I’ve been looking to set up a microprocessor/robotics type hobbyist lab for a while, and I’d like to use Linux as much as possible for the tools I’ll be buying and using. One of the most critical components in any good logic lab is a decent logic analyzer. A logic analyzer is a tool with multiple probes that you attach to various points to monitor the voltage levels at the test points. It’s pretty much essential if you want to figure out why your digital circuit isn’t working the right way.
High-end logic analyzers can process data on the GHz level, and cost thousands and thousands of dollars. Luckily, companies have come out with logic analyzers that are a lot cheaper, and work well for pretty much any hobbyist or robotics project you want to do. These cheaper devices typically hook up to USB on computer, and need a program on a computer to run. Saleae released a 8 channel, 24Mhz USB Logic Analyzer for $150 a while ago, along with a Windows program to run it. They promised that equal support for Mac and Linux was coming down the tubes, and I’m happy that they are delivering. The SDK came out a while ago, and they just released an initial program, that only still lacks a few [albeit critical] features that are coming out in the next release, like working pattern triggering.
Here’s a screenshot of the program in action (get the alpha program here):
As you can see if you look closely, its just a simulation ( I don’t have the device yet ), but it looks like it has everything I would want out of a $150 logic analyzer. Also, the guys at Sparkfun seem to like it enough to sell it, another good mark in my book. I’ll be buying a device from here soon! Thanks for the Linux support Salhttp://www.saleae.com/logic/eae. 🙂