analyzer.bmp (630 bytes) Analyzer User Manual.



    New features with version 2.00


Proper analyzer operation

Analyzer configuration

    Timing search setup

    Comment setup

Comment Editor

Recording serial data

Using the trigger to start acquisition

Search byte pattern

Search timing

Filter setup dialog

Analyze recorded data

    Some practical hints


Analyzer technical datasheet

ANL file structure


Current version


BonusData AG presents the new Serial Data Analyzer for Vending Machine Protocols. It connects to the USB port and is especially designed for developers working in the field with a Laptop. It's actually the first low cost Serial Data Analyzer with very accurate timing measurement features. It run's on Microsoft Windows 98/SE/ME/2000/XP and needs no additional external power supply.

New features with version 2.00


The installation procedure is quite simple. Install the Analyzer Application Software by inserting the Analyzer CD-ROM and run Setup.exe. Of course, the Analyzer can also be used without using the USB/MDB interface.

The interface requires a driver (EZUSB.SYS) for normal operation. To install it, just connect the interface with your computer, it will be automatically detected. Windows will then search for the EZUSB.SYS driver which is on the shipped Analyzer CD-ROM. Some Window versions need's a reboot after the driver installation for proper operation.

Proper analyzer operation

USB to MDB interface with five LED indicators:

analyzer_interface.jpg (13792 bytes)

The green LED "Ready" indicates the status of the interface

The red LED's TXD1 and TXD2 are not used with the analyzer application

The red LED's RXD1 and RXD2 are hard wired to the serial data lines and display the line activities

Note: When the interface is connected to the USB it gets power and the LED's may display random indications.

The green LED will by off until the interface is ready.

When the Analyzer application is started, the firmware of the USB interface will automatically download to the interface. This happens while the BonusData Logo is displayed on the screen. Then the interface firmware will initialize the interface and get ready for data acquisition. Finally the green LED is activated to indicate ready for acquisition.

Analyzer configuration

To configure Analyzer for the correct protocol by a click on "Options -> Settings" and you see the property dialog:

property_setting.jpg (37120 bytes)

Analyzer properties:

  • Select the correct protocol for recording serial data.
  • With RS-232 specify Baudrate, Databit, Stopbit and Parity.
  • Setup the location path of the acquisition files.
  • If the checkbox is clear, a new numbered file name will be used for each acquisition.
  • Choose the page margins.
  • Select the device number #1 for the first USB interface.

Note: With just one interface connected, this MUST be set to #1

Timing search setup

After the installation, the timing setup contains the default values according the protocol specifications. This setup is used for the timing search function. The acquired data file is checked against this values to indicate any timings outside the specification.

property_timing.jpg (32143 bytes)

Timing properties:

Response timeout: The time to get an answer from the peripheral.

See also: Accuracy below

Inter character timeout: The time between two bytes within the data stream.

Comment setup

The comment setup offers the possibility to define default information to display inside the comment editor, when adding some comment to an acquired data file.

property_comment.jpg (31310 bytes)

Comment setup: The information of this dialog is default when you add comment with the comment editor.

See also: Comment Editor

Comment editor

The comment editor allows you to add any comment to the acquired data file.

comment_editor.jpg (13684 bytes)

Open comment editor with default information:

  • Acquisition date and time
  • Protocol settings
  • Default comment setup.

Recording serial data

Use the acquisition bar to record serial data.

aquisition_bar.jpg (8417 bytes)

Start button: To start serial data acquisition

Stop button: To stop acquisition

LED indicator:

Green steady to indicate stopped

Red flashing to indicate acquisition

Counter to display the number of bytes acquired

The acquired data are continuously written to the disk as it is acquired.

With real-time mode: The acquired data are displayed in real-time.

Without real-time mode: On stop, the new acquired data is displayed to the screen for analyze.

Using the trigger to start acquisition

The trigger functionality is very important to acquire data under difficult circumstances. If you enter some trigger data, the analyzer will start when you click the start button but no data are acquired until the trigger byte pattern is recognized. This allows to wait for a certain occurrence and then just record this snippet of data. Without trigger the acquisition files could grow very large. Large files will slow down display and makes it troublesome to find the occurrence of interest.

trigger_setting.jpg (17672 bytes)

Trigger setup dialog:

  • Enter a byte pattern in hexadecimal or "ASCII" to activate the trigger.
  • Set on what the trigger waits.
  • Setup the number of bytes leading the trigger.
  • Setup the number of bytes to record on trigger occurrence.
  • Select single acquisition to avoid multiple triggers.


Search byte pattern

The search function allows to search for a certain byte pattern. All patterns matching the search will be colored in green to visualize and find it easy.

search_setting.jpg (13287 bytes)

Byte pattern search setup dialog:

  • Enter a byte pattern in hexadecimal or "ASCII" to search for.
  • Set on what to search.

Search timing

Search timing will compare the acquired data bytes against the timing setup. The response timeout and inter character timeout are actually checked. See Timing search setup. Each occurrence of timing exceed is colored in yellow to easy find.

Filter setup dialog

Important notes:

The filter functionality applied to files already acquired. It will just hide some data when the file is displayed.

The filter is a MDB protocol specific feature and applies only if the protocol is set to MDB/ICP Multi Drop Bus. See: Analyzer configuration

The filter setup allows:

  1. To hide some peripherals to make it easier to analyze the data.
  2. To hide the repetitive polling of the peripherals.
filter_setting.jpg (15868 bytes)

Filter setup dialog:

  • Check an item to hide a peripheral.
  • Check an item to hide the peripheral polling.


Analyze recorded data

Use your mouse and the analyzer bar to analyze the the acquired data files:

analyzer_bar.jpg (23435 bytes)

The analyzer bar display's detailed information for each acquired byte:

  • Item number (Count from the begin of the file)
  • ASCII character and ASCII code
  • Time to begin of the acquisition
  • Time to previous acquired data byte
  • Time to referenced byte
  • Type of error, if any

Note: The displayed time units are in sec (seconds) or ms (milliseconds) with an auto range algorithm.

Use the mouse to analyze the acquired data. The mouse buttons will have some special functions.

Left button:

To set a measurement mark, the background is black marked.

The timing information of the marked byte is displayed in the analyzer bar.

Right button:

To set a reference mark, the background is red marked.

The reference is used to display the time to reference in the analyzer bar.

Some practical hints

Inter character time:

Response time measurement:

Frame transmission time:


The USB interface has an internal timer which increments every 50 us (micro seconds). So the time stamp added to each byte may vary from 0...50 us.

At 9600 Baud this means +/- 0.5 bit time inaccuracy.

The diagram below shows how the time stamps are added to each byte.

aqurate.jpg (14898 bytes)

The time stamp is added at the begin of the stop bit.

Note: To get the exact response time, a byte transmission time must be subtracted

To calculate a byte transmission time for 9600,8,N,1 use following formula:

ByteTransmissionTime = (Startbit+Databit+Parity|Modebit+Stopbit)  / (Baudrate) = (1+8+0+1) / 9600 = 1.04 ms

Analyzer technical datasheet

Dimensions: W x L x H = 40 x 80 x 22 mm
USB: Type 'B' connector, according USB-2 specification
Serial ports: 2 ports with baudrates from 50 Baud to 57'600 Baud

MDB-Master, MDB-Slave

Executive-Master, Executive-Slave

BDV-Master, BDV-Slave

2 x RS-232 without modem handshake

Weight: 40 Gram
Color: Black
LED Indicators:

RXD1, TXD1 for the serial link #1

RXD2, TXD2 for the serial link #2

Ready for the interface status

Connector: Molex part # 39-29-1128
Resolution: 50us for acquisition, 100 us for display

ANL file structure

Each recorded character is stored with 6 bytes of information:

Byte 0 = Flags:

Bit 0: Reserved Not used
Bit 1: Reserved Not used
Bit 2: Mode Set on 9th data bit set.
Bit 3: Reserved Not used
Bit 4: Reserved Not used
Bit 5: Parity Set on parity bit set
Bit 6: Framing Set on framing error
Bit 7: Direction Set on direction master => slave

Byte 1: ASCII code of recorded character

Byte 2..5: Absolute time with resolution 50 us

If a comment is added (with version 2.00+) the file has a header with following structure:

Byte 0..5: All zero

Byte 6..7: Reserved, Not used

Byte 8..11: Offset to start of data

Byte 12: Start of comment


Current version:

The current version is 2.00 build 09.07.2003

[Home] - Copyright (C) 1999-2003 by BonusData AG, Last update: 24.07.2003