Sunday, August 31, 2014

How do I transfer files from my DC Power Analyzer to my PC?

Hi everybody!

I got back from my vacation just in time to get my August blog post out.  We typically try to shy away from product specific blog postings here at Watt's Up but this is a topic that I get a bunch of questions on in my support job and this is a great place for me to address it.

The Keysight N6705B DC Power Analyzer has an internal flash drive that stores information such as datalogs and scope waveforms.  When we first came out with the N6705B, it had a 64 MB drive (it is crazy how small that seems today).  Present N6705Bs have a 4 GB drive in them.  Since you can create datalogs of up to 2 GB in size, even a 4 GB drive can get full.  Today I am going to talk about how to get a file out of the internal drive of the N6705B and onto your PCs hard drive.

The way that I see it, there are three ways to get a file off the N6705B:

  1. The old fashioned way: You use a thumb drive and manually transfer the files that way.  The disadvantage here is that you need to have a thumb drive and there is no way to automate the process.
  2. You can use the N6705B LXI web interface.  There's a utility there that can transfer files bwtween the N6705B and your PC.  The disadvantages of this are that you cannot automate it and you can only do this if you are connected via LAN.
  3. There is a command (MMEM:DATA?) that will read back the contents of a file so you could write a SCPI program to do this.  This disadvantage here is that you need to write a program.  Luckily, I have done this in the past myself and I am more than willing to help!
Quite a few years ago, I wrote a VB 6 program that does number three.  The binary data for the file is in IEEE binary block format.  I find that the easiest way to read and write data in this format is to use Keysight VISA-COM and use the ReadIEEEblock function.  Here is a screen shot of my program listing:

As you can see in the program, I basically read the contents of the file default.dlog into filedata which I have dimensioned as  a byte array.  After I read all the data in, I kill any null data in the array and then copy it into a file that I have stored on my hard drive.  All in all, if you use this method it is pretty easy.

That's all I have for this month.  Please let me know if you have any questions or if you have discovered another way to transfer files.

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