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F100 User Guide
Table of Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Simple Examples
  3. PC Graphical User Interface
  4. PalmOS F100 Software User Interface
  5. Programming Commands Description
  6. Installing the Generator
  7. Installing Software
  8. Error Messages/troubleshooting



Introduction

    The F100 software controls the F100 series of frequency generators. It lets you input or create a program file. It processes the program file, checks it for errors, converts the program commands into a sequence of instructions to produce the desired frequencies on the device. It also lets you save, load and edit program files with the graphical user interface.  On the PC, the program file is a standard ASCII text file that contains commands as described in the Example or Programming Commands sections bellow. You can use F100 to edit those files or you can use any ASCII text editor on any computer platform as long as it stores files in ASCII mode without adding any formatting. For example, Notepad in Windows is a valid ASCII editor. MS-Word is not unless you specify to save the file in text only mode. On the Palm PDA, program files are created via the F100 program on the PDA. They are stored as Palm OS catalog files that you can edit, save, open or delete.


Simple Examples

    Each example consists of one or more program commands. To run the examples, type the commands ,exactly as shown, in a blank program window and select the  file->Run  menu item or type Alt-r. To clear the program window of any previous content select the file->new menu item. The examples should get you started quickly for simple frequency generation but for a full description of each command and its arguments, please see the Programming Commands Description section.

How do I run 727 HZ:
727
How do I run 727, 800 , 880 and 1500 HZ each for 120 seconds:
dwell 120
727
800
880
1500
How do I run 900 HZ for 60 seconds and 1000 HZ for 5 minutes:

    dwell 60
    900
    dwell 300
    1000


How do I sweep from 120 to 1000 HZ in 1 HZ steps that run half a second each?

    dwell 0.5
    sweep 120 1000 1


How do I run 10000 HZ for 30 seconds, pulsed at 4 HZ:

    dwell 30
    pulse 4 50
    10000


How do I run 770 HZ for 3.5 minutes with a 80% duty cycle:

    dwell 210
    duty 80
    770


How do I place comments in my programs:
   
    #Any character(s) following a pound sign is a comment



PC Graphical User Interface

    The PC F100 GUI (Graphical User Interface) is composed of a top menu row and the remaining space is occupied by the program window in white and status window in black. The program window is where you type or load programs to be run or saved in permanent storage. Some menu items have an equivalent "hot key" combination that you can use to invoke them. If a menu item has a hot key, it is specified to the right of the menu item. For example, Run can be invoked with Alt-r on MS-Windows.

New
Alt-n
Clear the program window and start a new program
Open
Alt-o
Open an existing program file from permanent storage
Save
Alt-s
Save your program file for future reuse or editing.
Save As
Alt-a
Save your program file, specifying a new file name.
Export PalmOS


Run
Alt-r
Check the current program for errors and send to the device to produce frequencies. If errors exists, the error and line number are reported and no frequencies are run.
Stop
Alt-t
Stop program execution
Pause
Alt-p
Pause/continue program execution. Click "Pause" to pause the currently running program. Click "Pause" again to continue program execution where it was last paused. There is no frequency output while a program is paused.
Hold
Alt-h
Hold the currently running frequency until "Hold" is clicked again.
Skip
Alt-k
Skip currently running frequency. Click once to skip the current frequency and move on to the next frequency in the sequence.




PalmOS  F100 Software User Interface

    Users who do not intend to use the F100 software on a Palm Pilot hand held device can skip this section. The Palm user interface is composed of a top menu. Bellow that are line edit buttons, a line edit field and bellow this field is the program listing area. There is also a popup keyboard available by tapping the "abc" keyboard icon. F100 also makes use of the Palm application buttons at the bottom of your Palm device:


1st button (Date Book) : Run/Stop a program Click once to start execution of your program. Click again to stop execution. always make sure the frequency generator is connected and turned on BEFORE pressing the run button. Failing to do that will produce an error message.
3rd button (To do List): Hold/Release the current running frequency. Click once to let the currently running frequency continue until you click this button again to release it and go on to the next frequency in the program sequence.
4th button (Note Pad) : Pause/continue program execution. Click once to pause the currently running program. Click again to continue program execution where it was last paused. There is no frequency output while a program is paused.
Page Down Button : Skip currently running frequency. Click once to skip the current frequency and move on to the next frequency in the sequence.


    The File Menu can be opened by tapping the "F100" label at the top left of your screen. The File Menu items have the same meaning as in the desktop version of the F100 software.



Programming Commands Description  (Common to both the PC desktop and Palm versions)

Each command and its arguments are described here. Simple examples are also given. Examples are displayed in tables with the commands on the left and a description on the right. The description is only for your information and is not required when running the actual commands. Some examples have comments in them. Any character that appears after a pound "#" sign is not part of the program and not necessary. It is only there to explain the command.
   
All commands are composed of a command word followed by arguments. The only exception to this rule is the command to run specific frequencies. To run frequencies, simply type the individual frequencies separated by a space or comma alone on a line.

The following are all valid frequency commands:
10 #run 10 HZ
1000.5 #run 1000.5 HZ
0.8 #run .8 HZ
727, 880 #run 727 HZ and 880 HZ
1000 1500 #run 1000 HZ and 1500 HZ


The remaining commands are:

cdwell c
Sets the default dwell value in total number of cycles (see dwell command to set dwell in seconds). The cdwell is the number of cycles the requested frequency will be generated. The cdwell value specified will be applied to any subsequent frequency in the program file up to the next dwell or cdwell instruction.

Examples:

cdwell 100
10
#Run frequencies for 100 cycles
#This runs 10 HZ for 100 cycles or 100/10=10 seconds


Note: Most users are more familiar with setting dwell in seconds. The dwell command can be used for that. The command cdwell is another way to specify dwell time that varies according to the frequency generated. This is useful when running sweeps that span a wide frequency band. For example:

cdwell 100
sweep 10 1000 1
#In this case, during the sweep, the dwell time would vary
#from 10 seconds at 10 HZ to .1 seconds at 1000 HZ

converge r s
Useful if you are not certain of the exact frequency to produce but want to produce frequencies in the neighborhood of a set of known frequencies.

Similar to the fuzz command except that frequencies are run below and above the center frequency alternating with each step. How wide the sweeps are is specified with the "r" argument in two different ways

In the first way, r is the number of hertz below and above the frequency. Each frequency f in the program between this statement and the next converge or fuzz command will produce frequencies f-r to f+r with step s and alternating above and below the center frequency at every step.

In the second way, r is a percentage. The sweep will be from f-(r/100*f) to f+(r/100*f) with steps s. To use this command, you must add a "%" immediately after the number.

For multiple frequencies, converge only needs to be specified once, before the list of frequencies.

Converge can be turned off with the command: converge 0 0

Examples:

dwell 11
converge 5 1
727
#is equivalent to running in this order: 722, 732, 723, 731, 724,
# 730, 725, 729, 726, 728, 727 for 1 second each
dwell 18
converge 2% .5
100
#is equivalent to running: 98, 102, 98.5, 101.5, 99, 101, 99.5
#100.5 100 for 2 seconds each
converge 0 0
#turns off converge for the following frequency commands


Note: When using the converge command, the dwell time is computed by dividing the default dwell time by the number of steps in the fuzz. For example:
 
dwell 100
converge 5 1
100
#Sets default dwell to 100 seconds
#Converge has 11 steps:95,105,96,104,97,103,98,102,99,101,100
#Each frequency will run for dwell/11=9.09 seconds

duty d
Sets the duty for the main frequency. The duty is the on time versus cycle time of the main frequency pulse :(on time/cycle time)*100.

Argument units: d in percentage

Examples:

duty 50 #50% on, 50% off
duty 10 #10% on, 90% off


Note that the software will translate the requested duty to a value that the device can produce. The generator specifications indicate what range of duty cycle it can produce.

dwell s
Sets the default dwell value. The dwell is the length of time the requested frequency will be generated. The dwell value specified will be applied to any subsequent frequency in the program file up to the next dwell or cdwell instruction.

Argument units: s in seconds
Range: s: 0.0 to 20000000.0

Examples:

dwell 120 #Run for 2 minutes
dwell 0.5 #Run for half a second
dwell .75 #Run for 3/4 second

goto l
Causes program execution to jump to the command immediately following the label "l". "l" must be defined somewhere in the program with the "label" command. This allows looping in a program. See the "label" command for examples. "l" must be a string of alphanumeric characters only.

exit
Causes immediate termination of the program, skipping any lines after the exit command

fuzz r s
Useful if you are not certain of the exact frequency to produce but want to produce frequencies in the neighborhood of a set of known frequencies.

Similar to the sweep command but can more easily be added to the beginning of an existing series of frequencies to run sweeps centered around them. How wide the sweeps are is specified with the "r" argument in two different ways.

In the first way, r is the number of hertz above and below the frequency. Each frequency f in the program between this statement and the next fuzz command will be treated as a sweep from f-r to f+r with step s.

In the second way, r is a percentage. The sweep will be from f-(r/100*f) to f+(r/100*f) with steps s. To use this command, you must add a "%" immediately after the number.

Fuzz can be turned off with the command: fuzz 0 0

Examples:
   
fuzz 10 1
727,880,1556
#Is equivalent to 3 sweep commands:sweep 717 737 1,sweep 870 890 1, sweep 1546 1566 1

fuzz 5% .5
100, 1000

#Is equivalent to these sweep commands: sweep 95 105 .5, sweep 950 1050 .5

fuzz 0 0
#Turns off fuzz for the following frequency commands


Note: When using the fuzz command, the dwell time is computed by dividing the default dwell time by the number of steps in the fuzz. For example:
 
dwell 100
fuzz 5 1
100
#Sets default dwell to 100 seconds . fuzz has 11 #steps:95,96,97,98,99,100,101,102,103,104,105 
#Frequencies 95 to 105 will be run for dwell/11=9.09 seconds each.


label l
Defines a label that can be used with the "goto" command. This allows looping and jumping over sections of a program. When used as an argument to the "goto" command, program execution will jump from the location of the goto to the command immediately following this label command.

Example1:

dwell .5
label loop
727 780
goto loop



# At this point program execution will jump back
# to the "727"  command.
# This looping will go on    until the user issues
# a  "stop" command in the GUI or  kills (ctrl-c)
# the program in command mode. The frequency
# output will alternate between 727 and 780 HZ every
# half a  second


Example2:

goto l
10
20
label l
30
40
#At this point, program execution will jump to the "30" frequency line, skipping the 10 and 20 lines.

  

The label-goto commands allow an infinite variation of frequency sequences to be looped.

pause s
Pause execution of the program for the specified amount of time in seconds. No frequency is produced while the program is paused.

Argument units: s in seconds

Examples:

pause 1 #Pause for one second
pause 2.5 #Pause for 2 and a half seconds
pause 0.5 #Pause for half a second

print This is a message
Print a message on the screen. Anything after the print command up to the end of line will be printed on the screen. This is useful for putting out messages between frequency sets in your program. When running in GUI mode, you might want to put a pause command immediately after the print command to make sure the message stays on the screen for a brief period of time.

Examples:

print My first seep will start in 5 seconds
pause 5
sweep 10 1000 1
print My second sweep will start in 10 seconds
pause 10
sweep 1001 2000 1

pulse f d
Sets the pulse/gate frequency and duty. Pulsing is a signal applied to the main frequency. In digital terms, if the main signal is F, the pulse signal P and the output of the device OUT, then OUT = F AND P . This command is also used to turn pulsing off as: "pulse 0 0".

Argument units:

f in Hz
d in percentage on

Examples:

pulse 4 50 #Pulse at 4hz, 50% duty
pulse 5000 10 #Pulse at 5khz, 10% duty
pulse 0 0 #Turn pulsing off


Note: Pulse is off by default

sweep f1 f2 s
Will output every frequency between f1 and f2 using a step size defined by s. The dwell time for each frequency step corresponds to the current dwell time set by the last dwell command or the default dwell (180 seconds) if there is none.

Argument units: f1,f2,step in Hz

Example:

dwell .5
sweep 1000 1010 .1
#those two commands will produce frequencies 1000.0,
#1000.1, 1000.2 ...1009.9, 1010.0 each for half a second


Note: Different Fxxx series device have different limits on the step size of frequency they can produce. The program allows you to ask for any frequency step size but it will adjust the requested frequency to the closest frequency your device can produce. Read your device technical specifications for its frequency step size.

For dwell times greater or equal to half a second, the requested frequency is displayed while running.

CAUTION: If you specify a step size smaller than your device is capable to produce, two or more consecutive steps could end up producing the same frequency each for the specified dwell time. Keep that in mind if in the context of your application it is important not to exceed a specific dwell time for one single frequency. In such a case, it is better to use steps at least twice the step size of your device to avoid duplicate frequencies.

vduty f1 d1 f2 d2
Sets a variable duty value for the main frequency. See "duty" command for a definition of duty. This allows the duty to vary depending of the main frequency being produced. The arguments f1,d1,f2,d2 represent two points on a linear equation of duty (d) vs frequency (f). Think of a linear equation y=mx+b where y=duty and x=frequency.

Argument units:
     f1,f2 in Hz
    d1,d2 in percentage on/off

Range:
    f1 cannot equal f2

For example. If at 10 hz you want the duty to be 20% and at 3000 Hz you want the duty to be 70%, you only need to specify those two sets of data and the software will extrapolate the duty values for any other frequency based on the straight line linking those two points on a graph. The command would be:

vduty 10 20 3000 70

Another example:

vduty 10.0 90.0 100000 20.0

vpulse m b d
Sets a variable pulse frequency based on the main frequency. See "pulse" command for a description of pulsing/gating. This allows the pulse frequency to vary based on the main frequency being produced. The arguments m and b represent the m,b values in a linear equation of pulse frequency vs main frequency:

    pulse freq = m * (main frequency) + b .

Argument d is the pulse frequency duty cycle in percentage. When running frequencies, if the computed pulse frequency is < 0, pulsing will be turned off.

Argument units:
    d in percentage on/off


For example, if you want the pulse frequency to always be one third the main frequency and the pulse duty cycle set at 50% you would use the command:

vpulse 0.33 0 50



Installing the Generator

Your frequency generator has the following  connectors/switches:

F105/150/155
Front
  • BNC connector for frequency output
Rear
  • 1/4" Serial I/O connector labeled "COM"
  • 8-12 Volt DC 2.5mm power connector (center pin positive)
  • On/Off switch (see label under generator)
F160
Front
  • Output signal amplitude (volume) knob
  • BNC connector for frequency output
Rear
  • 1/4" Serial I/O connector labeled "COM"
  • 18 Volt AC 2.5mm power connector
  • Power on LED indicator
  • On/Off switch (see label under generator)


Serial cable connection on a PC:
Locate a free serial port on your computer. Serial ports normally have 9 pin male, or on older computers, 25 pin male connector. If your computer only has a 25 pin serial port, you will need a 9 pin male to 25 pin female adapter available on our web site or most computer stores.

Connect the 9 pin cable to the computer serial port. Connect the other end of the serial cable to the rear left serial I/O connector on the frequency generator. Do not use an extension on this cable. The cable provided with your frequency generator is shielded and has RF filters at both ends. Adding an extension to this cable can cause the frequency generator to malfunction.

Serial cable connection on a Palm device:
If you did not buy a Palm/Frequency generator bundle and are using your own PDA device, you need to obtain the Palm PDA adapter kit from our web site. This kit contains a RF shielding ferrite block and a serial cable adapter. Those who purchased the Palm device from us can skip the rest of this paragraph. Add the RF shielding ferrite block to the your Palm cradle or serial cable: As close as possible to the end of the cable near the Palm device/cradle, wrap two turns of cable in the ferrite block and close the block and secure with the provided "tie wrap".

Connect the 9 pin end of the adapter to the 9 pin cable from your Palm cradle or serial cable. Connect the other end of the adapter to the rear left serial I/O connector on the frequency generator. Do not use an extension on this cable. The cable provided with your PDA and the adapter are shielded and have an RF filter. Adding an extension to this cable can cause the frequency generator to malfunction.

Power transformer :

F105/150/155 These  frequency generators require a DC transformer in the 7.5V to 12V range with at least 300 ma capacity. A  transformer is provided for North American markets. A 12 V battery can also be used for power. Connect the transformer or battery cable to the power jack on the frequency generator. The power jack is a 2.5mm POSITIVE CENTER PIN and negative outer shell power connector. If you provide your own power cable and plug, make sure to have the correct polarity and plug size. Other plug sizes might fit but provide a faulty center contact. Do not use a transformer or battery with output greater than 12V or the frequency generator can over heat or be damaged.
F160
These  frequency generators require a 18 Volt  AC transformer with at least 500 ma capacity. A 18 Volt AC transformer is provided for North American markets.  Connect the transformer  to the power jack on the frequency generator. The power jack is a 2.5mm size. If you provide your own power transformer or plug, make sure to have the correct  plug size. Other plug sizes might fit but provide a faulty center contact. Do not use a transformer or battery with output greater than 18VAC or the frequency generator can over heat or be damaged.


The frequency generator has a off/on switch. Turn the switch on (right) when in use. Make sure the power is connected and the switch is on before you start the F100 software. Do not turn off and on the generator while frequencies are running. If you do this, you need to stop program execution, turn on the generator and restart program execution. The frequency output is at the BNC connector.



Installing the Software

Software for your frequency generator can be installed from the CD-ROM or our web site. If you have access to our web site, it is preferable to download the latest software from there since it may contain updates/improvements not available on the CD-ROM.

Installing MS-Windows Software:

The F100 software can be installed in a number of ways listed bellow.

The first option (InstallAnywhere installer) is completely automated but requires more than the software's 5 MB to install depending on your system. If you have limited hard disk space and/or memory or are having difficulties during the installation using option 1, use one of the other options and follow the steps.

Option 1: Automated installation
    Double click the file install.exe on the CD-ROM

Option 2: Self extracting archive:
    1)Double click the file f100rar.exe
    2)Choose an installation directory when asked
    3)Run f100 by double clicking f100.exe in that directory

Option 3: Zip file
    1) Obtain WinZip from www.winzip.com if you don't have it. You need WinZip to extract the files.
    2) Double click the f100.zip file and extract it in a directory where you want f100 to be installed
    3) Run f100 by double clicking f100.exe in that directory

The first time you run F100, you will be asked to specify the serial port where the device is connected.

If you get a message saying "can't find device", make sure the frequency generator is well connected, you specified the correct port, the power switch is on on the device. You can specify a different port in the "preferences" section in the file menu. When changing the port definition in the preferences, you need to restart the F100 software for the change to take effect.

Installing Palm OS Software:

Option 1: Self extracting archive:

1) Double click the file f100palm.exe
2) Choose an installation directory when asked
3) Make sure your Palm device is connected to your computer and turned on
4) Start your Palm Desktop application on your computer
5) Click "install" on the Palm Desktop
6) Click "add" in the Install Tool window
7) Add all the following files located in the directory where you extracted the Palm F100 software: SWNatives.prc SuperWaba.prc SuperWaba.pdb F100.prc F100.pdb
8) Click "done" in the Install Tool
9) Start the Palm Hot Sync Manager on your computer
10) Click the Hot Sync button on your Palm cradle
11) When Hot sync is done, you can start the F100 application on your Palm device by clicking the F100 icon.


Error Messages and Trouble Shooting


"Communication port is in use, Close other applications first"
The communication port you specified in the preferences section or f100.cfg file is in use by another application. Quit the other application before running F100 or specify another port. The port can be defined in the preferences section of the file menu in the GUI or by manually editing the f100.cfg file in the f100 directory. The file must contain the following line: port=COM1 Where you substitute COM1 for your port name.

When I turn the generator off and on, it doesn't respond anymore or I get a message that the frequency specified is too high.
When turning the generator off, wait at least 5 seconds before turning it back on. The generator has large filtering capacitors that take time to discharge when cycling the power off and on.

I have a F150 or F155 and the software tells me I can't run a frequency above 156 KHZ.
Make sure your generator is properly connected and the serial port is correctly defined. When the software runs, it communicates with the generator to determine what model it is. If it can't get a response, it defaults to a F105 with a maximum output frequency of 156 KHZ.