Create Custom Masks For Zi Series Scopes

The masks database editor can edit existing database files EyeMaskProp.mdf and User.mdf with eye diagram and mask properties based on the data entered from the test mask descriptions. The EyeMaskProp.mdf comes with scope firmware and it automatically rewrites with a new firmware upgrade. The User.mdf file is reserved for user custom mask database file, so it will not be rewritten by firmware update. The User.mdf will retain any masks that you created. Scope will show both EyeMaskProp.mdf and User.mdf masks in SDA signal type selection. A typical test mask specification is shown in Figure 1. You will need this information along with the bit rate for the standard being tested.

Figure 1:

A typical test mask specification

Start from the Windows desktop screen after exiting from the scope application([file][exit]). Then create a back up file for "D:\Masks\EyeMasksProp.mdf" to be safe. We will use this file to modify existing masks or add a new mask.

Start the mask editor : "C:\progamfiles\lecroy\xstream\masksdatabaseeditor.exe."

The opening screen of the editor will be a spreadsheet like the table shown in Figure 2. Select "Open" from the file pull down menu.

Figure 2:

The opening view of the masks database editor and the open file dialog box

This will display the open file dialog box also shown in Figure 2. Select the name of the mask database file, "User.mdf". Press the "Open" button to enter the database file. Select "New" from the Standards pull down menu. This will give access to the "Standard Edit" dialog box shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3:

The opening view of the masks database editor and the open file dialog box

Using the information contained in the mask specification (figure 1) enter the coordinates of each of the vertices and levels in the test mask matching the locations marked by the Xn and Yn labels in the test mask diagram in the standard edit menu. Enter the name and class of the mask along with the clock frequency. If the vertical coordinates of the specification are in Volts select "Absolute" as the mask type. If the vertical units are specified in relative units select "normalized." The mode field allows you to enter a brief description of the test mode, in this example we indicate a test on the receiver which has absolute vertical scaling. Click OK to insert into the mask database file User.mdf. This file should be stored in the folder: "D:\Masks" on the SDA analyzer. When the SDA boots it will now add the mask "MyMask" to its selection as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4:

The newly created mask displayed on the SDA

Note it’s always good idea to back up your new edited database file yourself for the future.

The "Mask in file" and "filename" fields can be used to load an arbitrary mask created in LeCroy's "MaskMaker" software.

If you install newer version of firmware ( or later), the scope will automatically back up all files with .MDF extension in D:\Masks folder and then the scope will replace mask database file with newer one. The scope will put back up files in D:\Masks\Backup folder.

If you want to use your older database file, you need to detach current active database file first and then replace your older file. To detach D:\Masks\EyeMasksProp.mdf file, you need to execute following command in command prompt.

You can detach and replace database file after you exit from scope application, file > exit.

  1. Run CMD with local admin mode from Windows run box.
  2. SQLCmd -E -S .\sqlexpress -Q "sp_detach_db "D:\Masks\EyeMasksProp.MDF""
  3. SQLCmd -E -S .\sqlexpress -Q "sp_detach_db "D:\Masks\User.MDF""
    1. This command will detach
      D:\Masks\EyeMasksProp.mdf and
      D:\Masks\User.mdf from the database.
  4. del “D:\Masks\EyeMasksProp_log.ldf"
    del “D:\Masks\User_log.LDF"
    1. This command will delete the log files, if there is one.
  5. Now if you replace your older mask database file into D:\Masks folder, you will see your older masks after you restart your scope application.