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J

John Larkin

Guest
I just got an RF Explorer 6 GHz signal generator. It looks cool, but
the menus are basically impossible to use.

It only increments/decrements the frequency in 1 GHz steps. There is
apparently a very convoluted path through a bunch of menus to change
the frequency digit that the keys (left and right keys!) increment and
decrement. The support guy tried to walk me through it, but I can\'t
remember the crazy sequences to do that.

It\'s the usual, a few buttons do a zillion things with many hidden
states.

Negative review on RF explorer.
 
J

John Larkin

Guest
On Fri, 23 Oct 2020 13:08:50 -0700, John Larkin
<jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote:

I just got an RF Explorer 6 GHz signal generator. It looks cool, but
the menus are basically impossible to use.

It only increments/decrements the frequency in 1 GHz steps. There is
apparently a very convoluted path through a bunch of menus to change
the frequency digit that the keys (left and right keys!) increment and
decrement. The support guy tried to walk me through it, but I can\'t
remember the crazy sequences to do that.

It\'s the usual, a few buttons do a zillion things with many hidden
states.

Negative review on RF explorer.
This one has somewhat less bizarre menus

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CKLZJ2Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and seems to work pretty well. It\'s making a 6 GHz output at 400 mV
p-p, not bad for $29.90.
 
J

John Larkin

Guest
On Fri, 23 Oct 2020 13:48:01 -0700, John Larkin
<jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote:

On Fri, 23 Oct 2020 13:08:50 -0700, John Larkin
jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote:

I just got an RF Explorer 6 GHz signal generator. It looks cool, but
the menus are basically impossible to use.

It only increments/decrements the frequency in 1 GHz steps. There is
apparently a very convoluted path through a bunch of menus to change
the frequency digit that the keys (left and right keys!) increment and
decrement. The support guy tried to walk me through it, but I can\'t
remember the crazy sequences to do that.

It\'s the usual, a few buttons do a zillion things with many hidden
states.

Negative review on RF explorer.


This one has somewhat less bizarre menus

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CKLZJ2Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and seems to work pretty well. It\'s making a 6 GHz output at 400 mV
p-p, not bad for $29.90.
No, it is set to 6G but only works to about 4.5.
 
S

Steve Wilson

Guest
John Larkin <jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote:

This one has somewhat less bizarre menus

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CKLZJ2Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title
_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and seems to work pretty well. It\'s making a 6 GHz output at 400 mV
p-p, not bad for $29.90.
Thanks. Good tip.

Is 6GHz a typo?

--
Science teaches us to trust. - sw
 
L

LM

Guest
On Fri, 23 Oct 2020 13:48:01 -0700, John Larkin
<jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote:

On Fri, 23 Oct 2020 13:08:50 -0700, John Larkin
jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote:

I just got an RF Explorer 6 GHz signal generator. It looks cool, but
the menus are basically impossible to use.

It only increments/decrements the frequency in 1 GHz steps. There is
apparently a very convoluted path through a bunch of menus to change
the frequency digit that the keys (left and right keys!) increment and
decrement. The support guy tried to walk me through it, but I can\'t
remember the crazy sequences to do that.

It\'s the usual, a few buttons do a zillion things with many hidden
states.

Negative review on RF explorer.


This one has somewhat less bizarre menus

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CKLZJ2Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and seems to work pretty well. It\'s making a 6 GHz output at 400 mV
p-p, not bad for $29.90.
I have one those or very similar. Mine has a strange feature. If I
increase frequency by 1MHz, there is no output at 60,70,80 or so MHz.
71,72,73 and so on work well. I have not tried every tenht Megahertz,
but I tried those.
 
J

John Larkin

Guest
On Fri, 23 Oct 2020 21:43:21 GMT, Steve Wilson <spam@me.com> wrote:

John Larkin <jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote:

This one has somewhat less bizarre menus

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CKLZJ2Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title
_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and seems to work pretty well. It\'s making a 6 GHz output at 400 mV
p-p, not bad for $29.90.

Thanks. Good tip.

Is 6GHz a typo?
You can set it to 6, but it only really works to about 4.5.

Another interesting operator interface issue.
 
J

John Larkin

Guest
On Sat, 24 Oct 2020 01:22:55 +0300, LM <sala.nimi@mail.com> wrote:

On Fri, 23 Oct 2020 13:48:01 -0700, John Larkin
jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote:

On Fri, 23 Oct 2020 13:08:50 -0700, John Larkin
jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote:

I just got an RF Explorer 6 GHz signal generator. It looks cool, but
the menus are basically impossible to use.

It only increments/decrements the frequency in 1 GHz steps. There is
apparently a very convoluted path through a bunch of menus to change
the frequency digit that the keys (left and right keys!) increment and
decrement. The support guy tried to walk me through it, but I can\'t
remember the crazy sequences to do that.

It\'s the usual, a few buttons do a zillion things with many hidden
states.

Negative review on RF explorer.


This one has somewhat less bizarre menus

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CKLZJ2Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and seems to work pretty well. It\'s making a 6 GHz output at 400 mV
p-p, not bad for $29.90.
I have one those or very similar. Mine has a strange feature. If I
increase frequency by 1MHz, there is no output at 60,70,80 or so MHz.
71,72,73 and so on work well. I have not tried every tenht Megahertz,
but I tried those.
I don\'t know what synth chip it uses, but the one we use (TI LMX2571)
is very complex to program. You have to do all sorts of numerical
factoring and make a ton of decisions. I can see how that code might
be buggy.

TI obviously has the code to drive the chip - it\'s part of their demo
package - but wouldn\'t let us see it, so we had to do all the math
ourselves.
 
T

Tom Gardner

Guest
On 24/10/20 00:15, John Larkin wrote:
I don\'t know what synth chip it uses, but the one we use (TI LMX2571)
is very complex to program. You have to do all sorts of numerical
factoring and make a ton of decisions. I can see how that code might
be buggy.

TI obviously has the code to drive the chip - it\'s part of their demo
package - but wouldn\'t let us see it, so we had to do all the math
ourselves.
Did they give a sufficient justification for not releasing
the code?

From playing with the LMX2594EVM, there was a hell of a
lot of special cases with the auxiliary control registers.

That wouldn\'t be too much of a problem if you just want preset
the 2594 to a small number of discrete frequencies - just copy
whatever magic the GUI shows.

But if you want to, say, sweep across a wide range, it would
be a pain.
 
R

Robert Baer

Guest
John Larkin wrote:
On Fri, 23 Oct 2020 13:08:50 -0700, John Larkin
jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote:

I just got an RF Explorer 6 GHz signal generator. It looks cool, but
the menus are basically impossible to use.

It only increments/decrements the frequency in 1 GHz steps. There is
apparently a very convoluted path through a bunch of menus to change
the frequency digit that the keys (left and right keys!) increment and
decrement. The support guy tried to walk me through it, but I can\'t
remember the crazy sequences to do that.

It\'s the usual, a few buttons do a zillion things with many hidden
states.

Negative review on RF explorer.


This one has somewhat less bizarre menus

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CKLZJ2Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and seems to work pretty well. It\'s making a 6 GHz output at 400 mV
p-p, not bad for $29.90.
Page did not show any price; used \"see all buying options\" and found
NEW $49.50 .
So where did you get that $29.0 price?
 
S

server

Guest
On Sat, 24 Oct 2020 01:00:13 +0100, Tom Gardner
<spamjunk@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

On 24/10/20 00:15, John Larkin wrote:
I don\'t know what synth chip it uses, but the one we use (TI LMX2571)
is very complex to program. You have to do all sorts of numerical
factoring and make a ton of decisions. I can see how that code might
be buggy.

TI obviously has the code to drive the chip - it\'s part of their demo
package - but wouldn\'t let us see it, so we had to do all the math
ourselves.

Did they give a sufficient justification for not releasing
the code?
No, they just refused. That makes no sense; making the c code
available would help sell chips.

You have to select the right VCO, and then find the numbers for
something like

Fvco * (N / M) = ref

then

Out = Fvco / K

and deal with a lot of other settings.

With mostly 32-bit integers. Something like that or maybe worse. The
data sheet is 62 pages long and the user guide is another 32. It has
about 60 registers inside.

From playing with the LMX2594EVM, there was a hell of a
lot of special cases with the auxiliary control registers.

That wouldn\'t be too much of a problem if you just want preset
the 2594 to a small number of discrete frequencies - just copy
whatever magic the GUI shows.

But if you want to, say, sweep across a wide range, it would
be a pain.
We wanted any frequency, but we could add another divisor in our FPGA.


--

John Larkin Highland Technology, Inc

Science teaches us to doubt.

Claude Bernard
 
S

server

Guest
On Fri, 23 Oct 2020 18:30:48 -0700, Robert Baer
<robertbaer@localnet.com> wrote:

John Larkin wrote:
On Fri, 23 Oct 2020 13:08:50 -0700, John Larkin
jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote:

I just got an RF Explorer 6 GHz signal generator. It looks cool, but
the menus are basically impossible to use.

It only increments/decrements the frequency in 1 GHz steps. There is
apparently a very convoluted path through a bunch of menus to change
the frequency digit that the keys (left and right keys!) increment and
decrement. The support guy tried to walk me through it, but I can\'t
remember the crazy sequences to do that.

It\'s the usual, a few buttons do a zillion things with many hidden
states.

Negative review on RF explorer.


This one has somewhat less bizarre menus

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CKLZJ2Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and seems to work pretty well. It\'s making a 6 GHz output at 400 mV
p-p, not bad for $29.90.

Page did not show any price; used \"see all buying options\" and found
NEW $49.50 .
So where did you get that $29.0 price?
I just searched for \"rf signal generator\" and there it was.

https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Signal-Generator-Frequency-35MHz-4400MHz/dp/B08CB7P1ZL/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?crid=2AHAR1KVMWC9V&dchild=1&keywords=rf+signal+generator&qid=1603506085&sprefix=rf+signal%2Caps%2C216&sr=8-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUE2UjBVV1FKS1JKNlkmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA3NTI0ODI0RldZNDVRU1QxVFUmZW5jcnlwdGVkQWRJZD1BMDk2MjQwMjIxSklZQzI3NVczNUgmd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl




--

John Larkin Highland Technology, Inc

Science teaches us to doubt.

Claude Bernard
 
S

Steve Wilson

Guest
jlarkin@highlandsniptechnology.com wrote:

I just searched for \"rf signal generator\" and there it was.

https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Signal-Generator-Frequency-35MHz-4400MHz/
dp/B08CB7P1ZL/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?crid=2AHAR1KVMWC9V&dchild=1&keywords=rf+s
ignal+generator&qid=1603506085&sprefix=rf+signal%2Caps%2C216&sr=8-2-spo
ns&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUE2UjBVV1FKS1JKNlkmZW5jcnlwdGVkS
WQ9QTA3NTI0ODI0RldZNDVRU1QxVFUmZW5jcnlwdGVkQWRJZD1BMDk2MjQwMjIxSklZQzI3
NVczNUgmd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2d
DbGljaz10cnVl
You can truncate amazon urls after the \"/ref\" to make them much shorter:

https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Signal-Generator-Frequency-35MHz-4400MHz/
dp/B08CB7P1ZL
--
Science teaches us to trust. - sw
 
T

Tom Gardner

Guest
On 24/10/20 02:39, jlarkin@highlandsniptechnology.com wrote:
On Sat, 24 Oct 2020 01:00:13 +0100, Tom Gardner
spamjunk@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

On 24/10/20 00:15, John Larkin wrote:
I don\'t know what synth chip it uses, but the one we use (TI LMX2571)
is very complex to program. You have to do all sorts of numerical
factoring and make a ton of decisions. I can see how that code might
be buggy.

TI obviously has the code to drive the chip - it\'s part of their demo
package - but wouldn\'t let us see it, so we had to do all the math
ourselves.

Did they give a sufficient justification for not releasing
the code?

No, they just refused. That makes no sense; making the c code
available would help sell chips.

You have to select the right VCO, and then find the numbers for
something like

Fvco * (N / M) = ref

then

Out = Fvco / K

and deal with a lot of other settings.

With mostly 32-bit integers. Something like that or maybe worse. The
data sheet is 62 pages long and the user guide is another 32. It has
about 60 registers inside.
Just so, but it is those \"other settings\" that are a pain,
especially deducing the boundary conditions where you
flip between settings.

Nothing insurmountable, but needs a lot of duplicated
thought coding and testing. The /unnecessary/ duplication
offends me.

One plausible excuse for not releasing the code is that
it is crap, possibly wrong, and they don\'t want to answer
questions like \"why X, wouldn\'t Y be better?\". Not inspiring,
and possibly not showing their hardware off to good advantage.


From playing with the LMX2594EVM, there was a hell of a
lot of special cases with the auxiliary control registers.

That wouldn\'t be too much of a problem if you just want preset
the 2594 to a small number of discrete frequencies - just copy
whatever magic the GUI shows.

But if you want to, say, sweep across a wide range, it would
be a pain.

We wanted any frequency, but we could add another divisor in our FPGA.
 
G

Gerhard Hoffmann

Guest
Am 24.10.20 um 02:00 schrieb Tom Gardner:
On 24/10/20 00:15, John Larkin wrote:
I don\'t know what synth chip it uses, but the one we use (TI LMX2571)
is very complex to program. You have to do all sorts of numerical
factoring and make a ton of decisions. I can see how that code might
be buggy.

TI obviously has the code to drive the chip - it\'s part of their demo
package - but wouldn\'t let us see it, so we had to do all the math
ourselves.

Did they give a sufficient justification for not releasing
the code?

From playing with the LMX2594EVM, there was a hell of a
lot of special cases with the auxiliary control registers.

That wouldn\'t be too much of a problem if you just want preset
the 2594 to a small number of discrete frequencies - just copy
whatever magic the GUI shows.

But if you want to, say, sweep across a wide range, it would
be a pain.
I\'m just through this for the ADF5356. Only 13 32 bit registers,
but still 500 lines of C code when I remove the passages of the data
sheet with the register descriptions.

It was a lot of ado to compare the values from the data sheet
with those from the eval board software and work out the differences.
But now I have at least a function set_adf5356(double f);
that works over the range I need (no divided outputs).

There is still some doubt WRT programming the phase detector bleed
current. I have opened a case in the AD EngineerZone, 76 views
upto now, but no answer, let alone a answer from AD.

<
https://ez.analog.com/rf/f/q-a/536893/adf5356-doubts-about-bleeding-current-programming
>

The bleed current is for optimizing phase noise and spurious; it\'s hard
to check the effects of it at all, let alone program a solution that
fits to all other inputs.

cheers, Gerhard
 
G

Gerhard Hoffmann

Guest
Am 24.10.20 um 11:51 schrieb Gerhard Hoffmann:

.... and how can you call a fractional value N in the data sheet,
and the non-fractional part of it INT, which is a predefined
type in most languages used to implement that.

:-(
 
L

LM

Guest
On Fri, 23 Oct 2020 16:15:43 -0700, John Larkin
<jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote:

On Sat, 24 Oct 2020 01:22:55 +0300, LM <sala.nimi@mail.com> wrote:

On Fri, 23 Oct 2020 13:48:01 -0700, John Larkin
jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote:

On Fri, 23 Oct 2020 13:08:50 -0700, John Larkin
jlarkin@highland_atwork_technology.com> wrote:

I just got an RF Explorer 6 GHz signal generator. It looks cool, but
the menus are basically impossible to use.

It only increments/decrements the frequency in 1 GHz steps. There is
apparently a very convoluted path through a bunch of menus to change
the frequency digit that the keys (left and right keys!) increment and
decrement. The support guy tried to walk me through it, but I can\'t
remember the crazy sequences to do that.

It\'s the usual, a few buttons do a zillion things with many hidden
states.

Negative review on RF explorer.


This one has somewhat less bizarre menus

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CKLZJ2Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and seems to work pretty well. It\'s making a 6 GHz output at 400 mV
p-p, not bad for $29.90.
I have one those or very similar. Mine has a strange feature. If I
increase frequency by 1MHz, there is no output at 60,70,80 or so MHz.
71,72,73 and so on work well. I have not tried every tenht Megahertz,
but I tried those.

I don\'t know what synth chip it uses, but the one we use (TI LMX2571)
is very complex to program. You have to do all sorts of numerical
factoring and make a ton of decisions. I can see how that code might
be buggy.

TI obviously has the code to drive the chip - it\'s part of their demo
package - but wouldn\'t let us see it, so we had to do all the math
ourselves.
I have a couple of demoboards for Analog devices version and bugs are
probable, it is not a simple chip.
Maxim has one similar if not same chip, too. Is its code secret too.
 
A

arocholl

Guest
responding to
http://www.electrondepot.com/electrodesign/rf-explorer-976749-.htm , arocholl
wrote:
jlarkin wrote:

I just got an RF Explorer 6 GHz signal generator. It looks cool, but
the menus are basically impossible to use.

It only increments/decrements the frequency in 1 GHz steps. There is
apparently a very convoluted path through a bunch of menus to change
the frequency digit that the keys (left and right keys!) increment and
decrement. The support guy tried to walk me through it, but I can\'t
remember the crazy sequences to do that.

It\'s the usual, a few buttons do a zillion things with many hidden
states.

Negative review on RF explorer.
Hi, RF Explorer Signal Generator is not limited to 1GHz step increase. You can
go to FREQUENCY MENU in the device using the MENU key (click it several times)
then use the DOWN key to select \"Freq Step\", click ENTER and you can edit any
step you want. You can also specify any specific frequency in the \"CW Freq\"
field. More details in www.rf-explorer.com/RFGEN_manual

In addition to that you can use the simple but powerful Windows/Linux/Mac tool
which allows to select frequency with a slider or by precise value:
http://j3.rf-explorer.com/214

Regards
arocholl


--
 
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