Protocol Analyzer – Part 1

The protocols I use on CAN, serial, Ethernet, Wifi are all part of a easyIPC package designed to co-exist in a complex network. This is at the core of the systems and I need a tool that can visualize the messages that pass on various levels. This tool is called a “Protocol Analyzer” and without this you will waste hours trying to figure out what happens.

I use the name “Protocol Analyzer” or just “Analyzer” for this project. It actually consist of several projects that add up to a package of hardware and software. The concept is simple – I will use my existing adapters or Hat’s to collect data from – basically sit in 3-state and copy messages up to the PC where I can present them and analyze their content and sequence/timing etc.

My QT based framework is excellent for this. I basically just need to add a fast, virtual grid component and create some kind of database on log files. It’s a bit of work, but I have experience from doing this in the past and have been using analyzers for years in telecom so I know what I want and why I want it. I have listed some basic objectives below:

Req Description
1 Be able to display messages real-time with max 250ms delay from capture until visualization on screen.
2 Be able to synchronize time stamps and adjust time differences if needed.
3 Be able to use disk as endless storage so we can leave the log part of the analyzer on and revisit message sequences afterwards.
4 Intelligent filtering of what is displayed so we can focus on what we look for.
5 Capable of recognizing proprietary messages that we add through XML spec.
6 Capable of testing rules like message sequences and content checks and visualize errors automatically.
7 Log raw Message content only. The rest should be a presentation issue based on XML settings.

I will add more to this list later. You will start seeing screenshots of this project soon.

Leave a Reply