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Official K-Probe Discussion (Tool for Scanning C1C2/PIPO)

General discussion about recordable CD, DVD and BD media and write quality testing.

Postby idiot on Sun Apr 06, 2003 11:55 am

Can we ask for Beta testing and prehaps Land/Pit Jitter testing perhaps??
Since Plextor is going to make such aviliable to users of their drive why not Liteon?

Also, I3, I11, crosstalk, and E11, E21, E31, E12, E22, E32, CU rather than just C1/C2 would be even more helpful.... (Corrected thanks to Cfitz, I shouldn't be poosting stuff 4am in the morning)

Also, can you embed ATIP info into the jpeg header?

BTW, is this a bug of something???? The readings are too low compared to calibrated Expert machines...

Image

Another thing to ask is adding Log scales for those discs which do not perform well.....

And repeated testing options like what WSES offers....


PS. to dhc014, its a Liteon OEM but not 166S, lemel is a local brand in taiwan, infamous for its support.
Last edited by idiot on Wed Apr 09, 2003 11:24 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby MediumRare on Sun Apr 06, 2003 12:31 pm

Wow !!! I can't keep up with you guys- the program gets improved faster than I can test it!! :D I had to revise the post I prepared offline. I've played with it a bit more and have come to like it a lot!

The features new in Vers. 1.1.1 and 1.1.2 are well done- I like the freedom to add text in 1 or more lines and the interface has not become more cluttered as a result.

The (new option) marks are really nice in the realtime chart while scanning. The disk I've been testing has too many errors to keep this activated for the end chart, though.

It would be handy to be able to set the y-scale manually. The automatic scaling is very useful for looking at a single burn. However, a common scaling for the counts would really facilitate the comparison of a series of scans (e.g. comparing media types or burning speed or firmware versions). As cfitz rightly remarked, this would also allow an individual answer to the minimum value of the logarithmic scale.

I guess BMP is the universal graphic format and so is first choice. JPGs are a nice alternative, but PNG are better suited for line diagrams such as are created here- they would be smaller and lossless. The BMPs can be converted externally, but this is "just one more step" and I have a strong tendency to keep "original" files and these can, in time, use up considerable space.

The export to comma-separated list is also be very useful. This was on my private "want list" for CD Doctor, and was there all along, as cfitz (who else) pointed out.

The transfer rate test yield essentially the same information as CD-Speed. It does not like video CDs ("056400 ILLEGAL MODE FOR THIS TRACK"). The interesting thing here is that the scale goes to 60x- but that is probably just a round number and not a comment on LiteOn's future plans. :wink:
I don't know what the "burst rate" means. It requires a data CD (not music or VCD) and was 1 MB/s for my DVD LTD163 and 19 MB/s for the LTR48246S.

Just keep up the great work guys. Abacus- are there any other "hidden options" that you can tell us about ?

G
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Postby MediumRare on Sun Apr 06, 2003 1:01 pm

cfitz wrote:That's odd. Around here they say "A Canadian - do we have to panic?" :wink:

The answer is (of course) YES !!!! don't forget who won the war of 1812. :D

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Postby cfitz on Sun Apr 06, 2003 1:49 pm

I agree with MediumRare - I can't keep up! :wink: But in this case that is a happy thing. :)

First of all, since it now appears to be confirmed that Mr. Wang or someone else associated with the develop is in fact monitoring this thread (who would have thunk it? :wink: ), let me again express my gratitude for making this great tool available to us and for responding to our feedback. And you've done it in such a quick and timely manner. I'm very impressed by both your creation and the diligence with which you are updating it. Kudos! :D

Also, a special thanks to Abacus for keeping us updated about all the new changes and bringing this to our attention in the first place. You aren't Mr. Wang himself, are you?

Now, let me try to respond to some comments included here:

jsl wrote:Do you think the PI/PO tests are reliable on a Lite-On DVD-ROM or are they only made for Lite-On's coming DVD writer?

I probably shouldn't comment, since I've not studied DVD technology extensively, but based on the test I performed on my 166S (see earlier post in this thread here), it appears to be returning realistic results. I can't guarantee that they are accurate, but they seem to be reasonable. This is in contrast to the C1 test results I obtained when testing a CD-R in the 166S, which I don't believe are reasonable.

Dartman wrote:It also now apears that the 166s has the cleanest error correction of all my Lite ons. It is higher at the begining but still very low then just reads most of the way through with no errors pretty much after that

idiot wrote:BTW, is this a bug of something???? The readings are too low compared to calibrated Expert machines... "

As mentioned above, I don't believe that the DVD-ROM drives are returning accurate results for C1 error rates. I also have found the reported rates to be far below what I feel is realistic and also below the results I get when testing with my LTR-48246S. I realize that the drive being used to read the CD influences the read error rates, but the difference is just too large, in my opinion, to be explained by any superior reading capabilities of the DVD-ROM drives. Also, the results I get with my 166S are not consistent from run to run, unlike the results I get with my LTR-48246S. So, for now I personally am not trusting C1 results from DVD-ROM drives. Perhaps since the DVD-ROM division morphed into JLMS, the LiteOn IT guys that make the CD-RW drives aren't as friendly to DVD-ROM drives... :wink: :)

rdgrimes wrote:Since we seem to be getting everything we ask for here: Can I have a couple of new drives?

You are setting your sights too low, rdgrimes. I want health, happiness, and world peace! :wink:

EddieKM wrote:Since it is under development, I hope it can offer jitter test in the next release.

idiot wrote:Can we ask for ... Land/Pit Jitter testing perhaps??

I’ve not seen any software that can do jitter testing with consumer drives, and as far as I know jitter testing can not be performed without specialized equipment, so I don't think you will be seeing this. But I would happily be proven wrong.

idiot wrote:Another thing to ask is adding Log scales for those discs which do not perform well.....

That's already in there. Click the configuration button: Image

idiot wrote:Also, I3, I11, crosstalk, and E11, E12, , E13, E21, E22, E23 rather than C1/C2 would be even more helpful....

Wow! :o You are liable to cause Mr. Wang an aneurism... :wink: (By the way, they are E11, E21, E31 and E12, E22, E32).

This does bring up a point, though. We have questioned in the past the exact meaning of C1 and C2 in WSES and CD Doctor, but have not resolved the issue. Presumably C1 = E11 + E21 + E31, measured in errors per second. That seems to be fairly well agreed upon. More in question is C2. Does C2 displayed in K's probe = E12 + E22 + E32, or does C2 = E12 + E22, or does C2 = E32, or something else? If C2 is only counting errors correctable at the C2 level of error correction (e.g. C2 = E12 + E22), would it be possible, Mr. Wang, to add a display of uncorrectable errors as well? (Here is where spath steps up and rips into me. But that's okay - I have made peace with my fate. :wink: )

MediumRare wrote:I guess BMP is the universal graphic format and so is first choice. JPGs are a nice alternative, but PNG are better suited for line diagrams such as are created here- they would be smaller and lossless.

I agree. I appreciate the new JPEG option. JPEG does result in smaller file sizes. However, since JPEG is better suited to photographic images and uses lossy compression, for line diagrams such as these it creates larger and fuzzier images than PNG would. I suspect PNG would knock down the new JPG images from ~80KiBytes to ~4KiBytes, and the images would be completely sharp and clear. And PNG is open source and patent free.

Now, let me try to help a little rather than just make requests. Here is the PNG home page:

http://www.libpng.org/pub/png/

Here is the official PNG reference library (ANSI C):

http://www.libpng.org/pub/png/libpng.html

And here is a list of other libraries and toolkits that support PNG:

http://www.libpng.org/pub/png/pngaptk.html

Okay, that's enough for now. I'm looking forward to what comes next! :D

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Postby cfitz on Sun Apr 06, 2003 1:49 pm

MediumRare wrote:
cfitz wrote:That's odd. Around here they say "A Canadian - do we have to panic?" :wink:

The answer is (of course) YES !!!! don't forget who won the war of 1812. :D

Right then, I will begin panicking now! :wink: :lol:

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Postby EddieKM on Sun Apr 06, 2003 3:44 pm

cfitz wrote:I've not seen any software that can do jitter testing with consumer drives, and as far as I know jitter testing can not be performed without specialized equipment, so I don't think you will be seeing this. But I would happily be proven wrong.


But why the plextor premium drive that will be going to release soon is bundled with new version of Plextool that able to do jitter test. Plextor modify their consumer drive to support that feature? Really hope that it can be done in consumer drive also.
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Postby spath on Sun Apr 06, 2003 5:02 pm

> I’ve not seen any software that can do jitter testing with consumer drives, and as
> far as I know jitter testing can not be performed without specialized equipment,
> so I don't think you will be seeing this. But I would happily be proven wrong.

All drives can measure one type of jitter, they actually have to (this is a
requirement of the PLL+Slicing system they are all built on). Whether manufacturers
make this value available or not to end user is their own choice.

> (e.g. C2 = E12 + E22), would it be possible, Mr. Wang, to add a display of
> uncorrectable errors as well? (Here is where spath steps up and rips into me.
> But that's okay - I have made peace with my fate. )

I surely won't rip into you for asking precisions on this topic :) As for the
definitions of Cx errors I gave up long time ago, but maybe I can still make
people on this forum realize that C2 stage can correct 4 bytes and not 2. So
here's the datasheet of a 5 years old CD decoder chip, where you can read on
page 13 that "This error corrector can correct up to two errors on the C1
level and up to four errors on the C2 level". I hope you won't ask me now
to prove now that in 5 years this method has spread to every manufacturer :)

http://www.semiconductors.philips.com/a ... 7370_2.pdf
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Postby cfitz on Sun Apr 06, 2003 5:48 pm

spath wrote:>maybe I can still make people on this forum realize that C2 stage can correct 4 bytes and not 2.

Hey, you (and others) already won that battle, at least for me personally. I accept that it is possible to correct more than two errors at the C2 level. I won't pretend to know if all manufacturers implement their decoders to do so, but I won't ask you to prove it either. :wink: One thing I would ask, though, is if it would be accurate to say that if there are only one or two errors at the C2 level, they can always be corrected, but if there are 3 or 4 then they can only sometimes be corrected, depending on the nature and relationship of the errors. Perhaps I am reading too much into the phrase "up to", but I seem to recall that EDC/ECC effectiveness can vary depending on the characteristics of the errors being detected/corrected.

Anyway, it may not be obvious, but I did take into account the 4 vs. 2 issue when I posed my question. That is why I appended the "or something else" portion of my question about what K's Probe defines as C2 errors. And it is also why I wrote "errors correctable at the C2 level of error correction (e.g. C2 = E12 + E22)." I specifically used "e.g." (for example) rather than "i.e." (in other words) because I knew that "correctable errors" doesn't necessarily mean only E12 and E22. You may not believe this, but as I sat typing that particular sentence I thought of you and your statements about C2 level error correction, and thus specifically chose "e.g." to allow for the potential of drives to correct more than 2 errors at the C2 level. :-? 8)

As for the importance of jitter, personally I don't get worked up about it. The vast majority of my CD-R's have data backups and digital photos on them, and if the jitter is not severe enough to cause C1 errors, then it doesn’t matter at all to me. Even if it is severe enough to cause C1 errors I don’t care about jitter per se, but rather I am concerned about the resulting C1 errors, which I can characterize with existing tools.

In terms of audio CD's, where my opinion may not count for much since I am a leaden-ear non-audiophile, I feel that the whole jitter issue is way overblown. Plausible explanations for how jitter that is too small to cause actual bit errors can affect audio quality are few and far between. And even those that do exist involve speculative tertiary effects at best. I'm just not convinced. But I won't stop anyone from spending their time trying to track down and quash any effects they believe are caused by jitter. And I wouldn’t turn down a jitter measurement tool if someone presented it to me. ;)

With regards to the new Plextor Premium drive, there appear to be a lot of new features in that drive, including the ability to write 1 GiByte to an 80-minute disc and password protect data. I haven't seen enough information about that drive to know exactly what all it will do and how it will do it, but from what I have seen it wouldn't surprise me if Plextor had to enhance the internals a fair amount, and thus may have added the ability to report jitter testing while they were about it. If anyone would do so, it would be Plextor, since they include in their newer drives the so-called VariRec technology designed to reduce jitter, but currently provide no means of evaluating whether the tweaking one does with VariRec is actually making jitter better or worse. We will just have to see what they come out with when they actually release it.

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Postby rdgrimes on Sun Apr 06, 2003 11:00 pm

Hey folks, I thought I'd share this tidbit:
Received this from the author in response to a couple questions:

Hi Dan
Thanks for your support! I will do my best to improve this program.

>> Will LiteOn be offering this program for public download?

In fact , this program is not for public download.
The mainly purpose of this program is to check the tilt angle of PUH for our new product -
DVD+R/+RW
In LITEON , most of engineers use WSES instead of KProbe for convenience. Because they can hot plug
drives in DOS mode.
(edit)
I can show you how this program to auto-trace the optimal tilt angle of PUH for DVD writer.

DVD writer is different with CD-RW , it can change tilt angle of pick-up head.CD-RW cannot.

You can see in the following screen-shot.The PI/PO are about the same at -8~+4
So , we can find the optimal tilt angle in this range , and -3 should be the best one .

Karr


Image
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Postby EddieKM on Mon Apr 07, 2003 12:00 am

It is not for public! So should we stop freely distribute it? Or the author did give permission to us to distribute it?
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Postby rdgrimes on Mon Apr 07, 2003 12:03 am

I interpret that to mean that LiteOn is not offering it for download.

BTW, anybody notice the drive in the screen shot?
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Postby Spazmogen on Mon Apr 07, 2003 2:07 am

cfitz wrote:
MediumRare wrote:]The guys at work are making snide remarks- "a Canadian with a cough- do we have to panic?" :lol:

That's odd. Around here they say "A Canadian - do we have to panic?" :wink:

No offense to you, Spazmogen and all our other friends from up north... 8)

cfitz


LOL. I need to read the forums a little better. I missed that the 1st time around!

:D


BTW: I thought the war of 1812 was a draw. Started by the USA, but a draw in the end.

We did burn a good portion of the White House down though. :o The 1st & last time a foreign army will successfully burn the White House.


Keep the posts coming! You're doing an excellent job everyone.

I'll have to download a copy of this when I get home in the morning and try it out.
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Postby MediumRare on Mon Apr 07, 2003 3:34 am

Spazmogen wrote:BTW: I thought the war of 1812 was a draw. Started by the USA, but a draw in the end.

We did burn a good portion of the White House down though. :o The 1st & last time a foreign army will successfully burn the White House.

I don't really want cfitz to panic- can you imagine what the forum would be like without his contributions? :( :o

That's why I picked a somewhat ironic example :wink: instead of mentioning real reasons (like hockey or curling). :wink: 8)

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Postby MikeTR on Mon Apr 07, 2003 5:53 am

MediumRare wrote:
Spazmogen wrote:BTW: I thought the war of 1812 was a draw. Started by the USA, but a draw in the end.

We did burn a good portion of the White House down though. :o The 1st & last time a foreign army will successfully burn the White House.

I don't really want cfitz to panic- can you imagine what the forum would be like without his contributions? :( :o

That's why I picked a somewhat ironic example :wink: instead of mentioning real reasons (like hockey or curling). :wink: 8)

G


Curling a real reason? :o , that makes it official: he truly is a Canadian :P .
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Postby spath on Mon Apr 07, 2003 3:22 pm

> One thing I would ask, though, is if it would be accurate to say that if there are
> only one or two errors at the C2 level, they can always be corrected, but if there
> are 3 or 4 then they can only sometimes be corrected, depending on the nature and
> relationship of the errors.

Yes this is perfectly accurate, C2 can always correct 1-2 errors and sometimes 3-4.

> it would be Plextor, since they include in their newer drives the so-called
> VariRec technology designed to reduce jitter, but currently provide no means
> of evaluating whether the tweaking one does with VariRec is actually making
> jitter better or worse. We will just have to see what they come out with
> when they actually release it.

Actually if you check the jitter plot in plextor's Varirec documentation,
it shows that any value different from zero (= no Varirec) gives a higher
jitter ;)
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Postby cfitz on Mon Apr 07, 2003 3:52 pm

spath wrote:Yes this is perfectly accurate, C2 can always correct 1-2 errors and sometimes 3-4.

Thanks for the clarification.

spath wrote:Actually if you check the jitter plot in plextor's Varirec documentation, it shows that any value different from zero (= no Varirec) gives a higher jitter ;)

I've seen the diagram, heard that is borne out in practice, and it certainly makes sense that any move away from the optimum point that the drive picks during power calibration would only make things worse, but then who am I to accuse VariRec as being nothing but a marketing gimmick? :wink:

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Postby Abacus on Tue Apr 08, 2003 10:59 am

Hi friends :
KProbe 1.1.3 released.
It supports PNG format now.


http://home.pchome.com.tw/cool/cdtools/kprobe.zip
http://home.pchome.com.tw/cool/cdtools/kpsetup.exe

BTW
cfitz:
Karr Wang has a message for you:
I fail to answer your mail because I have lots of assignments to do in my company.I'm very pleased to work with you !! Thanks for your support for my program. If I have spare time , I will add jitter measurement function to KProbe. :wink:
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Postby cfitz on Tue Apr 08, 2003 11:13 am

Woo Hoo!! Thanks Abacus and Mr. Wang! This is great! :D

And by the way, Mr. Wang, no apologies are necessary. I fully understand that you have more important demands on your time. That is why I was hesitant to contact you in the first place. I don't want to be a burden.

Thanks again.

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Postby rdgrimes on Tue Apr 08, 2003 12:14 pm

Does your's still say 1.1.2 in version 1.1.3?
also, the png option is not there.
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Postby Ian on Tue Apr 08, 2003 12:20 pm

OK, I'm a little behind but I finally got a chance to try out this program today and I have to say that I'm impressed. Very nice. Thank you Abacus and Mr. Wang.
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Postby cfitz on Tue Apr 08, 2003 12:49 pm

rdgrimes wrote:Does your's still say 1.1.2 in version 1.1.3?
also, the png option is not there.

Mine says 1.1.3 in the about pane, and does support saving in png. For what it is worth, however, I only downloaded the zip file and extracted the the updated exe and new dll into my existing program directory. I didn't try the full installation package.

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Postby rdgrimes on Tue Apr 08, 2003 1:10 pm

The install download is broken. It indicates the larger file size, but does not add the new updates. When uninstalling, it indicates that it is version 1.1.3. The update zip works fine here too.
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Postby EddieKM on Tue Apr 08, 2003 2:01 pm

Yup! The install download (Kprobe.exe) is really broken. It only shows 1.1.2 without the .png feature.

If I have spare time , I will add jitter measurement function to KProbe.


Yeh! This is the feature that I'm waiting for. Thanks to Mr. Karr and Abacus.
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Postby Inertia on Tue Apr 08, 2003 2:14 pm

The only difference between the install and update programs is that the install contains an ASPI driver. The update program will work perfectly well by itself without the install program if system level ASPI drivers are already installed.

Anyone not having system level ASPI layer drivers can download and install ForceASPI. Alternatively, the ASPI driver in the v1.1.2 install program can be used, and the v1.1.3 update applied afterward.

Many thanks to Karr Wang for this fine program. :)
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Postby cfitz on Tue Apr 08, 2003 3:15 pm

Inertia, what are you using to see what is packaged inside the installer exe? And do you know what ASPI it installs?

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