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Data exchange with RigExpert antenna analyzers

This description applies to RigExpert antenna analyzers.

  1. Manually place the analyzer into the PC mode (or turn it on with USB cable connected to your PC).
  2. Find the corresponding virtual COM port number. This port corresponds to the USB device with VID=0403 and PID=6001. Product descriptor of this device is the model of the analyzer (example: “RigExpert AA-230PRO”).
  3. Open COM port with following parameters: 38400, 8N1.

All commands are not case-sensitive. Finish a line with either <CR> or <LF> (but not both). When a command is running, sending any character will abort it. Instead of a numerical value, “nan” (which stays for “not a number”) may be returned if the value cannot be evaluated.

General commands:

Command: @#^@%
Response: ERROR
Description: unsupported command

Command: VER
Response: AA-x y
Description: returns analyzer type and firmware version

Command: ON
Response: OK
Description: turn on the RF board of the analyzer

Command: OFF
Response: OK
Description: turn off the RF board of the analyzer

Measurement commands:

Command: FQx
Response: OK
Description: set center frequency (in Hz) to x

Command: SWx
Response: OK
Description: set sweep range to x Hz

Command: GET
Response: OK
Response: n1,n2,n3,n4,n5,n6,n7,n8,n9,n10,n11,n12
Description: output 12 ADC values at single frequency
(Internal format, use FRXn instead.)

Command: GTn
Response: n1,n2,n3,n4,n5,n6,n7,n8,n9,n10,n11,n12
Response: ……………………………..
Response: n1,n2,n3,n4,n5,n6,n7,n8,n9,n10,n11,n12
Response: OK
Description: output these values at n+1 steps (step size is calculated automatically)
(Internal format, use FRXn instead.)

Command: FRXn
Response: fq,r,x
Response: ……………………………..
Response: fq,r,x
Response: OK
Description: output frequency (MHz), R and X at n+1 steps (see the detailed description below)

Internal commands (used for testing):

Command: PHx
Description: set reference DDS phase to x (AA-200, AA-230 and AA-230PRO only)

Command: Kx
Description: connect AD8302 to antenna (x=0) or 51R load (x=1) (AA-200, AA-230 and AA-230PRO only)

Command: AMx
Description: set output amplitude to x=0…1023 (AA-200, AA-230 and AA-230PRO only)

Command: DEx
Description: set measurement delay to x relative units (x=1000 by default)

Data flash commands:

Command: FLASHR
Description: read the entire data memory (512K bytes for AA-200, AA-500, AA-230, AA-230PRO, AA-520 and 128K bytes for AA-54)

Command: FLASHRn
Description: read the memort slot n
(Internal format, use FLASHH and FLASHFRXn instead.)

Command: FLASHW
Description: write back to the graph memory (512K bytes for AA-200, AA-500, AA-230, AA-230PRO, AA-520 and 128K bytes for AA-54)

Command: FLASHE
Description: erase all graphs

Command: FLASHS
Description: reset the analyzer

Graph memory commands (except for AA-30):

Command: FLASHH
Response: <memory number>,<center fq 1>, <range 1>, <number of points>: <memory 1 name>
Response: <memory number>,<center fq 2>, <range 2>, <number of points>: <memory 2 name>
Response: …
Respinse: OK
Description: read stored memory headers

Command: FLASHFRXn
Response: fq,r,x
Response: ……………………………..
Response: fq,r,x
Response: OK
Description: read data stored in memory n (the output format is similar to the FRXn command)

Screenshot commands

When a screenshot key combination is pressed, analyzers will return the following:

B&W LCDs:

1) Pattern: the “screenshot: ” string;
2) Data: 1024 bytes for AA-200/230/230PRO/500/520 or 1064 bytes for AA-30/AA-54;
3) <CR><LF>

Every bit of received data corresponds to a single pixel on the screen, the direction is top-to-bottom and left-to-right.

AA-1000:

1) Pattern: the “screenshot: ” string;
2) Data: 76800 words (for each pixel on the screen, 320×240 pixels)
3) <CR><LF>

AA-1000, compressed format (firmware 405 and up):

1) Pattern: the “screencomp: ” string;
2) Data: two bytes as pixel color, third byte is length of the same color (covering all 320×240 pixels)
3) <CR><LF>

Detailed description of the FRX command

This command is originally designed to let programs other than AntScope communicate with RigExpert antenna anlyzers.

Usage:

  1. Send the ON command to turn on the RF board of the analyzer.
  2. Set center frequency with the FQ command.
  3. Set scan range with the SW command.
  4. Send the FRX command and collect data.
  5. Send the OFF command to turn off the RF board of the analyzer.

Example:

ON
FQ145000000
SW10000000
FRX10
OFF

Collected data (using AA-230PRO and 2m antenna):

140.000000,58.84,17.28
141.000000,69.74,16.79
142.000000,68.52,5.62
143.000000,62.49,2.79
144.000000,57.51,4.62
145.000000,55.38,9.11
146.000000,56.52,13.56
147.000000,59.40,17.41
148.000000,64.12,20.05
149.000000,71.13,22.01
150.000000,81.57,21.63

Graph of the above data (R=blue, X=red):