Boonton 1120 Audio Measurement Software Download *7-17-06*

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Boonton 1120 Audio Measurement Software Download *7-17-06*

Postby Shannon Parks » Fri Apr 21, 2006 6:56 pm

This is a freeware release for use on Win2k/XP. I'll open source the Visual Basic 2005 code shortly, too.

Download Alpha 0.1 Release 041406 here. NI Only.

Download Alpha 0.2 Release 070906 here. NI and Prologix USB-GPIB support. (619KB)

No FAQ yet. But here is the gist:

I use a hardware analyzer that is GPIB controlled from a PC using Visual Basic 2005 as the control software. I started off with a HP 8903B a few years ago which was loaned to me by my employer. This past fall I started looking at the Boonton 1120 analyzeras they are pretty much a clone of the 8903-series unit, but with a wider bandwidth (10Hz to 140kHz source), slightly lower distortion and front inputs which are a big plus. The actual hardware (chassis, buttons) isn't up to HP standards, but the guts are well built. The military has been getting rid of these units and upgrading, so these units can be had for under $400 on Ebay. The used HP 8903B's sell for over $1k these days. The new Boonton 1121, which is almost identical to the 1120, sells for around $8K, I believe.

So what does a setup like this end up costing?
[diytube doesn't sell any of this - this is just a shopping list]
-Boonton 1120 $250
-Boonton 1120 Operation, Programming, Full Schematics Manual FREE (PDF)
-National Instruments AT-GPIB/TNT PNP GPIB card & cable $40
-533MHz PC with ISA Basically FREE
-Visual Basic 2005 FREE
-VB 2005 test software from diytube FREE (open source)
-MS Excel for audio log charting $???

All said, I feel this is the best bang-for-your-buck until you get to a >$10K Audio Precision rig. There are four of us at this point - hopefully several more will join us.

Shannon

Disclaimer: This is still DIY testing though, and I don't plan any support beyond this forum, so YMMV.
Last edited by Shannon Parks on Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby WA4SWJ » Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:06 pm

Shannon,

Looks like I'll be joining the test and measurement team. I found today a Boonton 1121 and bought it. I'm waiting for shipping so I don't have it yet but hope to have it next week.

Once I receive it and read the manuals I'll likely get the software you wrote and start in.

Regards,
Ed Long
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Nice!

Postby Shannon Parks » Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:46 pm

WA4SWJ wrote:Shannon,

Looks like I'll be joining the test and measurement team. I found today a Boonton 1121 and bought it. I'm waiting for shipping so I don't have it yet but hope to have it next week.

Once I receive it and read the manuals I'll likely get the software you wrote and start in.

Regards,


Nice score, Ed. I'll email you manual details. Not only is yours a 1121, but you have a plug-in filter - probably a 400Hz High Pass. This is perfect when tracking down noise floor issues with 60Hz and 120Hz hummmm. The manual details all the filters, so we can create A-Weighted ones and others with simple breadboards and 5534s.

Shannon
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Postby 1audio » Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:14 pm

I have used the software in the past but got sidetracked for a while. i recently started a new phono preamp project and that lead back to using the software. However it seems I managed to lose the NI PCMCIA-GPIB card I had and its wasn't getting found very fast. So off to eBay- to find those are still nearly $400. Next to look at other options. The Prologix is interesting but it won't support the software for my Tek 7854 or any of the other stuff I have. What else is available? There was a GPIB-ENET up on ebay for less than $100. This is a network adapter for a GPIB buss, however its old. I got it and some cables from a local surplus dealer and I'm back on the air. GPIB-ENET notes-
1) Works with NI488-2 up through 2.2, not the newer version.
2) You need either a Win 95/98 system (or in my case a Linux DHCP server) to set up the RARP to get an IP address into it so you can use it.

Its actually quite nice to have the adapter attached to the Boonton on the bench and run it from a computer across the room. I don't have room on my bench for the computer anyway.
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Postby Shannon Parks » Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:28 am

Thanks for the feedback on the GPIB-ENET, 1audio. Certainly, PCI or PCMCIA GPIB cards are pretty expensive and will remain so for awhile. So under $100 options are great!

Let me throw out a tip to any GPIB users. Grab a HP 3455A Voltmeter (6.5 digit!) from eBay for peanuts (less than $100). I've picked up a couple for about $50-60 each, shipped. Hooked to GPIB, you can easily take automated test data with VB2005. With the Prologix unit, I think even a non-coder could make a simple script with a terminal program. It is large, but a hell of a piece of gear, and its usefulness ranks up there with the new Agilent and Keithley $1k units. It even helped me solve a problem with my power company, as I logged 24 hours of AC mains data and handed it to them. :)
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