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N9340B software versus hardware issue?

Question asked by swperk on May 29, 2013
Latest reply on May 29, 2013 by swperk
I recently posted this messsage on the spectrum analyzer forum, but it might also be appropriate for this forum. I would really appreciate any help or advice anyone can offer.

I just acquired an N9340B that was advertised as having "software issues." It powers up with a normal splash screen, and the DSP reports booting successfully. Unfortunately, all of the softkey labels are in Japanese, and when I try to change the language to English, most of the softkey labels disappear, and several of the ones that remain are in nonsense characters. It wakes up with the following SA settings: CF=0 Hz, span=0 Hz, and RBW=30 Hz. The spectrum trace is flat at the bottom of the screen and shows no activity. I did set the real-time clock and it has continued to keep accurate time.

One method I found to get the labels into English is to go to system setup menu 3 and load the default SA config file. However, even though the language does change to English, nothing changes about the trace or the settings, and any keypresses generate a series of "Error 0x9" errors in the log.

Thinking that it might be corrupted system software causing this problem, and given that the SA did not have the most recent software installed, I tried to upgrade the software by using a USB stick. When I attempted the upgrade, the SA reported that it could not find a valid file on the USB stick (even though the proper file is there and in the correct folder on the USB stick's root directory.)

Then I tried the LAN method. I was able to change the IP address of the SA to as specified in the LAN upgrade instructions, and I could connect to the analyer using Agilent IO Lib 16.3 and see the serial number and firmware version (1.14). When I ran the software on the PC, the SA displayed a dialog box saying "Upgrading by FTP... Please keep the power on and the LAN connection." Shortly thereafter, the PC software reported, "Cannot create file APP.LOG or permission problem" (BTW, is the APP.LOG file supposed to be on the PC or the SA?). When I dismissed this error, the program ran without ever showing any activity on the LAN connectors status lights and displayed a dialog box saying "Upgrading: File 1 of 298. Please wait..." It finally errored after about ten minutes saying "FTP Server has timed out." and then "Upgrade Failed!" After I dismissed these error messages, the SA rebooted into its "default" state (Japanese labels, bad SA settings, Static IP address, and Gateway

Because of the software issues, I cannot be sure if the N9340B hardware is working. However, this SA has the modulation analysis options, and when I activate that mode I get a display that appears to be correct in that it responds to changing inputs from my signal generator appropriately.

Any ideas of what the cause is of this problem, or more importantly, how to fix it? If it's a corrupted memory that is the cause, is there a way to clear it so that I can proceed with the firmware upgrade?

This instrument is (of course) out of warranty, and the flat-rate repair prices on the Agilent web site are well outside of my budget. Does Agilent have a "parts and labor" pricing option for fixing this analyzer?