Interface Control

The Interface Control feature allows you to send remote commands and data to the following PNA rear-panel Interfaces: GPIB, Material Handler I/O, Test Set I/O, and Auxiliary I/O.

Other System Configuration Topics


The Interface Control feature allows you to send data to control external equipment such as GPIB instruments, a material handler, test set, or other equipment, without needing to create a remote program. The PNA manages the timing and required interface setup. See Rear Panel Tour.

  1. GPIB Interface

  2. Material Handler Interface

  3. Test Set Interface

  4. Aux Interface

  5. Dwell Time

How to access Interface Control settings

Using front-panel
[softkey] buttons

Using Menus

  1. Press trace/chan

  2. then [Channel]

  3. then [Hardware Setup]

  4. then [Interface Control]

  1. Click Trace/Chan

  2. then Channel

  3. then More

  4. then Interface Control


Interface Control dialog box help

See Interface Control Overview (scroll up)

An Instrument Preset will reset all of the fields to their default settings.

Note: If an error is encountered when sending Interface Control data, an error message is displayed on the PNA screen. The Channel Trigger State is set to Hold. You must fix the condition that caused the error, then change the Channel Trigger State to its original setting.

Enable Interface Control  Enables and disables ALL Interface Control communication. When cleared (default setting) Interface Control is disabled and NO data is sent. To send data, the individual interfaces must also be enabled.

Channel  Specifies the channel number for dialog settings. Each channel is configured individually. The list box shows the channels that currently have measurements. There must be at least one measurement present in order to make settings.

Channel Label  Specifies the label to be displayed on the second status bar at the bottom of the PNA screen. This field is shared with External Testset control. The second status bar is automatically displayed when Interface Control is enabled.

Learn about the primary status bar.

Before Sweep Start - After Sweep End Tabs

Commands / data for all four interfaces can be sent both Before Sweep Start and After Sweep End. However, they are configured and enabled on separate tabs of the Interface Control dialog box. For example, to send GPIB commands both Before and After a PNA sweep, the Enable Control checkbox must be selected and commands entered on BOTH the Before Sweep Start and After Sweep End tabs.

Before Sweep Start  The data is sent BEFORE the first trace on the channel begins sweeping.

After Sweep End  The data is sent AFTER the last trace on the channel completes sweeping.

GPIB and VISA Commands


  • GPIB instruments CAN be connected to the PNA using a USB/GPIB adapter.

  • Any type of interface (LAN, USB, GPIB) is available through the VISA connection string.

  • GPIB/VISA Queries are NOT supported. Commands can be sent only.


Enable Control  Enables and disables sending commands out the GPIB or VISA interface.

Multi-line edit control  Each line contains a GPIB or VISA command using the following syntax:

address   command



  • A number between 0 and 31. The VNA will look through all of the GPIB interfaces for an instrument connected to the specified address. If an instrument with that address is not recognized, an error is returned.

  • A valid VISA connection string.

command   a SCPI command, with or without enclosing quotes. Enclosing quotes are ignored.

Address and command are separated by at least one space.

Commands should be separated by a new line, or carriage return. For example:

19 ":init:cont off"
16 init:imm


TCPIP0:: outp:ON


The front-panel Enter key inserts a new line into the field.

The number of GPIB/VISA commands that can be entered is limited only by the available memory of the VNA.

See Z5623A H08 Test Set Commands.

Material Handler I/O

Enable Control  Enables and disables sending data out the Material Handler I/O connector

Ports A, B, C, D  Sends values to the respective Handler I/O port. Although ports C and D are normally bidirectional, ONLY Output mode is allowed using the Interface Control feature. It cannot read from these, or any other, ports.

Test Set I/O

Note: The PNA has a separate interface for controlling the E5091A Test Set.

Enable Control  Enables and disables sending data out the External Test Set I/O connector.

Multi-line edit control  Each line contains a Write command using the following syntax:



address  any positive integer.

value  numeric character. Entries that require alpha characters should use the GPIB interface.

Address and value are separated by a period. For example:


Entries should be separated by a new line, or carriage return. The PNA front-panel Enter key inserts a new line into the field.

All entries are sent out the Test Set I/O port using the WriteData Method.

The number of entries is limited only by the available memory of the PNA.

Aux I/O (NO longer available)

Enable Control  Enables and disables sending data out the Auxiliary I/O connector.

DAC1, DAC2  Sets voltages on the Aux I/O connector pins 2 (DAC1) and pin 3 (DAC2).


Dwell After Command  Specifies a wait time, in milliseconds, after all commands to all interfaces are sent. Any positive integer is allowed. This is used to allow all external devices to settle before beginning a measurement. An erratic trace could indicate that more settling time is necessary.

Reset All  Sets ALL fields on ALL channels to their default values.

Save and Recall  Saves and recalls the contents of this dialog box. If the Interface Control dialog box is populated with settings during an Instrument State Save, the settings are automatically recalled with the Instrument State settings.

Interface control uses an *.xml file type. An example file is stored on the PNA hard drive. You can recall it into the dialog, or you can open and edit it with a word processor, such as Word Pad.

OK  Applies the settings and closes the dialog box.

Cancel  Does not apply changes that were made, and closes the dialog box.


Z5623A H08 Test Set Commands

The following table lists the commands that are used to control the popular Keysight Z5623A H08 Test Set. These commands can be entered into the GPIB Interface control.

Connection Path

Test Set Command

Reflection to Port 1


Reflection to Port 2


Reflection to Port 3


Reflection to Port 4


Reflection to Port 5


Reflection to Port 6


Reflection to Port 7


Reflection to Port 8


Transmission to Port 1


Transmission to Port 2


Transmission to Port 3


Transmission to Port 4


Transmission to Port 5


Transmission to Port 6


Transmission to Port 7


Transmission to Port 8




Reflection Termination


Transmission Termination


All Termination


Last Modified:


Removed old content (BH) and added std channels


Removed legacy content