Pico Technology Rewrites its VNA Software to Run on Raspberry Pi Single-Board Computer

Pico Technology Rewrites its VNA Software to Run on Raspberry Pi Single-Board Computer

Pico Technology has rewritten PicoVNA 5, the software for its USB-connected vector network analysis (VNA) tester to run on a wider range of new technologies including the Raspberry Pi single-board computer.

PicoVNA 5 brings a new, crisp, clean focus to results, status, and graphical presentation, with minimal clutter over the maximum display area.  A ground-up architecture, PicoVNA 5 is a thoroughly modern and snappy ‘platform’ control software for the PicoVNA vector network analyzers. Designed on a Linux toolset, it is cross-platform, has a light footprint, and will run at pace on Linux, Microsft Windows, and macOS (Intel / ARM); hosted on any device, down to a Raspberry Pi 3B+ and using local or network connected human interface devices (HID); keyboard, mice, monitors and touch screens.

PicoVNA 5 allows developers to customize an unlimited array of frequency domain and time domain viewports display channels for the PicoVNA 106 or 108, as well as add and group limitless markers with comprehensive user configurable readouts. It also allows limitless cross references of memory traces with a modern, multi-port User Interface.

The PicoVNA 5 can be used with the SCPI remote-command interface or the separate high-performance API; Lab View, MATLab, and Python users, for example, would all be able to choose either. Both the software and the API are designed to be capable of rapid expansion to meet user requirements.

Plotted parameters, sensitivities, offsets, reference positions and sweep or time domain parameters and plot type ( e.g. cartesian, Smith or polar; logarithmic, linear, delay or angle) are all directly editable within each displayed plot channel. There are helpful on-trace cursor readouts under the mouse or touch hover and the user can simply click-to-drop on the trace marker and then drag it to the feature or position that they need.

Within each plot, the user can add a second axis, maximize the plot, add a zoom of frequency or time span, or a live spy-glass magnified view. Displayed traces and marker readouts are vector or linear interpolated when not snapped to a measuring point and the user has access to several interpolation alternatives to optimize between point plot and measurement integrity, against a particular application.

Unique to PicoVNA 5, the user can add and define multiple workspaces each with their own user settings, spans, views, measurements, de-embeds, and calibrations. This powerful feature allows instrument sharing across multiple users or applications, fast access to preset measurement setup (perhaps a sequenced procedure), preset demonstrations or rapid toggling of different perspectives on a given measurement.

PicoVNA 5 supports all existing 8 and 12-term calibration methods; SOLT, Automated E-Cal, and TRL/TRM, and unknown Thru with ultra-clear graphical calibration wizards, all with step-by-step connection diagrams. For the manual calibration standards, live calibration measurement plots are displayed to help with the pick-up of unexpected connections or damage-related problems during the process.

For existing PicoVNA owners/users, the PicoVNA 5 application will unlock new hardware functionality via a boot-load embedded software update. A nominal charge is made in local currency for this update via an in-application internet purchase.

Click here to watch videos explaining the features of PicoVNA 5.

Click here to learn more about PicoVNA 5 from Pico Technology.

Publisher: everything RF