Test and Measurement News

December 2014

Highlights of 2014

2014 was a busy year for us, with the release of new PicoScopes and new software features. Make sure you check your inbox for the Pico Technology newsletter in 2015, as we have plans for many more new products and software updates!

January  PicoScope for Linux is released. Now you can use a beta version of the familiar PicoScope software on a free, non-Windows operating system. We also provide an SDK for programmers.
February The PicoScope 4824 8-channel oscilloscope not only has more inputs than your average oscilloscope, but also delivers high-quality measurements with its 12-bit vertical resolution and 70 dB dynamic range. Its deep memory makes it ideal for long-duration power quality monitoring as well as general workshop and laboratory use. 
March We release drivers for more PicoScope oscilloscopes under MathWorks MATLAB, backed up with example code.
April We receive the great honor of a Queen's Award for Enterprise, recognizing our achievements in exporting oscilloscope and data logging technology all over the world.
May PicoScope math channels gain new low pass, high pass, band pass and band stop filters and a duty cycle graphing function.

A new beta version of the PicoScope software for Apple Mac OS X users, including an SDK for programmers, is released.

July Continuing improvements to PicoScope result in faster waveform update rates and faster data streaming over USB. Up to 100,000 waveforms per second now possible in the new fast persistence mode.
August A custom version of PicoScope runs on the ARM-based BeagleBone Black development board.
September The new PicoScope 3000D MSO Series adds 16 digital inputs to a high-performance deep-memory oscilloscope to allow analysis of complex embedded systems. Capture 512-megasample waveforms at 1 gigasample per second. Multichannel serial decoding of formats such as I²C, SPI and UART is included as standard, as is a built-in arbitrary waveform generator. 
October More drivers for ARM-based development boards—Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black—are released. 
November We release guidance for using Java Native Access (JNA) with PicoScope drivers
December PicoScope for Linux wins a place in the EDN Hot 100 Products list!

Keep up to date: read Pico USB Oscilloscope and Data Acquisition News

PicoScope 5000 Series prize draw winner!

If you entered our prize draw at the Electronica Trade Fair in Munich last month, the waiting is over. The winner is:

Tobias Waldhof, of Germany

Tobias wins a top-of-the-range PicoScope 5444B Flexible Resolution Oscilloscope.

The PicoScope 5000A/B Series oscilloscopes deliver selectable hardware resolution from 8 to 16 bits all in one device. This is done using a recently developed reconfigurable high-resolution ADC, enabling us to provide low distortion and low noise at high sampling rates. Unlike software resolution enhancement, which the scope also offers, this new architecture requires no post-processing of data, maximizes the sampling rate and maintains the full bandwidth. This makes the PicoScope 5000 Series especially popular in audio, vibration and power quality analysis applications.

Find out more about the PicoScope 5000 Series Flexible Resolution Oscilloscopes

Video of the month: Bandwidth & Bits

This month's video is unusual in that it doesn't feature any of our products, but we chose it for its educational value. Selecting a Scope: Bandwidth & Bits uses a software simulation to show why high vertical resolution is better and why the bandwidth of your scope matters. FFT plots show you how the distortion harmonics of a sine wave input decline as you increase the number of bits, and simulated scope traces prove that a square wave input looks better if the scope bandwidth is five or even seven times the fundamental frequency. 

Watch Selecting a Scope: Bandwidth & Bits (YouTube video) by Colin O'Flynn, and browse his other videos for more hints and tips on oscilloscopes.

Write a review – win a DrDAQ!

All Pico customers are welcome to write a review of their Pico product on our website. It's easy to do: navigate to your product, go to the Reviews tab, and follow the "review" link at the foot of the page. We will send a free DrDAQ data logger/oscilloscope to the writer of the best review submitted in December 2014, with the winner to be announced next month.

The DrDAQ plugs into any USB-equipped PC and includes all the software you need to use it as a data logger or an oscilloscope. It is equipped with sound, light and temperature sensors as well as a voltage input and numerous other I/Os, and the built-in signal generator/arbitrary waveform generator is worth the purchase price all on its own. As if that's not enough, you even get a free software development kit that enables you to integrate the DrDAQ into your own projects.

Tech Tips

PicoScope zoom buttons

If you're a PicoScope user you've probably used the zoom buttons on the toolbar. Did you also know that you can modify the operation of these buttons by pressing Ctrl or Shift on the keyboard? The Ctrl key restricts the zoom to the horizontal axis, so that you can zoom in or out on this axis without changing the vertical scale. The Shift key temporarily reverses the direction of zoom, enabling you to zoom in while 'zoom out' mode is selected and vice versa.

Save and restore settings in PicoScope

The File > Startup Settings menu has recently been extended. You can now tell PicoScope what settings to use when it next starts: the user default settings or your last used settings. The second option makes PicoScope resume where you left off last time, even if you forgot to save your settings. There are many other possibilities: explore the Startup Settings menu to find out what you can do.


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)
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Tel:+1 800 591 2796 (Toll Free)

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Tel: +86 21 2226-5152

Email: sales@picotech.com