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Using the Beagle USB 5000 v2 SuperSpeed Protocol Analyzer, How Can I Best Capture Data Over Long Periods?

Question from the Customer:

I want to capture the behavior of USB 3.0 device using USB-HDD for recording TV programs over periods of time ranging from a few minutes to up to 8 hours.

How can I best capture data over long periods? What options do I have? I’ll be using the Beagle USB 5000 v2 SuperSpeed Protocol Analyzer - Ultimate Edition.

Response from Technical Support:

Thanks for your question! There are many options for capturing and storing data. For the shorter data periods, you may be able to use the RAM of the analysis computer – along with the Total Phase Data Center Software. For more extended periods of data capture, we recommend using Complex Match Feature or the Beagle Software API to store the data directly on a hard drive.

 Beagle 5000 USB Superspeed protocol analyzer

Data Center Software

Figure 1: Beagle USB 5000 v2 SuperSpeed Protocol Analyzer - Ultimate Edition

Figure 2: Data Center Software

When storing data in the RAM of a computer, the Beagle USB 5000 v2 analyzer can capture the equivalent of up to 80% of that RAM.  For example, if the computer memory RAM is 10 GB, then the Beagle 5000 can capture up to about 8 GB. The maximum the Data Center Software supports is 32 GB of RAM on a 64-bit system.  The internal hardware buffer on the Beagle USB 5000 v2 Analyzer – Ultimate Edition is 4 GB. For more information, please refer to the  Capture Data Limit section of the Data Center Software User Manual.

Alternatively, the advanced triggers can be used to run captures over a long period time by utilizing the hardware circular buffer.  This method provides for capturing only data of interest over that period of time.  It is possible to allocate up to 4 GB of memory for transactions prior to a trigger event.   Here’s a summary of how this is done:

  1. Set up a trigger condition using the Data Center Complex Match feature.
  2. Using Complex Match, you can set up a trigger condition and start the capture. The analyzer will be running in a “pre-trigger” mode until the trigger condition is met. In the pre-trigger mode, the Beagle USB 5000 v2 analyzer captures traffic in a circular hardware buffer maintaining only the most recent records.
  3. When the trigger condition is met, Data Center Software will download the data in the pre-trigger buffer and start capturing traffic from that point on. You can let the capture continue, which will eventually stop when you run out of space (depending on the computer RAM memory size).

For details, please refer to the Capture Buffer and USB 3.0 Matching sections of the Data Center Software Manual.

Here are videos that further describe the capture and trigger techniques:

 capture_control  adv_triggers  usb2_trigger_ext

Managing your USB 3.0 Capture with Capture Control

Create a USB Complex Match and Trigger a Capture with

the Beagle USB 5000 v2 Analyzer

Create a USB 2.0 Complex Match and Trigger Output with the Beagle USB 5000 v2 Analyzer

As video data is very dense, longer periods of data may need to be captured and stored on a hard drive instead of the computer RAM. Such a storage feature is not supported with the Data Center Software – however, a custom storage application can easily be created using the Beagle Software API. The Beagle API software supports several operating systems and software languages. Also, functional examples are provided and can be used as-is or modified to meet your specifications. For details, please refer to the API Documentation section of the Beagle Protocol Analyzer User Manual.

Additional resources that you may find helpful include the following:

We hope this answers your questions. If you have other questions about our protocol analyzers or other Total Phase products, feel free to email us at sales@totalphase.com, or if you already own one of our devices and have a technical question, please submit a request for technical support.