M1 Waveform Tools™ Technical Support FAQ
(Last updated 13 September 2013)
If your question is not covered here, you may wish to check the M1 Help file as well if you haven't already done so. The Help file includes a lot of useful information regarding all of the various controls within M1™ and how they are used. The Help file and this FAQ are both updated fairly frequently, so if your question was not addressed before, it may have been added recently. If you still can't find an answer to your questions, please go back to our Technical Support Resources page to understand your options.
How To Topics
This is a collection of guides on how to do some common tasks in M1.
- Change the channel colors
- Collaborate with a colleague
- Decode serial data
- Make the best use of your scope time
- Mark a channel as clock/data
- Move the controls to the other side of the screen
- Reset M1 after changing signals
- Save waveform data
- Set thresholds
- Set up event triggering
- Use saved data
Installation and Registration
- How do I install M1 and related software so that M1 will be able to communicate with my scope?
- Why am I getting an error during installation?
- The Registration form indicates that I need to provide a Locking Code that starts with 0x100, but I see a Locking Code that starts with 0x004
- How do I reinstall M1 at a later time?
- I filled out the registration form on the web. Why haven't I received my Activation Code?
- Why am I getting an 'eGUI' error on my Agilent scope?
- Why am I getting a ‘Subscription expired’ message?
- Why am I getting a fatal error during M1 startup?
- Why am I seeing a ‘key expiration’ message?
- Why is M1 reporting ‘no scope found’?
- Why is M1 reporting ‘scope found, but not allowed’?
- Why did M1 not detect a scope channel that was on but has no signal currently attached?
- Why did M1 not detect a scope channel that has a very slowly changing signal?
- How can I stop M1 from rescaling my signal on the scope?
- How can I stop M1 from automatically opening up Views for me?
- Why is SEEj reporting "not enough data"?
- Why is M1 reporting "scope is not responding"?
- Why does M1 produce slightly different results on different computers with the same data?
General Questions or Problems
- Why is my M1 Reader/Client not connecting to my M1 Waveform Tools/Server?
- Why can't I change the scope's timebase, memory depth, etc. from within M1?
- What if my scope is in for repair/calibration, but I still need to use M1?
User Interface Navigation
- What do all the buttons and controls mean?
- Where are the Windows menu and toolbar?
- How do I print my results?
- How do I save my results?
Complete instructions on how to install M1 and any additional required hardware and/or software can be found here.
There are several possible reasons why you might see an error during M1 installation. By far the most common is accidentally clicking on No when asked to remove all USB keys and click Yes to install the Security Drivers. Rerun the installation program, making sure to click on Yes when prompted. The installer will also terminate if your system does not meet the minimum system requirements for M1. Please click here to review the computer requirements.
The Registration form indicates that I need to provide a Locking Code that starts with 0x100, but I see a Locking Code that starts with 0x004
A 0x004 Locking Code indicates that M1 is not seeing the oscilloscope. If your scope is not attached to the M1 PC and running, please correct that and try again. If you're still having trouble, please continue on to this question.
To perform a clean reinstall of M1, the following procedure is recommended:
If M1 is already installed on the PC, go to Control Panel / Add or Remove Programs and remove the following:
- M1 Waveform Tools
- Sentinel Protection Installer
- Reboot the PC.
- Install M1 by following the Installation directions here. If you have an M1 Installation CD, you should use that CD for the installation. If you do not have an M1 Installation CD, you should download the Demo Installer and install from that.
- Download and install the most recent M1 release. (NOTE: this step applies only if you currently have an active Software Subscription. If your Subscription is expired, you may not be able to run the most recent M1 WT release.)
This error occurs because the default location for the M1 executable that is assumed by the scope is incorrect. In the scope's C:\scope\bin directory, look for the "ASA_M1.uidat" file. This is a plain-text file and can be opened with Notepad. In this file you will see a line of the format
Most likely, the path shown is not the correct path to the M1 executable. You will need to exit Notepad, right-click on the ASA_M1.uidat file, make sure that Read-only is not selected, and click OK. Then reopen the file in Notepad, change the directory to the correct one, save and exit. You will then need to go to the Utilities/eGUI... option in the scope and click on Reload eGUI. Then try running M1 again.
The most likely cause of this message is if you have just installed a new minor Update to M1, but your Software Subscription is expired. Once your Subscription expires, you are no longer entitled to download and install new updates for M1. You have several options at this point:
- If you still have the Update installer for the previous version of M1 that you were using, you can run that installer to downgrade your M1 installation back to an allowed release.
- If you still have your original M1 Installation media, you can reinstall M1 to restore an allowed release.
- You can purchase a Software Subscription so that you will be eligible to run the new version. Please note that ASA strongly recommends remaining current on your Subscription in order to guarantee continued access to our frequent releases of new program functionality.
- You can contact ASA Technical Support and we will determine the newest release that you are eligible to run and provide a downgrade installer from our archives. Please note that this option will be treated as a Support Incident.
The most common cause for this is not having the MS .NET Framework v1.1 and/or the Security Drivers properly installed.
- Go to Start / Settings / Control Panel / Add or Remove Programs. Search in the list for “Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1”. If this is not found, you should visit Microsoft’s website to download and install this package. (Tip: if you have an M1 Installation CD, the .NET Framework installer can be found in the Drivers directory on the CD.)
- In Add or Remove Programs, search in the list for “Sentinel Protection Installer”. If this is not found, then the Security Drivers were not properly installed. During the installation process, you should have seen a dialog asking you to confirm that no USB keys were attached and click Yes. If you clicked No here by mistake, the Security Drivers will not have been installed. Please uninstall and reinstall M1, making sure to click Yes when prompted. (Tip: if you have an M1 Installation CD, the Security Drivers installer can be found in the Drivers directory on the CD and run directly without having to uninstall/reinstall M1 completely.)
- If you are installing M1 inside of an Agilent Technologies oscilloscope and are trying to start M1 from the desktop or the Start menu, try starting M1 from the scope’s Analyze / M1 Oscilloscope Tools option instead. If this causes a ‘eGUI’ or ‘file not found’ error, please consult this FAQ entry.
If you purchased a full M1 WT license (whether directly from ASA or through one of ASA’s partners or distributors), the Security Key is initially set to time out after a certain period of time. You will be provided with a permanent Activation Code once you have officially registered your license online. (For purchases made directly from ASA, payment on the relevant invoice must also have been received.)
If the trial period has not yet ended, clicking No on this dialog will bring you into M1 normally. If the trial period has ended, then you will not be able to use M1 until the condition(s) noted above have been fulfilled. In addition, keys which have expired due to non-payment of the relevant invoice are subject to a Reactivation Fee.
There are several reasons why you may not have received your Activation Code by email yet:
- Your registration information may have been incomplete. In particular, if you mistyped your email address, we would not be able to email the Activation Code to you. Also, please note that ASA does not accept email addresses from ‘generic’ domains (e.g. aol.com, msn.com, gmail.com, etc.) for registrations. You must use your official company email address. If we require additional information, we will attempt to contact you to obtain the required info.
- Registrations are processed manually during ASA’s regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm US Eastern Time, holidays excluded). During that time, you will most likely receive a response within 2 hours, but sometimes it may take as much as a full day.
- If you purchased your license directly from ASA, you will not receive your Activation Code if the relevant invoice has not been paid. In this case, we will send you an email confirming receipt of your registration but noting that the invoice has not yet been paid and let you know the official invoice due date. Your Security Key will continue to operate in Trial mode until a few days after that date.
There are a number of potential reasons why this might happen.
The issue is that Connection Expert 'remembers' recently attached scopes, even if they are no longer attached. This information is given to M1 when M1 requests information on available instruments, causing M1 to search for a scope that is no longer available.
- Is your scope actually supported by ASA for use with M1? Please check our web page for a full list of supported scopes.
Do you have the required drivers, etc. installed and working properly? Specifics for this depend on the type of scope you have and how you are connecting to it.
- For external connections (e.g. GPIB, USB, or Ethernet), your PC must have either Agilent IO Suite v14 or higher, or National Instruments VISA v3.0 or higher installed.
- For running internally on an Agilent oscilloscope, you MUST NOT install VISA inside the scope.
- For running internally on a Tektronix oscilloscope, the scope must have either TekVISA v2.0 or higher, or National Instruments VISA v3.0 or higher installed.
- For running internally on a LeCroy oscilloscope, a special LeCroy/ASA developed VISA driver is required. This driver should have been installed when M1 was installed.
- Did you install all required software in the proper order? In particular, you need to install VISA drivers before installing M1 Oscilloscope Tools when connecting to the instrument externally (VISA drivers should NEVER be installed inside a scope). This is because M1 will install a special VISA file if it detects that VISA is not present on the system, and if you later attempt to install a real VISA, that may not install properly. If you are given the option, be sure to install VISA as the Primary VISA for the system, not the Secondary VISA.
Is the scope properly configured for the type of communication being attempted? The exact settings and procedures for doing this vary from scope to scope. A few examples are listed below; if your scope type is not listed here, please consult the oscilloscope User's Manual or contact the manufacturer of the scope for assistance in setting up a GPIB connection.
- For running internally to an Agilent Technologies Windows-based scope, no special settings are required.
- For an Agilent Technologies DSO/MSO6000 series scope, communication type must be set properly (GPIB or USB) under Utility / IO.
- For running internally to a LeCroy Windows-based scope, Control From must be set to TCPIP under Utilities / Remote.
- For running externally to a LeCroy Windows-based scope, Control From must be set to GPIB under Utilities / Remote.
- For Tektronix scopes, make sure that GPIB Talk/Listen is ON.
- Can VISA see the scope? If running external to the scope, run the VISA utility (Agilent Connection Expert or Nat'l Instruments Measurement & Automation Explorer). If that utility is unable to see your scope, then M1 will not be able to see it either. You should contact the oscilloscope manufacturer and/or the VISA software provider to resolve this issue.
- Do you have one or more live signals attached to the scope? If not, M1 may ignore the scope because there is nothing 'interesting' going on with it. Note that for Agilent MSO6000 scopes, you cannot have only Logic signals. You must have at least one Analog signal present.
- Is the scope triggering properly? This means that if the scope is set to Normal triggering (rather than Auto), it should still be triggering regularly. If not, adjust the scope’s Trigger threshold and/or other settings so that the scope is triggering in Normal mode and then run M1 again.
If you are using Agilent IO Suite v14, there is a specific issue that can affect M1's ability to locate an attached oscilloscope. To resolve this issue, do the following:
- Disconnect the oscilloscope
- Run Agilent Connection Expert
- Select and delete all entries in the center column
- Exit Connection Expert
- Reconnect the scope
- Rerun M1
Is the system ‘too complex’? There are a number of steps you can take to ‘simplify’ the system. If M1 properly detects the scope with the simpler system, you can then re-add the other elements to determine the exact cause of the problem.
- Shut down all other applications on the computer (except for the scope application if you’re running M1 inside of a scope).
- Shut down any other applications or measurements on the scope (e.g. front panel measurements or compliance test suites).
- If running M1 externally, make sure that the scope you wish to connect M1 to is the only instrument connected to the PC.
- Set the scope to a reasonable memory length (100-200Kpts) and a simple Edge trigger.
In some situations, this error can be reported when the real error is that the scope is not being detected at all. Click on About M1; if a scope was found, the scope type and serial number will be reported. If no scope information is reported, please check the previous question for assistance.
This error will also occur if you are trying to run M1 against a scope other than the one it is licensed to. Note that an M1 license is locked to a specific oscilloscope serial number. You cannot use that license with another scope, even if it is the exact same model and options.
Why did M1 not detect a scope channel that has a very slowly changing signal?
M1 is programmed to ignore scope channels that are approximately zero Volts over the first ~10Kpts of the acquisition. Such channels are considered to be ‘not interesting’, and are noted as Off by M1 so that they do not clutter the view.
At the bottom of the Preferences / Measurements dialog, the user can set the Noise threshold that M1 uses to decide that a signal is ‘not interesting’. If you want M1 to never treat any signal as ‘not interesting’, you should set this threshold to 0 mV peak-peak.
M1's RjDj algorithms will not calculate a result if there are fewer than 1000 events in the acquisition because the results could be wildly inaccurate given the gross statistical nature of RjDj measurement. More events per acquisition will improve accuracy and speed convergence.
You will need to do some combination of increasing memory depth (preferred) and/or decreasing sample rate so that you are capturing the required minimum number of events per acquisition. You can use the Count statistic on another View (e.g. TIE/Edge Jitter) as a guide - if the Count is less than 1000, M1 will not calculate RjDj. If the Count is between 1000 and 5000, M1 will calculate RjDj results, but will also display a warning in the status bar indicating that the population size is less than optimal.
This message indicates that M1 has lost it's connection to the scope and/or experienced a timeout. This issue is more likely to occur when using very deep memory settings on the scope. There are several steps you can take to 'simplify' the environment and try to clear this problem. You will need to exit and restart M1 after seeing this message in order to reestablish a clean connection to the scope.
- Turn off all front-panel measurements on the scope. These can delay the scope's response to M1's GPIB request and cause a timeout
- Set the scope to single-trigger mode rather than free-running. Again, the additional demands on the scope's CPU can delay the scope's GPIB response and cause a timeout.
- Go to Preferences / Display in M1 and turn off Animate Scope if it's on. The additional CPU overhead used by M1 for this feature can sometimes cause a timeout.
- If you are using a deep memory setting on the scope, try changing to a much smaller memory setting and see if the problem goes away. Then slowly increase the memory depth to determine the maximum memory depth at which reliable operation is possible. Provide this information, along with exact scope type and other scope settings to ASA for analysis.
It is a well-known fact that different CPUs have different low-level implementations of math operations, and that these implementation differences can sometimes cause slight differences in results when operating on the same data. For example, some CPUs store intermediate results at 80-bit precision while others store those same results at 64-bit precision. This can cause a slight difference in results, particularly on data that is subjected to a large number of mathematical operations, such as in an FFT. In ASA's experience, such differences are never more than +/- 1 in the least significant digit of the value, resulting in observed differences from one CPU to another of 1x10-5 FEMTOseconds or less..
ASA's Emergency Licensing Server (ELS) lets you temporarily transfer your valid M1 license to a different scope. Click here for more information on the ELS.
Automation is a unique feature of M1 that is designed to get the novice user up and working quickly with the best accuracy. M1 rescales signals vertically to take up as much of the vertical screen as possible. This maximizes the signal fidelity of the captured waveforms by spreading them over the maximum number of A/D converter codes. If you do not wish for M1 to perform this step for you, click on Preferences from the M1 Main Menu tab. Then select Measurements and turn off the Autoscale Vertically option under AutoMeasure.
AutoMeasure™ is a unique feature of M1 that is designed to get the novice user up and working quickly with a default set of views that are appropriate for the signal(s) detected. If you wish to turn this feature off, click on Preferences from the M1 Main Menu tab. Then select Measurements and turn off the Open default view set option under AutoMeasure.
The best information on the function of each of the controls is in the M1 WT Help file . This information will be on the page dealing with where the controls are located. For example, the buttons on the View's toolbar are described on the Views page. Most controls will have ToolTips describing their use; these can be viewed by placing the mouse pointer over the control and holding it still for several seconds. Some controls also have context menu options that you can access by right-clicking on the control. Several short videos that will help you learn the M1 interface quickly can be found here .
The M1 WT user interface was designed from the ground up to look like an instrument rather than a standard Windows application. We examined over 150 different interfaces in order to converge on what we felt would allow you to do your job in the fastest, easiest way possible. There is a menu and toolbar available in M1 WT, but it is turned off by default because it is intended only to assist users of M1 v3 or earlier to adjust to the new interface. The menu and toolbar do not provide access to many of the most powerful features of M1 WT. If you wish, you can turn these on by going to Preferences / Display and checking the Show Menu and Show Tool Bar entries. Several short videos that will help you learn the M1 interface quickly can be found here .
There are several ways to create a printout of your work, depending on exactly what you wish to print.
- Views (e.g. ScopeView or TimeView) can be printed from the View menu (top button on the view's toolbar). This will print the graphical view along with the statistics and the various settings from the view’s tab, including marker data if markers are active.
- Also from the View menu, a Report can be created based on that single View. This report can be sent directly to a printer, saved to a PDF or XLS file, or saved as one of several graphics formats.
- From the Save button (next to the GO button), a Report can be created based on all of the views currently open. This report can be sent directly to a printer, saved to a PDF or XLS file, or saved as one of several graphics formats.
There are several ways in which you can save your work, depending on exactly what you wish to save. There are two primary places on the interface from which data can be saved.
By clicking on the Save button (next to the GO button):
Waveform data (i.e. Voltage-vs-time data) can be saved in one of two file formats:
- VvT – this is the preferred format as it includes information about the signals available and other data in addition to just the waveform data.
- RAW – this format is included to be backward compatible with previous versions of M1. So for example if you are using M1 WT but a colleague or vendor is still using M1 v3, you can use the RAW file format to exchange data with him.
Threshold-crossing time data (i.e. timetags) can be saved in one of two file formats:
- TvT – this is the preferred format as it includes information about the signals available and other data in addition to just the timetag data.
- TTL – this format is included to be backward compatible with previous versions of M1. So for example if you are using M1 WT but a colleague or vendor is still using M1 v3, you can use the TTL file format to exchange data with him.
- Either voltage or timetag data can be saved continuously by selecting Continuous and then the particular format desired. You will be asked to enter a base filename; from that point on until you either exit M1 or turn off Continuous Save (by following the same procedure as above; the selected file format will have a check to the left of it), each new acquisition will be saved in a new file with an incrementing number, e.g. data_00000.vvt, data_00001.vvt, data_00002.vvt, etc.
- A Report can be created based on all of the views currently open. This report can be sent directly to a printer, saved to a PDF or XLS file, or saved as one of several graphics formats.
The Multiple Items... option on the Save menu will allow you to save a wide variety of data simultaneously. Each of these items will be saved as individual file(s) within the user-specified directory. You will also be given the opportunity to provide descriptive text to go into a text file in the directory. We call this the Bailout Bag, because with just a few clicks you can save all of the data you need to show your boss what you found, as well as all of the data you need to get back to exactly where you were when you found it. You can individually choose to save:
- VvT data
- TvT data
- M1 settings
- M1 measurements and views
- Graphic of each view
- Screenshot of the entire M1 window
- Text output for each view
By clicking on the View button in a particular View (at the top left corner):
- Save will save a text output of the data and statistics for that view. The exact format of this data depends on the type of view. For example, for a TimeView the text output will have one line for each event in the data, giving the timetag and the value associated with that event. For a HistoView on the other hand, the text output will have one line for each bin in the histogram, giving the bin value and population size for that bin.
- Report will create a Report based only on that single view. This report can be sent directly to a printer, saved to a PDF or XLS file, or saved as one of several graphics formats.
Note that Text data can be saved in one of three formats, based on the user’s setting in Preferences / Display:
- Excel Compatible – the text is tab delimited and formatted in such a way as to look good when viewed using Excel.
- Human readable - the text is tab delimited and formatted in such a way as to look good when viewed in Notepad or printed.
- CSV – the text is comma delimited and formatted in such a way as to look good when opened with a spreadsheet.