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  • EEVblog #436 – Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown

    Posted on March 9th, 2013 EEVblog 18 comments


    Review and teardown of the 8 channel Saleae USB Logic Analyser.

    Forum Topic HERE

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    18 responses to “EEVblog #436 – Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown” RSS icon

    • When you set the baud rate manually, you didn’t unselect auto baud rate. I bet it just reverted as soon as you hit OK.

      There are a lot of clones of this hardware available, I wonder if anyone’s written any better software.

    • How about 16-channel version?

    • Just as a FYI, I got “Error establishing a database connection” when I initially tried loading this post. Refreshing worked.

    • Hey Dave,

      Not sure if you have heard about or seen this $50USD open source FPGA based logic analyzer from Gadget Factory and Dangerous Prototypes:

      http://dangerousprototypes.com/2010/02/25/prototype-open-logic-sniffer-logic-analyzer-2/

      Features

      Capture 50MHz+ waveforms on 32 channels
      200Msps captures up to 100MHz waveforms on 16 channels
      100Msps captures up to 50MHz waveforms on 32 channels
      16 buffered channels, 5volt tolerant
      M74LCX16245DTR2G transceiver tolerates voltages from -0.5V to +7V.
      216K Block RAM supports following memory configurations*
      8 channels with 24K sample depth
      16 channels with 12K sample depth
      32 channels with 6K sample depth
      External clock and trigger input
      Allows interfacing with external test equipment and daisy chaining OLS’s for additional channels.
      Internal clock and trigger output
      16bit wing expansion header
      USB interface, USB powered
      USB upgradable everything
      Designed for the SUMP logic analyzer client
      Open source
      Low price

      Memory depth is the maximum supported by the hardware, the current firmware implements the following memory depths:

      8 channels with 16K sample depth
      16 channels with 8K sample depth
      32 channels with 4K sample depth

      http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/preorder-open-workbench-logic-sniffer-p-612.html?cPath=75

      It’s an interesting little guys, software is a bit cryptic but the triggering options are (I find anyway) quite flexible.

      It would be interesting to see a shootout on usb anazlyers sometime.

      Love the blog btw :)

      • If you do pick up an OLS (and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a small logic analyzer) be sure to get the Demon core and jawi’s newest client on the forums.

      • Ditto, the Open-Bench Logic Sniffer (OLS) is far and away a superior product at one-third the price. I use Jawi’s OLS client (based on SUMP); and all is right with the world. There are some low-cost EZ-hook octopus cables available for the OLS too. The only things I can moan about with the OLS are (1) I’d like a bit more memory, (2) no mounting holes or inexpensive readily available case options, (3) it is theoretically capable of generating signals, but doesn’t (yet). In-fact slapping an cheap R2R DAC on the OLS would allow it to operate as a DDS function generator ;-)

        This tear down confirms exactly what I suspected – thanks Dave. IMO, at $150 bucks – this Saleae POS is a major rip-off.

    • I got one of these logic analyzers and its great for quick pokes around. I have a Agilent MSO6034 with serial decode and all on the same table but i usualy rather use the Saleae logic because its quicker to set up and you can get a good idea of whats going overall using the huge sample memory.

      Its main issue is the poor 24MHz sample rate but as long as the system is slow or you can slow it down your self because you are developing it its awsome.

    • Aren’t the other leads “marked” by using standard resistor color code?

    • Tried to use one of these, based on the exact same chip. The major problem I’ve had was a huge crosstalk between channels because the probe wires were not coaxial. So this was pretty much unusable for my purposes due to lots of false transitions. I’m curious how this one deals with it. Those wires look thick, are they coaxial by chance?

      • No, just normal wires. This is very common with most low to mid range scopes. A low impedance digital drive source should not produce any problematic crosstalk with short lose wires at these rates.

    • I’d like to see a review/teardown of the similarly-priced Zeroplus LAP-C 16032.

      http://www.zeroplus.com.tw/logic-analyzer_en/products.php?pdn=1&product_id=253

    • > “at $150 bucks – this Saleae POS is a major rip-off.”

      I use a Saleae (the original 8 input) and I disagree. It is not the cheapest thing around, but I believe good tools are worth the price, and this is a good tool. I have used it for many different jobs, and it has been convenient and effective. The rigid nylon (?) carry case it comes in always stays in my briefcase, with room for other useful tools (including USB adaptors, and Teensy 2 and Teensy 3). The hookup wires and clips are much better than the cheap junk that came with a knockoff Bus Pirate. I like having a good solid housing and the Saleae’s milled-aluminum case is all of that. Saleae put a lot of design effort into the software and UI, and it shows.

      • By the way, I agree that triggering on packet data and seeing packets change live in realtime, as Dave shows with the traditional, larger analyzer is a useful feature. I just didn’t miss it since I don’t have a LA that does that. Does the OLS offer that functionality?

    • The serial data was mis-decoding because it was expecting TTL-level serial, while you were feeding it RS232-level serial. RS232-level serial is inverted compared to TTL-level serial – i.e. TTL-level serial uses GND and VCC as 0 and 1 respectively, while RS232-level serial uses +VE and -VE as 0 and 1 respectively. The Async Serial analyzer does have a Non-inverted/Inverted option, for exactly this kind of situation.

    • Hi,
      Thanks for your time and review ! Very interesting.
      Actually I’m looking for one to buy (maybe not this one, but I don’t know which one I have to choose for around 200$

      Do you have any suggestion ?

      Thanks

    • We stumbled over here coming from a different page and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to going over your web page again.|

    • Perhaps you could search data indirectly by exporting csv or txt files and then search using text processors. And you could program your own software for decoding other protocols by the simple fact of exporting data files. That’s powerful indeed. Thumbs up for Saleae.

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