Android client

Support and development for logic analyzer client software used with the Logic Sniffer.

Android client

Postby Tarloth » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:11 am

Hi:

I not sure where post this question, but somebody plan to port OLS client to Android? Sorry for this question but would be very comfortable to use the OLS with a "cheap" tablet instead a notebook or PC. Even buying the tablet only for the OLS the total cost it´s several times lower than any other autonomous Logic Analyzer with similar specs.

THANKS TO ALL FOR HIS WONDERFULL WORK!
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Re: Client beta testers

Postby sqkybeaver » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:25 am

Tarloth wrote:Hi:

I not sure where post this question, but somebody plan to port OLS client to Android? Sorry for this question but would be very comfortable to use the OLS with a "cheap" tablet instead a notebook or PC. Even buying the tablet only for the OLS the total cost it´s several times lower than any other autonomous Logic Analyzer with similar specs.

THANKS TO ALL FOR HIS WONDERFULL WORK!


is there a wide interest for a standalone device that would work with the logic sniffer/bus pirate?
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Re: Client beta testers

Postby alexwhittemore » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:28 am

I'd be a fan of that. I can't imagine it'd be terribly hard since iPhones have raw UART available. The biggest problem is that they don't run java.
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Re: Client beta testers

Postby pppd » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:30 am

Some time ago I experimented with a Bluetooth enabled OLS. It worked fine with the desktop client and my idea was to create a iOS/Android client that would work with it. I was kinda busy with other stuff, I still am, but if there's enough interest and there are devs willing to help I might get back to this project.
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Re: Client beta testers

Postby sqkybeaver » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:31 am

alexwhittemore wrote:I'd be a fan of that. I can't imagine it'd be terribly hard since iPhones have raw UART available. The biggest problem is that they don't run java.


the Linux board, if paired with a graphic LCD could be used for that purpose. assuming somebody writes the code.
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Re: Client beta testers

Postby alexwhittemore » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:50 am

Eh, at that point you're just making an embedded computer. You might as well turn it into a bench logic analyzer, and then cost is already way above the current $50. Not that it wouldn't be super cool! But I like the bluetooth idea more. Bonus points for electrical isolation.

I'd love to help out, I imagine the biggest missing piece is making a mobile client? I'm not too great at iPhone development, but I know my way around obj-c and could probably do it with hardware available. Do you have a functional Bluetooth wing now?
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Re: Client beta testers

Postby pppd » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:58 am

I have a BT adapter converted to work with OLS. I started designing a daughter-board with a LiPo and auto-switching power usb/battery. I modified the OLS firmware to check for Bluetooth presence and failover to USB when BT is not present.

I will gladly give the iOS/Android client a go since I am going to refresh my knowledge on coding for this platforms anyway. I can't promise anything like when it's going to be ready since I am known to underestimate the time required to accomplish certain tasks and I have a few other projects which have been on my waiting list for a long time now.
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Re: Client beta testers

Postby alexwhittemore » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:07 pm

I'm interested in trying my hand as well, but I'm in the same boat. Can we take this to a different thread or offline? My email is my username at gmail.
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Re: Client beta testers

Postby pppd » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:13 pm

I'd rather stick to this forum. Secret projects tend not to be successful and I want it to be open source anyway. Maybe Ian could fork it into a new thread.
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Re: Android client

Postby ian » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:20 pm

Pow! New thread.

Secret projects tend not to be successful


Love it. 100% true. Feed the google and others will come in the future :)

I would love to do Android or iPad app. I suppose one bluetooth serves them all. We are also working on ADK, so I will be messing with that soon. I have both device types for testing.
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Re: Android client

Postby Tarloth » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:03 pm

WOW!!!!! This was FAST!

I love all the ideas!. I think in an embedded computer but at cost comparison it´s preferable to buy something massified. In ebay you can buy a 7" tablet with wifi and android 2.2 for $70, not the best, not so reliable but with an 800 Mhz processor, touch screen, wifi and a lot of memory it´s by far more cheap that buy an embedded computer (I think).

It´s true that you can integrate the FPGA to an existing board (or a mini-itx motherboard) and then speed all the process, but perhaps somebody that knows the costs implies in building something like that may put some light in possible costs of the whole thing. Indeed I wasn' t bought the OLS yet waiting if somebody propose and alternative that not be constrained by the simulation of a serial port. Some Wi-fi flavour, Ethernet or pure USB sounds better for multi platform BUT I respect the solution that was used and understand the compromise in their implementation and applaud that you can do something that works!. It´s by far better that any non implemented idea.

I have my time really constrained BUT I love and support 100% the open projects, I offered to do specific tasks in C/C++ or help in something that I result useful. Not a lot of time, but I like to help.
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Re: Android client

Postby alexwhittemore » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:26 pm

Hey all: pppd/ian: I didn't mean to suggest closed development, not at all! I just think we've already done a nice job hijacking an old and only somewhat related thread to get here :).I've created a new thread to talk about the mobile client/bluetooth hardware idea here:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2916

pppd, I'd love your response to my question there, what is your actual bluetooth hardware setup, does it work, and can I copy it from you on my end so I can start playing with making a BT-based iOS client.


As for the idea introduced by sqkybeaver of using a graphic LCD and embedded linux board, I've just started a thread about making a benchtop variant here:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2915

Spoiler: I think it'd be cool, and I'd totally be willing to plunk down a few hundred dollars for a nice, community-designed bench logic analyzer, even if a little buggy, but I don't think a true community design has the attention span to make it happen without serous bugs and developmental lags such that it's no longer worth the hundreds of dollars hardware cost.

EDIT: Didn't realize the thread had already been split from the beta testers thread, sorry guys! Benchtop vairant still stands though, I think that deserves its own thread.
Last edited by alexwhittemore on Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Android client

Postby sqkybeaver » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:29 pm

imho there is no reason that the should not be somthing like the dso nano but have the logic sniffer built in.
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Re: Android client

Postby alexwhittemore » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:47 pm

sqkybeaver wrote:imho there is no reason that the should not be somthing like the dso nano but have the logic sniffer built in.


I don't disagree, but I think that there is one key difference. Typically, if you're looking at analog waveforms, you're doing something like debugging a component or subcircuit. Using the waveform involves tweaking analog pieces of the circuit.

On the other hand, when you're using a logic analyzer, what you're debugging is generated by digital components or subcircuits, which are almost always, these days, software generated. It's either FPGA HDL you need to modify, or microcontroller code in order to fix your serial or parallel waveforms. If we still used 7400 chips all the time, that wouldn't be so true, but discrete logic isn't typically a major part of today's workflows.

I think what that means as far as tools go is that it's useful to have a standalone scope - you're not limited by bandwidth of a USB bus, you don't have to have a computer present when all you're using it for is circuit debugging, and so on. Intrinsically, it makes sense to have a scope next to your circuit.

But on the other hand, if you're using a logic analyzer, you're almost certainly modifying software and reloading that into your circuit to try to get your waveforms correct. So you've already got a computer on your bench, and you're trying to match bytes and timing from the LA to what your software SHOULD be generating. In that case, it's far more useful to have the waveform data in the window next to your IDE. For that reason, I don't think that I'd find a bench or even standalone handheld LA especially useful. If it's an extra $30 for the bluetooth hardware to use my phone as a display, that's worth it for the novelty and portability in certain situations, and for that matter, bluetooth could replace the USB cable to a computer in the first place. But I don't know that I'd pay $100+ for a standalone unit INSTEAD of my USB unit, whereas I totally would for a scope.

Additionally, there are key interface differences too: Scopes are used on analog waveforms, and LAs on digital. Changing the parameters on a logic analyzer involve punching in integer values and clicking checkboxes corresponding to boolean values, all easy and comfortable to do on a computer in a software interface.

On the other hand, getting your waveform correct on a scope involves turning knobs for amplitude, time delay, trigger value, and so on. This is far more awkward on a computer, especially for the continuous nobs like cursor that can't be replaced by a 0-100% slider. I will always prefer nice smooth knobs to interact with my analog waveforms, necessitating a nice big standalone product. I think even the DSO Nano/Quad come up short here.


EDIT: Forgot to say, you mentioned integrating something like the OLS INTO something like the nano. I would definitely be in favor of a standalone mixed signal scope. That would be one MAJOR case in which a standalone product makes lots of sense.
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Re: Android client

Postby Tarloth » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:02 pm

It sound´s great, but DSO nano uses an ST ARM CORTEX Chip in it plus an FPGA to manage the ADC´s. This option implies I think to port all the software to a ucontroller. I´m working in this ST micro controller now but I doubt that the java client may be implemented without big (big!) changes. If the OLS client were written in C, I can maybe try to program a library that support the direct compiling of real client code in a small limited interface, but Java virtual machine demands more processor power and a better OS than a micro controller support . I.E. I think that porting to something like DSO nano demands a complete rework of code and I doubt that justify reinvent the wheel again. But it would be FANTASTIC to have a protocol analyzer with the impressive specs of OLS in a device like the DSO nano :-)

Alex has a point when says that when we work in serial protocol generally I reprogram the microcontrollers that comunicates with a computer in the table, but, porting to other OS like Android permits that. Somebody use anexed to the same computer, somebody travels with the OLS to field to see what the serial buses says when they are free in the wild (my case).

If it´s possible to work in both extremes with the same OLS board, id est, with a standalone hand and cheap device to gain portability or with a computer in the laboratory to gain performance, I think that the project upgrades to better status.
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