Test and Measurement News

August 2013

New PicoScope beta release: zero offset, phase rulers

PicoScope Beta R6.8.2 contains two valuable new features requested by our customers:

  • Zero offset: automatically removes any DC offset in your oscilloscope's inputs. Short-circuit the scope input, click a button and PicoScope 6 does the rest. The vertical axis is automatically adjusted to remove the offset.
  • Phase rulers: measure absolute and relative phases of cyclic waveforms in degrees, percent or custom units. Drag two rulers into position to mark the start and end of a cycle, and PicoScope 6 will then show x-axis measurements in your chosen units. It will also, optionally, draw intermediate rulers dividing the cycle into a specified number of equal parts. Now it's easy to measure phase angles in motors, generators, engine control systems and other AC devices, and calculate duty cycles of PWM waveforms.

Download a free copy of PicoScope beta R6.8.2.

No registration required. Installing or uninstalling PicoScope Beta will not affect your existing copy of PicoScope, which will continue to work normally.

Latest support for MATLAB®

PicoLog DDE and USB TC-08 Data Acquisition

If you program with PicoLog® data loggers, you may be interested in these code examples for MATLAB on the Mathworks File Exchange pages, posted by a visitor to our technical support forum:

PicoScope 5000 Series - MATLAB Generic Instrument Driver

The MATLAB Generic Instrument Driver allows you to acquire data from the PicoScope 5000 Series Flexible Resolution Oscilloscopes in block and rapid block mode and control the built-in signal generator. The data could be processed in MATLAB using functions from Toolboxes such as the Signal Processing Toolbox.

The driver allows you to capture data in block and rapid block mode and then post-process the data in the MATLAB environment as well as use the signal generator. The image above shows rapid block data.

The PicoScope® 5000 Series - MATLAB® Generic Instrument Driver is available from MATLAB Central File Exchange.

Pico Technology is not responsible for third-party applications or the content of external sites.

Video of the month: Frequency response analysis

The PicoScope 4262 Very High Resolution Oscilloscope is ideal for measuring the frequency response of an audio amplifier, as we explain in one of our Tech Tips this month. For more information on this theme, we recommend our series of videos on applications for the PicoScope 4262, especially How to Use an Oscilloscope to Measure the Frequency Response of an Audio Amplifier.

LabVIEW® FAQs and Tips

The Software Development Kits for most of our scopes and data loggers include drivers and examples for National Instruments LabVIEW. The examples demonstrate how to call functions from the shared library files (DLLs) that are provided to control the devices.

To help you get the most out of these SDKs, we have added a new thread to our forum. Read LabVIEW FAQs and Tips to expand your knowledge of LabVIEW data logging.

Tech tips

Here are some of the latest tips delivered by our technical support experts. Keep watching our forum for more great ideas.

Spectrum masks

Did you know that PicoScope's mask limit testing feature can be used in spectrum mode as well as in scope mode? With mask limit testing, PicoScope detects when the waveform overlaps a defined area, called a mask, on the screen. Parts of the waveform that intrude into the mask are highlighted, and a user-defined event can be triggered when this happens. Masks can be drawn manually or auto-generated.

With a spectrum mask, PicoScope can detect when a spectrum plot departs from an allowed range. This is useful for EMI (electromagnetic interference) testing, where the mask can be drawn according to a standard such as EN 55015/CISPR 15. PicoScope will highlight parts of the spectrum that fail to meet the standard.

Frequency response analysis with PicoScope 4262

Q. This scope has a function generator onboard and should have been designed for analog signals. I would like to know if it is possible to do an automatic frequency response analysis of a hi-fi amplifier running a sweep from 20 Hz to 20 kHz and show the result show in one window as a graph, maybe in dB?

A. The PicoScope 4262 has a frequency sweep function that allows you to do exactly this. Please see the video Frequency Response Measurement Using the PicoScope 4262.


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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.

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Contact details

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