My experiences with the dv3400:
During my investigations I found a product at Digikey (my preferred supplier) from this company TechTools.
I got out it is an american company, so a good starting point...
After studying the spec sheets and trying out the software plus examples they provide on their web pages, I decided to contact these guys to ask some details I couldn't find immediately in the provided documentation. The response came quickly and I got everything explained I asked for.
It was in the same price range than the other "big" ones e.g. from zeroplus with 32 channels, where I also sent some questions to their support mail but never got an answer (up to now several month passed by...).
The dv3400 specification promized everything I asked for and even more: 36 channels, 200MHz sample rate
(400 MHz if using half the channel count), 512k samples per channel (including a clever data compression),
adjustable threshold levels and trigger functions (including "duration" and "data stable" modes, etc.).
So I ordered this device from digikey.at, three days later I had it on my table!
Here is the "unpacking" picture story:
All in all I received a "cigar box" sized package, well sealed and with a label describing the content - a DV3400. After opening, a software CD and some readme text were the first items to see.
Below that, the logic analyzer, cables, clips and power supply were nicely aranged. The logic analyzer was packed in some bubble wrap, below it was well sealed in an additional ESD bag. There are 2 connectors with 20 signal lines each, plus 40 clamps included. Nevertheless I thought it is a good idea to directly order also some spare cables and clamps.
They are also available as spare parts at Digikey.
The cable and clamp quality is by far better than the cables and clamps delivered with my previous zeroplus device! Enclosed where also 4 rubber pads, intended to be sticked on the bottom of the logic analyzer.
A minor issue arized when I looked at the power supply. I expected an US plug, but what I didn't expect was a AC 12V linear supply using a conventional transformer - and thus only 110V-usable. So I asked back the TechTools support what options I got as alternate power supply, as it is fairly hard to find 12V AC supplies nowadays. Again they came back quickly with several options for AC or DC supplies. I finally decided to grab a universal DC 3V-15V power supply for the 230V domain (again using a conventional transformer, not a switched-mode supply), opened it, remove the regulator and rectifier and finally set up a "fixed" 12V/1A AC supply suitable for the device. Please don't do this by yourself, if you do not have the skills doing it! I learned all this in school, there are several safety rules and general laws to obey. The grid voltage is lethal and for sure destroys the logic analyzer and everything connected if something goes wrong (including you if you touch it in that moment)!
Thus, I do not recommend this method and will also not give any details/pictures on how to do it. Better way is to order such a 12V/1A AC supply suitable for your country when ordering the DLA, I simply missed to do it in the first hand, these AC supplies are not expensive. Also do not use just a conventional DC supply, there are several things to consider and it may not work (in a "best" case) or also may (slowly) destroy your tool....
I don't want to talk too much about the software. I just can say: download it and see by yourself. All you need
is there and it can be extended by plugins.
In my opinion, the software is even more important than the hardware, because it must provide all
hardware functions to the user in a practical and efficient way.
This software I really like: easy to understand and all functions are arranged in a clever way.
I immediately installed the latest beta version of their latest release 7 of DigiView from their support pages, so I didn't install it from the enclosed CD.
Very first experience:
My first project where I used it was the analysis of a custom IC, the 06xxto be specific. I was impressed about the amount of samples I was able to capture. Using all 36 channels I could read more than 120ms with 5ns resolution! But that was not even the most impressive part. Even more impressive was the incredibly flexible trigger setup I didn't even see on logic analyzers which cost 10x more, the possibility to synchronize any DSO or another DLA with it and the magnificent plugin concept.
Plugins for the dv-3400 / DigiView software:
The plugin development kit comes with a good documentation in PDF format (to print it out) and very useful
examples, nicely arranged as projects for an recent Visual Studio configuration on Windows (I initially used 2010 Express).
I am an Eclipse fan, so I did my own Makefile setup using MinGW...
Here is a screenshot of my first plugin. I used it to extract the command/data words send from the Z80 processor
bus to the 06xx custom device. I called it "special function register observer". It creates a bus-like signal with all
information on the transaction included. Yes, I made this plugin, it took me less than 3 hours to set it up and test it!
It is also possible to show the transaction data as a list, this formatting is done automatically and no special programming is needed to get it!
Another plugin I wrote is able to decode PS/2 signals from mice and keyboards. Again, it was no action at all to create it.
Furthermore, as aid for the development of my Spectrum 48k replay setup, I wrote a plugin which is capable to decode the Spectrum tape recorder stream - this was really a great help at code debugging!
I can provide you more information and the code for the plugins, but as ZIP and not as SVN yet - just mention the dv3400 plugins in the comment entry on the code request page.