ScanaStudio user interface

ScanaStudio user interface is designed to be very simple and intuitive. All main features are accessible from the main window. It’s important to familiarize with the few different menus and zones of the application to be able to easily follow the rest of this manual.

ScanaStudio user interface

The main menu (2) is the most important part of the ScanaStudio interface. It’s organized in tabs, grouping different features into categories.

The status bar (3) shows information related to the device and to the last capture. For instance, the sampling rate associated with the signals being displayed on the screen can be found in the status bar.

The settings menu (7) can be used to change application settings like color themes, keyboard shortcuts and software update parameters.

Creating workspaces

What is a workspace?

In ScanaStudio, a workspace is an entity that is closely related to a Logic Analyzer device. A workspace stores the captured samples and all the configurations related to that device, like sampling rate or sampling depth (number of samples, or total capture time). A workspace will also store markers, trigger configuration, measurements, protocol decoders, buses and any other configuration made by the user. A workspace can be saved and restored later, which may be useful to recover complex configurations and/or captured samples.

To create a new workspace, simply press CTRL+N (unless you have modified the default shortcut in the setting menu). You may also create a new workspace by going to Main menu > Workspace > New.

Depending on which device is connected to your computer, a new workspace dialog will be displayed, prompting you to select a device to continue.

Creating new workspace

You may select any device (even if it’s not connected to your computer), under the “Demo” menu in the New workspace dialog. In that scenario, a workspace is created in demo mode (which will be explained in the next sections). Once a compatible device is connected to a demo workspace, it can be converted to a “normal” workspace. This means you can start configuring a workspace in demo mode, to prepare a complex measurement (for example) and connect a logic analyzer later (provided it is the same logic analyzer device as the one selected when creating the demo workspace).

Demo mode operation

In demo mode operation, ScanaStudio will operate as if a real device was connected to the computer. When a user tries to capture logic signals in demo mode operation, pseudo-random signals will be generated. Some protocol decoders (that have the demo signal generation capability) can even generate demonstration signals to allow the user to test the protocol decoding feature.

The demo mode can be used for the following purposes:

  • Testing the functionalities of a logic analyzer before purchasing one (test driving).
  • Setting up a complex workspace with protocol decoders in advance, before performing actual captures.
  • Generating known and repeatable logic patterns to test a protocol decoder. When writing a new script to decode a protocol, it’s recommended to start by writing the routines to generate logic signals for that protocol. This way, the script author can generate and test as many patterns as he deems necessary.

Starting a new capture

Before starting a new capture, you first have to create a workspace for the logic analyzer device you wish to use.

Then, you need to configure the logic analyzer device by going to the “device” tab in the main menu. Device configuration will be handled in detail in the next chapter. The default configuration is usually well adapted for a generic logic capture, thus, default parameters can be kept by default if you’re attempting a first capture and you’re not certain about what are the best parameters to be used.

Depending on the signals that need to be captured, you may need to set up a trigger by going to the “Trigger” tab in the main menu. The trigger is a major topic and will be discussed in detail in the next chapter. Without any trigger setup, the capture will simply start as soon as the “Start” button is clicked.

Finally, Click the “Start” button to start the capture. As soon as the capture is started, you should see signals appearing in the signals area.

Once signals appear on the screen, one can start navigating through captured signals. By “navigating”, we mean operations like zooming in and out or panning right and left. Depending on the number of channels, measurements and virtual channels (like buses) that are displayed, a user may also need to pan up and down to see available signals.

The most convenient way of navigating through the samples is by using a mouse equipped with a mouse wheel.

  • You can zoom in and out using the mouse wheel. Pressing the ALT key while turning the mouse wheel allows you to zoom in fine steps.
  • You can pan right and left by clicking and holding the mouse’s left button, then moving the mouse right and left; the signal area will follow the mouse.

All mouse pads are different depending on OS and manufacturer, but the same functions can be accomplished as with a mouse.

Laptops and computers that have touchscreen support are also supported by ScanaStudio, that is, you can do pinch and stretch gestures to zoom in and out. You can also slide the signal area to pan right or left.

Using a keyboard, one may pan right and left using the right and left arrows in a keyboard. It’s also possible to zoom in and out using the shortcut keys defined in the settings menu which may be different on Windows, Mac and Linux.

More navigation tips and tricks

It’s possible to quickly jump to the next transition in a signal by placing the signal at the extreme right or extreme left of a signal until this arrow appears:

Navigation to the next transition

Clicking this arrow will let you navigate to the next transition, without changing your zoom settings.

The icons at the bottom right of the signals are can be used to zoom in, zoom to fit, zoom to the region and zoom out (in that order).

navigation tools

Annotations and measurements

In ScanaStudio, it’s possible to annotate a capture by adding markers to a workspace. A marker is a vertical line that is attached to a certain time in the capture. Other kinds of annotations are “measurements”, which can be used to measure the frequency or the duty cycle or count the number of edges (the list is not exhaustive). A measurement is delimited by two markers, thus, adding a measurement will forcibly add two markers to the workspace (unless the measurement is added on pre-existing markers).

Below is an example measurement constrained by markers 1 and 2.

Example measurement

Standard measurement vs custom measurement

When working with measurements in ScanaStudio, you’ll notice there are two kinds of measurements: Standard and custom. The only difference between the two is the number of measures being made. By default, standard measurements will include time and frequency. Adding custom measurement will open a dialog letting you choose among many other measures like:

  • Total time
  • Total logic-high or logic-low time
  • Average frequency
  • The minimum and maximum frequency
  • Average duty cycle
  • maximum and minimum duty cycle
  • Falling and rising edges count

When adding a custom measurement, you can check the option “Make this the default measurement configuration” as shown in the image below to make it the “standard” measurement.

Custom measurement

Adding a marker

To add a marker, you can right-click on the signal area and select “add marker” as in the image below:

Add marker

You can also click “Add marker” in the annotate tab in the main menu:

Adding a marker in "annotate" menu

You’ll notice that a marker will be displayed under the mouse cursor. Move the mouse cursor to the position where the marker need to place, then left-click to fix the marker position.

You’ll notice that there is a magnet effect between the markers and the signal edges. This is usually helpful to align markers on signal edges, however, if this feature is not wanted, it can be inhibited by clicking on the ALT key on your keyboard.

Trigger markers

Depending on the trigger configuration, a special trigger marker may be added to the workspace. As the name implies, this is a special marker that marks the exact trigger instant. A trigger marker may not be moved or deleted.

Moving an existing marker

To move a marker, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Click once on the marker with the mouse (or mouse pad). You’ll notice that the marker will follow the position of the mouse cursor
  2. Move the mouse cursor (and the marker) to the new position
  3. Click a second time on the signals to fix the marker’s new position.

Adding or editing a measurement

To add a measurement, simply right on the signal area and click “add measurement”. You can also click on the “standard measure” in the annotate tab in the main menu.

When adding a measure, you will be required to add two markers defining the start and the end of a measure. Simply follow the steps required to add the two markers to finish adding a measurement.

Note: You may use existing markers instead of adding new ones. To do so, simply place the new marker above an existing one: the existing marker will be used to delimit the measurement and no new marker will be added.

You can always right-click on a measure and select “customize this measure” to change the list of parameters being measured.

Moving a measurement

You can right-click on a measurement and select “Move measurement” as in the image below.

Moving a measurement

When a measurement is being moved, it will simply follow the mouse’s cursor. Select the new position for the measurement and left-click with the mouse to fix the measurement in its new position.

It’s also possible to precisely adjust the left and right boundaries of a measure by zooming on each marker and moving it (just as you would move any regular marker).

ScanaStudio options menu

The options menu can be invoked by clicking on the settings icon as shown in the image below:

settings menu

This menu lets you access the general features and configuration options of ScanaStudio. Here is a brief description of the options menu items:

  • Settings: open the general settings window
  • Show log: This shows the script log that may show script debugging information. Note that in case an error or warning message is emitted by a script the log will display automatically.
  • Printer-friendly colors: used to switch between a back and white background.
  • Check software updates
  • Script manager: lets you check your local library of scripts, and update it from the online repository if needed.
  • Send a report to Ikalogic: Can be used to send us a detailed usage log of the application, along with a small message to help us understand the problem or issue you’re facing.
  • Online help: Lets you access this online guide
  • Device info: shows information about the currently connected device
  • About: shows general information about ScanaStudio like the version and authors