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'[EE] Logic Analyzer that knows protocols?'
2005\08\22@165929 by Harold Hallikainen

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It SEEMS like logic analyzers ought to be able to decode various protocols
on their raw data. For example, show the I2C or SPI in hex. Of give it
async parameters (bits, parity, stop bits, bit rate, polarity) and it
should be able to show you the data in hex or ascii. Anything like this
out there?

Harold



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2005\08\22@171050 by marcel

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You could probably do it with, say, a bitscope or something like that.
Anything that goes through a computer should be flexible enough.
- Marcel


"Harold Hallikainen" <spam_OUTharoldTakeThisOuTspamhallikainen.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2005\08\22@210629 by Herbert Graf

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On Mon, 2005-08-22 at 13:59 -0700, Harold Hallikainen wrote:
> It SEEMS like logic analyzers ought to be able to decode various protocols
> on their raw data. For example, show the I2C or SPI in hex. Of give it
> async parameters (bits, parity, stop bits, bit rate, polarity) and it
> should be able to show you the data in hex or ascii. Anything like this
> out there?

They certainly are out there. Often they are called "protocol
analyzers".

Note though that they are usually quite pricey.

Many "bigger" computer based logic analyzers can be extended to do this
sort of thing.

For example where I work they have one that does PCI Express, VERY cool
to see the packets decoded and captured in real time. You can find one
for pretty much any mainstream protocol out there.

Haven't seen anything for a hobbyist type budget though. TTYL

-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2005\08\22@233123 by Harold Hallikainen

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>
> They certainly are out there. Often they are called "protocol
> analyzers".
>
> Note though that they are usually quite pricey.
>
> Many "bigger" computer based logic analyzers can be extended to do this
> sort of thing.
>
> For example where I work they have one that does PCI Express, VERY cool
> to see the packets decoded and captured in real time. You can find one
> for pretty much any mainstream protocol out there.
>
> Haven't seen anything for a hobbyist type budget though. TTYL
>

This seems like something that could be added as a software back end on
these little USB based logic analyzers. Just interpret the waveforms (like
I do by hand!). Maybe some day...

Thanks!

Harold

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2005\08\23@000326 by D. Daniel McGlothin

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> Haven't seen anything for a hobbyist type budget though. TTYL

You might consider the US$100 Parallax logic analyzer,
http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=30010, see the second set of
bullet points.  I believe that this LA's OEM has bigger devices, with
similar capability.



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2005\08\23@042916 by Alan B. Pearce

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>It SEEMS like logic analyzers ought to be able to decode various
>protocols on their raw data. For example, show the I2C or SPI in
>hex. Of give it async parameters (bits, parity, stop bits, bit rate,
>polarity) and it should be able to show you the data in hex or
>ascii. Anything like this out there?

Well, HP used to make serial line analysers for RS232, RS442 etc. IIRC some
of their logic scopes can deal with I2C and the like. Sorry don't have model
numbers to hand.

2005\08\23@052432 by Chen Xiao Fan

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Sorry I do not any clue how to use a logic analyzer.
What do they normally do? Can an old HP1663C logic analyzer
help us debugging PIC16/PIC18 or C8051F3xx firmware?

I know what a protocol analyzer is (USB, RS232, CAN etc)
though. There are software USB protocol analyser as well
(Source USB, Snoopy Pro, etc).

Regards,
Xiaofan

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan B. Pearce
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 4:29 PM

Well, HP used to make serial line analysers for RS232, RS442 etc. IIRC some
of their logic scopes can deal with I2C and the like. Sorry don't have model
numbers to hand.

2005\08\23@071621 by Philip Pemberton

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In message <3B8AEFFADD3DD4118F8100508BACEC2C0A2890A5@spex>
         Chen Xiao Fan <.....xiaofanKILLspamspam@spam@sg.pepperl-fuchs.com> wrote:

> Sorry I do not any clue how to use a logic analyzer.
> What do they normally do? Can an old HP1663C logic analyzer
> help us debugging PIC16/PIC18 or C8051F3xx firmware?

In a word, yes. Logic analysers are great tools for debugging MCU firmware.
They do have their limitations, though. Bear in mind that you won't be able
to pick up stuff like overshoot and ringing on clock lines - you will need an
oscilloscope for that.

They are very useful for finding timing-related (and stupid-engineer) bugs in
CPLDs and FPGAs - I've just had to debug a CPLD-based LCD controller. Seeing
the timing represented on the LA's display made it easy to tweak the Verilog
code to get the timing diagrams to match the datasheet.

> I know what a protocol analyzer is (USB, RS232, CAN etc)
> though. There are software USB protocol analyser as well
> (Source USB, Snoopy Pro, etc).

I can't really comment - I've never used one, or needed one for that matter.

Later.
--
Phil.                              | Acorn RiscPC600 SA220 64MB+6GB 100baseT
philpemspamKILLspamphilpem.me.uk              | Athlon64 3200+ A8VDeluxe R2 512MB+100GB
http://www.philpem.me.uk/          | Panasonic CF-25 Mk.2 Toughbook
... Last yur I kudnt spel modjerater now I are won.

2005\08\23@180503 by David P Harris

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D. Daniel McGlothin wrote:

>>Haven't seen anything for a hobbyist type budget though. TTYL
>>    
>>
>
>You might consider the US$100 Parallax logic analyzer,
>http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=30010, see the second set of
>bullet points.  I believe that this LA's OEM has bigger devices, with
>similar capability.
>  
>
Did I miss something?  Looks like it can work independently of the Basic
Stamp, and certainly is quite capable for the price.

David


2005\08\23@185840 by Harold Hallikainen

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> D. Daniel McGlothin wrote:
>
>>>Haven't seen anything for a hobbyist type budget though. TTYL
>>>
>>>
>>
>>You might consider the US$100 Parallax logic analyzer,
>>http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=30010, see the second set
>> of
>>bullet points.  I believe that this LA's OEM has bigger devices, with
>>similar capability.
>>
>>
> Did I miss something?  Looks like it can work independently of the Basic
> Stamp, and certainly is quite capable for the price.
>


Actually, looking to the source of the Parallax device, we find
http://www.usbee.com/comp.html , which has a simple logic analyzer that
will decode SPI, I2C, and asynch for $295. Pretty good!

Harold


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2005\08\23@195738 by D. Daniel McGlothin

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> >You might consider the US$100 Parallax logic analyzer,
> >http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=30010, see the second set
of
> >bullet points.  I believe that this LA's OEM has bigger devices, with
> >similar capability.
> >
> >
> Did I miss something?  Looks like it can work independently of the Basic
> Stamp, and certainly is quite capable for the price.


Your understanding is not flawed.  All the LS is "missing" is conventional
probes.

Daniel



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2005\08\23@232509 by David P Harris

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D. Daniel McGlothin wrote:

{Quote hidden}

So its seems to be an excellent price, then!

David


2005\08\24@001504 by Marcel Duchamp

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Chen Xiao Fan wrote:
> Sorry I do not any clue how to use a logic analyzer.
> What do they normally do?

"Old" style logic analyzers often had a set up like the following:

-16 clip leads for address bus
-8 clip leads for the data bus
-control leads for clk, rd, wr

Connecting them to a microprocessor system enabled you to see what the
uP saw: addresses, instructions, data.

System doesn't do what you expected?  Use the LA to see what it sees.
With a little extra effort, some versions would show you mnemonics for
your micro along with addresses.

The last time I used one was nearly 20 years ago on an 8051 system.  The
problem it identified was due to a strange bug in National Semiconductor
eproms that made them ignore the first instruction cycle after a reset.
 It took a month of investigations and calling around to get through to
a consultant who worked for Nat-Semi and admitted the problem. NS
stonewalled the whole thing.

Pics seldom are setup in microprocessor mode and usually have better
ways of debugging.

Protocol debuggers are still very useful today to show you whats going
on with your CAN bus or SPI or IIC, etc.


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