How Can I Perform a Long-Term Capture of USB Data for Troubleshooting and Analysis?

Question from the Customer:

We’re troubleshooting a problem that only occurs after days of successful operation. We have no clue of the root cause. To save time, we are now running the device through a burn-in chamber – but it still takes hours for the failure to occur. Our problem is collecting the data. When the RAM buffer is almost full, the capture stops. What can we do to capture USB data over longer periods of time? We’re using the Beagle USB 5000 v2 SuperSpeed Protocol Analyzer - Standard Edition.

Response from Technical Support:         

Thanks for your question! Captures in the are limited by the RAM of the analysis PC used with the Beagle USB 5000 v2 analyzer. However, there are settings you can apply to capture only the data you need for troubleshooting and analysis.

Memory and Capture Limit

The Beagle USB 5000 v2 analyzer constantly streams data to the analysis PC.  This allows the memory on the Beagle USB 5000 v2 analyzer to free and allowed infinite capture. However, as mentioned above, when the RAM of the analysis computer is filled, the capture will stop. The limitation on capture size is based on the RAM of the analysis computer. There are methods to capture data over longer periods, which are described in the following sections.

Triggering a Capture

The Beagle USB 5000 v2 analyzer can be set up to only store data when certain events occur. When the designated event occurs, the capture mechanism is triggered, and the data is downloaded to the computer. Triggering and Capture Control can be configured with the Data Center Software.

  • Device Settings can be used to configure the capture mode.
  • Capture Control can be used to monitor the capture in progress, as well as start and stop a capture.

For more information, please refer to the sections Triggering a Capture, Capture Control, and USB Device Settings in the Data Center Software User Manual.

Filtering Unnecessary Data

When the cause of the error is unknown, we recommend filtering out unnecessary data. You can do that by using LiveFilter to exclude “superfluous” data such as SOFs/Keep-Alive, Chirps and Reset, Suspend, Connect Events. LiveFilter is provided with the Data Control Software as shown below.

LiveFilter accessed via Data Center Software

The following video shows how to use filtering techniques including LiveFilter.

Saving Data on Hard Drive

If you need to save data that exceeds the capacity of the RAM of the computer, you can use Beagle Software API to create a program to save data to the hard drive or other storage device. The API supports several operating systems and program languages. In addition, functional examples are provided that can be used as-is or modified as needed. For more information, please refer to the API Documentation section of the Beagle Protocol Analyzer User Manual.

We hope this answers your question. Additional resources that you may find helpful include the following:

If you have other questions about our protocol analyzers or other Total Phase products, feel free to email us at sales@totalphase.com. You can also request a demo that is specific for your application.