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Hardware Tools

Many cute embedded nonsense hacks involve connecting newly developed (und thus untested) modules through untested cabling to a controller in the main system being driven only by a rudimentary kernel driver still in development.

In such situations, it is very difficult to establish a good starting point for bug hunting without being able to actually look at the physical hardware signals. Of course we want to do this within the realm of our well known Free Software tools, but more important is the practical use of the complete setup.

This page is meant to collect knowledge about such working setups that hopefully allow other people to save lots of time and research. Also note that the information is completely independant from the hardware vendors unless noted explicitely.

Tool independant software


The sigrok project aims at creating a portable, cross-platform, Free/Libre/Open-Source signal analysis software suite that supports various device types (e.g. logic analyzers, oscilloscopes, and many more).

From the list below,

Logic Analyzers

ASIX Sigma / ASIX Sigma 2

The vendor page can be found at ASIX Sigma . ASIX Sigma and ASIX Sigma 2 are supported by the Sigrok software, thus can be used in Linux to debug various busses. There are multiple pros speaking for Sigma:

All in all, ASIX Sigma 2 is a good pick if you need a logic analyzer. While the software support in Sigrok still needs some polishing, it's getting there and I believe we should support companies which try to help Open Source solutions even if it's only by giving out the documentation on a per-request basis.

ASIX Omega

The successor of Sigma 2 , the Omega is not supported by Sigrok yet.

Open Logic Sniffer


Bus analyzers / Bus specific tools

Totalphase Beagle SPI/I2C

This analyzer is connected via USB to the Host. The company provides data analyzing software for Linux, too. There is even an API to get the samples directly via own software. Rather it is not open source and a library is delivered as binary. But it is possible to get samples from a remotely attached analyzer.

The delivered software works well on Linux. One advantage of this analyzer, at least in my case, is that the customer bought himself one and we could simply share the trace data. The customer can still run on Windows (we cannot constraint customers to switch on a working OS, rather...), but I can analyze the produced data on my Linux PC.


Totalphase Beagle USB Analyzer

This is the Beagle adapter for the USB bus. The company offers several analyzer for USB 12 for Full/Low speed up to new models for USB-3. The USB 480 is in my opinion a good choice for embedded, because most SOCs have HS controller. The same "Data Center Software" is delivered for all analyzer, allowing to switch among the busses. It works flawlessly under Linux (tested on Ubuntu 10.04/12.04




This is a CAN interface for PC. Drivers were merged into mainline, for older kernel versions the site supplies kernel drivers.

It works fine with Linux can-utils (cansend, candump,..)


THS 720A

This is a quite old and now discontinued 2-channels, 100Mhz, portable oscilloscope. It can be connected to PC via the old RS-232 interface and a special cable.


Web page

Laborytory Power-Supply

Voltcraft DPS-4005

The DPS series is a PC controlled stabilized power supply. In the attachment, a small utility to remotely control the instrument.

Note to future editors

Let's start with a single page for now so that we can see the similarities of the entries more easily. When the structure solidifies, we should then start to split out the individual tools.


Attachment sort Action Size Date Who Comment
thscopy.c manage 6.0 K 02 May 2014 - 12:36 StefanoBabic Utility to get a hardcopy via RS-232 interface
voltcraft.c manage 8.8 K 02 May 2014 - 12:47 StefanoBabic Remotely control Voltcraft-DPS4005 via RS-232 interface