AnsweredAssumed Answered

vrf Control of GPIB card...

Question asked by VRFuser on Mar 24, 2002


Dear All,

Since Chris mentioned that we have responsive email, I thought I had better
also respond to your questions.

I note that you have a non-Agilent GPIB board in your test setup. If you
have a National Instruments card, you can see from their NI-spy utility that
when VEE runs, it configures a National Instruments card to have the same
defaults as an Agilent card. In particular, amongst the dozen or so
commands, it sets the primary address of the card to 21 (instead of 0). If
another application is spawned after this initialisation, which changes the
card settings back to default, VEE won't work correctly until it is
re-started.

Back in 1998, SoftPlot was updated to handle co-existence with VEE.
Effectively, it re-initialises the card with the VEE settings when SoftPlot
has finished doing each transfer. We have dozens of users now who are using
SoftPlot to complement their VEE test sequences.

If you or your colleagues want to evaluate SoftPlot to see if it meets your
needs, may I offer you a no-obligation 30-day trial? Please visit the
download area of our web site and download a copy of SoftPlot. We will then
email you a keycode to activate the software.

You will also find a VEE example in c:program filessoftplot-3automation,
to get you started.

If you want any more technical or non-technical details from me, please feel
free to email me directly. And thanks Chris for the glowing recommendation!


best regards,

Chris Potter
-----------------------------------------------
P&H Technology Consultants
10, Teversham Road, Fulbourn,
Cambridge, U.K. CB1 5EB
Tel +44 1223 882033   Fax +44 870 7061487
Mobile +44 7946 354276
http://www.ph-technology.com
http://www.softplot.com
-----------------------------------------------


-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Phipps [mailto:chris.phipps@analog.com]
Sent: 22 March 2002 09:45 AM
To: 'Rudrow, Doug'; Vrf (E-mail)
Cc: Chris Potter (E-mail)
Subject: RE: vrf Control of GPIB card...


Hi All

I use a software package called "Softplot" (about GBP650). This will
interface with VEE and other packages MSWord etc. using ActiveX commands.
softplot uses and releases the GPIB card back to VEE after acquiring the
screen dump from a great variety of GPIB microwave test equipment and other
GPIB display screen equipment without VEE's R.B.D. If you do go down this
route then I have a basic Activex user function already written to carry out
some of this task (no Guarantees my user function will work with your
set-up).

The link you need is www.softplot.com . You will find the e-mail support for
this package fast and very responsive too. Have a look, I think you will be
impressed at this software's capabilities, I have not found anything better
yet.

Chris Phipps


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-vrf@lvld.agilent.com [mailto:owner-vrf@lvld.agilent.com]On
Behalf Of Rudrow, Doug
Sent: 21 March 2002 22:48
To: 'VEE Reflector'
Subject: vrf Control of GPIB card...


Greetings All,

     I may be trying to do something that can't be done, but...

     I've got an ATE that I use to test RF amplifiers. I use my VEE
program to set up the equipment, power up the amplifier and make the
measurements. One of the things I need to do is generate a soft-copy of the
spectrum analyzer screen. I'm using an 8590 series spectrum analyzer which
can provide the screen dump using Agilent E4444A Benchlink software. The
Benchlink software accesses the spectrum analyzer over the GPIB, hence the
problem.

     Even if I pause my VEE program, run the Benchlink program and exit
it after doing the screen dump, VEE no longer can find the GPIB interface
when I re-start it. I have to completely exit and re-start VEE for it take
back control of the GPIB. Of course, if I leave VEE running, I get the red
box of death.

     In a perfect world, I'd eventually like to have VEE run the
Benchlink software and do the screen dumps automatically, but I'll settle
for not having to re-start VEE every time.

     I'm running VEE 6.0 on a Windows NT machine with a National
Instruments PCI-GPIB card.

Thanks,
Doug


Douglas B. Rudrow
R&D Test Engineer
Spectrian Inc.
350 West Java Drive
Sunnyvale, CA 95005
(408) 745-5607
doug_rudrow@spectrian.com
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