Test and Measurement News

August 2014

New PicoScope beta for Mac OS X!

The long-awaited native version of PicoScope 6 for Mac OS X is now available as a beta build.

We are aiming to make the feature set of the beta version follow that of the Linux release. We look forward to any reports and user experience details on how the software behaves, so please don't keep it to yourself - share it on our forum.

The beta version includes drivers and an SDK (mainly aimed at experts).

We hope you find this release great news. We are still working on improving this version and expect to release new features soon.

To get your copy, go to our Software page.

PicoScope for Windows new features

New PicoScope R6.9.14 stable release

PicoScope R6.9.14 is fully tested and recommended for general use. This update gives you:

Download PicoScope R6.9.14 now

New PicoScope R6.10.2 beta release

This contains all of the improvements in PicoScope R6.9.14 plus:

Installing a beta release leaves your main copy of PicoScope intact, so you can experiment with the new features without worrying about losing your stable software.

Download PicoScope R6.10.2 Beta now

USB 3.0 scopes display 100,000 waveforms per second

Following this month's software updates, PicoScope now has even faster waveform update rates. This means that, in persistence display mode, the software can collect more waveforms per second, resulting in a shorter time to catch an intermittent glitch.

For example, consider a rare glitch that would have taken an hour, on average, to find with a PicoScope 2204A running PicoScope 6.8.8 in persistence mode. The same oscilloscope is now 55x faster with the latest PicoScope 6.10.2 beta, so you could now expect to see the same glitch in just over a minute.

For a list of the speed improvements for some of our most popular scopes, see "Oscilloscope Waveform Update Rates". This article explains the meaning of 'dead time' and shows how a high waveform update rate improves your chance of finding a glitch.

Where have you taken your PicoScope?

In July, Pico Technology's Business Development Manager Trevor Smith realised a decades-long ambition to climb the highest mountain in North America, Mount Denali in Alaska. He braved frostbite, a fall into a crevasse, carabiner thieves and a hair-raising plane journey through fog-shrouded mountains to bring us this photo of a PicoScope 2204A ultra-compact oscilloscope within view of the summit. We think he may have exceeded the storage temperature range for his scope, but it still seems to work.

Can you do better than this? We'd like to see you try. If you've taken a PicoScope to an unusual or challenging place, we'd be fascinated to hear about it. Each picture that we publish will win a £50 Amazon voucher!

Email us with your PicoScope travel photo

Terms and conditions: Prizes will be awarded at our discretion and are not negotiable. Closing date: 1st October 2014. The judges' decision is final. Pico reserves the right the publish each winning photo with the sender's name and nationality.

Tech Tips

Battery monitoring for ADC-20

Monitoring batteries in series

The ADC-20 and ADC-24 high-resolution data loggers have switchable differential/single-ended inputs. In differential mode they are ideal for monitoring non-ground-referenced voltages such as cell voltages in battery packs. However, a data logger's common-mode input range is limited, so it is usually necessary to add a resistor network to reduce the input voltage. We have produced a schematic showing how to connect the ADC-20 to a string of four 12-volt cells. The resistors can be added externally or fitted on the terminal board available for the logger.

Output on PicoScope Mask Fail

Q. How can I generate an output when the Mask Limit Test feature detects a failure?

A. You can use the Alarms and Signal Generator Trigger features together to do this. Go to Tools > Alarms and create an alarm with Event set to Mask Fail. Set Action to Trigger Signal Generator. Next, activate the signal generator, set the signal characteristics to produce the output that you require, and then activate the Triggers check box. Now, whenever the Mask Limit Test fails, the signal generator will generate a cycle of the selected waveform on the scope's GEN or AWG output.


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.

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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