Most of my contributions to this project, at this point in time, have been in the area of buying large quantities of parts for groups, and then making up individual kits. For over 25 years, I've been able to fool employers, employees, investors, and customers, into believing that I'm a programmer. No reason to stop now. This page describes software which I hope contributes to the N2PK VNA project.
I would like to thank my business partner, Paul Hubbard, for donating his time to this effort. Paul and I form Seed Solutions, a very small company which develops all sorts of strange software for all sorts of strange applications. As has happened many times in the past, we work together on a project, finding our individual parts, and shared parts.
Our software development environment has been created to make it easy to spit out boilerplate programs with companion installation/removal wizards and HTML-based on-line help/documentation skeletons. Simple programs can often be produced in hours, including the installation wizard, a removal wizard, and documentation. The environment produces a single downloadable executable, ready for installation on the user's computer. This software, therefore, is branded with the Seed Solutions name, and we do indeed own what we produce. But, we freely contribute this software to the project, consistent with the license terms expressed on the pages.
The following components have been found/written:
UserPort 1.0: This is a free
package written by Tomas Franzon. It, or something like it, is needed on
Windows NT*, Windows 2000*, and Windows XP*. This package will also enable the
N2PK software to work on these platforms. It is a free substitute for
Direct I/O .
VNAccess: A library of calls
which provide an API (applications programming interface) for communicating
with the VNA. Although the exposed interface is written in terms of the
hardware registers, the messy details of clocking the chips and timing have
all been encapsulated. This is a solid base for VNA application programs.
VNAgra: A library fo calls
which provide an API for computing actual reflection coefficients based upon
measured reflection coefficients. Based on the traditional OSL (open, short,
load) calibration standard approach. Includes functions for converting the
reflection coefficient into impedance, SWR, and other common metrics.
VNACFG: An example VNA.CFG
file reader. Written in C++. A small amount of Windows-specific code.
gnat: A small test program which
controls the RF and LO DDS chips, and reads the ADC. This Windows program is
probably most useful when trying to debug and test a new VNA board - that's
what I did. gnat is built on top of VNAccess.
cialog: Beginning with
version 1.08 of cialog, the program supports reading the N2PK VNA as well as
the AEA CIA-HF. This is a poor wrapper for all of the VNA accuracy, and
flexibility, but it was easy to do.
Exeter: General control of the VNA, including reflection, transmission, and other common measurements.
These programs do not replace the original N2PK software, available from N2PK's web site. They are simply free contributions to the project. Seed Solutions has created all errors and bugs.
* Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows XP are all trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
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