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Working with Model 35670A Data Formats

The 35670A Dynamic Signal Analyzer is designed to be used primarily as a stand-alone instrument with the measurement results plotted on its display. The display data can be stored in RAM (volatile or non-volatile), or on the internal 3.5-inch floppy disk drive. It can also be transferred directly to a computer via the GPIB bus. LIF or DOS format can be used on the floppy. LIF is a very efficient disk format (Logical Interchange Format), which uses contiguous disk memory blocks. LIF was convenient when UNIX workstations, which also used LIF format, dominated the instrument controller market, but LIF is not compatible with PC application programs and requires special utility programs to translate the files from LIF to DOS. The LIF utilities are part of the SDF Utilities, which can be downloaded from the customer accessible support website located at: ftp://ftp.keysight.com/pub/mpusup/35670A

When the trace data is stored to the LIF or DOS disk, SDF (Standard Data Format) or ASCII can be used as the data format. SDF specifies an arrangement of header records and data, which must be unraveled to correctly scale and use the data. It is generally easier to use the ASCII format, which provides the information in 3 files, one file contains the X-Axis information, one file contains the Y-Axis information, and the third file contains the Z-Axis information.

The SDF utilities are a series of DOS programs for converting the data files from LIF to DOS format; converting the SDF data files in the DOS format to ASCII or Matlab etc., and also displaying the SDF trace data file as graph (analyzer data) on the PC screen. Routines for converting the data to MATLAB format and ASCII format, compatible with spreadsheet programs like Excel are included. Unfortunately, the SDF utilities will only operate on Windows 95, 98, and ME. However, there is a Windows Application called Data Viewer that can read LIF disks with SDF formatted data and display the data on a PC. The SDF Utilities and Data Viewer are both downloadable from the website referred to above.

Transferring 35670A display data over GPIB and displaying it on a PC can be done using the 35670A commands that give you the X, Y, and Z data arrays individually and then building the coordinate array for the display. In addition, you need to use the commands to read the data headers to obtain the scale factors. A VEE example illustrating the use of these commands is available for transferring 35670A display data across GPIB and reconstructing 35670A displays on a computer display. This is also available from the support website referenced above. If you are not familiar with VEE and need the sequence of 35670A commands required, contact factory support.