I just received my N9912A FieldFox analyzer--what an amazing instrument! I've only been playing with it for a few hours, but unfortunately I have already found what may be a firmware bug. I also have a couple of questions that don't seem to be addressed in the User's Guide. My instrument has firmware version A.05.53, and has options 106, 231, and 236.
First, here is the bug I found, related to the spectrogram display:
When I am displaying the spectrogram and invoke the full screen mode by using the "Spectrogram Settings" soft key in the "Meas Setup" screen, the display does not fill the screen. All it does is to blank the numeric fields directly above and below the display. The size of the spectrogram display remains identical to its size in the Overlay mode. When I am in the Overlay mode and invoke the full screen mode by pressing the "Full Screen" soft key in the "System" screen, the grid and the trace go to full screen size, but the spectrogram display remains the same size and in the same absolute position as before. The result of this is that the lower border of the spectrogram display is up about 2.2 major divisions from the bottom of the grid, and the left edge of the spectrogram display is shifted about 0.4 major divisions to the right of the left edge of the grid, so that the spectrogram display no longer lines up with the trace from which it is generated. Also, in this mode there are some grid lines drawn, but only in the parts of the spectrum display area where the spectrogram is not (i.e., the left border and the bottom).
Is this a bug, or am I doing something wrong?
Now for my questions:
1) What is the largest SD card I can use for storage? Can the N9912A use an SDHC card? My instrument has the MiniSD card slot.
2) I have the Microsoft "Streets and Trips" GPS that is recommended in the Technical Overview (5989-8618EN), but when I connect it to the FieldFox I get a "No GPS Device" error message, even though the GPS power light is on. I have verified that the GPS works with my laptop. I also have two different DeLorme USB GPS modules, but I get the same results when I try those. Any ideas?
Glad to hear you like the instrument. With respect to your questions:
Re: the bug - that is a bug. I was able to easily reproduce it and have filed it as a bug. Hopefully it will get fixed in a future firmware revision.
1. Yes, you can use SDHC. We've had no issues with SD card size.
2. Do you by any chance have the 2009 Streets & Trips? We have had some issues with the 2009 version, as it looks like Microsoft used a different chip set for a while. The 2011 works very well. Also, did you wait a minute to see if the GPS stick is recognized, or did you make sure it's all the way in.
Thanks for the info. I look forward to a fix for the spectrogram bug, as I plan to be using that mode a lot.
As far as the GPS module, it's from the 2007 Streets and Trips package, and the label identifies it as a GPS-500 with a SiRF III chipset. It's definitely plugged in all the way, and the blue LED power indicator in the GPS is lit. I checked with a terminal emulator program on my PC and the GPS is sending data at 4800 baud, which I believe is the default NMEA data rate for GPS. I've waited many minutes for the FieldFox to recognize the GPS, but it never does.
One other "issue" (observation?) is that even after I've let the FieldFox battery charge all night (battery in the instrument--not using the external charger), the battery only registers a 93% charge, although the battery stats page says "Fully Charged." Does it take a few charge/discharge cycles to calibrate the battery capacity meter? The battery is brand new, with only 3 charge cycles.
FieldFox is presently designed to work with USB ublox GPS chipsets. I believe this is why your SiRF based unit is not working. Attached is a photo of a unit known to work with FieldFox, and you can see the ublox logo on the back sticker.
Thanks for the info. I tried several different USB-based GPS modules, and even a Garmin standalone aviation GPS with USB output, but nothing made any difference. A USB flash drive reads and writes just fine, so the interface hardware is probably okay.
Based on the info you just gave me, I ordered a copy of Streets and Trips 2011 to get the Navation GPS with the ublox chipset. That ought to do the trick!
I am in the process of running the battery down to shutoff and then giving it a full recharge so I can see if I can get the battery meter to read 100%. The FieldFox has been running continuously for over four hours now and is still reading 25% capacity(!).
Getting a battery charged reading at 93% is consider "normal" for all new batteries from Inspired Energy. This is because the battery has a micro-controller it is suppose to recalibrate itself. The Max Error % and Relative Charge % will add up to 100%. When the Max Error % hit 10%, the battery requires to be recalibrated. However sometimes this doesn't work and it requires a few cycle or recalibration using an external charger. The usual value falls between 93-98%. We are working on this to improve the battery reporting result.
Please try to fully discharge it and recharge again a couple times to see if this will improve. Let me know if this is working well.
Okay, that certainly would explain what I observed. I have already done one full discharge and recharge cycle, and the battery meter came up to 97%, so it's getting better!
Also, I purchased the latest Microsoft GPS dongle with the ublox chip set, and it works fine with the N9912A. One suggestion for a future firmware upgrade: put an option in the Time/Date setting to allow selecting Daylight Saving Time. Currently when I allow the GPS to set the system time, I have to change my home time zone from Pacific Time to Mountain Time to make the time correct.
Yes, I know about the time zone setting, but what I really want is a "check box" so I can turn on or off the Daylight Saving Time one-hour advance without having to change the actual time zone. A minor point, I'll admit!
Of course. Sorry... didn't read that close enough. I'll submit a defect. I would have expected the local time to have been adjusted automatically based on date and selected time zone, as internal daylight savings time tables are used to determine the DST offset. I assume that automatically updating the clock for DST would be acceptable as well as a checkbox type solution?