Keysight PNA Series Programming Information and Examples


Information on the PNA Code Translation Software that can be used to emulate 8510/8753/872x behavior can be found here.

If you are already familiar with programming the PNA and just want to see some examples, then click on the COM or SCPI links to the right depending upon your area of interest. Also included is a link to Application Note 1408-13, Introduction to Application Development. The text below has some general information about programming, including setup and getting started information.

General programming information

Some general questions about programming are answered in our PNA FAQ page. Included in this page are instructions for setting up both BASIC for Windows and/or VEE on the PNA so that both the PNA can be programmed along with any devices connected to the GPIB port of the PNA.

For those just starting out in COM, make sure you read the "Getting started with VB and COM/DCOM" document. It contains critical information on setting up your PC to communicate with the PNA. There is also a very short program that will verify the proper setup. Also make sure you read our DCOM Security Information if you are seeing "permission denied" errors. Also read Application Note 1408-13 (link is on right) for additional information regarding application development on the PNA. Keep in mind that XP's firewall may prevent DCOM access if not properly configured; see our XP-SP2 page. Finally, using events with the PNA can be confusing since it requires very careful setup. See our PNA Events Tutorial package that includes two corresponding test programs.

Most of our programming examples are in Visual Basic 6.0, although some are now in VB.NET. VB has the best mix of simplicity along with sophisticated methods/tools and widespread support. It is the language of choice for the PNA, but others are certainly usable. The online manual has a few examples in other languages. Most all programming projects are have been zipped into a single downloadable file. Each file contains all the source code along with an executable. If the code is complex enough that the in-code comments are insufficient to fully understand the program, a ReadMe.txt file will also be provided.

Most program frequencies are designed for use with a 177MHz bandpass filter (the commonly available 871x demo filter.) The frequencies can, of course, be changed as needed for your test device.

The simple VB programs may have only one form, with all the code contained in that one form. The more complex programs may make use of modules and any commonly reusable code will be contained in those module, such as a Wait function and a PNA Startup function. These code examples can be freely reused but none are guaranteed to be free of defects. To keep the example code simple, there is little or no error checking. Unless specified otherwise, all code is compatible with all versions of all PNAs.

For information on programming the PNA with the SICL LAN interface from Linux using the NI libraries (typically LabView on Linux), see the pdf document listed on the right.

A VXI Plug&Play driver is available for the PNA, however it was written for the original E8356A/57A/58A and has not been updated since. While it will also work for the newer PNAs, there are two things to be aware of.
1. It will not recognize the newer model numbers and therefore you must tell it not to verify the instrument name upon the original connection.
2. None of the newer features are supported.
Download this 1.2MB driver.

An IVI/COM IVI/C driver is available that works on both the PNA and ENA. Download driver revision This is a 4MB file. It should also be noted that the PNA team feels that these types of drivers are unnecessary and that they just add another layer of complexity that could result in unexpected issues. Direct use of COM (without any driver) is the preferred method of communicating with the PNA. Also direct GPIB usage is also a good idea. However, we do realize that many customer do want this type of connectivity, and therefore we have made this driver available.

Intuilink. Several customers have used Intuilink for data transfer betweeen the PNA and software application like Excel. Intuilink is no longer in active support for the PNA, however it can still be used if needed. You should be aware that there are a few known issues with this software. Unfortunately, there are no plans for an Intuilink bug fix release. Agilent is looking into a next-generation replacement for this software. Intuilink PNA software can be found at this link.

LabView Driver. This is a native LabView driver for the PNA and PNA-X, and covers all the basic capabilities of the analyzer with individual VIs for each of the instrument's SCPI commands. In addition to the basic low level VIs, there are higher function VIs that exemplify common operations such as creating and configuring traces, channels, and windows in addition to other higher level VIs that perform common measurements such as S-Parameter, Gain Compression, IMD, and Scalar and Vector Mixer measurements and calibrations. Each VI has embedded documentation that describe the behavior, the inputs and the outputs of each VI. Because the VIs are generated using standard LabView components, they can be easily customized by the user to fit any particular programming need. However, Agilent support only extends to the unmodified version of the driver that you can download from this site. Download this 40 MB zipped file which is for Labview 8.5 (Ver: 3.1; Dated 11/2010.) If you are using LabView 8.2, use this 8.2 version instead.

Last Updated: Aug 03, 2016

Examples Links