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BITS N BYTES

RS232 Communications - Data Logging and Tap

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Which hardware and software for tapping into and logging RS232 Serial data communications between two devices [asynchronous and non-asynchronous] do you find the BEST and EASIEST to use. Have searched Google and http://www.stratusengineering.com seem to have a good product. Any ideas and suggestions would be most appreciated. Happy New Year to All

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I personally like PMCRs Supermon. Ask him for an updated copy. Got a lot of bells and whistles. SuperMon

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another option would be Portmon, from Microsoft

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I carry an EZ-Tap with me all the time. I use a Docklight as my software

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I also use Portmon works very well Rodney

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I am trying to log data traffic between two Serial devices NOT from a computer to one serial device. The EZ-Tap looks like a good solution but I fail to see how Portmon or PMCR's Supermon would work. Correct me if I am wrong. Regarding the EZ-Tap Jeff Kiper uses, is this the basic EZ-Tap or the EZ-Tap Pro you are using. Documentation suggests that the basic unit only runs at 9600 bps? Also found this device that looks most interesting, no computer needed!! Anyone tried one of these, comments, feedback. http://www.photologic.ca/serial_logger.htm

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I use the standard ez tap for 19, 200 all the time. I think I used it at 38,4 several times as well. How long are you plannjng on logging the data? A few minutes or days, months, years? I really like Docklight it allows you to capture data and save it as a text file. I do a lot of copy and pasting in excel when I am trying to debug strings that contain hex, dec & ASCII. Look up some post by Ken Roach he is the one that got me started with docklight. He uses some of the advanced features. I think he has several post on this topic as well. If I ever get back into doing a lot of serial stuff again I would probably buy a versa tap or see what kind of custom boards they have. The guy that built these taps at Stratus is super cool I have talked to him for hours on project. He knows his stuff.

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Side note a I have used a Red Lion HMI more than one to do custom Serial protocol stuff fir serial networks. That can do your logging as well.

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The EZ-Tap products are excellent. I actually gave some as Christmas presents to some colleagues a few years ago. The fact that they are entirely passive is crucial; being certain that you are not affecting the timing or signal of the serial data is tremendously important when you are troubleshooting an unknown problem. Frontline Test Equipment, who build the best industrial protocol analyzers on the market, run custom EZ-Tap hardware as their serial intercept boxes; they've given up on years of custom cable sets and PCMCIA cards and gone entirely with USB devices. You can do "pass-through" serial analysis slightly more cheaply, but nothing else on the market is truly passive; there will always be some delay and skew between frames entering one port and exiting the other. I don't really understand the 9600 baud stated limit for the standard EZ-Tap, as I used it at 19200 and 38400 frequently. Maybe there are timestamping issues I don't see. When I lost mine last year, I bought the Pro model as a replacement, along with the Versa-Tap for RS-485 stuff. If you need something compact and tiny, that Photologic device looks neat. A company called Brigantine Electronics makes a tiny logger called the "Dogcatcher" of that type, which uses USB thumbdrives. I think of EZ-Tap as a protocol analyzer, rather than a data logger, though it can really do both.

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