1.1 Where can I get the driver to connect the SiRad Easy® ?
- To install the USB driver, go to the ST Microelectronics website  and download and install ST-LINK USB driver (STSW-LINK009). Optionally, you may also install the ST-LINK Utility  to flash the microcontroller firmware in case you want to exchange the radar frontend. Please read the Installation Guide and Release Note linked on the vendor’s website, also see section 2.2.2 of the User Guide.
1.2 I installed the USB driver for the SiRad Easy® but it does not show up.
- Please open the Device Manager in Windows and unfold the ‘Ports (COM & LPT)’ section. You should see a couple of ports there. Now unplug and plug your SiRad Easy®. The SiRad Easy® is installed properly if you can see another port show up, usually named ‘USB Serial Port (COMx)’ or similar. If this is not the case, please check your connection and if the device has power. Remove the USB driver and start over with the USB driver installation (also see section 2.2.2 of the User Guide).
1.3 The USB driver for the SiRad Easy® does not work properly.
- We recommend using another USB cable since some cables may operate unstable. If that does not help, please update the USB controller firmware of the Nucleo64 board as described in section 5 of the User Guide.
2.1 I cannot store presets in the Preset tab.
- Please make sure you are not working in the private mode of your browser and you have enabled cookies, since the presets are stored as cookies, also see section 3.2.2 of the User Guide.
2.2. I cannot see any output in the WebGUI window.
- Please first set the SiRad Easy® up for the USB connection. For that, check if the jumper J5 on the microcontroller board is set to the U5V setting, if all jumpers are removed from the external header of the baseband board, and if the dip switch SW1 on the SiRad Easy® baseband board is set to the OFF position according to section 2.1 of the User Guide. If not, please unplug the SiRad Easy®, adjust the settings, and plug it in again.
- Also check the USB cable connection and if your device is powered properly. Then go to the ‘System Configuration’ tab and chose SER2 for the USB connection. You can also toggle the ‘Close’ and ‘Open’ button of the Com2WebSocket tool without closing the WebGUI and see if that helps.
- Lastly, you can start over, close all WebGUI / Webbrowser and Com2WebSocket windows, disconnect the SiRad Easy® and start over with connecting the SiRad Easy®, connecting the Com2WebSocket tool and connecting the WebGUI.
2.3 The spectrum output jumps (partly).
- First, if you are not using the WiFi connection, disable the WiFi module by switching the dip switch SW1 to the OFF position. Sometimes it is necessary to turn the AGC-Mode off in the ‘System Configuration’ tab and manually choose one of the 4 gains using the gain slider. Further, you can try to manually set and increase the base-frequency in 100 MHz steps to see if that stabilizes the output.
2.4 How does the Auto Gain Control (AGC)-Mode work?
- The AGC algorithm uses the first two ramps of each measurement to elaborate the highest gain setting without saturating the ADC or the baseband amplifier. In each of the two ramps the controller samples two gain stages while switching on an attenuation network during the first ramp. After that, the controller has 4 gain settings to choose from for the subsequent measurement.
2.5 Can I trigger the SiRad Easy® manually?
- Yes. Please read section 188.8.131.52 of the User Guide about the triggering options.
2.6 Can I use multiple SiRad Easy® Evaluation Kits in parallel?
- Yes. You can synchronize the Evaluation Kits using the pre-trigger feature. We suggest either driving them in different frequency ranges so they do not interfere, or you trigger them manually to measure alternately. Please read section 184.108.40.206 of the User Guide about the triggering options.
2.7 The LED goes off when I connect to the WebGUI.
- This is because the WebGUI sends a different configuration to the SiRad Easy® when it is connected. The LED will light again when the proper serial port (SER1 for WiFi connection, SER2 for USB connection) is set in the ‘System Configuration’ tab and the LED mode is changed from off to 1st target rainbow.
2.8 The RF Parameters tab does not show the min / max frequencies properly.
- You can try a manual min / max frequency scan by clicking the ‘fscan’ button three times.
2.9 How do I choose a base-frequency?
- The base frequency should be at least 100 MHz above the minimum frequency and far away from the maximum frequency. For small bandwidths, you may choose the base frequency 500 MHz or more above the minimum frequency for an improved signal quality. Please be aware, that in most countries the base frequency has to bet set between 24 GHz and 24.25 GHz or 122 GHz and 123 GHz for production purposes by law. Please check your local regulations.
2.10 How do I set the maximum bandwidth in the RF Parameters tab?
- Click the ‘max BW’ button three times to set the maximum possible bandwidth for the frontend.
2.11 How do I choose a bandwidth?
- The smaller the bandwidth, the greater will the range of the SiRad Easy® become. However, with larger bandwidths the accuracy will decrease. Please be aware, that in most countries the bandwidth is limited to 250 MHz between 24 GHz and 24.25 GHz and 1 GHz between 122 GHz and 123 GHz for production purposes by law. Please check your local regulations.
2.12 How can I choose the ramp time?
- The ramp time can only be set indirectly by adjusting the ADC clock divider and the number of samples, please read section 3.2.5 of the User Guide.
2.13 What is the MTI-Mode?
- The Moving Target Indicator mode. When activated, the SiRad Easy® displays the difference between the current measurement and the average of the previous measurements (set by ‘Average n’ slider).
2.14 There are too many targets. The CFAR operator does not work.
- You may experience that there are no targets detected by the CFAR operator although there are plenty of targets visible in the FFT output. If there are too many targets adjacent to each other in the field of view, the CFAR operator may treat those targets like noise floor and calculates an envelope around those targets. Increasing the number of guard cells may help in such a scenario.
2.15 How is the distance information calculated?
- All calculations are done on the microcontroller on the SiRad Easy®, so that the reported target distance is already in millimeters. The distance formula used is d = nBin * acc, where d is the distance to the target, nBin is the FFT bin of the target, and acc is the accuracy.
2.16 The update rate of the SiRad Easy® is very low. How can I improve it?
- The update rate is dependent on the chosen parameters in the ‘BB Processing’ tab, in particular, on the ramp time, number of samples, number of ramps, and FFT size. Further, the amount of data that has to be transferred is important. You can select the transmitted frames in the ‘System Configuration’ tab. Using only the target list output, the SiRad Easy® can reach about 50 Hz update rate.
3 Sensor Behavior & Range
3.1 How is the resolution defined?
- We define the resolution as the ability to separate two targets in range. The resolution is only dependent on the selected bandwidth. With 1 GHz bandwidth the resolution is 15 cm, 6 GHz bandwidth equals 2.5 cm resolution. In practice, target recognition works from twice the resolution.
3.2 How is the accuracy defined?
- We define accuracy as the maximum error of the measured distance to a single target. It is dependent on the number of samples, the bandwidth, the downsampling and the FFT size. If the FFT size is twice the number of samples, the accuracy is two times less than the resolution. We can reach about 1 mm accuracy, also see section 3.3.2 of the User Guide for the formula.
3.3 Is there a minimum range / blind spot when using the SiRad Easy®?
- The minimum range depends on the selected bandwidth. 1 GHz bandwidth works from about 30cm, 6 GHz bandwidth works from about 7cm. The blind spot is approximately as wide as once or twice the resolution.
3.4 Can something be detected within the minimum range / blind spot?
- Going below the bandwidth-dictated minimum range leads to an increased DC-offset in the FFT output. It could be used to detect ‘something is nearby’ but this is very application-specific.
3.5 What is the maximum range of the SiRad Easy®?
- The maximum range is dependent on the target. The 24 GHz frontend reaches about 200 m and the 122 GHz frontend reaches about 40 m with strong targets like buildings.
3.6 Can the range of the SiRad Easy® be increased?
- You can increase the range of the 122 GHz frontend by assembling the lens delivered with the SiRad Easy® Evaluation Kit, however, the opening angle will decrease. Larger detection distances are possible using bigger lenses or well-designed patch array antennas.
3.7 How is the field of view of the SiRad Easy®?
- The area covered by the radar over distance is dependent on the field of view of the SiRad Easy®. Without a lens, the SiRad Easy® has an opening angle of +/- 30 degrees (-6dB). With the lens delivered with the SiRad Easy®, this can be narrowed to about +/- 4 degrees.
3.8 How can I get directional information from the SiRad Easy®?
- SiRad Easy® has a single radar transceiver chip, which is not capable of giving directional information directly. It is possible, however, to use more than one SiRad Easy® to get rudimentary directional information.
4 Protocol & RAW data
4.1 Can I use the the SiRad Easy® with own or third-party software?
- Yes. Please read the Protocol Description to get an idea how to control the SiRad Easy® with your own software or third-party software. Due to popular demand we have written some scripts for Octave/Matlab.
4.2 Can I activate raw data only or FFT data only output?
- Yes. Please read the Protocol Description about how to set up the SiRad Easy® for raw data only or FFT data only output. You may choose between unwindowed raw data and windowed raw data as well as complex FFT data and magnitude / phase data output.
4.3 Can I use the sensor protocol with <any> device?
- Yes. The protocol can be used to talk to the SiRad Easy® from any device, it does not need to be a PC.
5 Schematics & Firmware
5.1 Where can I find the schematics for the SiRad Easy®?
- You may apply for a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Silicon Radar to get the schematics. Please write an eMail to email@example.com .
5.2 Where can I get the source code for the SiRad Easy®?
- The firmware on the SiRad Easy® is not freely available but we provide the SiRad library with a user friendly C programming API. We do, however, provide the source code for the WebGUI and the Com2WebSocket tool.
6.1 What happens, if you decrease or increase the distance between the board and the lens?
- You can manipulate the beam angle by this method - the closer you are mounting the lens the wider the angle.
6.2 What is the lens made out of?
- The material is HDPE (high density poly ethylene).
6.3 Where can I get your lens design?
- We can send you 3D data of the lens - a NDA has to be signed. Please write an eMail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
7 Application notes
7.1 SiRad Easy 120 GHz Wideband Front End Board Guide
- Read how to power and set up the SiRad Easy 120 GHz Wideband Front End Board. The wideband front end supports extended bandwidth (depending on the chip version).
7.2 SiRad Easy 300 GHz Front End Board Guide
- Read how to power and set up the SiRad Easy 300 GHz Front End Board. The wideband front end supports extended bandwidth (depending on the chip version).
7.x Can you provide us with more application notes?
- We will expand this section in future with advice on specific applications.
8 MATLAB / Octave
Can you help me to set up the device for the use with MATLAB / Octave?
- A description how you can set up and import raw ADC data into MATLAB / Octave can be found here: Octave/Matlab
9 Output mode configuration
How can I configure the RAW data output mode?
- Please see this site: Output Modes