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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: 58531A Software Needed  (Read 4644 times)
K1FPV
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Posts: 46




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« on: April 02, 2017, 02:07:25 PM »

Hi All,
I recently picked up a lightly used HP-58540A GPS Time/Frequency Receiver for a good price. Now, I'm looking for a copy of the 58531A software to monitor & control the receiver. I've contacted HP and all the people who have taken over the line. I was told nobody supports the receiver anymore and the software is unavailable.

Does anyone have a copy of the software to email me? The receiver works and the 10 MHz. reference is right on so, I just want to know what the receiver is doing. If you have a copy of the software, please email me at k1fpv@arrl.net

73 & TNX,
Bill
K1FPV
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K4JJL
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2017, 09:41:27 AM »

Have you tried just opening it with terminal software and see if it takes commands that way?

Jared
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K4JJL
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Posts: 836




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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2017, 09:48:48 AM »

After digging around on the Google, it says that it takes SCPI commands from pretty much any GPS software.

Here's a page full of aftermarket software.  One of these may work.

http://ulrich-bangert.de/html/downloads.html
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K1FPV
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Posts: 46




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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2017, 06:21:08 AM »

Thanks for the replies. I've tried 3 terminal programs, Hyper-Terminal, PUTTY, as well as Termite 3.3 without any luck. I'll have to try Z38XX. I'll post the results when I do it.

Thanks,
Bill
K1FPV
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W8JX
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2017, 06:38:51 AM »

Thanks for the replies. I've tried 3 terminal programs, Hyper-Terminal, PUTTY, as well as Termite 3.3 without any luck. I'll have to try Z38XX. I'll post the results when I do it.

Thanks,
Bill
K1FPV

Make sure you have a port protocol hand shake on baud rate and parity because without it no software will work. 
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--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
K1FPV
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Posts: 46




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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 05:52:52 PM »

Well, I haven't had any luck managing to get my computer to communicate with the receiver. I've tried HyperTerminal, PUTTY, and Termite. I also tried v 5.0 of Lady Heather without any success. Has anyone out there managed to get the HP-58540A GPSDO to communicate with a computer? Since the HP 58531A software is about the only was to communicate with this receiver, I'm open to any suggestions. I've pulled out most of the hair on my head (both of them) over this GPSDO!

73,
Bill, K!FPV
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N8YX
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2017, 06:14:00 AM »

There's a TekScopes Yahoo group where controller/instrument protocols and programs are often discussed.

Might want to see if there's an equivalent HP group, or try posting your question to the Tek list.
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K1FPV
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2017, 02:26:55 PM »

Thank you for the responses I've received....but still no luck. Does anyone have a copy of HP software 58531A, control software for the HP 68540A GPSDO. I have a working receiver, but no software to other than using antiquated HyperTerminal to run the receiver.

Thanks,
Bill
K1FPV
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WB5YDK
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2017, 12:58:08 PM »

Hi Bill,

I don't have a copy of the software, but I have been able to communicate with my HP 58540A using my computer's serial terminal program.  I use GtkTerm on Linux, but Windows/HyperTerminal should serve you perfectly fine.  The trick isn't in using the proper serial communications package, the trick is in getting the serial cable built right!

=========================
Step 0: Get the HP 58540A User's Guide
=========================
You've probably already done this, but just in case:
http://www.leapsecond.com/museum/hp58540a/097-58540-01-iss-1.pdf

While you're at it, also get:
http://www.leapsecond.com/museum/hp58540a/ds-58540a.pdf

=====================
Step 1: Building the Serial Cable
=====================
The serial hardware interface of the HP 58540A is very simple, with only three wires: Transmit, Receive and Ground.  Here, I'm assuming that your HP 58540A is the standard configuration they sold, and not the "Option 001" model that's slightly different.  My unit was built to the standard configuration.

The first problem we encounter is that your computer wants to transmit and receive on the same pins as the HP 58540A unit, so they can't communicate unless you build a custom "cross-over cable" to connect the two units.  I'm assuming that your computer uses a 9-pin serial connector and not a 25-pin serial connector.  I'm using a generic USB-to-Serial adapter, that terminates in a 9-pin serial connector.  My short custom cable connects between the 9-pin serial connector of this USB-to-Serial adapter, and the HP 58540A unit.

For the standard HP 58540A units (like mine), a custom cable that follows these connections should work:
Cable for Standard HP 58540A (Standard configuration, with DTE serial interface)
(Computer) Pin 2-------------pin 3 (HP58540A)
(Computer) Pin 3-------------pin 2 (HP58540A)
(Computer) Pin 5-------------pin 5 (HP58540A)


If by odd chance you happened to get an "Option 001" unit, you would build this cable instead.
Cable for HP 58540A (Option 001 configuration, with DCE serial interface))
(Computer) Pin 2-------------pin 2 (HP58540A)
(Computer) Pin 3-------------pin 3 (HP58540A)
(Computer) Pin 5-------------pin 5 (HP58540A)


In either case above, we're only connecting three wires between the computer and the HP.  The HP 58540A does some non-standard things on two other pins of it's serial connector and the remaining four pins are not used.  So, this "custom" serial cable is what we need.  Using a standard, off-the-shelf cable can cause problems because of the non-standard signals on the HP 58540A serial connector.  These two non-standard signals use the same serial RS-232 voltage levels, but their functions are unique to the HP device:   

Pin 4 of the HP 58540A serial connector is an Alarm signal output, which indicates an alarm condition by sending a positive voltage of between +3 to +12 Volts.

Pin 6 of the HP 58540A serial connector is a Reset signal input, that puts the device into a reset state if it receives a positive voltage of between +3 to +12 Volts.

*******************************************
*** FOR FUTURE TINKERING - NOT FOR NOW! ***
*******************************************
For a future experiment, once everything is working properly, you could add the following connections to your custom cable:
(Computer) Pin 4-------------pin 6 (HP58540A)
(Computer) Pin 6-------------pin 4 (HP58540A)

(Note: these two connections are the same for both the standard and the Option 001 units)

This would allow you to remotely reset the HP device by controlling your computer's serial DTR output.  Also, you could remotely read the HP device alarm condition by reading your computer's serial DSR input.  But, this might require more than a simple serial terminal program to manually (or programatically) read and manipulate the DSR/DTR lines the way that you want them.  My simple serial terminal program doesn't allow this degree of control.  For now, it's best to leave these Alarm and Reset pins unconnected and keep things simple!
********************************************
********************************************
********************************************

===============================
Step 2: Configuring Your Serial Terminal Program
===============================
The default (out-of-the-box) serial communications configuration of the HP 58540A is: 9600 baud, 8 data bits, No parity, 1 stop bit and No handshaking.  The first four parameters can be changed through serial commands sent to the HP unit.  The fifth parameter, "No handshaking", is not relevant to the HP 58540A since it has no RTS/CTS/DTR/DSR handshaking lines on its serial connector, anyway.

Lets hope that your unit is preset at 9600 baud, like mine was.  If not, and you are receiving garbage characters on your computer screen, you could try setting your serial terminal program to the three other baud rate possibilities that the HP device supports: 1200, 2400 and 19200 baud.  There's no way to configure new baud rate settings on the HP device itself until you can first properly communicate with it: a catch 22 situation!

===================
Step 3: Reaping the Rewards
===================
When the serial cable is connected and the terminal program is running, you might see "time of day" messages spewing out at about one line per second:

T2199701010003229200145
T2199701010003239200146
T2199701010003249200147
T2199701010003259200148
T2199701010003269200149

This is the default (out-of-the-box) behavior of the HP 58540A.  If you want to get to the "scpi >" command prompt, you'll have to type in a command:

:PTIM:TCOD:CONT 0 (followed by the Enter key)

Note that there are no spaces between the colon-separated command values.  The only space is before the number "0" parameter value.  While you are typing this command, the display will annoyingly continue scrolling time codes.  After you hit the Enter key, the scrolling should stop and you'll get the HP 58540A command prompt.

A simple test at this command prompt would be to type the following "identification" request:

*IDN? (followed by the Enter key)

The response you'll receive will be similar to:

HEWLETT-PACKARD,58540A,JP38490233,3913-A

If you want to get the time code scrolling again, just enter the following command:

:PTIM:TCOD:CONT 1 (followed by the Enter key)

Final note: the commands you are entering are called SCPI commands (Standard Commands for Programmable Instruments).  It a standard method to communicate with test equipment designed by a variety of manufacturers.  You can read a SCPI overview at the following Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Commands_for_Programmable_Instruments

With SCPI commands, the lower case characters of each listed command are optional.  They improve the human readability of the command.  But for typing purposes, it's okay to just type whats shown in the upper case characters of each command.  For example, in the text above, we typed :PTIM:TCOD:CONT, instead of the full command; which is :PTIMe:TCODe:CONTinuous.

Note however, that for each word in the command, you type either the full word or the shortened abbreviation.  A SCPI device probably won't understand anything in-between.  For instance, you could either type "CONTinuous" or "CONT".  But, "CONTin" or "CONTinuo" probably won't work.  Also note that the case you type in shouldn't matter: "CONTINUOUS", "Continuous", "COnTinUous", "CONT", "cONt" and "cont" should all be understood by the HP device.

I usually just type commands using upper case, like :PTIM:TCOD:CONT or :PTIME:TCODE:CONTINUOUS.

Good luck with your experiments!  Let me know if you have any more questions.

Regards,
Matt
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K1FPV
Member

Posts: 46




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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2017, 11:49:18 AM »

Thanks John,
I've used PUTTY and was able to communicate with it using PUTTY.  I only have Windows 10 computers here so, they don't have the old Hyper-Terminal built in. The thing I hate is having to look up the commands on the downloaded info I got to operate the receiver. I use GPSCon with my 58503A and 58503B. I love that one. I've also got SatStat which is OK too. I just hate having to look up the commands. I'm hoping I can get someone who already has the HP-58531A software to get a copy seeing it hasn't been made and neither HP, Symmetricom, or MicroSemi will sell it to me.

73,
Bill
K1FPV
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K1FPV
Member

Posts: 46




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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2017, 01:41:26 PM »

Hey Matt,
 
Yes, I've had luck using Termite 3.2 and I'm able to communicate with the receiver using a Null Modem Cable. A big problem I'm having is for some reason, I can't get the current date set. For some reason, it continues using the initial date (1998) and it won't accept anything new....same with the time. I guess I'm just frustrated!  Sad

Bill
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CHUCK49
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 12:48:34 PM »

Thank you for the responses I've received....but still no luck. Does anyone have a copy of HP software 58531A, control software for the HP 68540A GPSDO. I have a working receiver, but no software to other than using antiquated HyperTerminal to run the receiver.

Thanks,
Bill
K1FPV

Since you can communicate with the reciever using your terminal program, if you are familiar with Excel, you can create your own GUI and use the receiver command set in Excel through your RS232 interface to control your receiver without resorting to command look-up during the process. We did this quite often in the metrology lab when running older gear through our automated calibration processes.
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