Serial Monitor Features
The Serial Monitor offers the following functionality:Feature Tour Index
- Serial Ports and Devices Monitoring
- Packet View: Displaying Monitored Packets in a Table
- Request View: Displaying Monitored Packets in a Hex/ASCII View
- Data View: Displaying Read/Written Data in Separate Windows
- Console View: Displaying Monitored Data in a Serial Console
- Line View: Displaying the Status of Serial (Modem) Control Lines
- Statistics: Graphical Data Analyzis
- General Filtering Feature
- Custom Color Schemes for Monitored Packets
- Session Recording
- Log File Playback (Playing Back Recorded Serial Port Data)
- PPP View: Parsing PPP Packets
- MODBUS View: Parsing MODBUS Packets
- Monitoring of Bridged Serial Connections
- Serial Terminal
- MODBUS Send: Sending MODBUS Protocol Commands
- Scripting Support
- Script Debugger
- Raw Data View: Displaying Raw Packet Data
- Structure View: Parsing and Displaying Captured Packet Data
- Capture Filter
- Custom Protocols
- Raw Data Exporter
- Text Exporter
- Multi-source Monitoring
- Remote Monitoring
- Custom Visualizers
- Data Repeater
Serial Ports and Devices Monitoring
The Serial Monitor automatically detects all installed serial ports and PnP or virtual serial devices and displays them, grouping by device class. For each device, device's friendly name, description, location information and manufacturer's name are displayed. The list is automatically updated every time you plug or unplug a serial device.
The special "Next connected device" item allows you to monitor the next device you plug into your computer.
Obtaining Additional Information
Click on the device in a list to get its capabilities information, which is displayed in the Serial Device Information window.
Controlling Serial Devices
You can restart the selected serial device or view its properties. These and other options are easily accessed through the popup menu.
Packet View: Displaying Monitored Packets in a Table
The Packet View visualizer provides the combination of brief packet information for each monitored packet and in-depth analyzis for an individually selected packet. It is structurally divided into two panes.
The upper pane displays brief information for each monitored packet in several columns in a table. Use the mouse to change the columns' size and position as well as to change the relative size of the upper and lower panes.
To locate the specific packet use either the Go to Packet or Find commands. Use the Copy and Export commands to copy/export all or some of the monitored packets in the same way you see them on the screen.
The lower pane lists all other supported and installed visualizers which are used to display the individual packet information. Once you select the packet in the upper pane, all its internal fields are decoded and displayed in the visualizers in the lower pane. For example, select a MODBUS protocol packet to see it decoded in Request View and MODBUS View visualizers.
Request View: Displaying Monitored Packets in a Hex/ASCII View
The Request View visualizer displays each monitored packet. It decodes the packet's internal fields, and works in two modes - Basic and Complete. In Basic mode only the main packet fields are decoded and displayed, while some others being available as popup hints. In Complete mode the entire packet is decoded and all accompanying data is provided in Hex/ASCII view. You can switch between two modes at any time and, moreover, you can switch the mode for individual packets.
The contents of the visualizer can be copied into the Clipboard or exported into the file in various formats. Use the mouse to select the portion to copy/export or leave the selection empty to copy the entire visualizer contents.
Use the powerful Find and Go to Packet commands to locate the information you need.
With outstanding performance at the first place, the Request View visualizer is your best tool to analyze monitored data.
Data View: Displaying Read/Written Data in Separate Windows
The Data View visualizer has two panes. It displays incoming data in one pane and outgoing data in another one.
The contents of each pane can be copied into the Clipboard or exported into the file in various formats. Use the mouse to select the portion to copy/export or leave the selection empty to copy the entire pane.
Use the powerful Find and Go to Packet commands to locate the information you need.
Its unique data filtering capabilities make this visualizer a very handy protocol analyzis tool.
Console View: Displaying Monitored Data in a Serial Console
Console View visualizer is especially useful while monitoring a text-based protocol. It displays incoming and outgoing text data. Instead of exposing data as individual packets, as most other visualizers do, it groups data according to the underlying text protocol. You will easily see the request sent to the device as well as device's response.
The visualizer supports line numbering, copying and exporting functions as well as Find and Go To Packet commands.
Line View: Displaying the Status of Serial (Modem) Control Lines
When monitoring a modem connection, the Line View visualizer may reproduce the well-known modem "lamps", which they used to have on older modems. Most modern modems and all kind of internal or software-based modems do not have these lamps now. Taking into account the fact that those lamps used to depict the state of corresponding signal "lines", it sometimes maybe important to control their state. The Line View visualizer is the feature that shows you the required information.
Statistics: Graphical Data Analyzis
This is the most exciting visualizer the Device Monitoring Studio has! It is capable of displaying the graphical relationship for various monitored data statistics. It has a large number of counters: Packets Total/sec, Bytes Total/sec, Bytes Read/sec, Bytes Written/sec, IO Packets/sec.
You can configure this visualizer in an outstanding number of ways: you can scroll horizontally to view any portion of data, change the horizontal scale, change the vertical scale or use the auto fit option to automatically fit all data on the screen. You can even change the scale for each variable individually!
You can switch the graphic from polyline to curves with gradient fill to make the visual appearance more comfortable. Use the Copy or Export commands to copy the bitmap or export it to the file in various formats, including PNG and JPEG.
This visualizer also displays variable statistics in the table, which is visible below the plot data. It displays the maximum, average, total and last values for each variable.
Click anywhere on the plot to place a measuring line, which will scan the monitored data, displaying the momentary values for you.
General Filtering Feature
Device Monitoring Studio offers a generic filtering feature, which allows you to configure filtering for different visualizers and create filtering schemes and quickly apply them to different visualizer windows.
Custom Color Schemes for Monitored Packets
Device Monitoring Studio allows you to change the appearance of visual elements for monitored packets in the following data visualizers:
- MODBUS View
- Request View (Serial, Bridge)
- Data View
- PPP View
- Request View (Serial, Bridge)
All Device Monitoring Studio visualizers work in real time - you monitor the device and see the packets in visualizers. If you need to record a session and analyze it later, use the session recording!
Use the Sessions Tool Window and Tools menu to start, stop or pause recording.
If you forgot to start recording, use the Save to Log command to save monitored data to a log.
Log File Playback (Playing Back Recorded Serial Port Data)
The Playback tool window lists all recorded log files, grouping them either by device name or by recording date. For each log file various information is displayed, including the log file size and the list of streams. To playback the log file, select the stream, configure the visualizers, select the time range and playback speed and start the monitoring session.
You can change the speed of playback at any time later as well. The unique Continuous mode allows you to quickly transfer stream data into visualizers.
Device Monitoring Studio provides you with a way to manage the recorded logs via the commands in the menu and popup menu.
PPP View: Parsing PPP Packets
The Serial PPP View visualizer can be used to decode Point-to-Point Protocol packets, as well as a number of packets that can be encapsulated in PPP packets.
The current version of the visualizer supports the following protocols:
- Novell IPX
- OSI Network Layer Control Protocol
- DECnet Phase IV Control Protocol
- Appletalk Control Protocol
- Link Control Protocol
- Password Authentication Protocol
- Link Quality Report
- Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol
- Multilink Protocol
- Compression Control Protocol
- Extensible Authentication Protocol
- NETBIOS Protocol
MODBUS View: Parsing MODBUS Packets
MODBUS is an application layer messaging protocol, positioned at level 7 of the OSI model, that provides client/server communication between devices connected on different types of buses or networks.
MODBUS View visualizer is compliant with MODBUS APPLICATION PROTOCOL SPECIFICATION V1.1a.
MODBUS View visualizer parses MODBUS protocol requests and responses, while the MODBUS Send Module can be used to construct and send MODBUS requests only. The visualizer is part of the monitoring infrastructure, that is you can use it to monitor the existing connection between the application and a serial device. The MODBUS Send Module, on the other hand, allows you to control the MODBUS-compliant device without the need of any third party controlling application. In this case the MODBUS View visualizer, if configured, can be used to see the requests sent by the MODBUS Send Module and packets the device respond with.
Monitoring of Bridged Serial Connections
Serial Bridge ("Protocol Analyzer" in the previous product versions) is used to monitor the serial connection between two distinct serial devices. In this case, the existing connection between devices is broken and both devices are connected to two computer serial ports. The Serial Monitor then establishes a virtual link between them and monitors the resulting virtual connection.
You provide connection settings (such as baud rate, parity etc.) for both ends of the link and you are even allowed to specify different settings for both ends, if you need to.
The built-in Serial Terminal module is used to create serial terminal sessions. Once created, the session can be used to send text or binary data to a connected serial device and to receive device's responses.
Combined with Serial Monitor's monitoring capabilities, it becomes a powerful debugging and protocol testing tool. Combined with built-in scripting support, it delivers even more power and becomes the versatile debugging tool.
MODBUS Send: Sending MODBUS Protocol Commands
MODBUS Send window provides a really easy way to control a MODBUS-compatible device. It can come of great help when you need to debug your device, for example, to verify its responses. You can set all parameters for any standard or user-defined MODBUS function visually and then just click on the Send button. Result rollout will dynamically reflect the changes you make.
It is convenient to use a MODBUS View visualizer in conjunction with a MODBUS Send window for two-way debugging (to view both requests and responses).
Script DebuggerThe built-in script debugger simplifies the process of script authoring. During debugging, expression evaluation, variable watching and stack tracing are provided. A script execution may be traced or continued until the next breakpoint is hit.
Raw Data View: Displaying Raw Packet Data
The visualizer has two windows, one of which displays data sent to the Serial device, and another one displays data received from the Serial device. All subsequent packets are concatenated into a single data stream, which is displayed as sequence of hexadecimal, decimal, octal or binary numbers. Alternatively, the stream may be displayed as a sequence of floating-point numbers with single or double precision.
The data visualizer is very flexible and allows you to customize both its layout and appearance.
Structure View: Parsing and Displaying Captured Packet Data
Structure View data visualizer is a two-part window. First part displays each monitored packet parsed according to installed set of protocols. Second part displays raw packet contents. Cursor navigation may be synchronized between two parts.
Each packet is matched against one or more of loaded protocol definition files and if matched successfully, all protocol fields are shown in the top part of the Structure View visualizer. For each field, its name, value, starting address and size are displayed. If field consists of other fields, you may expand it by pressing the little plus icon or pushing the Right button on the keyboard.
Visualizer supports configuring protocol-based filtering (aka Display Filter) and allows changing of the root protocol.
A filter is a single condition which follows the syntax of Protocol Definition expressions. It can refer to any field in captured packet and use any supported logical or arithmetic operator.
You can set the capture filter when you start new or configure running monitoring session. You can either select one of the predefined filters or create your own.
Serial Monitor comes with a lot of pre-installed protocols. This feature also allows the customer to add the definition of the custom protocol to Serial Monitor. After this, the application will start parsing and decoding all matching packets according to custom protocol definition.