U012 Read, Visualize and Annotate a CSV file with impulse

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I received a task in my physic internship that contains visualizing, annotating and printing a data file named „signals.csv“. Furthermore, I am not well known on all the windows in „eclipse“ and this is my first time working with „impulse“. However, I will write down every single step how i proceed and mistakes as well.

Install impulse

„eclipse“ was already installed in my case. After that I have to install „impulse“ in „eclipse“
  1. open „eclipse“
  2. help → install new software → add
  3. add location: „http://update.toem.de“

I would like to open signals.csv. In the following we will see that the CSV format  is not that easy to open as the reader needs to know about the structure of the file . So the first thing i do is open „eclipse“. „impulse“ is already installed in „eclipse“, so i should be able to open a data like signals.csv. To start with i have to create a new project.

Create a new project

How does this work? The first thing I have to do is to look at the package explorer in the upper left corner. Above this one, there is a icon called "new". With a click on the icon "New", I open a new window. In this window i find "Project" in the folder "General". When I click on it, and then on next, I can choose a name for it. I call my first project "test". But before I start with my task to open the signals.csv, I would like to open an example data file to get a knowledge how signals might look like. After the following screen and counting steps i will explain how to open a example data file step after step. Like I said in the beginning, I might face the problems and every step i have done will be explained.
  1. Click on icon "new"
  2. Go to "general" and select "project"
  3. click on "Next"
  4. Choose a project name
  5. Click on "Finish"

Visualize test signals

Lets open some test data's to see how it generally works and how it looks like. "File" -> "Import...". The window shows me a lot of folders and one of them is "impulse". In the folder is the test data (import example wave files). An other way to get the data is to write the name of the test data in the upper field. Then I click Next and before i finish i select my Project which I called "test". After that i get back to the home screen of eclipse and I can see that it works, because there is new content in my project.
  1. File → import
  2. Select "import example wave files" in impulse or…
  3. Write "import example wave files" in the upper bar
  4. Click in Next
  5. Choose Project
Now i open my Project and i see some other folders. I click on "samples" and then on "waves". I see the test data "adder.vcd" which I want to open. After clicking on the data a window opens and asks me if i want to create a new view.

After I click on yes i get the following window.

The window allows me to make same changes. The first thing i could change is the name. This could be: „test signals adder“,which I could change in the upper field. Below this, I can choose an empty view, a hierarchy or a list. This is about how my signals could look like. In this case i choose the hierarchy. Furthermore, there is an "enable" button in the upper right corner of the window. There is a "list" next to the "Filter Views" icon. When i activate the button, the name of my signal disappear from the list. Additionally, I can change between two domain axis types: linear or log10. Moreover, I can change the mode, the actual domain base or even rewrite it with another class (time, volt, frequency) and base (time → 1s, 1Ts, …). After I click on OK I get the hierarchy of the following test signals.
  1. choose adder.vcd in the package explorer
  2. create a new view
  3. add name and description
  4. choose list or hierarchy / linear or log10
  5. use single domain base and don‘t overwrite

Visualize my signals.csv

Now I will make another project for signals.csv. I click on the icon "New" and in the new window I click on "General" ->  "Project". The "Project's" name should be "signals.csv" like the data I would like to open. After that I drag and drop signals.csv to the new project. In the next step I open the data with a double click. A new window pops up and this is because impulse doesn't know the format "csv". I have to make a new "csv configuration". So I press OK but this closes the window and doesn't show anything. Now, I go on "window" in the upper task bar and choose "preferences", then "impulse" -> "sterilizer" and then "csv". Here, I just have to go on "open preferences".

The new window is called "csv configuration". At the top I can add the "name" and the "description". The "char set" is for the sign coding. The "domain" base is in this case very important. I have to change the time from "miliseconds" to "picoseconds". With "miliseconds" I won't see signals. When I want to change the starting point of the signal time, I have to change it at "first row". The "delimeter" or the "delimination" can be changed below. I can also remove labels with a click on the "labels button". Below that, I see s1, s2, s3, etc.. This is about how many signals will be shown. In this case there are only four signals active and when i try to activate more, because there are more signals in this data, it does not work. At the end there is the time pattern, the date format and the time unit to choose. After that impulse visualized me the four signals but not more, even when I try to activate 5s, 6s, etc...
  1. Create a new project and drop data in it
  2. make a new csv configuration
  3. change ms in ps (picoseconds)
  4. Impulse will show the signals

Annotate signals.csv

There is a possibility to mark interesting locations on a signal. I can use „impulse“ to make an "annotation" or „eclipse“ which includes "bookmark" and "task". I will use the annotation from „impulse“ to mark a location of a signal from signals.csv. I will choose a location, which is interesting for me. Therefore i open the data signals.csv with the correct configuration from in the upper description. Then, I make a right click and go on signal marker. Then i choose annotation. After that a marker pops up and I set the location with a right click. I can also add a description which will shown at the point.

Print signals.csv

Printing is very simple. I go on file and then on print but i can also tap „ctrl+p“. I have the choice between printing with a printer or to create a pdf.
  1. open a new project in „eclipse“
  2. drop your waiting data in the folder
  3. dubble click on your data window
  4. see the datas


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