RF Explorer Virtual Machine

Virtual Machine

You can now run all RF Explorer software in any computer system or operating system version using the freely available Virtual Machine for VirtualBox.

As VirtualBox software is also a free download, this comes very handy to just download the VM image and connect your RF Explorer spectrum analyzer and/or signal generator in a few minutes. This is also a good workaround if you want to run RF Explorer software in macOS Catalina which is not directly compatible as of yet.

The internal VM guest OS is based on free and compact low weight LUBUNTU OS requiring only 768MB of RAM and 5GB HD space.

Installing the Virtual Machine in Mac

  1. Download and install latest version of Oracle VirtualBox software from official website. Note it is convenient to install VirtualBox Extension Pack (same version as VirtualBox): www.virtualbox.org
  2. Download and install latest SiLabs Driver from: Silabs link
  3. Download the virtual machine from www.rf-explorer.com/vmfile
  4. Decompress all files from the RFETouch_VM.zip and move it to /Users/~USER~/VirtualBox VM folder or other of your choice (where ~USER~ is your specific user name)
  5. Launch VirtualBox software
  6. Go to section “Tools” and click on “Add” icon.

    VM Tools
  7. Select RFETouchVM.vbox stored in /Users/~USER~/VirtualBox VMs/RFETouchVM
    RFETouch virtual machine is now available and ready to start.
  8. Start RFETouch VM clicking on “Start” icon.
  9. The VM will automatically start the OS session and launch RFETouch application.
  10. For the RF Explorer device to connect to the VM please read section USB Controller connection

Installing the Virtual Machine in Windows

  1. Download and install latest version of Oracle VirtualBox software from official website. Note it is convenient to install VirtualBox Extension Pack (same version as VirtualBox): www.virtualbox.org
  2. Download and install latest SiLabs Driver from: Silabs link
  3. Download the virtual machine from www.rf-explorer.com/vmfile
  4. Decompress all files from the RFETouch_VM.zip and move it to c:\users\~USER~\VirtualBox folder or other of your choice (where ~USER~ is your specific user name)
  5. Launch VirtualBox software
  6. Go to section “Tools” and click on “Add” icon.
  7. Select RFETouchVM.vbox stored in c:\users\~USER~\VirtualBox\RFETouchVM
    RFETouch virtual machine is now available and ready to start.
  8. Start RFETouch VM clicking on “Start” icon.
  9. The VM will automatically start the OS session and launch RFETouch application.
  10. For the RF Explorer device to connect to the VM please read section USB Controller connection

USB Controller connection

In order for the physical RF Explorer device connected to the computer USB port to be visible to the internal VM session, you need to enable the driver in the VirtualBox USB controller window.

Requirements: Virtual Box Extended Pack installed.

  1. Open Virtual Box software
  2. Select RFETouchVM and click on “Properties” icon.
  3. Click on “Ports” icon and select “USB”
    USB Device Filters should contain stored drivers
  4. While RFExplorer device is connected to machine, click on “Add new USB filter”
    Silicon Labs CP2102(N) USB to UART Bridge Controller should appear
  5. Select this filter and it should add to USB Device Filters
  6. Check filter inside list, configuration should be as depicted below:

    VM USBPorts
  7. Click on [OK] button to apply changes.

Troubleshooting USB connection

The RF Explorer device should be connected automatically to the software following steps described above.

Otherwise, follow steps below to enable RF Explorer USB device:

  1. Open Virtual Box software and start RFETouchVM.
  2. In VirtualBox VM toolbar, go to Devices -> USB
    A list of USB drivers detected and connected should be displayed
  3. Select Silicon Labs CP2102(N) USB to UART Bridge Controller and that should enable the device to the VM

VM USBDrivers

How to share files by Drag and Drop

Requirements: Virtual Box Extended Pack installed.

In order to transfer files between host machine and virtual machine, you can enable this feature for the VM and the host OS to accept file drag and drop

  • Launch RFETouchVM
  • In Virtual Box VM toolbar, go to Devices -> Drag and Drop and enable “Bidirectional” option

VM DragAndDrop

Alternatively you can also enable shared folders in VirtualBox.

Login details

Under normal configuration the VM will automatically login. If this fails or you need to manually login for any reason, please use the following credentials:

  • User: RF Explorer System
  • Password: rfe123

VM RFELogin

Technical details

The RF Explorer virtual machine is implemented over a free and open source LUBUNTU base.

This LUBUNTU configuration is optimized for low requirements and low hard disk space, using only 5GB. It can be installed on any computer where VirtualBox can be installed.

The VM file can be deployed to a fast USB key as well, and not impact the computer HD space.

The internal organization of the VM includes:

  • RFETouch app: Manage RFExplorer Spectrum Analyzer.
  • RFEGenerator app: Manage RFExplorer Signal Generator.
  • RFEPresetManager: Manage device presets.
  • Firmware Upgrade: Contains tools to upgrade RFExplorer devices firmware
    • Signal Generator
    • Spectrum Analyzer PLUS
    • Spectrum Analyzer STANDARD