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problem with CN0399 SDP-S and SDP-Z

Category: Software
Product Number: CN0399 SDP-S AND SDP-Z

Dear reader,

 I can't get the combination of SDP-S (controller) and SDP-Z (RF unit) to work.

My PC has Windows 7

When I connect the SDP-S/SDP-Z to a USB port, the correct PC System messages come up:

Analog Devices System Demonstration platform SDP-S

 At Details it says:

Creation date 02-12-2020


After starting GUI ADI_SDP_Writer1 ( version April 12, 2017,9.39.52) and pressing button “CONNECT”

comes after a few seconds: SDP connected.

After this, according to the procedure, some calibration value entered with the GUI.


If I now measure the power, a very wrong value appears on the GUI display.

As an example I take the measurement at 1 GHz with a known connected level of 0 dB

A positive number of +39.5 dB appears on the GUI, so 39.5 dB is too high.

 If you offer a level of -10 dB at the input, the GUI will indicate +29.5 dB, so 39.5 dB is too high.

At an input of -20 dB, the GUI indicates + 20.0 dB, so 40 dB is too high.

With no input signal, the GUI shows +5.0 dB?

 In the table 3PointCal-LUT, the frequency of 1 GHz has the following value:


 I think the last 3 values ​​represent the counts of the AD converter. And if this assumption is correct

then the combination SDP-S and SDP-Z would work well. But the GUI makes the calculation mistake.

 I can't figure out what and where it goes wrong can you help me?

I am an amateur (72 years) and have tried a lot but I can't get it to work properly.

 Thank you in advance for your response. Best regards,





  • Hi,

    It's not clear if the calibration file is being written correctly. Can you delete the contents of the file are start again?



  • Thanks Kieran for your response.


    I have deleted and re-created the calibration file several times. The result remains wrong. The manual of the RF unit (SDP-Z) contains the fttp address where the software can be downloaded. This software would be suitable for Windows 7. This software package also contains a driver with an installation program. After installation, the driver has serial number (date 24-10-2013).


    On the site below from


    is also a driver to load this can work with Windows 7 and higher . Its version number is Creation date 02-12-2020.


    I have performed all experiments, including the re-creation of Calibration files, several times with both drivers on a Windows 7 PC. The result remains wrong.


    I don't know how to interpret the data in the Calibration files. It seems to me that the last 3 values ​​are the counts of the A/D converter and that is in line with the specifications. So the hardware seems to be working fine.

    Even if you lower the transmit level 10dB, the much too high false dB indication changes exactly 10dB.


    The button in the GUI for connect also works well. But something goes wrong with calculating the measured dB value.


    The GUI is an EX file and would have been written in MS visual studio. There is also a PDB file, a Manifest file and a vshost file. No source code is included. So find out for yourself where things are going wrong. It is also not possible to determine how the calculation of A/D counts to dB will go.


    Who oh who knows the solution



    Thank you very much with kind regards,





  • Hi Kieran,


    I still get the combination CN0399 SDP-S and SDP-Z not working. What strikes me is that there is nowhere to find an example of a working copy on the internet. A demonstration was given by you on YouTube.


    In the last part of this movie, the monitor of the PC also shows also a very high dB value (34.44 dB). And if you look closely, there is also an alarm message on the screen that the input level is too high. The power meter can only measure a maximum of 15dB.

    What is going wrong is there an error in the program or am I doing something wrong?

    This combination of SDP-S and SDP-Z cost me 300 Euros and it's no use to me now.


    I hope you can help me. Thanks in advance and with kind regards,


    Loek Riemens


  • Hi,

    In that video the device was not sampling. It was a static with no sampling so this is not an accurate representation.

    I'm out of office until Monday. So I will work through this with you next week. I have one of these boards and will try to reproduce your issue. I'll update you on early next week. 



  • Hi Kieran, Thanks for your comment.

    My knowledge of the English language is limited so I communicate via GOOGLE translate. That is why communicating via a direct chat or Phone call is very difficult for me. I live in the Netherlands and am retired . I am 72 years old and for the hobby I started experimenting with CN0399. In your email of 7/7/2022 you wrote that you would try to reproduce my issue. Did this work or does it work for you?  

    Thank you in advance for your response, best regards,

     Loek Riemens

  • Hi Loek,
    I was able to reproduce a similar response. However I only have a version of the board from prerelease that I'm not 100% in it working. I'll need to spend time on this, this week and get back to you on it.



  • Hi Loek,

    I've been doing some testing in the lab today. I haven't identified an exact root cause yet but it is intermittently working for me. As an experiment would you be able to try measure with a higher frequency e.g. 1GHz?



  • Hi Kieran,

    I performed the following steps:

    1st Completely empty the file “3pointCal-LUT.cvs” with Excel.

    2nd Started the GUI with the application “ADL5904 low power RFpower meter .

    3rd Press the “Connect” button via the GUI, after which the message “SPD connected” appears.

    4th Press the “Calibration” button through the GUI and select “3-Point Calibration”

    5th via the GUI the measurements performed at 1GHz LowCal (-20dBm)-MidCal (0dBm) HighCal(+10dBm). With every measurement the send level on the input is adjusted and the GUI comes per message with “Code saved for -20/0/+10dBm power.

    6th With the GUI close the measurement for 1GHz by pressing the button “Calibrate” the message comes “Calibration done for 1GHz”.

    7th repeat steps 5 to 6 for the frequency of 2GHz.

    8e In the Excel file “3pointCal-LUT.cvs” the following data is now stated:



    9th With the GUI selected the button “Power Measurement”

    10th Chosen with the GUI for 1GHz and there will be the correct measurement result

    11th Chosen with the GUI for 2GHz and even then the good measurement result comes

    12th After this closed the GUI

    13th After this, restarted the GUI and chose step 10 or 11 . Now comes a wrong value like 2617dBm or 46dBm.

    14th If you then carry out the calibration steps 2 to 7 again, errors will continue to be measured.

    So it seems that correct measurements are only obtained if the file “3pointCal-LUT.cvs” is empty at the start of the calibration. And that there are only correct values ​​immediately after the calibration and that when starting the GUI with existing calibration values ​​in the file “3pointCal-LUT.cvs” no correct values ​​are obtained.




  • Hi Loek,

    I'm not able seeing the same issue as you are on my setup. I've tried emailing you with the GUI version I'm using but the attachment gets blocked. So I've uploaded to our FTP location: 

    Can you try download 'CN0399 Software (Rev 1).zip' from there?



  • Hi Kieran,

    First of all I would like to thank you for the effort you are making to help me.

    I tried to download the File you specified via the link This was not successful. I see some other files but none of them are downloadable.

     Just to be sure, I reloaded the file “CN0399 Software(Rev1) via the link provided by Analog Devices and then installed it again.

    Could there be a difference in the GUI you use or is the same program on this link?

     Also now the connection goes well via the GUI. Then I performed all Calibration steps (10MHz to 6GHz). If I perform a power measurement immediately afterwards, wrong values ​​are displayed such as +50 dB. Even when restarting the GUI, the power measurement value remains incorrect.

    This is again a different behavior than I described last time. Then a power measurement immediately after Calibration was good. And it went wrong after restarting the GUI.

    In the EXCEL_file "3PointCal_LUT " are all Calibration values ​​per frequency on one row with a comma as separator. The last three values ​​per frequency are I think the counter value of the A/D converter of the three levels that are entered during the calibration. This value corresponds well with what is stated in the IC datasheet.

     It still seems that the power measurement does not calculate or calculates incorrectly with the data in the file “3PointCal_LUT”.

    If you perform a new Calibration after the Calibration, the ode lines will remain and the new ones will be added at the bottom of the list. The manual does not describe how to perform a new Calibration if necessary.

    Do you first have to empty the file“3PointCal_LUT” via EXCEL or does the GUI always take the last entered data?. 

    So I use a Windows 7 (professional 64 bits) PC with EXCEL from Microsoft Office 2007.The SDPSDriver comes from the same folder found at the link and is dated November 8, 2013.

    Could it be that the version of EXCEL that is on my PC influences the functioning of the GUI. So I mean before viewing the contents of the file “3PointCal_LUT “ but also when emptying it? 

    Is the source code of the GUI possibly available then I could do some more research myself? 

    I am still working daily to solve my problem. I have set all permissions of the applied folders to the highest level. I am now also working on a USB sniffer to see what data is going over the USB. Maybe that way I can figure out where it's going wrong. In this way I hope to be able to answer the following questions:

     What value comes from the A/D converter during a Calibration measurement?

    What values ​​come from the A/D converter during a power measurement? 

    Thank you in advance for your response, best regards,