Author Topic: best current USB logic analyser option & alternatives?  (Read 705 times)

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Offline julianhigginson

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best current USB logic analyser option & alternatives?
« on: November 23, 2019, 01:45:47 am »
so.. I have an intronix logicport, which I use a bit, and it's pretty OK... always captures signals fast enough for me, but the buffer is a big weakness.. getting into the triggering options can help, but really I'd prefer something like this with at least 10x the memory. Or with that little memory, at least the ability to trigger on over the wire data (not likely to happen with the logicport, I know.. )

I have used saleae logic (not pro) before, and while I think that the logic pro could work for pretty much all I look at in terms of raw sampling rate, I found the decoded data search & display pretty lacking. I happened to have an SPI port using 24 bit transfers that I needed to trace out, and look for specific responses in a long back and forth... but using the SPI decoder couldn't seem to let me find anything outside single byte searches, which made wading through the large amount of data super painful. From memory I'm not sure that it could export either? could be wrong about that.

So anyway - wondering if anyone knows of a USB logic analyser solution that deals with the shortcomings mentioned? (Or if there is some way around my issues I had with logicport for the admittedly short time I was using it?)

I'm also wondering if a protocol sniffer might be more useful here as when I'm looking for issues in these kinds of things, it's rarely the actual waveforms that are the issue when I get right into looking at SPI and I2C, more about wanting a good view of the actual data going back and forth over the wire.

thanks!
 

Offline Chad.Wagner

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Re: best current USB logic analyser option & alternatives?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2019, 04:23:53 am »
 

Offline julianhigginson

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Re: best current USB logic analyser option & alternatives?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2019, 07:37:10 am »
so...  saleae logic pro isn't out of the question.. my issue with them when i tried using a logic 8 last year is I found it limiting... I had trouble using the SPI decoder for anything other than the most basic SPI viewing, and then had problems searching decoder output, and generally felt a bit underwhelmed with what it actually offered, even though it looked slick and every feature i saw behaved nicely and looked professional..... though I admit what i was trying to do was advanced, it's got a price tag (at least the pro does) of an advanced tool..

if I was to go with saleae, I'd want to hear more about if my initial impression was wrong, and if there was some way to do things like decode SPI in arbitrary word lengths (24, being the one i stumbled with that time I tried to use it)

or if it was simple to create a driver of my own, I'd be happy to do that kind of thing too..

Also if there's any tricks around decoded data searching and exporting that makes it really good? I saw very little around there when i was using it
« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 04:55:11 am by julianhigginson »
 

Offline _Wim_

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Re: best current USB logic analyser option & alternatives?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2019, 12:38:10 pm »
I wonder if the open source Pulseview might be an option for you? I use Pulseview with a cheap Chinese Saleae clone (only 8€), but you can also buy Chinese logic analysers with 2 GB of memory (64mB/channel) that are supported by Pulseview (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000248757052.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.7b9677dam8nAp7&algo_pvid=68e2d565-03cb-4c65-aa11-39a952e98d78&algo_expid=68e2d565-03cb-4c65-aa11-39a952e98d78-0&btsid=68b077bd-a075-4902-84aa-3666a1df200d&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_10,searchweb201603_55). Maybe somebody around here has one of these and can comment.

What I really like about Pulseview is you can stack decoders. For example when debugging I2C communication to an Eeprom chip, you can stack a 24xx Eeprom decoder on top of your I2C decoder, making is much easier to read (see example attached).

You could try with a cheap Chinese saleae clone to see if you like PulseView (for example like this one: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33062091072.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.f42617d43sx4iL&algo_pvid=aac3c907-7b97-4b8c-b7b6-0ed18af21b82&algo_expid=aac3c907-7b97-4b8c-b7b6-0ed18af21b82-6&btsid=2947c026-f980-465c-a94f-7ba7b711ed7d&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_10,searchweb201603_55) and maybe upgrade to an expensive one later. The cheap ones can steam 24M continuously to you HD, so if that bandwidth is sufficient, no limits to memory.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 12:40:52 pm by _Wim_ »
 
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Offline _Wim_

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Re: best current USB logic analyser option & alternatives?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2019, 01:17:08 pm »
The Hantek 4032L seems like a better option instead of the Chinese one with identical memory and probably better support + cheaper:

https://sigrok.org/wiki/Hantek_4032L
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HANTEK-4032L-32-CH-200K-400MSa-s-USB-PC-Digital-Logic-Analyzer-TTL-LVTTL-CMOS/123517939310?hash=item1cc23e2e6e:g:TCkAAOSwRpxazaSh


 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: best current USB logic analyser option & alternatives?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2019, 01:24:36 pm »
ZeroPlus have several models:
Don't recall the decoding and search ability of them though

 
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Offline julianhigginson

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Re: best current USB logic analyser option & alternatives?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2019, 05:34:10 am »
I had a look at pulseview on my lunch break... it looks really nice..
At least for pulling up and analysing pre-captured example projects.
pulled up the atmega88 erase chip recording, applied an SPI decoder, and it just worked.
then I saw there was ab AVR-ISP decoder i could stack on there so i did that, and it just worked too!
the idea of being able to stack decoders seems really useful.

if that would setup and capture seamlessly with one of the fast deep capture USB units (or a decent speed disk streaming unit) it'd be very usable for me.

Interestingly enough, alongside the hantek unit and the chinese units it also claims to work with some of the ZeroPlus units... and saleae logic pro 16!

Apparently it can also import capture files from my Intronix Logicport for analysis with its protocol decoder stuff. A shame it doesn't just run with it because then i could try it out properly.


That video didn't give me a lot of faith in the zeroplus software, though their website is showing screenshots from what looks like different software to what was reviewed... maybe it's improved?  Also buying zeroplus could be interesting.. the local (well, New Zealand) distributor linked from their website doesn't have any mention of them on their site. the huge list of protocol analysis their software does looks really interesting.
 


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