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GPIB - Connect (emulated) 9122 and PC/Cal Kit Manager simulaneously to 8753B

Question asked by wb0gaz. on Sep 13, 2020
Latest reply on Sep 14, 2020 by wb0gaz.

I wish to connect VNA Cal Kit Manager (and other such application) software (on a Windows 7 PC with a NI PCI GPIB card) and an (emulated) 9122C GPIB floppy drive simultaneously to HP 8753B analyzer. I have tried this, but I am running into problems with (I think) bus control.


Here is the configuration I am trying make work:


PC running Windows 7 has TWO NI PCI-8232 GPIB cards.The two cards appear to be necessary as HPDRIVE (9122 emulation) project's GPIB driver does not appear to support VNA Cal Kit Manager (or the KE5FX control applications I have tried.) The HPDRIVE project's application cannot use the stock NI GPIB-488 driver for their PCI-8232 card. My "solution" (not fully working) is to use TWO NI PCI-8232 GPIB cards, as follows:


One of the NI cards is set up with the NI GPIB driver (version 20.0). The other NI card is set up with the alternate driver from the HPDRIVE project. If I connect the NI-driver card ONLY to the 8753B via GPIB (leaving the HPDRIVE-driver card's GPIB port unattached), I can run VNA Cal Kit Manager with no difficulty. If I connect the HPDRIVE-driver card ONLY to the 8753B via GPIB (leaving the NI-driver card's GPIB port unattached), I can run HPDRIVE emulation of 9122 - as in able to initialize the emulated floppy and save/retrieve files there), provided that I first set the 8753B to system control (press LOCAL then select System Control from the hard key menus.) This tells me that the two cards, drivers and sets of application can find each other unambiguously.


My goal is allow both of these capabilities at the same time: Be able to use VNA Cal Kit manager and other PC-based software to interact with the 8753B, and also be able to save/load files from the emulated 9122 floppy drive. I intend(ed) to achieve this by connecting an additional GPIB cable between the two NI PCI-8232 cards installed on the PC. When I do this, I can still use VNA Cal Kit Manager, however, if I try to set the 8753B to system controller mode to use the emulated floppy drive (press LOCAL button then select System Controller from the hard keys menu), the 8753B says "Can't Change - another controller on bus". There are a few other permutations of starting this combination up, but the result is invariably that the 8753B cannot access the emulated 9122 drive as long as the PC (acting as controller) is on the bus.


I did try setting the 8753B to pass control mode (instead of system controller), however, the analyzer does not seem to receive control.


Unfortunately, I cannot test with a real 9122C as it (the 9122C) was totally destroyed in transit from the outfit that sold it to me (put it in a box with absolutely no packing material, then sent it through the UPS gauntlet whereupon I got a box of plastic and metal fragments); refunded but grrrrrrrrrrrrr....


Thanks for any advice,