Alternative data views

Many (if not all) protocol decoder add-on scripts produce an important amount of data. Whether it’s SPI, UART or CAN bus, it can be non-practical to search for the data directly on the logic signals waveform (as in the image below):

Example CAN bus signals displayed on the logic waveform

Zooming out on that same kind of signal shows the whole capture (as in the image below), but as explained before, make it impossible to read the value of decoded bytes (unless you constantly zoom in and out): CAN bus zoomed out

To make it easier to navigate through important amounts of decoded data packets and make sense of their content, ScanaStudio offers special “Alternative” data views:

  • Raw view
  • Packet View
  • Hex View

Those views can be accessed through ScanaStudio’s main menu as shown in the image below:

views menu in ScanaStudio

As will be explained below, every one of those views has particular applications and advantages. As a matter of fact, not all protocol scripts implement all those views. It all depends on what makes sense for a specific protocol.

HEX View

The HEX view shows a memory-dump-like view, where each byte is given a row and column address. Also, ASCII equivalent characters are displayed when possible (otherwise, dots are displayed)

Hex view showing UART bytes

Obviously, HEX view is not practical for all applications and for all decoders. For example, If you have captured signals showing firmware being updated via a UART interface, it can make a lot of sense to use the HEX view and adjust the number of columns in such a way as to display firmware content in a meaningful fashion (and compare it to intel formatted HEX files, for example). That being said, for other protocols like I2C, it may be more difficult to make good use of the HEX view, and that’s why other data views are provided.

Packet View

As the name implies, this view provides a way of visualizing captured and decoded data as packets:

Example CAN bus packets

Just like the HEX View is not good for every protocol, the Packet view is also adapted to specific protocols. For instance, UART protocol which does not define any structure for packets and instead just defines the encoding of bytes wouldn’t make much use of the Packet View, since there is no such thing as “packets” in UART. However, when it comes to MODBUS protocol, which is a layer above UART protocol and defines a structure for packets, it makes sense to use the Packet View. Below is an example of MODBUS packets decoded and displayed in Paccket View.

Example MODBUS packets

Double-clicking on an item lets you pinpoint the actual logic signals related to that packet.

Raw View

The raw view is very simplistic and is implemented by default for all protocol decoders. The Raw View simply lists the decoded items, whether it’s a start bit, a data byte or an acknowledge bit. Like other views, Raw Views can be filtered out to search for a specific item. Double-clicking on an item lets you pinpoint the actual logic signals related to that raw view item.