- Andrew February 19, 2015 at 9:21 am
Thank you for the feedback and suggestions. I did want to let you know that we released a version yesterday (version 3.0.2) which enables you to set a marker frequency. This entry has been added directly to the control panel. Hopefully this will help you accelerate your measurements. You can download the latest version here signalhound.flywheelsites.com/spike
RayParticipantRay February 19, 2015 at 1:12 pm
On V 3.02, setting the marker frequencies is great! When on the display however, the marker readouts do not show the frequency requested (I think they are rounded to the nearest display step/segment). Not a huge issue, but it leads to confusion (which is easy on my part)!
Aside from that, I haven’t figured out the PRINT function yet – it appears to be dead on my installation.
Please keep up the good work – I love the new Scalar Analysis mode and it’s been very useful for tuning duplexers & filters.
— Ray —Andrew February 19, 2015 at 1:42 pm
Thank you for the feedback. You are correct about the manual marker entry. There are only a discrete number of amplitude points to use, and so we show you which frequency bin is being used. Our older software did this in the background but just showed you the frequency you entered. Good catch.
Has your PC had issues with printing in other applications as well, or is it only in the Spike software? A temporary fix, might be to save to an image and then print the image, albeit a more time consuming process. I apologize for the inconvenience.
RayParticipantRay February 19, 2015 at 1:52 pm
I can print from everything else on the machine. I haven’t tried every possible combination & permutation of the PRINT function yet. I was trying to print the results of a filter analysis using the SNA mode and could not.
I did manage to save the plot as an image and use that…..
— Ray —
Thanks Ray for the software change. I have not had issues with printing and have used the print to file and then saved them as GIF files to reduce the size using Photoshop so it works fine. I have a couple bandwidth plots posted here. http://www.minikits.com.au /eme173r2.htm#tests Click on them to get the full size. I would still like to see a bandwidth marker in later updates that puts 3 markers on the screen to show to centre frequency and -3dB points without having to manually turn on 3 markers and set all of them manually.
Regards markAndy February 19, 2015 at 3:05 pm
I’d like to support Mark in his request for -3dB markers. I often have to measure Q and a quick pair of -3dB markers would be very useful. It can be done by placing markers manually but it is rather a faf.
The Rigol SA has this feature, so I’m sure SPIKE can easily do it!
Jim RoweParticipantJim Rowe February 19, 2015 at 4:20 pm
I too have just downloaded Spike (3.0.1), and have installed it to replace SH 2.18d to run with my SA44B. It works very well indeed, although like some of your other posters I haven’t been able to work out how to use Spike’s Print function. I also have had trouble trying to save images as JPGs; it only seems to be able to save them in PNG format.
Oh — one more little glitch: although you can change the directory to save image files therein, when you go to save another image it always returns to a default directory rather than the directory you changed over to…
These are all only minor hassles, but it would be nice if they could be fixed in a not-too-distant update.Andy February 19, 2015 at 4:26 pm
Jim – v3.02 corrects the jpg issue.
Hi Jim the latest version software is 3.0.2 not 3.0.1 and they have fixed the save to image and now include JPG format. Yes the default save to folder is annoying and I always have to change it so agree with you.
Woops the latest is now 3.0.2 so they are doing lots of changes.
Just updated to the latest version of spike and I have to say what a quick and excellent response to the comments made on the earlier version.
A big thanks.
This new SW is really a major achievement, congratulation.
Watching the progression of versions, one is inspired to report own observations.
Spike64 V3.02, all: Scalar Network Analyzer mode:
— the bottomline readout of amplitude and frequency does not function under scalar network analyzer mode
— running slow scans like with crystals a progress bar (e.g. a simple progressing line on the bottom of the 10×10 display window) would be appreciated
— the calculation of points in time (lower right corner) is not correct with very slow scans
see example of a crystal , 251 points in 93ms is not correct, it is 93ms*251pnts= 23s instead
— the step control (under frequency) shows numbers which have nothing to do with the scan , and dialing in something has no effect , shouldn`t it show the # of steps and greyed out as one cannot control anything ? the auto choice of points and speed are perfect and I like it !
— the extra tracking generator control do not show any effect here, do I miss something? or should they all also been greyed out ?
Good work of yours go ahead
EricAndy February 20, 2015 at 8:39 am
Another question – how do we turn off the manual TG after use? I can’t seem to find a way of stopping it!Andrew February 20, 2015 at 10:27 am
Thank you all for the suggestions. I keep track of all of them.
We are currently working on a couple bugs, (bad text rendering on some machines, and attempting some fixes for users who have been unable to use Zero-span)
Also I have hopefully found the source of the printer issues some are facing.
Look for that release next week. I’ll keep squeezing in bug fixes and requests as I have time and as we see appropriate.
Mark, thank you for the feedback and suggestions. I’m glad the new software is working out for you.
EMHue, thank you for the attention to detail. The sweep time is definitely not right for sweeps that are partially updating. I like the idea of an update marker. Also the tracking generator controls present on the control panel are THE controls for configuring the TG sweeps. These controls are detailed in the user manual. The frequency controls are still used to define the frequency range of the sweep. The step entry controls how much the center frequency is adjusted when you use the up/down arrow buttons next to the center frequency entry. These are also detailed in the manual if you want more information. Thanks again for the feedback.
Andy, thanks for the heads up, for now the TG will remain on once you open the manual controls.
Roger PetersonParticipantRoger Peterson February 20, 2015 at 12:33 pm
Nice software package. What would be really nice and would solve most of my acquisition problems is to have an automatic export option on the Measurements/Traces Panel that would have Spike export a CSV file (date-time format name) for every sweep (just the FFT data).
skylightParticipantskylight February 21, 2015 at 1:42 am
Buongiorno Ho sostituito scheda video con Sapphire HD 7950 funziona benissimo.
grazie Mille buon lavoro
garry572Participantgarry572 February 23, 2015 at 12:54 pm
Just downloaded and installed spike for window7 64
Looks great, very fast. Just a few questions.
When I try and use Zero Span, the program comes up with “this program is not responding” and closes
Also, there doesn’t seem to be any calibrations files in the Spike directory, as there was with previous versions, it doesnt complain about not being able to download the files either My S/N is 030000486
GarryAndrew February 23, 2015 at 1:37 pm
Thank you for the feedback. We are aware of the issue with Zero-Span. We are working on a solution for the next release and will release a notice on the forum when we have something for customers to try. I apologize for the inconvenience.
The calibration data is now stored at
ProgramData is a hidden folder and is the de-facto storage location for these types of files on Windows. By storing them here, the software no longer needs to be run as Administrator. Our hope is that you should no longer have to worry about the management of those files.
Beeing late to the 3.02 party… I installed this over 3.0 and immediately ran into trouble. Zero span gives hard crash… no matter what I try to set my SA44B prior to zero span, idle or real time. It brings up the three plots, but seems as soon as it start to collect data it crash. Rolling back to 3.0 and all is OK, back to 3.02 and crash again.
Dell I5 with Win 7-64
JaredParticipantJared March 1, 2015 at 3:54 pm
So I installed the new Spike software… and have been using it, and its incremental revisions for a little while now. I had sent the following (somewhat less concise) to the Australian distributor for him to pass on, however he suggested I load it into the forum.
I have to say, it’s a VAST improvement on the user interface as well as speeding up things CONSIDERABLY.
There were a couple of minor things however –
1) BUG – The Preset button top right, crashed the UI and the unit and needed a system re-boot.
2) BUG – When changing between swept and real time modes, the persistence state is not restored.
3) BUG – RBW isn’t entirely settable. In some EMC related ranges I have to settle for 100kHz or 10kHz instead of 120kHz and 9kHz respectively.
4) FEATURE – Whilst I only had a brief look at the zero span, AM/FM demodulation, and receiver/channel power etc, the FM demodulation on our local radio stations is much improved and the zero span would give me some useful information, however it would be nice to set this such that it behaves kind of like an oscilloscope (i.e. edge/level triggering and position so I can check duty cycle and Tx power).
5) COMMENT – I was impressed that the improved real time mode with our ISM transmission bursts, as it actually picks up every message. Not entirely consistently (in terms of amplitude) but that is probably due to the lack of real time bandwidth and USB2 speeds… i.e. solved with the BB60C. Usually max-hold gets it within 2-3 messages. The Tek MDO3054 can’t do this – you have to set it to max hold, a really high RBW, and then wait ages until you get at least a couple of Tx bursts actually captured!
6) BUG – I had a play with the 3D waterfall plotting and noticed when I rotated it around that the rendering of the amplitude looks squashed.
7) COMMENT – Oh and I did note that the USB cable does couple noise into the system… so will try a few others and some CM cores…
8) FEATURE – What also would be nice is a log frequency axis mode. Should be simple to add.
9) BUG – That and the UI text should have a spell checker applied.
10) FEATURE – I’ll have to have another look at my limit line files, but one nice to have would be multiple limit lines loadable or within the one file.
i.e. I’d like to have the CISPR22 Peak and Quasi Peak limits visible… then even better would be a failure table or a peak table (with over-limit-by or margin-of dB values).
11) COMMENT – I’ll have a bit more of a play in the next few days…
It’s basically made this “low end” spectrum analyser pretty bloody good!
12) FEATURE – I’m not sure if you are familiar with Altium’s feature request list? Basically it’s a vote system for feature requests (they also do a similar voting thing with bugs to set priorities). Perhaps SignalHound could look at this? Would be a good way to gauge what their customer base want fixed/changed/added… and priorities of.
13) COMMENT – Anyway, very happy with the new software and the ‘new’ SA44B!!
14) FEATURE – Looking into the limit line/antenna correction file thing some more – for CISPR22 the limits decrease linearly with the log of the freq. With a linear frequency scale, this is a bit of a pain (not impossible) to do. So implementing a log frequency scale would be useful… A preferences option?
15) FEATURE – Having only a single limit line is somewhat limited. Particularly because these standards often spec limits for two detector modes. You can have two or more traces so it would also make sense that these are subject to different limits… It would also be nice to have a text field for the limit line being used (and antenna factor), much like the title field you have.
16) FEATURE – Also, a nice preloaded limit line table drop down, ideally with predefined (and supplied) limit line definition files. I think Agilent or R&S have a CD or zip with industry standard limit lines…
Same for antenna correction tables – named and accessible from a drop down.
17) FEATURE – Ability to include the Utilities (receiver, audio player etc) in the side menus (easy) and the ability to enable/disable each whilst still running sweep/RT acquisition with a drop down ‘source’ field (CF, cursors)) and have it demod/measure then and there.
18) FEATURE – Waveforms sit on top of each other, and there is no way to view them in any other order. No way to hide them individually.
Possibly the Traces menu could be able to be expanded out so all traces’ settings are visible, and all are editable. i.e. Show/Hide, Clear, Update, Export, Colour settings locally editable and also clear-all/export-all traces buttons.
19) FEATURE – Oh, and a zoom window which opens up if you zoom in on a region using the top left mouse down, bottom right mouse up window selection…
20) FEATURE – The other nice to have would be a normalised or ambient compensated plot.
Can be done in excel as a backup, but would be nice to do within the app.
i.e. set up your range, rbw etc and then with the unit under test off, run max hold or average or whatever selected trace type for n sweeps, then click on a ‘save to ambient’ button.
Then select another trace and do a delta to the saved ambient reference.
Particularly useful for finding emissions in the FM broadcast radio bands as well as a way to determine “no, that’s not me” when doing emissions testing.
21) FEATURE – Ability to rearrange presets (move selected up, move selected down buttons at bottom of dropdown)?
I see that you guys are up to V3.0.3 now for Spike…
22) FEATURE – Could you get your website guys to put up a changelog file/page or include it in the install files?
Otherwise, it’s a bit vague as to what’s changed between revisions.
That lot should keep you busy for a while.
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