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Friday, 24 February 2017

Siglent SSA3021X - New firmware P08.02 available... and a big surprise!


Yesterday Siglent published their latest firmware for the SSA3021X spectrum anlyser.

This device is notorious for three reasons:

  1. It is the most affordable spectrum analyser with the best price/performance ratio.
  2. It is hackable and Siglent doesn't seem to care too much.
  3. It not only features lots of great functionality and high refresh rate, it supports SCPI commands over USB and LAN, also.
With this new firmware release, Siglent went ahead and implemented a promised feature: support for SCPI over simple telnet protocol, which means that NI-VISA is no longer required (but still available)!

I had to test it and mind you, telnet with root login is still possible and the hackabilty status remains the same. It is safe to upgrade from P08.01.

With upgrade concerns cleared off, now hold on to your seats and look at the following pictures;

What you are seeing is a quick and dirty hack I just did in half an hour to allow my VMA Simple Spectrum Analyser software to use the Siglent SSA3021X as a spectrum analyser source, instead of the ADF4351 device! No installation of third party software required.

This is of course just a test - implementing support for the SSA3021X will take a lot of work and it is easier to just program a whole new application from scratch. Remember that all SCPI commands to control the spectrum analyser need to be implemented.

But: Siglent opend doors for advanced measurements like the ones I implemented in my software to become available for a propper spectrum analyser at real time refresh rates, The waterfall display is now running smoothly, too. Nice!

And yes, the Siglent only renders 752 points horizontally, which is why there is no trace on the right corner. As I said: quick and dirty hack... But I am already dreaming on doing a whole new "VMA Spectrum Analyser" software to have a platform for all my ideas regarding advanced measurements.



  1. So... Did this ever happen? I have one of these on order and would love to not install the visa drivers.

    1. My software (as opposed to Siglent's EasySpectrum) does not require VISA. It connects directly through telnet.