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In part 1, we examined Signal Hound’s free Spike™ cross-platform spectrum analysis measurement application and its many capabilities. In part 2, we’ll delve into Signal Hound’s application programming interface (APIs) and how these APIs and support of third-party platforms demonstrate our commitment to continually evolve to meet customers’ needs.

Why are APIs useful?

Signal Hound exposes a programming layer for each device we sell, allowing for headless operation using an API. This allows customers to write custom applications specific to their needs. We have hundreds of customers who use our APIs to develop tools and systems that meet their exact requirements. Signal Hound products are unique in the test and measurement space, as they provide the performance and accuracy of a spectrum analyzer with the programmability of a software defined radio (SDR) or development platform. Our APIs have also spawned a small ecosystem of third-party software that services other industries.

In addition, Spike provides an interface for the remote operation of Signal Hound devices by sending Standard Commands for Programmable Instruments (SCPI) commands through a TCP/IP link. You can connect/interface with your Signal Hound device via Spike through any Virtual Instrument Software Architecture (VISA) implementation or any programming language that allows SOCKET programming. Customers can write automation scripts using the industry standard SCPI commands to control Spike. SCPI provides a common syntax, command structure, and data interchange format which can be used across multiple SCPI compatible test and measurement instruments. These capabilities are commonly adopted and used in manufacturing and R&D applications.

Download our tech brief, SCPI Automation of Signal Hound Spectrum Analyzers to learn more about remote interface and control capabilities using SCPI compatibility commands for Signal Hound’s spectrum analyzers via its Spike software.

Download the Signal Hound Software Development Kit

Supporting third-party software

We work with several companies that develop software platforms targeting specific applications. Many of the third-party applications focus on spectrum monitoring and other government-related customers. Just like Spike, they build in support for our spectrum analyzers as well as several other receivers. We support these third-party platforms by providing additional hardware and software features. We treat these third-party developers just like any other customer, taking feedback and improving our products so they can better serve their customers.

You can view custom applications we recommend in our third-party software directory.

What is in the future for Spike?

Signal Hound will continue to work with customers and third-party developers to create new features and improve existing ones. Feedback from customers and developers has always played a large role in our development process. We are always looking towards the future and paying attention to industry trends. This might include adding support for additional communications protocols or looking for ways to improve the software for customers in adjacent industries, such as spectrum monitoring, wireless coordination, or TSCM, so stay tuned!

About the Author

Clint Burgess
Clint Burgess

With a passion for technology and innovation, Clint brings years of communication and relationship-building experience to his role as Signal Hound's marketing director. Even more than his enjoyment of creating and driving strategic marketing initiatives, Clint loves working with the good people of the RF test and measurement industry.

View Clint's profile on LinkedIn.