 1.50 of 30-Sep-14
- Support for saving/recalling instrument states and calibration data on HP 8510 series VNAs (tested on HP 8510C)
- Added Factory preset button
- More reliability improvements for Prologix adapters
Release 1.51 of 5-Oct-14
- .S2P export function now supports all sweep types on 8753- and 8720-series VNAs, including log and list sweeps. Only linear sweeps are supported on 8510 models.
- Factory preset button now supports HP 8510A/B analyzers
Release 1.52 of 23-Dec-14
- Fixed bug introduced in V1.51 that caused .S2P frequency values in linear sweeps to begin at 0 Hz rather than the start frequency
Release 1.53 of 15-Jan-15
- Added support for Hz, kHz, and MHz frequency values in .S2P files
Release 1.54 of 13-Jul-15
- Added T-Check function to characterize calibration uncertainty
- Added .S2P support for Agilent/Keysight FieldFox portable VNAs (tested with N9923A)
- Added optional support for initial DC entry in .S2P files
Release 1.55 of 14-Jul-15
- Additional functionality (spline interpolation, multiple .S2P file display, etc.) added to T-Check viewer
Release 1.56 of 25-Apr-16
- CALIONE2 (one path two-port) calibration type supported for 8753 series
Release 1.57 of 29-Oct-16
- Added check box in order to avoid lockups on instruments that don't support CALIONE2, such as HP 8719C
- .S2P support added for 8722 series
Release 1.58 of 28-Sep-17
- Added 'Save .S1P file' button
Release 1.60 of 7-May-17
- New options added to select OUTPFORM data and save S22 data to .S1P files
Release 1.61 of 30-Jul-18
- Added HP 8703A/B support
- Added option to save S21 data to .S1P files
- Fixed issue that caused the T-Check viewer to fail to render certain .S2P files
- When saving a Touchstone file, the magnitude of S11 and S22 at DC is now set to 0.0 instead of 1.0 when 'Unity mag' is selected
SATRACE.EXE can be thought of as a console-oriented version of SSM. It requests one or more traces from any spectrum analyzer supported by SSM, and writes them to stdout as lists of comma-separated frequency/amplitude pairs.
SATRACE's command-line parameters are very similar to those supported by SSM. Like SSM, SATRACE does not normally attempt to control or configure the spectrum analyzer. Traces are acquired based on the current front-panel settings such as center frequency, reference level, resolution bandwidth, and so forth. However, SATRACE does provide limited control options for certain analyzer models. These options are shown below. In most cases, SATRACE's output will be 'piped' to another file or application. For example, the command will read 100 successive traces from the analyzer at GPIB address 18, point-sample them to generate 500 (Hz,dBm) value pairs for each trace, and write the resulting comma-separated value lists to the file temp.txt.
For more details on trace resampling, see the FAQ ('How do the trace-resampling options in SATRACE and SSM work?').
Release 1.01 of 25-Jul-08
- Tektronix 49x/275x analyzers now use low-resolution mode by default to avoid checksum errors
- Added support for MAX SPAN traces from Tektronix 49x/275x and 271x analyzers
- Added support for the Advantest R3132 family of spectrum analyzers, including the R3132, R3162, R3172, and R3182 models
- Fixed bug that could cause assertion failures on Agilent E4400-series instruments
- Added support for the Advantest R3261/R3361/R3265/R3271-family of spectrum analyzers
- Added support for the Agilent E4406A Vector Signal Analyzer
- Added support for Anritsu MS2650/MS2660 series (via -scpi option)
- Added support for the USB-SA44/B and USB-SA124A Signal Hound spectrum analyzers
- Added SCPI support for Agilent N991x- and N993x-series FieldFox RF analyzers in spectrum analyzer mode. For more information on direct connectivity to Ethernet devices, search the FAQ for FieldFox.
- Fixed a byte-order issue that could cause invalid data to be acquired from a FieldFox analyzer
- Added support for Advantest R3131 (via -advantest option)
SGENTEST.EXE tests HP signal generators (8656A/B, 8757A-D, 8642B/M, 8662A/8663A, 8672A and others) by programming randomly-chosen frequency and amplitude settings. Output signals are then verified by an HP 8566A/B, 8568A/B, or 8560A/E-series spectrum analyzer.
Miscellaneous Win32 Console Applications
By default, the following utilities are installed with the rest of the GPIB Toolkit executables in the installation directory, normally C:Program FilesKE5FXGPIB or C:Program Files (x86)KE5FXGPIB. In most cases you can obtain usage notes by running each program with no command-line arguments.
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PARSE.EXE is a simple command-line utility that allows you to inspect HP-GL files by dumping their instructions to stdout.
QUERY.EXE is a standalone GPIB query utility intended for diagnostic purposes and batch/shortcut files.
TALK.EXE is a standalone GPIB command-transmission utility intended for diagnostic purposes and batch/shortcut files.
LISTEN.EXE is a standalone GPIB>Composite noise baseline plots, Sample HPGL files, and Sample S2P files. These subdirectories contain a variety of .PNP, .PLT, and .S2P files that can be loaded and displayed by the PN, 7470, and TCHECK applications respectively.
User Contributions and Third-Party Software
HP 8753 S2P Downloader, contributed by Melvin Clarkson of Aspire Design Ltd, fetches Touchstone .S2P S-parameter files from an HP 8753 A/B/C network analyzer equipped with a Prologix USB adapter. VB 2010 source is included. These .S2P files may be imported into circuit simulator programs including the free RFSim99 package. Melvin's utility may be helpful if you have difficulty using the newer VNA.EXE application described above. To use the program, unzip the file and run binDebugSerialPortCommunication.exe. Select the Prologix adapter's COM port, then press the 'Open Port' and 'S paras' buttons.
HP 8903B audio analyzer users may wish to check out the work done by Pete Millett here.
Lance Lascari at RFdude.com has some nice GPIB applications for RF/microwave measurements.
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HP3458.EXE, contributed by Mark Sims, allows you to back up the data and/or calibration NVRAMs from the HP 3458A multimeter. Run with no command-line options for usage guidelines, and refer to the comment header in HP3458.CPP for more information.
Bertrand, VE2ZAZ has developed a handy Python application for the Agilent E4406A that can stitch multiple 10 MHz spans together to emulate a wideband sweep. SSM can do this as well (as of release 1.49), but Bertrand's app has the advantage of being compatible with any platform that supports Python.
Dick Benson, W1QG provides an array of useful MATLAB utilities at his MathWorks community page. Supported instruments include the 8753A-E series VNAs, 8970A/B noise figure meters, and many others.
Anders Gustafsson has modified the GPIB Configurator app to support the use of Prologix adapters (including homebrew versions, in his case) with the HP 3852A modular T&M system.
Gquipment.com offers a useful online plotter for .S1P/.S2P data, suitable for use with VNA.EXE and other utilities that work with Touchstone files
Released into the public domain 16-Dec-05 by John Miles, KE5FX. Please contact [email protected] with feedback and enhancements!
Some DSPLIB components used by the GPIB Toolkit are subject to open-source license agreements; see the current DSPLIB distribution for details.
Source code compilable with the free Microsoft Visual Studio Express package
No warranties, expressed or implied, are offered with these programs.
Use at your own risk!