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Terry McGee 19th May 2012 04:31 AM

Exploring Visual Analyser (VA)
I've been exploring the 2012 Beta version of Visual Analyser (VA), freely available at Visual Analyser 2011 XE. It has some extraordinary features, but also a quite unusual approach. It would certainly be helpful to have a manual, tutorial or help notes while exploring. The author, Alfredo Accattatis, invites readers to contribute what he's calling Democratic Help. I've tried to contact Alfredo twice to offer my involvement, but no response so far (maybe he's on holidays!).

It occurred to me that at least some members of this forum might be interested in working together on developing the help, for all our benefit. For example, if one of us picked a topic and put together a tutorial on it, we could all try it out, throwing up objections and queries, and thrashing them out until we lost interest and declared it good enough. Then move on to the next topic until we have the thing at our mercy.

I'd be happy to kick off the first instalment, which logically would probably be on getting it working and initial exploration, unless someone else would like to do that one. I'd probably then move on to Calibration and THD, which I've already had success with.

Any interest?


Simon B 21st May 2012 10:43 PM


I see the author of the software has three .rtf files already available, and gives an example of one that's "missing"

I see you're new to the forum, and have therefore probably not yet realised the absolute impossibility of thrashing out anything, including a dead horse, to the satisfaction of everyone here.

The range of both technical ability and mental health of members is enormous, a logarithmic scale would certainly be necessary for any quantification.

Each time a post is made on a thread, that thread jumps back to the top of the pile, and as threads get longer, the willingness of at least some members to read a thread through from the beginning drops off rapidly.

Once dispute arises, as it inevitably will, there may be a temptation for disgruntled posters to short-circuit the process, and submit their preferred version to VA's author, who may already be buried in mail - a possible explanation for his failing to have responded to your enquiry.

I hope I'm not being too negative, it certainly looks a very interesting piece of software, trying it out was already on my to-do list.

I should say that I'm fairly new myself, and not familiar with the use of either the Wiki or the Blog facilities of the site - perhaps they might be useful?

Terry McGee 23rd May 2012 12:47 AM

Wow, 118 views including one definite "maybe"! I'll regard that as an overwhelming endorsement of my fiendish plan!

Simon B, yeah, I've looked at Alfredo's .rtf help pages (they date from the 2011 version and earlier) but I didn't find them all that helpful. There is just so much detail in this program and we need to tease it all out to get the best of it.

I realised that it's hard for people to react to something unseen, and also many will not have even heard of the program, let alone tried it. Some, like me previously, will have got as far as downloading and launching it, only then to give up because it didn't seem to make sense.

So, I've taken the first step, and produced an introductory tutorial, which you can find at:
HTML Code:

Can I invite people (and especially people like you Simon, teetering on the brink anyway!) to have a look at it, and if interested, download the software (link provided) and give it a whirl. Costs nothing and could be the start of a whole new adventure.

Comments to here or directly, whichever suits you best. If I get positive comments, I'll press on and unravel the next set of mysteries!


grindstone 23rd May 2012 03:46 AM

carry on & thanks
looks like you're doing well so far and you seem to have a plan. not sure if it applies, but here's a free piece for a previous rev:

Terry McGee 23rd May 2012 04:18 AM

Thanks Grindstone, I'll check it out. If people stumble over other morsels, please alert me to them too! Of course, there's every chance someone has already done all of this, but if so I'm having trouble finding it!

I'm obviously also having trouble with putting links on this forum, as you can see above. Hopefully this will work better....

Introduction to Visual Analyser


Pano 23rd May 2012 04:29 AM

It worked better. :)

VA is cool software, I've been playing with it. Takes a little getting used to, but that's normal. A lot going on there.

Terry McGee 25th May 2012 12:21 AM

OK, second article now done and posted. This one is a more in-depth look at the Scope section. Sheesh, there's a lot in it!

A few little questions I haven't been able to find answers for, but they will probably become clear as we delve further. Feel free to let me know if you can spot the answers straight away!

Visual Analyser - Oscilloscope


Pano 25th May 2012 01:47 AM

Great Terry, thanks.

I don't know about the DC removal on the O'scope, but on the FFT it certainly helped me. It gave a better reading on the low end. Otherwise the trace seemed stuck at the highest value in the lowest frequencies. I'll check again in O'scope to see that happens.

Conrad Hoffman 25th May 2012 03:19 AM

I use VA quite often and think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. IMO, anybody who's familiar with standard hardware test equipment should have no problem figuring out 90% of it. It's set up in a very straightforward manner. The things I've wanted to know can probably only be truly and accurately described by the programmer, and he seems too busy to worry about it. He's the only one who really knows what's under the hood. Man, I wish I were 1/100 the programmer he is! FWIW, I agree somewhat with the earlier post- when a thread gets near 100 replies I almost never go back to it. Too many people, too much to remember and often OT.

Terry McGee 25th May 2012 03:38 AM

Yeah, I agree about Alfredo's programming skills, wow!

Not sure I fully agree about how straightforward it is to drive intuitively. I spent a lot of time delving into just the oscilloscope section yesterday (and I haven't touched on two-channel operation or calibration yet), and right to the end, I was still finding great stuff. I may well have missed some!

Conrad (and others), can I get you to look through my latest page and see if you can answer any of the questions I've left for later. Just search the text for "(?)" if you don't want to read the lot.

Visual Analyser - Oscilloscope



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