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Performing a Good Analyzer Capture for Debugging/Troubleshooting

Hardware: GPIB>>Plug-in Controllers>>PCI-GPIB+

What are the best settings for the GPIB Analyzer if I am trying to troubleshoot a complex GPIB problem that may involve handshaking between multiple devices, bus timing, and the lower-level details of the 488.1 standard?

This KnowledgeBase entry is intended for the case that National Instruments Support Staff requires a GPIB Analyzer capture. This will help us determine more about what is happening on the GPIB. You must have a GPIB+ card to perform the following analyzer capture.

If you have been asked to provide an analyzer capture to National Instruments Support Staff, please include a corresponding NI I/O Trace capture that was run concurrently with the analyzer capture. Details and proper procedures for obtaining an NI I/O Trace capture can be found in KnowledgeBase 4P3FR2LQ: Performing a Good NI I/O Trace Capture for Debugging/Troubleshooting, which is referenced below. Complete the following steps to perform a GPIB Analyzer capture:
  1. From Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX), select Tools»NI-488.2»GPIB Analyzer.
  2. In the analyzer application, bring up the settings window from Settings»Change Settings.... Make the window look exactly like the following:

Usually, troubleshooting will start with Participate in Acceptor Handshake checked. Save that capture, even if you can no longer reproduce the problem. When finished, if you can no longer reproduce the problem, then uncheck it and run another capture.

You will probably get buffer overflows in this configuration. You can compare the second analyzer capture with the first to see what data you might be missing from the buffer overflows. As long as the failing cases are captured, that will be sufficient for our engineers to examine the problem.

If the problem was not reproducible with Participate in Acceptor Handshake checked, there is most likely a timing issue. This setting allows the Analyzer board to slow down the transaction speed on the GPIB so it can record everything without losing data. This side effect may fix problems where the other communicating device (non-controller) requires slower handshaking than it requests. This is usually a result of using a non-488.1 compliant instrument who is requesting data faster than it can actually process it.

Related Links:
Product Manuals: GPIB Analyzer User Manual
KnowledgeBase 4P3FR2LQ: Performing a Good NI I/O Trace Capture for Debugging/Troubleshooting



Report Date: 04/07/2004
Last Updated: 01/19/2016
Document ID: 386GCOV4

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