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Logic Analyzer Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by Jay Monkman, Aug 14, 2004.

  1. Jay Monkman

    Jay Monkman Guest

    I'm need to get a logic analyzer, and I'm looking for
    recommendations. Here are the criteria:

    I want to keep the cost below $7500.

    I don't forsee the need to look at buses faster than 200 MHz, and
    most of the signals I want to see are much less than that ( < 50
    MHz).

    I want to be able to capture and save the data to a PC. It needs to
    be in a format I can decode under Linux - so proprietary
    Windows-only software is no good. As long as I can decode the file
    format, it will be fine.

    I'd like to have an ethernet interface.

    I don't need more than 60 or so channels. I could get by with much
    less.

    I've looked at the HP/Agilent 16500 and 16700 analyzers, and they
    might work. I'm concerned about decoding the capture files. A few
    years ago I remember trying to find info about them, but couldn't. (I
    didn't try very hard, though.)

    I've also considered those combination Oscilloscope/Logic Analyzers
    from Agilent (54645d, 54622d, etc). They appeal to me since they have
    a scope built in, but it doesn't look like they have a good way to
    dump the data to a PC (only RS-232 or GPIB)

    Any recommendations?

    What other logic analyzers should I look at?

    Are there any problems with the 16500/16700 series analyzers I should
    be wary of?



    Thanks.
     
    Jay Monkman, Aug 14, 2004
    #1
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  2. I've also considered those combination Oscilloscope/Logic Analyzers
    I can't answer the other questions, but I use a couple of 54622Ds at
    work. *Great* devices for standalone diagnostics but the PC integration
    is not fabulous. Unfortunately there are vendor wars of some kind going
    on, which make it unlikely you'll find a fully "open source compatible"
    interface format.
     
    Lewin Edwards, Aug 14, 2004
    #2
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  3. You hit the nail on the head. Grab a 16500B (much cheaper than C) with
    network interface and a 16550(100mhz state/500mhz timing) card and you
    should be up and running for less than $500. If you need state (instead
    of timing) then you might have to go up to a 16700. You can control them
    via telnet, NFS, or FTP so it shouldn't be a problem to get the data
    and then work with it. Docs are very good and I have most of them in PDF
    if you want to take a look before buying. Scope modules are available
    also so you have one chassis that does everything.

    Feel free to email me with any questions.

    Mike
     
    Michael Dombrowski, Aug 14, 2004
    #3
  4. Jay Monkman

    Unbeliever Guest

    Have you considered any of the PC based LA's on the market (e.g. those at
    Link Instruments www.linkins4.com)?
    I've successfully used these before in a financially constrained
    environment.

    Cheers,
     
    Unbeliever, Aug 15, 2004
    #4
  5. Jay Monkman

    Jay Monkman Guest

    That's what I'm afraid of. I don't understand how it could hurt a
    vendor to provide a description of the data format.
     
    Jay Monkman, Aug 16, 2004
    #5
  6. Jay Monkman

    Jay Monkman Guest

    Where's a good place to pick one up? I've seen them on ebay, but I've
    been burned buying used test equipment in the past. I've looked at
    companies selling used equipment, but their prices are quite a bit
    higher.

    Is ethernet standard on the 16500B or does it require an expansion
    card?
    I looked at Agilent's website, and this looks like it will do
    everything I need. Thanks.
     
    Jay Monkman, Aug 16, 2004
    #6
  7. Jay Monkman

    Jay Monkman Guest

    I would consider them, but they only work with Windows as far as I can
    tell. It's not that I'm some anti-MS bigot, but I do all my work in
    Linux, and I don't want to have another computer just to run some
    piece of test equipment.
     
    Jay Monkman, Aug 16, 2004
    #7
  8. Ebay is pretty good, I've bought several and had very good luck with
    them. Lan is not standard, but the expansion cards are pretty rare so
    plan on buying a mainframe with lan. I actually have a 16500B with lan
    and other goodies for sale, contact me via email if you are interested
    (legodude {at} hammycorp {dot} com).

    Mike
     
    Michael Dombrowski, Aug 16, 2004
    #8
  9. Just to clarify here. Many 16500Bs come with either the ethernet/video
    or ethernet/high speed modules so you shouldn't have trouble when buying
    one in the first place. Just don't plan on buying one without the lan
    module then adding it later.

    Mike
     
    Michael Dombrowski, Aug 16, 2004
    #9
  10. Search for test equipment companies that sell used. Might cost more than
    Ebay (actually they may also be on Ebay) but they probably will supply a
    limited warranty or dead-on-arrival warranty at the minimum.
     
    Not Really Me, Aug 16, 2004
    #10
  11. Jay Monkman

    Oliver Betz Guest

    [...]
    although I'm not the OP, I have considered PC based solutions, i.e.
    DigiView (http://www.tech-tools.com/). Any comments on this?

    Oliver
     
    Oliver Betz, Aug 16, 2004
    #11
  12. Jay Monkman

    Rich Webb Guest

    I haven't used the DigiView but, on the subject of PC-based systems, I
    do own one of the Link Instruments LA-4xxx series models. Usually use
    it, via the USB option, with an older notebook PC on the workbench.
    Works as advertised; no complaints. They are responsive to customers;
    emails get answered and a couple of suggestions/recommendations I made a
    while back were incorporated into releases pretty quickly.

    I'd buy it again.
     
    Rich Webb, Aug 17, 2004
    #12
  13. Jay Monkman

    Unbeliever Guest

    Look like reasonable value if you don't need too many channels, or too much
    speed. I'd consider one, but read through the manuals to find out what "up
    to" means, and what width/speed/depth tradeoffs there are. Like Rich,
    I've only experienced the LA-XXXX series from Link.

    Cheers,
     
    Unbeliever, Aug 17, 2004
    #13
  14. Jay Monkman

    Andy Peters Guest

    Looks interesting, but it doesn't appear to have an external sample
    clock input. That's a very useful feature if you want to look at a
    synchronous bus.

    -a
     
    Andy Peters, Aug 17, 2004
    #14
  15. Jay Monkman

    Andy Peters Guest

    Looks interesting, but it doesn't appear to have an external sample
    clock input. That's a very useful feature if you want to look at a
    synchronous bus.

    -a
     
    Andy Peters, Aug 17, 2004
    #15
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