How to use the Bus Pirate as a logic analyzer

Hendrik Hanff

DFKI GmbH DFKI Documents (D) 14-05 ISBN ISSN 0946-0098 Selbstverlag 7/2014.


”The Bus Pirate is a universal electronic open hardware tool to program and interface with communication buses and program various chips, such as AVRs from Atmel and PICs from Microchip Technology. A primary usage case for this device as intended by the designers is to ”Eliminate a ton of early prototyping effort with new or unknown chips.” Using a Bus Pirate, developers can use a serial terminal to interface with devices over a variety of hardware protocols, such as SPI and 1-Wire.” [?] ”Bus Pirate firmware v3.0 introduced a logic analyzer mode that works with SUMP-compatible open source logic analyzer clients. The logic analyzer can record 4096 samples at up to 1MHz, each channel has a selectable sample trigger. [...] The Bus Pirate will never be a substitute for a ’proper’ logic analyzer, the hardware isn’t designed for it. The Bus Pirate can’t store a lot of samples, it can’t feed live samples very fast, and speeds are in the kHz range, not MHz. Despite the limitations of the Bus Pirate hardware, the logic analyzer worked well enough to examine decoded IR remote signals. It’s also well suited to debug environments where you can control the bus speed (and the Bus Pirate may already be connected for other reasons). It should also be able to look at most I2C traffic (400kHz clock).” [?] The presentation held on June the 19th 2014 gives a short introduction to the Bus Pirate in general. A more detailed description is given about the above mentioned logic analyzer mode.


Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence