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MATLAB data export format description


The Saleae Software can export digital recordings, analog recordings, and recordings of both digital and analog channels to an *.mat file.

If one or more digital channels are present in the export, the following variables will be added to the file, which will then be added to your work space on loading:

  • digitalsamplerate_hz The samples per second used to record the digital data
  • numsamplesdigital Total number of samples recorded.
  • digitalchannelindexes array containing the channel indexes included in the export. (If only channels 2 and 5 were exported, this would be [2 5]
  • digitalchannelinitial_bitstates The digital data exported is run-length encoded, so that the file does not need to contain the bitstate of every sample. This is an array containing the initial state (high or low) of every digital channel at the beginning of the exported data.
  • digitalchannelX Where X is an index that starts with 0. Note, it is not the channel index, but instead the 0 based index of the exported channels. cross reference with digitalchannelindexes to find which array corresponds with which channel. The array contains the number of samples between transitions. For instance, if the initial bitstate was 0, and digitalchannel0 is [100 42 209 4], then the the exported data was low for 100 samples, then high for 42, then low for 209, then high for 4 more.

If one or more analog channels are exported in the *.mat file, then the following variables will be included:

  • analogsamplerate_hz The analog sample rate (samples per second)
  • numsamplesanalog The total number of analog samples in the export.
  • analogchannelindexes Similar to the digital version, this is an array containing the channel indexes included in the export.
  • analogchannelX One of these arrays was included for each exported analog data. X is not the channel index, but instead the 0 based index into the exported channels. See the digital description for details. This array either contains calibrated voltages, or ADC sample numbers, depending on which option was selected in the export. ADC values will either be in the range of 0-255 or 0-4095.

In the future, we plan to provide helper functions to ease data access, especially with the digital data, to help access information.

Compatibility and versions

We save using the *.mat file version 4 format. This is a very old and obsolete format, which should work with all versions of Matlab.

trello ID: 56253130f9896a6c4bcb4651
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