Saleae Logic Review

Received my Saleae Logic today. Smile

I did not think I would ever need one. But had an issue with PWM and controlling a servo from my FEZ board. Something like a logic analyzer is really the only way to drill down and get hard evidence and stop guessing what is happening.  Can save hours of testing.  Anyway, I like bullet points, so here are the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Nice looking hardware. Compact and elegant design.
  • Nice software. It takes a lot of work to make a really good simple abstraction.  And it shows.
  • Capture and timing accuracy seems right on as one would hope.
  • The micro-hook probes seem are nice quality.  The wires connectors are a bit hard to press into the hooks.
  • Nice case to store everything in.

Cons:

  • Software crashed a few times first couple times I used it. No message, just closed.  Once doing an Export and once after setting another trigger on a different line. The 1.5 Beta seemed to solve those issues.
  • Limited documentation.  Not even a quick start on how to hook it up.  If this is your first analyzer, it is not obvious how to get started.  The wire connector is not keyed, so you can incorrectly connect it (which Spark Fun says could damage it).  Also, Black wire is normally ground, but not on this harness.  Grey is ground and Black is pin 1. Very strange choice considering we have black (or even green) burnt into our brains as GND.  I could guess that you need to hook ground wire to a ground on your circuit and one test wire to what you are testing – but it would be helpful to at least supply a one page document in the product to verify your assumptions instead of hoping your right.
  • They do have some limited documentation for the software online, but it is pretty thin.  For such a well thought out device, the lack of good docs seem odd.
  • Some choices on UX not in my taste.  For example, it would seem natural to click on square wave thinking you will get the details of the wave on the right and to make those details “sticky”.  Instead, clicking on anything on the wave zooms down.  There is no way to make wave details “stick” on right if you want to screen capture the details of that period.

Despite some of the minor cons, this is a great little integrated device and worth the $149.  If you don’t already have one, I would put on your wish list.

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