OffLine use and USB cable disconnections

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OffLine use and USB cable disconnections

Postby FioranoCars » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:43 pm

Following a thread with Alan about some hardware issues, one of my pet annoyances was raised, and it appears I'm not alone ... as Alan says
As for the USB cable disconnection I agree its annoying but its not as simple to overcome as it first seems - to ensure you get a fast screen update rate when using deep memory the scope hardware effectively creates the image to be shown on screen and transfers that. In other words until you select file / save most of the data is actually only in the scope not on the PC. When you unplug the USB cable to the scope the power and data has gone.


In terms of the data, I understand now you have explained, but there are ways around that, or at least to mitigate, especially with modern PC's ... once the capture is stopped, automatically start to transfer the deep memory from the device to the PC ... if the capture is restarted dump the data (as it's been dumped by the user restarting a new catpure), however as in 95%+ of occassions, the data is likely to be saved from cable disconnect! Just an idea...

However, loosing settings during cable disconnect or device swap, is purely wrong, there is no reason for the software to behave like this. While swapping models of scope might not have been envisioned back at the start, it's a growing thing as more users buy a second or upgraded device. My2p !

Offline use, while disconnected from a scope, quite rightly should not function as a scope, fully understand you want your IP to be protected and used only for Pico hardware, no issues there!

... however right now the way things are disabled hurts Pico users in their offline analysis or setup of templates ... Ideally "disconnected" mode should allow full setup (even if you need a one-time scope connection) and configuration access, both to allow a new capture to be prepared, and to "see" how a recorded capture was obtained etc. Remember some changes like enabling channels need to be "run" before settings can be undertaken!

offline use.png
Offline features all disabled or blank

As can be seen from the screen shot, many of the settings are disabled (chA-B displayed in the menu differently from C-D), unable to view probe type, lots of stuff that would be good to access.

Any chance of having a review of these bits and feeding a few ideas to the wishlist?

Thanks
Richard
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Re: OffLine use and USB cable disconnections

Postby Autonerdz » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:18 pm

As can be seen from the screen shot, many of the settings are disabled (chA-B displayed in the menu differently from C-D), unable to view probe type, lots of stuff that would be good to access.



Richard,

I think much of your trouble here is related to how you are opening your files.

Try this when you scope hardware is not present:

1. Start PicoScope software
2. Say 'Yes' to demo
3. Browse to your desired file using the File/Open from within the PicoScope software.
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Re: OffLine use and USB cable disconnections

Postby FioranoCars » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:18 pm

:oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

Thanks Tom, much apprecaited
In the modern world we're so conditioned to "click click", never considered selection of the demo device first, and using the open file menu :lol: :lol:

I think the double click event of opening the files should be changed to replicate this ... please :idea: (or modify behaviour to act the same way of having the demo device loaded), as I'm not sure what purpose this less than optimal behaviour achieves, other than blocking features etc ... again just my2p!

Thanks again, at least I can now work offline more productively!

Still learning :wink:

Richard
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Re: OffLine use and USB cable disconnections

Postby Autonerdz » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:06 am

Richard,

You are welcome.

This is a very common theme in our global group among new users and older ones alike.. Images are so much better with the blanks filled in. It's an easy change in procedure but old habits can be hard to break.

Best as i understand it, when your scope is plugged in, PicoScope finds it when it opens and therefore knows what you are using. When it's not there it doesn't. This affects the way it reads the data as much of it is unit specific. And Pico has a lot of different scopes with different ranges, features, and capabilities.

Opening in demo mode takes care of those issues. You are manually providing the needed scope information so the data file can open properly.

I am sure someone in the Pico development team can explain it better.

Just get in the habit of always opening files from within PicoScope.
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Re: OffLine use and USB cable disconnections

Postby FioranoCars » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:13 am

Yes, it's complex when you consider the wider range of scopes outside our tiny niche!

... But :D ... When no device is present then you'd hope the original recoding device, whose I'd is embedded in the file, would get used as default?

As always, just trying to help make a great product incrementally more robust and even better ... Which remind me, I've not seen a new beta in a while?

I'll roll back under my stone :)

Richard
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Re: OffLine use and USB cable disconnections

Postby FioranoCars » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:19 pm

Hi
Just to keep the posts aligned with the thread, I moving some comments from Pico.Gerry over here:
Regarding viewing files off-line, if you view them in the same PicoScope series/model that created them you should be able to see all of the channel information (it's when you use a different model that the channel info isn't accessible, because it may not apply).


Thanks for the comments, but a couple of things
- Tom from AutoNerdz has udentified that Pico behaves differently depending on how you open a file, and that double clicking a file while no scope is connected results in "undesirable and unintended" behaviour (aka a bug?) ... There is no recovery, you must close the file and follow the alternative method ...
I think much of your trouble here is related to how you are opening your files.
Try this when you scope hardware is not present:
1. Start PicoScope software
2. Say 'Yes' to demo
3. Browse to your desired file using the File/Open from within the PicoScope software.


- "Offline" you don't have a scope connected, so there should be no blocked features ...

- Viewing an existing file, even with a 2 channel scope attached should not block the channels from being viewed if the capture is using 4 channels, surely the point is being able to access the setup to recreate it ... rather the software should/could identify those feature/channels not supported as not usable for a new capture, but they should be viewable for settings ... give you an example:
Someone posts a 4 channel capture up here on the forum, a 2 channel scope owner wants to reuse channel C's settings on his machine to be Channel B, so he can replicate stuff ... but heck, he'd need to unplug his scope, re-open Pico, select a demo scope, open the file, reset the Channel B, save it (as unplugging or plugging the USB clears the current session), re-open it (if they could figure it out and without getting annoyed by loosing their data the first time the new settings are lost during the scope being reconnected) ...


Ok, so the wise cracks would open a beta version of Pico (as not always one to download, so keep the last version handy!) and open Beta with a demo scope and then open the template file there, then alt-tab between Pico screens ... but honestly ...

This whole USB and offline should be PROPERLY looked into, and the historic coding issues fixed. It's not of the standard we expect of modern software nor from Pico (IMHO).

Just a message from Pico to say "Ok, we seem to have some undesirable unintended behaviour, we're going to look at it, please let us know any other USB connect/disconnect or Offline issues so we can add them to the scope (no pun intended!) of the recoding" would be a galant and big step in the right direction!

So, here I'd like to throw into the pot ... remember to consider swapping between scope models, as we do! Ours are both 4 channel, but it might be users go 4ch->2ch or 2ch-4ch and may want to move settings from C or D to A or B (so maybe a "move/copy channel" tool?)

Yes, I've lost lots of data (accidental cable disconnects, and intended when others pinch the scope for their jobs), been frustrated by double clicking and not getting to see how things were setup, so a plea from the heart, please take a serious look at this...

Many thanks
Richard
PS, pretty please...
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