USB C Analyzer

USB C allows data transfer, but also has provisions for transferring data related to power distribution. Of course, where there is data, there is a need to snoop on data for troubleshooting or reverse engineering. That’s the idea behind the open source Type-C/PD Analyzer.

usb-type-c-analyzerAccording to the project the features include:

  • Spec support: USB PD 2.0 and USB Type-C 1.1
  • Allows pass-through of legacy USB, USB 2.0, USB 3.1, and Alternate mode
    communications
  • Non-intrusive, preserves signal integrity and timing conditions
  • Transparent interposing on a USB Type-C connection
  • Displays Packet timing
  • Monitors USB Type-C state machine
  • Exporting received packets as CSV and proprietary bin file format
  • Complete PD packet decoding
  • Supports Real-time decoding and Error detection
  • Sniffing PD traffic on both CC lines
  • Displays the CC packets in a human readable form
  • Monitors CC and VBus line voltage and displays graphically

There’s more detail at the project’s crowdfunding page. There’s also a video (below). We covered the USB C connector recently. We’ve also seen how bogus type C cables can even be harmful to your computer.

25 thoughts on “USB C Analyzer

  1. Maybe I’m missing something here, but this doesn’t look like any kind of analyzer at all – it just looks like a breakout cable. Don’t get me wrong, a breakout cable is a great thing to have, but I don’t see it analyzing, displaying, or monitoring anything. These are all functions of whatever device this is being connected to, so while it may facilitate all of these things, it does none of them. The crowdfunding page even says it’s a completely passive device. So please back off with the lofty names.

      1. It’s the author of this article I’m criticizing, not the developer of the breakout cable. The cable looks like it could be useful. My Cheerios were GRRRREAT! Oops, wrong branding.

        1. Oh god – I “heard” that in my head in the appropriate voice and I’m not even American / never seen a box of those in person… verily, advertising fully owns us now whether we realize it or not.

  2. There are actually 3 devices these guys developped, the pass-through that you show here, an analyzer, and a third board I’m not really sure the use of (by the name it seems to be a demo board of some kind).
    See the last update of their failed campaign that you link to.

    1. That’s a good point. USB Type C is a very small connector. I’ve seen plenty of small cable connectors (mini-HDMI, USB-micro-B) get flaky after having what didn’t seem like a lot of torque applied to them. But that’s one of my concerns about USB C in the first place: what’s going to happen when you plug a USB-C to USB-A adapter into the computer and then a dongle like a large thumb drive or USB 4G modem into that?

  3. I need a thing like this but with a big red flashing light and loud siren that goes off warning me that if I plug that cheap USB-C cable from Amazon into my machine, it will kill it.

  4. I dont know why they didnt just make the old usb female connector a bit bigger so it could go in either way.

    [—-]

    Do we really all the extra wires wow man. Another cable to add to the pile.

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