SignalVu-PC under VMWare Fusion

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fff666
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SignalVu-PC under VMWare Fusion

Post by fff666 » May 12th, 2017, 6:22 pm

I'm using an RSA306B with:
  • SignalVu-PC V3.10.0030
  • under VMWare Fusion 8.5.6
  • under MacOS Sierra (10.12.4)
  • on a MacBook Pro Retina, 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7, Late 2013
This setup would work perfectly, but for intermittent freezes when displaying a Spurious window with limit lines, that spans 150kHz to 30MHz. It will run for minutes, then stop updating. The RSA306B is still on the USB bus, SignalVu-PC still thinks it's there, but is not displaying new data. I can only recover by disconnecting and re-connecting the RSA306B again. This issue doesn't manifest when I boot Windows directly from the same Boot Camp partition that the virtual machine uses.

Tektronix makes no representations that SignalVu-PC runs under VMWare, but it comes so close to being perfect! Other applications, like DPX, Spectrogram, Constellation, etc. work reliably.

It's so handy to run SignalVu-PC under a VM I wouldn't want to miss an easy fix. Has anyone else encountered and solved this?

Thomas F
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Re: SignalVu-PC under VMWare Fusion

Post by Thomas F » May 13th, 2017, 11:11 am

Right, Tek does not support running SignalVu on a Mac. But, that doesn't mean we wouldn't be interested in geeking out this to see if you can get it working.

First off, we've heard rumors that SignalVu runs well under Bootcamp. If all else fails, you can try that.

You'll need to make sure you aren't starving the Windows VM of resources. Make sure you've allocated at least 4GB of RAM to the VM (more is usually better). Don't try this without a very fast SSD (300MB/s or faster read/write speed). I believe this laptop has four actual cores (vs hyper-threads), so I would recommend dedicating at least two cores to the Windows VM. Make sure you have all the USB 3.0 drivers up to date.

If this doesn't do the trick, then there's one more thing you can try. We have an option on the SignalVu executable that significantly reduces disk traffic(/ramcache). It has some downsides, but it may help reduce the disk access burden. It's worth a shot.

You might also consider trying Parallels Desktop if VMWare Fusion doesn't work.

Finally, be aware that we use the USB 3.0 connection heavily and stream data at a constant 224MB/s when SignalVu is running. It's demanding even on most native Windows PCs. Adding additional virtual software layers in the driver stack doesn't help the performance. So, the fact that you have it working as well as you do is impressive from our perspective. Please let us know how it goes.

Regards,
Tom J Feliz
Sr. Software Application Engineer
tom.feliz@tektronix.com
tek.com

fff666
Posts: 6
Joined: September 30th, 2016, 4:25 pm
Country: Canada

Re: SignalVu-PC under VMWare Fusion

Post by fff666 » May 15th, 2017, 5:00 pm

Yes, this all runs reliably if I boot my MacBook directly from the Windows Boot Camp partition (ie no VMWare Fusion).

VMWare Fusion can be configured to allocate 1,2,3,4,6 or 8 "cores" to my Win 8.1 VM. I assume the setting refers to logical cores or hyper-threads, since my MacBook Pro only has 4 physical cores. It had been configured to use 4 logical cores. I increased the memory allocated to the Win 8.1 VM from 5,120MB to 6,144MB and tried both 6 and 8 logical cores - same result.

I don't have disk performance tools, but my SSD controller has been benchmarked on Tom's Hardware above 600MB/s.

The Win 8.1 OS is configured to automatically update. I regularly check and apply any optional updates too. I assume this means I have the latest USB drivers.

I'm game to try the SignalVu-PC option that reduces disk traffic.

A new clue: SignalVu-PC only locks up when I'm using the Spurious app. Other apps, like DPX, run indefinitely. So in the Spurious control panel, I switched Frequency Ranges: from Multi to Single - now it runs indefinitely! Is there another app that does multiple acquisitions on different bands?

Attached is a capture of my Spurious window.

Thanks,
Attachments
tek_spurious.png
tek_spurious.png (140.56 KiB) Viewed 3973 times

Thomas F
Tektronix
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Joined: January 30th, 2017, 3:56 pm
Country: United States

Re: SignalVu-PC under VMWare Fusion

Post by Thomas F » May 19th, 2017, 11:18 am

I'm not sure I understand your question about, "Is there another app that does multiple acquisitions on different bands?". Can you rephrase it for me?

Thanks,
Tom J Feliz
Sr. Software Application Engineer
tom.feliz@tektronix.com
tek.com

fff666
Posts: 6
Joined: September 30th, 2016, 4:25 pm
Country: Canada

Re: SignalVu-PC under VMWare Fusion

Post by fff666 » May 19th, 2017, 4:38 pm

My Spurious display has three separate ranges with associated green limit lines. The displayed signal level (yellow trace) has discontinuities at the boundaries between these ranges, suggesting SignalVu-PC performed three separate acquisitions from the RSA306B. I believe the lockup only manifests when there are multiple acquisitions and I'm wondering if there are any other displays (sorry, I called them apps in the previous message) that would test this theory.

Note that if my Spurious window only has one range defined or enabled it works indefinitely.
Last edited by fff666 on May 23rd, 2017, 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Thomas F
Tektronix
Tektronix
Posts: 29
Joined: January 30th, 2017, 3:56 pm
Country: United States

Re: SignalVu-PC under VMWare Fusion

Post by Thomas F » May 22nd, 2017, 9:22 am

I understand about the multiple measurement ranges. And, off the top of my head, I don't believe we have any other measurements that have multiple non-contiguous ranges.

So, did you say multiple measurement ranges in spurious work fine under Bootcamp? If so, I may be limited in how much troubleshooting I can help with. We don't have any MACs here to replicate your environment. If you send me a .tiq file of the problematic setup, I can test it on my end. But, again, I believe you already said that this is only a problem when using VMWare Fusion.

Regards,
Tom J Feliz
Sr. Software Application Engineer
tom.feliz@tektronix.com
tek.com

fff666
Posts: 6
Joined: September 30th, 2016, 4:25 pm
Country: Canada

Re: SignalVu-PC under VMWare Fusion

Post by fff666 » May 23rd, 2017, 5:59 pm

Correct, the spurious window with multiple acquisitions work fine if I boot Windows directly from Bootcamp (ie no VMWare).

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