Michael Coffman

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Design & Development Engineering

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    • Johan.Kraft, Thanks for the response. We generally do not have debug connections available on my controllers when they are installed in the production environment, but of course the production environment is where all the anomalous behavior occurs. If we could easily detect the problem on the bench, we would have. But since the trace data can be recorded to on-board memory, we could arrange ways to preserve the trace data around the event of interest, and upload that from our control to the PC and ultimately to the trace tool using the J1939 memory access protocol, or some other memory transfer protocol. One would have to sort out the details to make this concept work.

    • Jack, The information displays look great, but how does the data being collected by the monitoring software get out of my packaged embedded controller to my PC for collection and analysis? You and Percepio's web site were silent on that matter. Do they assume I have an ethernet port or a USB port on my controller? My embedded controller has only a pair of J1939 buses used for machine control communications.

    • I agree that an understanding of assembly, and the knowledge of the processor architecture that must accompany that understanding creates a "model" of expected system behavior in the mind of the developer. The model in our head is what we play our designs against in the concept stages. The model is also what we use to find the defects in our products - when the observed behavior does not match our model. A fun and very low priced tool to develop an understanding of assembly code and a bit of embedded design is the "Computer Science Lab" by John Kopplin. (www.computersciencelab.com) I bought it out of curiosity after reading Jack Ganssle's review a couple years ago. It gives a good "hands on" tutorial on the 8051, along with C and C++. The included Illustrated History of Computers is very interesting for your inner (and outer) geek.