Favorite Logic Analyzer for Hobby Use

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I am looking for a good basic logic analyzer for hobby use.

I am currently considering the Tektronix 1240/1241 series.

What is the opinion of the group?

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.


Re: Favorite Logic Analyzer for Hobby Use
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HP 1630G is a nice unit if you don't need to go over ~25MHz IIRC.  Make
sure you get the pods and all the leads (and clips, if you can).  A set
of new clips alone will cost more than the used unit.


Re: Favorite Logic Analyzer for Hobby Use

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I've never used a logic analyzer. Seems to me that in a fraction of
the time it takes to learn how to use one, and set up all the
connections, and acquire and analyze all the data, you could have
solved the problem in the comfort of your office, sipping coffee,
thinking over the logic design like you should have in the first

Logic analysis, like software debugging, usually just points out stuff
that should have been obvious from the beginning. Both contribute to
the hack-and-fiddle style of design.


Re: Favorite Logic Analyzer for Hobby Use

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Yes, if you designed all the parts of the system.  How about a device
that is hooked
to a generic PC through the parallel port?  I have a line of products
that connect
that way, using the IEEE-1284 protocol (EPP mode).  I have found all
sorts of
bizarre defects in motherboards, such as some where the CPU fails to go
into a
wait state until the handshaked 1284 transfer completes!  No way I can
fix that,
you just have to tell the customer he needs a different motherboard.
 The symptom
was that the data presented by the PC would change in the middle of the
before the slave device had given the handshake signal.  This only happened
on every 2% of the cycles

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But, how will you tell that a commercial, off the shelf product is
defective, and can't be fixed by any external software or hardware hack?
I found this out in about 10 minutes with a logic analyzer, and was able
to move on to another problem that I could solve.


Re: Favorite Logic Analyzer for Hobby Use

Grant Edwards wrote:

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Yup, that'a another one I NEVER would have found without a
logic analyzer.  It was a microprocessor-driven controller for
an editing video recorder, that I made as a product.  Came back from
the customer after working fine for a year.  With the LA, it was
clear in about 5 minutes that the load immediate instruction of the CPU
was no
longer moving data to a register (any register, I think).  I could see the
CPU fetch the instruction, then fetch the immediate data, then fetch
an output instruction, and then always send a zero with the output
strobe, no matter what the actual immediate value was.  OK, clearly
the CPU, so I replaced it, tested the unit and returned it to the customer.


Re: Favorite Logic Analyzer for Hobby Use

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If we are talking COTS procurement, then you should have at least generated
some list of criteria for potential units to fulfil as a minimum. Such
criteria would include performance measures and be quite specific about
what was expected. If the unit (treated as a black box) did not match up to
the minimum criteria, then you reject it surely.

Anyway, aside from that, I have a link, from Jack Ganssle, that may prove
interesting for the participants in this thread, if you are really after
logic analysers or clever scopes. <http://www.ganssle.com/microscopes.pdf

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