“Logic” analyzer

I am always impressed by the incredible work that entrepreneurs bring to the DIY electronics market.

This is the Logic analyzer by Joe Garrison (Saleae LLC (not to be confused with Saelig (not to be confused with caesar salad))), which can be purchased for $150

The Logic board (like the device it is descended from) is based off of the Cypress EZ-USB series chips (one of the first micro families I worked with!) These chips are quite interesting in that they are ‘flashless’, and can be programmed by using a special driver where the chip downloads the code using a ‘pre-enumeration’ driver. (Its a trip, srsly!)
What I didn’t know about this chip is that not only does it do high-speed USB 2.0 but it can apparently do bulk transfers in a separate core, so that it can provide as much as 24 MB/s to move data from an input port to the USB line. For a 48MHz device, that is damn impressive – 2 cycles per sample!

The cases are milled out of aluminum, then anodized and laser-etched

The windows software is nicely designed, and offers assistance when configuring pins

You may be asking, “How can I know for sure that this business will be successful?” That is easy!

1. Evidence of an LP2844 thermal printer. Anybody who is really in business has one of these. They are the greatest thing in the world. (Hint: they are a ripoff new, buy one on ebay for $100 or convince UPS to give you one) Owning an LP2844 says “I actually send things to people who pay me, and often enough to have a postage printer!”

2. ULine packaging and free Priority mail boxes. See above. The “VHS” style boxes are the bombity-bomb.

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  1. Pfft, only runs on Vista / Windows XP… A big slap in the face to OSX, Linux, and Unix users. What a ripoff.

  2. > Pfft, only runs on Vista / Windows XP… A big slap in the face to OSX, Linux, and Unix users. What a ripoff.

    No it’s not. Don’t be such a asshole. I bet the guy doesn’t even use Linux or OS X. How is he suppose to develop drivers for a OS he is not familiar with?

    Anyways. Didn’t you actually read the blog entry? The thing uses the Cyprus EZ-USB FX2 chip. These things have good support in Linux and are _very_ easy to program for. There are a number of different tools, like fxload, or whatnot that can deal with these things. They are very common chipsets. You can start of programming with the things through straight Libusb python bindings. You just have to figure out the product ID and vendor ID for the chipset device. Bingo Bango Bongo. Your talking to the device.

    If your OS X (or whatever) can’t do that then it’s you and your OS’s problem. Not the poor guy you just insulted.

    If your in need for a cheap logic analyzer then it shouldn’t be too difficult to get a python or Mono app up and running. It would be a nice project.

  3. Ripoff? It’s the most worth while expenditure I’ve made for my bench and it only set me back $150.He’s in the process of developing for OSX and Linux (my preference). As I understand it the former is going to be released first. He’s very responsive and receptive to customer input as well. Anyways, kudos to him.

  4. Heh – just placed my order. Very nicely done tool and a worthwhile purchase. I keep XP and Linux boxes around (both OS’s on both desktop and notebooks) so I’d like to see Linux software too, but the XP version is quite cleverly designed and well done.

  5. After 25 years of embedded programming and then recently moving into my own EE designs, I decided I was going to get MY OWN logic analyzer (tired of using everyone elses!). I am an OSX fan these days and the hint that either he is working on OSX support or that I can build it myself is super-encouraging and really exciting.

    I am going to hold off immediately purchasing something else until I read the interface details or get more information. Being able to modify the display s/w is pretty exciting since I would be able to add protocol analysis for some specialized serial streams. Even if I buy a stand-alone unit, I will most likely get one of these immediately if OSX support appears on the scene.

    – Eric

  6. If I am not mistaken the board in second picture is has a 24MHZ crystal. Does it mean it is processing at 1 cycle per sample? I know that these chips can be clocked at 48MHZ max but this one seems to be using a lower speed crystal.

  7. moojid — typically the USB-capable microcontrollers use a PLL to multiply the osc frequency in order to hit 48 MHz (or even 96 MHz, which is then divided for USB comms). This allows the user to choose a main clock frequency independent of the USB speed.

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