4. Software Setup
In some cases, additional software is required to use A2B in addition to Vehicle Spy. If the RAD-A2B is exclusively being used to monitor A2B traffic on a preconfigured network, no additional setup is needed. In this case, ensure the RAD-A2B is powered and connected during discovery, and it will be automatically configured to monitor A2B traffic. Section 4.3. includes information about configuring A2B networks on ADI’s devices.
4.1. Vehicle Spy 3 Overview
Vehicle Spy is used for much of the functionality for your RAD-A2B. Your device has arrived with the software necessary to use it. If the media containing this software is no longer available, the software can be found at the following link.
All necessary drivers are installed with the Vehicle Spy installation. If you do not intend to use Vehicle Spy, you will have to install a package containing the necessary drivers. This same package will also install support files to allow the hardware to be accessed through files hosted on Intrepid’s API.
Intrepid Product Drivers.
In order to use Vehicle Spy 3, a license must be purchased for each device you wish to use. Unlike most licenses, Vehicle Spy licenses are perpetual, meaning you can use them forever. Once the maintenance on your license expires, you will no longer be able to update Vehicle Spy. However, you can renew maintenance on your license to continue receiving new features and bug fixes in later versions.
If you are having trouble finding or installing the software, please contact our customer support at email@example.com
You will be able to connect to your RAD-A2B through 3rd party software using Intrepid’s API. Many of Intrepid’s open source libraries can be found at github.com/intrepidcs
- Integrate with third-party software using Intrepid’s open source APIs.
4.3. Configuring A2B Networks
This section contains instructions to set up an A2B network on ADI evaluation boards. A brief description on how A2B networks work is also included below.
A2B networks are created using a schematic file and discovery process. The schematic file tells the Main Node the location of the Sub Nodes and the peripheral devices (i.e. a microphone or speaker). As soon as power is applied to the network, the Main Node begins a process called discovery where it attempts to recognize each device as it is described in the schematic file.
The schematic file must be loaded onto the Main Node for the Node to know where the other Nodes and devices are located. For this, we will connect to the Main Node through an Interface Board (i.e. EVAL-ADUSB2EBUZ). Next, we will use SigmaStudio to open, edit, and download the schematics to Main Node through the Interface Board. After downloading the schematics, the Main Node will automatically initiate discovery which will attempt to recognize all devices on the network in the order they were described. Once discovery is complete, the A2B network is configured and ready to go online. Before downloading the schematics, make sure the RAD-A2B is connected to the A2B network and powered. Otherwise, the Main Node will not discover the RAD-A2B and will not transmit traffic for it. If the RAD-A2B is connected to the network and online during discovery, Vehicle Spy will display the Broadcast and setup messages that are transmitted.
Now, you can download SigmaStudio and the libraries necessary for downloading schematics to the Main Node.
- Go to analog.com/SigmaStudio analog.com/SigmaStudio
- Under Downloads And Related Software, go to Product Downloads, and click Download SigmaStudio 64 Bit-OS (Rev. x.x). Select the latest version.
- Once the download is complete, open the file to install SigmaStudio.
Next, you must download and install the A2B libraries into SigmaStudio.
- Under Downloads And Related Software, go to Software Development Tools, and click A2B® Software.
- Once the download is complete, open the file to install
- A new folder will be created: C:Analog Devices
7. Navigate to `C:Analog DevicesADI_A2B_Software-Relx.x.xGUIx86_x64`
8. Copy A2B.dll and A2BStack.dll from this folder to `C:Program FilesAnalog DevicesSigmaStudio 4.6`
9. Since the schematics are used with an extension of SigmaStudio, all schematics must be accessible by the A2B extension. To ensure that schematics can be accessed, all schematics files must be in C:Analog DevicesADI_A2B_Software-Relx.x.xSchematicsBFA2BSchematics
so that they viewed and downloaded to the device. If the schematics are not in this folder, an error will occur when SigmaStudio tries to download the schematics to the Main Node.
- In SigmaStudio, you can open .dspproj (schematic) files and go to Action->Link Compile Download to send these schematics to the Interface Board which downloads it to the Main Node.
As soon as power is applied to the Main Node, it initiates discovery mode where the Main Node searches for Sub Nodes. The schematics must be redownloaded each time new Sub Nodes are discovered. Therefore, you must Link Compile Download each time the device is restarted or power is cycled.
4.4. A2B Main Node Configuration
The RAD-A2B bus nodes are highly configurable, and as the Main Node, they provide the ability to power sub nodes, export configurations from SigmaStudio, and import them into RAD-A2B for network configuration. Additionally, they allow for sniffing on the I2C config that is loaded down to the device. To facilitate monitoring and configuration, a server and a second instance of Vspy can be utilized. This enables real-time monitoring of the network while sending down the SigmaStudio configuration via CoreMini. With these capabilities, users can easily configure and manage their RAD-A2B bus nodes, providing a seamless and efficient audio communication network. To get started, follow the instructions below for step-by-step guidance on configuring your RAD-A2B bus nodes.
To export config file from SigmaStudio:
- Open SigmaStudio + project file
- Right click on Target Processor and select “Export System Config Files…”
- Generate and export the .dat file
To import exported bus config to RADA2B
- Set up a coremini for RADA2B
- Go to the A2B tab in the coremini panel, and select the exported file from SigmaStudio
- Write coremini to the RADA2B
Example Sigma Studio files
Copy files to
Example Files are as follows -
- RADA2B as Main Node, ADI daughter board as sub node
- 2x RADA2B, 1 Main Node, 1 sub node
Please contact Intrepid support team for example files.
4.4.1. Debugging Main Node Configuration
The A2B stack provides a “sequence chart” to show all the operations performed during configuration. This can be used to debug and determine why the configuration is failing. This new debugging method can be used to troubleshoot issues that arise during the configuration of A2B Main Nodes. For example, if loading the Main Node config fails, currently there is no extra information to debug why it is failing. With the sequence chart, users can now see all the operations that are being performed and determine where the issue lies.
To use this feature, follow the steps below:
- Ensure that the firmware is updated to the latest version that includes this feature.
- Run the A2B Main Node configuration process.
- If there is an issue during the configuration process, navigate to the A2B Traffic panel and select the “Export Sequence Chart” option.
- The sequence chart will be exported to a PlantUML format file. (Note : Sequence chart is supported in Vehicle Spy 3 version 18.104.22.168)
- Download the PlantUML JAR from https://plantuml.com/download
- Run PlantUML on the exported .puml file using the following command: “java -DPLANTUML_LIMIT_SIZE=99999 -jar plantuml-1.2023.5.jar a2b-sequence-chart.puml”
- The generated PNG file can be viewed to identify the issue that caused the configuration to fail.
4.5. A2B Traffic View
The A2B Traffic View tab is a tool designed specifically for the RAD-A2B. This view is designed with an Audio Traffic section and an Event Traffic section.To open this tab, go to Spy Networks -> A2B Traffic.
4.5.1. Audio Traffic
On this page, you will see all detected A2B channels when the RAD-A2B is online and connected to the A2B network. The current measured decibel level will be displayed for each channel. Brief descriptions of each column header are included below.
This is a unique number assigned to each stream used to identify your A2B data. Any A2B node (including the RAD-A2B) is capable of transmitting and receiving messages in up to 32 Upstream and Downstream directions.
The Stream Name is used as a more recognizable identifier for A2B streams. In future versions of Vehicle Spy, the Stream name will be extracted from a file exported by SigmaStudio
Since A2B is a bidirectional network, streams can travel in either direction. This data section defines which direction the stream is traveling. Streams traveling away from the Main Node are considered Upstream, and streams traveling toward the Main Node are considered Downstream.
Streams can contain multiple audio slots (i.e. a stereo stream will have left and right channels). This data section identifies how many slots are used by each stream as defined in SigmaStudio. This data section will be supported in future versions of Vehicle Spy 3.
A Bus Slot is used to identify when each stream is transmitted on the A2B network. Each Bus Slot has an Upstream and Downstream stream.
This data section will be supported in future versions of Vehicle Spy 3.
The level column displays the intensity of the audio transmitted on each stream. The louder the stream, the longer the level bar will be. The column to the right displays the measured audio level in decibels. Since the numbers are negative, the closer the decibel value is to zero, the louder the stream is.
You can hide unwanted A2B streams by clicking Select Streams in the bottom left corner and selecting which streams you want to see. At the top of the A2B Traffic page, there is an option to listen to an A2B stream live as it passes through the RAD-A2B. Select the Stream to Output you wish to hear and then select the Output Device. To stop playback, set the Stream to Output to None.
On the right side of this page, there is an option to download your A2B traffic as a .wav file. Click Save Audio to save the previous 15 seconds of audio from whichever stream is selected (highlighted) from the stream list. This is different from Select Streams; instead, just click the stream you want to record from the list of displayed streams. Click Quick Save to save the audio without the dialog box.
In this picture, the first stream is selected (highlighted blue), so the previous 15 seconds of this stream will be saved when Save Audio is clicked.
The .wav file will be saved to the Data Directory of your Logon which is located at
C:\IntrepidCS\Vehicle Spy 3\Data Directory\LogonName
You can also access this folder by clicking Data in the top right corner of Vehicle Spy.
Only one stream can be recorded at a time. If multiple streams are selected, the stream with the lowest Stream ID will be recorded
4.5.2. Event Traffic
In the Event Traffic tab, you have the option to create filters for the discovery messages you wish to display. The data sections below describe different ways to filter your messages. You can also create filters on the right side of this view. Clicking Apply Filter applies any conditions made and updates the messages accordingly. You can remove the filter by clicking Remove Filter located next to the Apply Filter button. There is also a Scroll Lock button which blocks Vehicle Spy from scrolling to see the most recent messages. Brief descriptions of each column header are included below.
Each message that is transmitted is numbered to make it easier to find and track
This column displays the time that a message was transmitted
This column displays whether the data for that frame is Upstream or Downstream. To see more on this, refer to the Audio Traffic section in 4.3.1.
This column displays the device that is designated to read this message. BROADCAST means all devices should read the message. PERIPH means the message is designated for a peripheral device connected to a Node. SLAVE means the message is designated for a Sub Node.
This column indicates the “address” of the Node that is being sent the message
This column indicates which type of instruction is contained in the message
The most common type of instructions are Read and Write. A third type of message is the Interrupt message. Sub Nodes can send this message to get the Main Node’s attention. Inside the superframe (contains the upstream and downstream traffic), Sub Nodes transmit a special sequence to the Main Node to interrupt the current transmission so new data can be written to the network
This column displays the hexadecimal value of the 7 bit I2C address used in communication between Nodes and Peripheral Devices. This is meant for accessing A2B subnodes and then I2C Peripherals in order for devices to communicate using the A2B network
This column displays the hexadecimal value of the data contained in each message
This data section will be supported in future versions of Vehicle Spy 3
In the Settings tab at the bottom of the Event Traffic page, you can filter out which columns you want displayed and change the Size of History for your data. This is the maximum number of messages that will be saved before erasing old messages. The default is 50000 messages.
Go to Spy Networks -> Messages and ensure that A2B is selected for your Columns view. In this view, you can see the raw data that is being detected by the RAD-A2B.
4.6. Signal Plot
In this tab, you have the option to select streams detected by the RAD-A2B and plot them in real time on a graph. You can decide whether you would like to see Upstream or Downstream channels and choose a designated color for each signal.
4.6.1. Signal Groups
The Signal Plot feature uses Signal Groups, or collections of signals, to plot. New groups can be created by clicking on the button, or removed using the button. Signal groups are edited by clicking Select Signals and using the Expression Builder. To choose a different signal group, select it from the drop-down list to display that group in the plot.
Note that the same signal groups are shared between the Signal Plot and Signal List features in Vehicle Spy.
4.6.2. Signal Plot Controls
The Plot Signals button creates another Signal Plot window. The Logging button opens the Logging view; logging status is displayed just below the button. For more information on Logging, see 4.6.
The Signal Plot toolbar provides various features for displaying and saving data. The table below describes each of the Signal Plot toolbar controls. The plot axes can be stretched or zoomed by clicking and dragging them.
|Signal Plot Tool||Description|
|Enabled by default, so the plot scrolls to show the mostrecent data press this to resume scrolling after pressing the Pause button|
|Stops scrolling so the display can be reviewed|
|When selected, dragging the mouse on an axis will scroll the axis in that direction|
|When selected, dragging the mouse on an axis will zoom the axis proportionally|
|Zooms in on the plot|
|Zooms out from the plot|
|After clicking this button, left-click and drag a box around an area to zoom in, showing only what was surrounded by the box|
|This button enables cursors that can be dragged to make measurements from the plot|
This button brings up a dialog to configure the plot.The maximum number of plot points per signal can be changed here; the default is 10,000
Note that setting this value too high will create problems if the computer does not have enough memory. As a point of reference, 50,000 plot points with 6 signals will use about 4.8 MB of RAM
|Copies a bitmap of the plot to the Windows Clipboard so it can be pasted into another application|
|This allow the chart to be saved as a .BMP, .PNG, .EMF, or .JPG file|
|This opens a dialog to let you print the plot|
|This drop-down box allows you to select what type of measurement is made with the cursors on the plot|
|This entry controls the number of seconds of data displayed on the graph|
4.7. PC Logging
Even though the RAD-A2B does not support standalone logging, stream data can still be logged to the computer. Logging allows signal data to be saved without message data bytes and IDs. The Logging screen is accessed by going to Measurement -> Logging.
4.7.1. Selecting a Signal Group
Logging uses the same signal groups as the Signal Plot and Signal List features. Start by choosing the desired signal group via the Signal Group to Log drop-down list. To change the signals in that group, click Select Signals. The + and - buttons can be used to add and remove signal groups.
You can also click Copy Selected Group to duplicate the currently-selected signal group.
4.7.2. Enabling Logging
Enable the Logging feature for the selected signal group by clicking the checkmark next to Log This Signal Group. This will activate most of the other controls in the window.
4.7.3. Logging Status and Data
While Logging is active, its status is shown in the upper right corner. You can view data as it is being collected by clicking View Data
4.7.4. Logging Setup
This option area sets primary parameters for logging. These are the options found in this area:
- Log at Constant Rate / Log All Updates: Determines whether all data is logged or it is instead time-sampled. Choosing Log All Updates will disable the Log Rate options below.
- Log Rate (sec/sample): The frequency at which data is sampled and logged.
- Save when data changes only: When enabled, new entries are created only when data changes; this can help reduce storage requirements.
- Log File: The name of the file where data is to be stored.
- Log File Creation Options: Specifies when to reuse existing log files or start new ones, and under what circumstances.
- Ignore formatting on signals and save as analog values: When checked, analog values are saved without the specified formatting setup for the signal.
- Automatically append date to log filenames: This adds the date that the data was logged to the filename
- Write CSV File / Write MDF File: The file format for saving data; at least one must be checked.
4.7.5. Start Logging
The parameters in this area dictate when Vehicle Spy begins logging data. The two options are:
Start Automatically: Logging begins immediately when Vehicle Spy starts.
Start on Equation: Vehicle Spy begins logging when the defined condition evaluates as True. Selecting this option enables the equation button (), which you can click to select the start condition using the Expression Builder.
The Enable Pre Start Collection option allows the capture of a number of seconds of data immediately preceding the start trigger.
4.7.6. Stop Logging
Choose an option in this box to tell Vehicle Spy when logging should stop:
Stop Automatically: Logging stops when Vehicle Spy does.
Stop on Equation: Vehicle Spy stops logging when the defined condition evaluates as True. As with the start condition, you can click to specify the stop condition.
Stop After a specific amount of time: Logging stops after a specified number of seconds.
The Zip file when stopped option tells VSpy to compress the logged data in a zip file to save space.
4.7.7. Invalid Signal Handling
An invalid signal can occur when signal data is cleared in a function block, or when Vehicle Spy starts before signal data is available. The program offers several options to deal with such conditions: use the last value, leave the value blank, or replace the invalid value with one specified in the Replace with Value field. This last option is handy if other programs are going to chart or graph this data; blank or text entries can be replaced with a value that is still able to be graphed, but is known to be invalid, so it is not confused with valid data.