Keysight PNA Series: Latest News, Issues, and Information

 

Note: Some older news may not apply to newer instruments and vice-versa.

  • July 2017:   THe new PNA "B" model are now available and shipping. All existing PNAs with the larger 10.4 inch display can be upgraded to a B model. The cost varies depending upon the age of the existing PNA. See our upgrade page for more information.
  • Aug 2014:   Due to a compile configuration issue, System Verification on Windows 7 PNAs will fail towards the end of testing. Until this gets fixed, download and use the version located here. Overwrite the existing file located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Agilent\Network Analyzer\Service.
  • Apr 2014:   Windows 7 comes with a new display technology called ClearType. This makes displayed text much easier to read on the PNA. The only drawback comes with viewing the display from the bottom. The colors of some small display elements will appear to shift when the viewer's eyes are more than 30 degrees below perpendicular. If necessary, ClearType can be disabled by going to Start -> Control Panel -> Appearance and Personalization -> Display -> Adjust ClearType Text.
  • Mar 2014:   Windows 7 is now here. All information regarding this transition is located on our Win 7 page.
  • Jun 2013:   Recent PNA-L models (N5231A through N5239A) may have been shipped with the Code Translator (CxL) in a non-functional state. Please download and install the latest CxL version found here.
  • April 2013:   ECal Issue: Some newer PNA-L models with firmware below A.09.80.20 (or, for the 9.85 branch, below 9.85.08) have a problem using ECal modules when using auto orientation AND when using the "Defined Thru" method of calibration. unfortunately, this is the default cal method used for models N5231A, N5232A, and N5239A. This could result in measurement errors of up to a few tenths of a dB. It is strongly recommended that the firmware be upgraded to one of the above mentioned versions (or newer.) This issue affects all PNAs with a firmware of 9.50 or above, but only the models mentioned actually default to using this cal method. The chance of seeing this issues on other PNA models is slight since the "Defined Thru" method is not normally used.
  • Oct 2012:   We have had many complaints about the PNA taking a long time to shut down. While this is not serious problem, it is a major annoyance as it could take up to 10 minutes to shut down. Finding the root cause of this took several months and several missteps. At first we thought it was related to IO Libraries, then we thought a re-image would solve it. The final solution turned out to be relatively simple and involved deleting some unneeded files. A simple program was made to automatically perform this on any PNA running XP. Download this tiny program, place it on the PNA and execute it. It only takes 5 seconds to complete, after which, the PNA will reboot.
  • June 2012:   TRL Cal Issue: Firmware 9.50.00 thru 9.50.12 has a problem with sexless TRL Cals. The symptom is that it will try to force an adapter removal cal and then may crash. This has been fixed in 9.50.13, which is now available on our Firmware download web page. Also fixed is a potential false OpCheck failure for receiver attenuators if the math offset preference is disabled.
  • Oct 2011:   If you have a PNA-X with noise figure and the Operators Check Noise Tuner Switch test is failing with a message mentioning "Are the front loops connected", then you most likely do not have a real failure. The test was written before a preference was introduced to set the default position of the switch. If you have changed that preference, then the test will "fail". The solution is to uncheck the preference checkbox, ignore the failure, or upgrade the firmware to 9.42.07 or higher once it becomes available around the first of November 2011.
  • Oct 2010:   Firmware revision A.09.20.06 has a memory leak that will eventually cause the PNA firmware to crash at unpredictable times. The crash could happen when actively using the PNA or even with it just sitting with no activity. Please download and install firmware A.09.20.08 or above from our download page. Otherwise, 9.20.08 is identical to 9.20.06.
  • Dec 2009:   Hard drive trays shipped with PNA C models and any SATA drive shipped for replacement purposes may have an issue that causes head crashes. This issue could have occurred on any PNA or SATA drive shipped from June through December of 2009. The PNA-X family and it's replacement drives are not affected. See this modification page for a simple preventative measure that should be taken.
  • Jan 2009:   Agilent, and many other corporations, have been hard hit with the Downadup.B virus which spread rapidly throughout our PNAs. This is because all PNAs use the same username and password. The original infection took advantage of a Windows vulnerability that was fixed by KB958644. To see if you have been infected, Click on Start, Run and enter services.msc. Click on OK. In the window that appears, verify that Automatic Updates has a status of Started and that the Startup Type is Automatic. If not, then you are most likely infected. There is a removal tool available at F-Secure.com. If you don't have the virus yet, you may want to disable File and Printer Sharing in the Windows Firewall Exception list. Using a different password for each PNA will also help, but could cause user confusion. We suggest possibly using the current password of "agilent" followed by the last four digits of the serial number. If this is done, the PNA will no longer automatically boot without requiring a password. See this FAQ to fix this.
  • Nov 2008:   PNA C-Model Upgrade Kits may have been supplied with incomplete instructions resulting in a failed upgrade attempt. Use this latest version instead. Also, if the bios floppy does not seem to function (it may be blank), download this C-Model bios creation file and run it on a PC with a floppy, or on the PNA before the floppy is removed. It will then properly image a floppy disc.
  • Aug 2008:   4-Port versions of the N5230C may not be able to perform a Global Delta Match Cal using an ECal due to an "improvement" in the firmware that increases the frequency range a bit. The solution is to install newer firmware that has this problem fixed. Install firmware version A.08.04.16 or later. This will be on the beta page until it becomes "official".
  • May 2008:   (Updated Nov 2008) Microsoft has released Service Pack 3 for XP and it is now showing up on Windows Update. After some investigation, we have determined it is now safe to install this Service Pack.
    One anomaly found was that upon the first reboot, a DOS window will show a dozen or so errors of "The parameter is incorrect". This seems to happen on other PC's also, so it is not related to the PNA. In any case, these "errors" do not seem to cause any problems.
  • Dec 2007:   The N5242A PNA-X will no longer be shipping with front handles (p/n 5063-9230) due to a recent change in European EU regulations. This change has been noted in the latest revision of the PNA-Family Installation and Quick Start Guide (http://cp.literature.agilent.com/litweb/pdf/E8356-90001.pdf, November 13, 2007, page 2-2, footnote b). Note: The 5063-9230 front handles will continued to be shipped with the other PNA-family model numbers since they are not affected. New re-designed front handles for the N5242A PNA-X will be available later in 2008. Additional information can be found in service note N5242A-01B.
  • Aug 2007:   Some customers have seen intermittent "DSP Type 2" errors when changing the start frequency by rotating the knob. This was caused by a change in A.06.04.28 firmware. This version of firmware has been pulled and has been replaced by A.06.04.32. Please download and install 6.04.32; this should solve this particular problem.
  • May 2007:   Several complaints have been received about the front panel keyboard and RPG (knob) failing to respond upon bootup. Usually, cycling power would restore the operation. A solution has been found, and a service note will soon be generated so that all affected PNAs will be modified when sent in for cal or service. Customers can perform this simple modification themselves assuming they are comfortable with a soldering iron. No parts are required. See our Front Panel Lockup page.
  • Mar 2007:   Agilent has now introduced a True Mode Stimulus Application to drive balanced devices. See details on the Applications page.
  • Feb 2007:   In the US and other places, the start and end of daylight savings time has changed for 2007. If you want the PNA to keep proper time, you should update your PNA via the Internet using Windows Update. If you do not wish to connect the PNA to the Internet, then download this Microsoft update manually, transfer it to the PNA, and then execute it. It is about 500kB in size and takes a couple of minutes to install; no PNA connection to the web is required. For XP users, download KB931836. The process for Windows 2000 is a bit more difficult. W2k users should follow these instructions provided by Microsoft.
  • Feb 2007:   It is highly recommended that any E836x PNA with a 1.1GHz CPU board be upgraded to firmware revision A.06.04.21 or higher. This is the CPU with two GPIB ports. Without this firmware you may see some steps in the trace response which should disappear as the unit warms up.
  • Feb 2007:   Agilent has now introduced the PNA-X Family of analyzers. Over the next few months we will be adding support information for this new analyzer. More information on this new series is available here.
  • Mar 2006:   Agilent is now installing a new 1.1 GHz CPU board on some models. By the end of April, this new CPU will be incorporated into all PNAs. Click here for a full description of the new CPU.
  • Mar 2006:   Firmware revision A.06.01 has been released. This is a major change of code and may have implications for some. See our Revision 6 summary page. If using this firmware on an E8363B or E8364B, then you should install the patch found on the firmware page. This patch fixes a source cal adjustment issue where poor leveling is seen below -20dBm. This patch does not affect normal operation! Make sure this patch is installed before performing any source adjustment!
  • Dec 2005:   If you have purchased a 4418B/4419B power meter after March 2005 (or if you updated firmware on other models, the PNA may not recognize it without a registry change. See our FAQ on this issue. This affects all firmware below A.06.00 and, in some cases, those below A.06.20.
  • Oct 2005:   DO NOT attempt to install the Agilent IO Library Suite 14.x on the PNA. Doing so will prevent most instrument IO communication (such as SICL and GPIB.) In the future, we hope to have a procedure for properly doing this. Please check back at a later date.
  • Oct 2005:   As of April 1st, 2004, all PNA's have been shipped with XP as the operating system. For more information, see our XP Introduction Page. This page has been updated with newer information.
  • Jun 2005:   Do you have a new P-Series Power Meter and want to use it with the PNA, check out this Power Meter page for important information.
  • Sept 2004:   XP Service Pack 2 has now been released. Read this summary page to understand how this affects the PNA before installing it.
  • Mar 2004:   Firmware revision A.04.06 (and possibly some 3.xx versions) has an anomaly where the process of adding or deleting cal sets could leave large temp files behind. If you regularly modify cal sets, you should regularly run the Windows 2000 Disk Cleanup utility to reclaim this disk space. This issue has been fixed in the A.04.25 revision.
  • Jan 2004:   For firmware below A.04.06: Installation of Windows Critical Update #KB824141 with firmware below A.04.06 causes a Front Panel problem with the PNA. A patch has been released that fixes this issue. You should either update your firmware or download/install this patch. More information.     Download.
  • The PNA, like all Windows 2000/XP systems, is susceptible to many of the latest onslaught of worms. You should run the WindowsUpdate Utility regularly and install all critical updates as soon as they are released. Alternately (and if the PNA is connected to the Internet), the PNA should be set to automatically install critical updates; this can be done through Control Panel, Automatic Updates. If your PNA is already infected, repair programs are available at Symantec and other similar sites.
  • Dec 2003:   Note: If your PNA display occasionally goes blank (white or black), then download and install this new video driver. Place it on the PNA or leave it on a floppy, then execute it. It will extract to D:\Drivers\Display Drivers. Follow the instructions contained in the resulting ReadMe.txt file. Download this 500 KB self-extracting zip file.     For XP units, use this driver/control panel combination: Download this 1.8MB file.

  • Last Updated: Jul 18, 2017