Logic Analyzer Fun

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1680 Series Logic Analyzer

When I'm building and testing additions to the firmware I build a special instrumented version (called flight-dbg) so I can incrementally test new features. This instrumentation is in the form of signaling to the outside world just what code is being executed, or which path is being taken through the code, etc. This signaling is done by strobing the Digital Output lines.

My test environment has these digital output lines brought out to special headers to which I can attach my Logic Analyzer Probes.  I then setup the analyzer to capture all of the output lines. After all of this is setup then I begin exercising the firmware in which ever way I need to cause the new code to be exercised.

16903A Logic Analsys System

Now here comes the fun part. I save these traces to Logic Analyzer files (.ala files).  I then place copies of these files at this site. I also save the version of code at this site with which I generated the signals that were traced.  Ah, but what can I do with these you ask?  I'm glad you asked!

Agilent Technologies, Inc. for whom I work (my day job) allows free download of the Logic Analyzer software which you can install on your PC running Windows 2000 Pro or Windows XP Pro.  Once you've downloaded and installed the Logic Analyzer software it can be run in offline mode (no hardware attached).  Next you download my trace files (.ala files) from this site and you open one of them with this newly installed software. Now you can troll around my captured trace measuring different events. In this way you can get a sense for how things are working within the Widget firmware.  I've set various markers showing the location of different events within the trace to get you started.

See, I said this might be fun!  ;-) 
-Stephen, KZ0Q

Pieces Parts:



Agilent Technologies, Inc., Design Validation Division and Digital Verification Solutions - graciously loaned the following equipment for my use on this project.

  •  Agilent 54832D Mixed-signal Oscilloscope,
  •  Agilent 1683A Logic Analyzer and
  •  Agilent 16903A Logic Analysis System

More on Logic Analyzers and Oscilloscopes from Agilent Technologies, Inc.



 CAN-Do! Website copyright 2007, Stephen Moraco, KZ0Q  (formerly KC0FTQ).
For problems or questions regarding this Web site contact kz0q@amsat.org.
Last updated: 21-Oct-2007 12:40:48 -0600.