F de Jong (Holland)
I was working on a project with rs232 codes and it did not get to work. After days of frustration I ordered a zeroplus logic analyzer on the Internet. Within two days I got the analyzer and within the next hour the project was up and running again. The analyzer told me what the rs232 code was and the software within my project failed, I could solve my software fault and it all came to live.
The zeroplus Logic analyzer 16032 came with a few standard protocols like the rs232 signals. A simple setting in the software on the laptop made it that the signals came on the screen and after a few settings it also told me in a simple view the codes.
Not long ago logic analyzers were not cheap. It was almost impossible to buy one. Nowdays with the zeroplus devices it is cheap to get one. This makes working on single chip computers easier and easier. The complex communication protocols like i2c, singlewire protocol, but also the rs232 are easier to understand now. One of the next project that I want to use is a combination of a PIC16F88 processor with a temperature sensor of the type DS1820. This is a sensor that uses the 1 wire protocol. Starting reading about this device it gave me reason to worry. The 1 wire protocol seems to be very difficult to understand. Reading a bit more and it gets easier but still difficult. The protocol has to be made within software and is not hardware based within the PIC16F88. I hope that the logic analyzer will give me extra support on this. See of the signals are realy as I try to program them. The Zeroplus should confirm this (hopefully) as one of the supported signal software is the 1-wire protocol.
So, it is easy to use, not to expensive and the software for analyzes are increasing. It was a good investment in my electronics hobby room.