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PNA Series Firmware Revision A.06.01 Summary

Released Jan 24, 2006

 

Important Information for Those Upgrading From Prior Firmware.
Applies to all Rev 6 versions. Issues listed below are fixed in 6.03.



Firmware revision A.06.01.xx is a major firmware change, necessitating your attention to certain details.
  • Revision 6.01 can be installed on all PNAs that are currently running XP, with
        the exception of the following 3-port models: N3381A, N3382A, and N3383A
    .
  • It will not install on any PNA that has Windows 2000 as its operating system!
  • Unlike prior versions, this single revision of firmware is now designed for use on BOTH 2-port AND 4-port PNAs.



If you are running Windows 2000 and want to use this firmware, you will need to order model N8980A (new hard drive with OS.) Please note that this hard drive is only compatible with the 500MHz CPU board. It is not compatible with the older 266MHz CPU used on early versions of the E8356A/57A/58A. The CPU can be easily identified by looking at the rear panel CPU assembly. The 266MHz board has a horizontally oriented USB port, while the 500MHz board is vertical. Your CPU should have at least 256MB of memory, and preferably 512MB.

This is a major revision of firmware. While we tried to maintain backwards compatibility with revision 4.xx and 5.xx firmware, there are some automation features that may have changed slightly. Before using this firmware in any automated system, please perform some tests to ensure full compatibility. For more information on new features and changes, see the help file that is included within the firmware download.



New features for all models
  • Calibrate using an External Trigger Source (This could affect your existing programs.)
  • Calibrate with an Offset Load Standard (Cal Kits that you use may now include this standard.)
  • Corrected Measurement visible in Cal Window
  • External Testset Control
  • New FCA capabilities
  • Error-checking and Disk Defragmenter recommendation
  • Agilent VEE Runtime Installed
  • *.csa file type is default for Save As and Auto Save (see file type summary)
  • Bandwidth Markers search for "Valley" response
  • SimCal SCPI Preference
  • Support for upcoming 1.1GHz CPU board
  • Magnitude offset
  • Global pass/fail dialog
  • Calibration class label
  • Adapter Characterization Macro
  • In the past (PNA, 8510, 875x, 872x) the calibration standard delay for waveguide was always supposed to be set to 0. This is because the skin loss model was based on a coaxial structure that wasn’t valid for waveguide. Revision 6.xx now includes an appropriate skin loss model for waveguide. This model requires an additional parameter, namely the ratio of the waveguide height to waveguide width. The default value for this parameter is 0.5 but is user selectable.
  • Creating a new cal kit from an existing calibration kit caused problems with the updating all of the connector parameters in the calibration standards. Editing a kit will repair the inconsistencies and provide a message of what connector family names were updated.
  • The adapter removal and unknown thru algorithms require an approximate estimate for the adapter response. This can be estimated by estimating the delay through the adapter from the measured two-way transmission of the adapter (S21*S12). This works well for swept frequency measurements of the coaxial adapter. Coax to waveguide adapters require an additional fitting parameter, namely phase offset. This phase offset term can be fitted from the measured two-way transmission of the adapter. In order to maintain consistent results independent of start frequency, this fitted phase offset term is constrained to fall within the range of 0 degrees to 180 degrees. From the graphical user interface the user can modify the phase offset term over the range of -180 degrees to 180 degrees. It should be noted that the coaxial to waveguide adapters have a 180 degree transmission phase ambiguity simply because the two possible connection modes. If you connect an adapter and measure the phase response then turn the adapter upside down and re-measure the new phase will have a 180 degree shift relative to the first measurement.
  • 3-step Unknown Thru ECal calibration. This option is beneficial for situations, where the one ECal module can not physically be connected to both ports at the same time or more than one ECal module is needed to satisfy the different connector types.


New features for all 2-port models (previously these were only available on 4-port models)
  • Five COM Properties change Boolean return value (returns True rather than 1)
  • Guided SmartCal supports ECal on one or more ports.
  • New *.csa Save/Recall File Type (see file type summary)
  • Automatic Port Extensions
  • Interface Control
  • Agilent 5091A Testset Control
  • 8 Traces per Window (previously 4)
  • C-delta on Status Bar
  • Calibration Registers
  • Number of User Ranges (Stats and Markers) expanded to 16
  • Port Extension Toolbar and Additional Features
  • 2-Port Fixture Compensation
  • Pulse Profile - S-Parameters
  • Two LO Sources for Millimeter Wave Measurements (E8362B/63B/64B/61A only)
  • Receiver Power Cal saved with Cal Set
  • Guided Calibration COM Interface
  • H11 Option: Now allows multiple channels with different frequencies
  • H11 Option: Now works with E8257D source

New FCA Features
  1. The LO Cal Wizard can now be launched from the cal menu (Calibration, Power Calibration, LO 1 Cal)
  2. The Mixer Characterization Wizard is now a separate wizard launched from the cal menu
  3. Mixer Characterization wizard now only requires a 1-port calibration to characterize the mixer.
  4. Support for calibration and measurement of Fixed Input mixers
  5. Forward and Reverse SMC measurements and calibration combined into a single measurement type and Cal
  6. Support for On-Wafer, In-Fixture and/or Waveguide mixer calibrations through the use of embed/de-embed in FCA calibrations
  7. Revamped FCA calibration wizard (better correlation between FCA cal wizard and the standard Guided Cal wizard).
  8. New more flexible "New Trace" dialog with full support for all FCA measurements
  9. Support for offset in power calibration portion of SMC (this helps handle the use of external amplifiers in the path)

Note Regarding Older eCal Modules

The old-style eCal modules (8506xA and 8509xA) that required the use of the printer port (parallel port) for communications were never officially supported by the PNA, although they did function. These eCal units were only meant for use with the 8753 and 8720 families. Starting with revision 6.01 firmware, the functionality of these eCal units has been removed. There are two reasons for this. First, the PNA application would crash when certain printers were attached to the PNA's parallel port. Second, the newer CPU boards do not have any parallel port.

Note for Cascade WinCal 3.2 Users

WinCal 3.2 requires a compatibility mode setting for proper operation. To set this mode, a registry change must be made on the PNA. On the PNA, go to C:\Program Files\Agilent\Network Analyzer\System and double-click on WinCal32.reg, then click on Yes.



Bugs Fixed
  1. H11 Option: Fixed problems with Save/Recall and with Preset
  2. And many others minor bugs fixed and many minor enhancements made.


Known Significant Issues (Generally, these will all be fixed in the next firmware revision)
  1. The GPIB addres is always reset to 16 upon startup. Obviously, you should use 16 if at all possible. If this affects you, contact us for a possible workaround..
  2. Using the PNA's Adapter Chararacterization Macro will give wrong phase information if the device is electrically long (i.e. it goes through more than 180 degs of phase shift.) To fix this, replace the current Macro with this new version. This file should be placed in the C:\Program Files\Agilent\Network Analyzer\Applications\CharacterizeAdaptor directory. .
  3. If using the new 1.1GHz CPU, performing a Zero or Cal on a power meter may take a long time or may hang. To solve this, replace the current AgilentPwrMtr.exe file with the one listed on this page.
  4. Performing s source adjustment on an E8363B/64B can result in poor leveling (or unlock) on port 2 when power is set below -20dBm. Download the patch found on the firmware page to fix this. Do not attempt to run the source adjustment without this patch.
  5. On the E8362B, turning the RF power off will not shut it down completely; instead the RF output drops 40-50dB. This issue is not new to this revision and has existed for some time.
  6. It is always good programming practice to avoid mixing programming commands from both a SCPI interface and a COM interface. In the past it was often possible to get away with this practice. Programs that mix SCPI and COM are now more susceptible to problems, especially those regarding calibration.
  7. If using an N1912A P-series power meter, the PNA will not recognize the B Channel sensor. Apply this solution
  8. Using 2 or more identical-model eCal modules is not properly supported when selecting "Use Electronic Calibration." Until this is fixed, use Smart Cal; this will show each eCal unit with its serial number.
  9. Time domain gating indicator markers are not visible. The gating function works, but the marker indicators do not.
  10. Generic source commands do not work in the external source configuration dialog. Agilent sources function correctly. The workaround for now is to remove the parameter "CW" from the Set CW Sweep Mode command.

Go to Firmware Download Page




Last Updated: May 23, 2006
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