Sunday, 15 November 2020

RF-Power8000 - Power meter installation on Windows 10

RF-Power8000 Installation

Get the software

I got my RF-Power8000 here from Bangood. Unfortunately they didn't provide a download link for the software and manual. A quick google search at the time (Nov.2020) of writing revealed this source:
  • Software download from passion-radio LINK
  • Instruction manual from passion-radio LINK

Install the driver

The RF8000 communicates over a USB-to-serial bridge, that your computer might not immediately find the right driver for. In that case, you'll find a "serial" device marked with a "?" in the device manager.
The driver is provided with the software package (see above). As I don't like drivers that come with a setup routine, I recommend to use the "rightclick/update driver" function of the device manager.
Just point it to the "drivers_usb_CH340" folder and windows will find and install the driver.
At that point you should see another serial port in the device manager:

The meter shows up on COM6

Register MSCOMM32.OCX

Depending on other installations on your PC, starting the RF8000 software with the uninventive name of "english.exe" might result in an error message. In that case, MSCOMM32.OCX needs to be registered on your system.
To register the OCX, open an "elevated shell" (right click the start button and choose "Windows Powershell (Administrator)")
There type (with the path pointing to your rg_8000 directory):
 .\regsvr32.exe C:\Users\admin\Desktop\RFPower8000\rf_8000\MSCOMM32.OCX

Your path will be different

Configure the software

The program "english.exe" needs to be configured for both the COM-Port and the Baud Rage. It defaults to COM1 and 4800. While with some luck, your COM-Port might be "1", the baud rate ist not correct. Also: in "Model selection" choose "RF-Power8000"
Here are the correct settings:
  • Model selection RF-Power8000 (F3)
  • Port number: set that to what your device manager shows as Com Port. In my case COM6
  • Baud Rate: 9600
After that, I have to press the center button to start the meter.

No, it ain't pretty :-(

To set the frequency and the attenuator value (you absolutely need an external attenuator!) for the measurement, hit the "spanner and screwdriver" button.

Addendum 20201116:
This russian (?) RC enthusiast has written his own software for the RF-Power8000

And it looks good, too:

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