Author Topic: Warning about USBee  (Read 968 times)

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Offline andrewg_oz

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Warning about USBee
« on: August 16, 2019, 02:02:57 pm »
Long time lurker here, registered just now to post this...

tldr: USBee makes (made?) logic analysers. They also produce their own Windows support software, the USBee Suite. That software appears to contain 'kill code' intended to disable knock-off clone hardware, but will also kill legitimately purchased USBee hardware.

In 2009 I was in the market for a logic analyser and decided on the USBee DX. At the time it was the top-of-the-line logic analyser from USBee. I purchased it primarily because their software supported user-developed protocol decoders, which I ended up making limited use of. I paid about $1600 at the time, which was a lot, but worthwhile for what I was doing with it.

A couple of years ago I stopped working for myself, and started working for "the man". I stopped using my own logic analyser. Until, that is, a few weeks ago when an old project turned up that needed troubleshooting. I downloaded the USBee Suite from the website re-installed it, and .... nothing. The logic analyser wasn't recognised.

Instead, an unknown device with VID 69C0 and PID 6909 showed up. The USBee DX should have been VID 08A9 and PID 0015.

Two weeks ago I emailed USBee and was advised to return it to fix an eeprom corruption, which I did. It was only after sending it that I thought to do some Googling. It turns out that USBee clone developers had reported the VID and PID of their hardware being changed to 69C0 and 6909 after running the USBee Suite software. Clearly, the anti-clone measures were too broad and had disabled my very expensive and legitimately purchased USBee DX, right when I needed to use it!

Two weeks later, and FedEx have been unable to deliver my logic analyser, so it is heading back. Unfixed. Apparently, the USBee guy I contacted gave me his *home* address, and he was "moving", so nobody was there to receive it.

So, let this be a warning. If you're currently using a USBee and their Suite - be very careful. Don't download any updates, and keep a copy of whatever installer you currently have. Use something like sigrok/pulseview instead. If you're looking at getting a USBee - don't. Any business that kills their own customer's hardware should be avoided. Well, I think something else should be done to them, but I'll refrain from describing *that*.

I'm currently planning to follow some instructions involving some Cypress utility software to edit the VID and PIDs myself. Maybe I can get it working.
 
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Offline bson

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Re: Warning about USBee
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2019, 01:53:53 am »
Thanks for the heads up.  Sounds like the morons at FTDI.
 

Online coromonadalix

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Re: Warning about USBee
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2019, 02:13:35 am »
Cloned ftdi chip has its vid pid changed by the drivers .. windows cant see it properly identified afterwards      cant recall witch version

You have to use the ftdi prog  to reset/ re-write  the vid and pid to their proper versions, and use an x vesrion of the drivers to work .....

That was the famous FTDI gate ...
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Warning about USBee
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2019, 10:31:04 am »
Chris

"Victor Meldrew, the Crimson Avenger!"
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Warning about USBee
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2019, 01:00:26 pm »
Thanks for the heads up.  Sounds like the morons at FTDI.

Yup. If it has FTDI Inside then it might be nothing to do with USBee.

(apart from them using cloned chips to build the thing in the first place, but maybe they thought they were real chips...)
« Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 01:05:15 pm by Fungus »
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Warning about USBee
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2019, 01:30:54 pm »
so the $1600 USBee is using cloned FTDI?
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Warning about USBee
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2019, 05:18:10 pm »
so the $1600 USBee is using cloned FTDI?

If they are, it's maybe not their fault.

FTDI are notoriously hard to buy from directly in "small" quantities (ie. less than millions) and the chip fakers are quite resourceful in getting their products into the supply chains used by anybody who wants less than that.

and (b) That still doesn't give FTDI the right to brick people's devices.

This has been gone over a zillion times already. No need to start another thread, the old ones still apply.

Start here:


« Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 06:00:17 pm by Fungus »
 

Offline Kean

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Re: Warning about USBee
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2019, 05:57:28 pm »
There is no FTDI chip in the USBee DX.  This isn't related to FTDIgate.
The OP's problem may or may not be intentional on the part of the software developers.

The USBee DX apparently uses a pair of Cypress FX2LP chips (CY7C68013A) - one for digital I/O, and the other for analog inputs via some ADCs.  They "share" the USB via a USB hub chip.
More info (based on a clone) is at the Sigrok site https://sigrok.org/wiki/XZL_Studio_DX
 
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Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Warning about USBee
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2019, 06:18:57 am »
ditto, in fact i have the cloned hardware that can be switched between usbee, salaeae and altera blaster using cypress chip. it doesnt have FTDI. a $5 HW with $1595 SW. last night i checked they now have $20 version SW for the cloned HW. its the $1595 pro version that imo condemned the cloned chip.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline andrewg_oz

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Re: Warning about USBee
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2019, 09:59:28 am »
Just a follow-up, the USBee guy has been back in touch with a link to that cheap SW for cloned hardware, "You will want to use the following software so that doesn’t happen again".

That's pretty much admitting it was their software and it was deliberate...

I'll be really annoyed if this fixes it without faffing about with the Cypress software.
 


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