Test and Measurement News

August 2012

Win a PicoScope 3406B!

Enter now for the chance to win a PicoScope 3406B in our new prize draw!

The PicoScope 3406B is a high–performance 4 channel USB oscilloscope with enough bandwidth and buffer memory for a wide range of analog and digital design, troubleshooting, testing and measurement tasks. With its built–in signal generator and arbitrary waveform generator, it gives you a complete test bench in one compact unit. Here are the main specifications and features:

  • 200 MHz bandwidth
  • 128 MS deep memory
  • 1 GS/s real–time sampling
  • Advanced digital triggering
  • 200 MHz spectrum analyzer
  • Function generator and arbitrary waveform generator
  • FlexiPower: powered by USB or AC adapter supplied
  • Full PicoScope software with math channels, automated measurements, advanced digital triggering, mask limit testing and serial decoding
  • Free software development kit for creating your own custom applications
  • Free software updates

Enter the PicoScope 3406B Prize Draw (the competition code is CM128)

Focus on: High Resolution

We have a wide range of oscilloscopes and data loggers suitable for high–resolution measurement, from 12 bits all the way up to 24. All of these devices are USB–powered for convenience and portability, and work with either PicoScope or PicoLog software.

  • PicoScope 4000 Series Oscilloscopes. These 12 bit oscilloscopes can be used for general–purpose design, debugging and troubleshooting as well as high–resolution applications such as noise and vibration analysis. Bandwidths from 20 MHz to 100 MHz are available.
  • PicoScope 4262 Oscilloscope. This 16 bit very–high–resolution oscilloscope (VHRO) has 0.25% DC accuracy on most ranges, making it suitable for precision measurements. A bandwidth of 5 MHz and a built–in low–noise signal generator make this scope perfect for high–fidelity audio testing as well as higher–frequency applications.
  • ADC-20 and ADC-24 Data Loggers. These data loggers have resolutions of 20 and 24 bits, accuracy of 0.2% or 0.1% and either 8 or 16 single–ended inputs. The inputs can also be configured as differential pairs to allow measurement of floating signals, and the instrument is galvanically isolated from the USB port to eliminate noise pickup. The PicoLog software can capture up to a million samples at intervals from seconds to days, and displays data in graphical and text formats.
  • PT-104 Platinum Resistance Thermometer Data Logger. This data logger measures temperatures with 0.001 °C resolution and 0.015 °C accuracy from up to 4 PT100 or PT1000 platinum resistance thermometers. It can also be used to measure single–ended or differential voltages, and resistances, with 24 bit resolution.

Best of the Web

Benchmarking Raspberry Pi GPIO speed using the PicoScope 2203

Code and Life blog has another entry on Raspberry Pi hacking, this time on the GPIO pins. The writer ran out of sampling speed when looking at a 14 MHz square wave, but you can take advantage of our recent price reduction to get even better results. The PicoScope 2204 with 100 MS/s sampling is now only £159.

Read “Benchmarking Raspberry Pi GPIO Speed” on Code and Life blog

Software composite video decoder

Don’t have a composite video monitor for your Raspberry Pi? No problem — just decode the video in software. That’s what Code and Life blog did using a PicoScope 2204 as a frame grabber. The 2204 doesn’t have enough memory to store an entire frame of video, but that doesn’t matter when you can use the fast streaming mode to capture half a million samples at 150 ns intervals. This project is currently limited to a monochrome display, but perhaps someone with a deep–memory scope can decode the colour information too!

Read “Realtime Composite Video Decoding with PicoScope” on Code and Life blog.

Tech Tip

Decoding multiple serial data lines

Q. Can I use the serial decoding feature in PicoScope on more than one signal at once?

A. Yes. The only limits are the number of inputs on your oscilloscope and the processing power of your computer. You can even decode the 16 digital channels of our mixed–signal oscilloscopes (MSOs) as serial data. Simply open the Tools > Serial Decoding dialog and select the serial protocol to be used for each input. You can tell PicoScope to display the selected inputs graphically or as tabulated data, or in both formats at once.

Installing the SDK

Q. I have installed and am using PicoScope 6 software. I would now like to try the SDK, and want to install the sample files from the CD. How do I install them?

A. If you browse the CD you should find a zipped SDK file with the example software in. Just extract this to a suitable location on your PC. You can also obtain the SDK from our website. If you have previously installed PicoScope 6, then you already have the necessary kernel driver and no further installation is needed for the SDK.


Please visit Pico Exhibitions for the latest list of exhibitions and trade shows that Pico and its representatives will be attending.

We're hiring!

Thanks to our continuing success and growth Pico are always seeking talented people to join our company.

Please visit https://jobs.picotech.com/ to see our current vacancies. We look forward to hearing from you!

Software releases

Our latest software releases are available as free downloads. To check which release you are using, start the software and select Help > About.

About this newsletter

To make sure that your Pico newsletter reaches your inbox every month, add newsletters@picotech.com to your email address book or safe list. If you found this newsletter useful, please recommend it to your friends and colleagues. Back issues are available from our newsletter archive.

By subscribing to our newsletter, you agree to receive one email a month plus no more than two special announcements a year. Our use of your email address is governed by our privacy policy.

Contact details

UK Headquarters:
Pico Technology, James House, Colmworth Business Park, St. Neots,
Cambridgeshire, PE19 8YP, United Kingdom
Tel.: 01480 396395 (+44 1480 396395)
Fax: 01480 396296 (+44 1480 396296)

North America Office:
Pico Technology, 320 N Glenwood Blvd, Tyler TX 75702, United States
Tel:+1 800 591 2796 (Toll Free)

Asia-Pacific Office:
Pico Technology, Room 2252, 22/F, Centro, 568 Hengfeng Road, Zhabei District,
Shanghai 200070, PR China
Tel: +86 21 2226-5152

Email: sales@picotech.com