Test and Measurement News

February 2015

A new information resource: the A-Z of PicoScope

Have you visited picotech.com recently? As well as a clean new look and easier navigation, it has lots of expanded information including a new A–Z of PicoScope. This handy reference guide explains the most important concepts in PC oscilloscopes from Alarms to Zoom, with links to more detailed pages on major topics.

Visit the Pico Technology Library for an overview of available technical information.

Visit us at the Embedded World show in Nuremberg

Come and learn more about PicoScope at the Embedded World show from 24 to 26 February. Each day, our tireless technical experts will be delivering presentations on these topics:

09:30 Software Development Kit (SDK) - embedding PicoScope into your application
10:30 PicoScope Flexible Resolution - making the invisible visible!
15:00 Serial Bus Analysis with PicoScope - data analysis linked to signal integrity measurements
16:00 PicoScope User Interface - see the big picture with correlated views of analog, digital, serial and parallel waveforms. Join us for a beer!

We will also be demonstrating the new PicoScope 3000 Series, a comprehensive range of high-performance deep-memory oscilloscopes with 2-channel, 4-channel and MSO (mixed-signal) models.

More details of the Embedded World show. Pico will be in Hall 4 on stand 4-438.

Video of the month: FFT Length

This month's video is FFT Length, from electronics blogger Colin O'Flynn. The video demonstrates two important features of PicoScope's FFT-based spectrum analyzer mode:

  • FFT length - PicoScope's upper limit of over 1 million spectrum bins is a lot longer than most competing FFT-based spectrum analyzers. This allows you to capture a wide frequency band and then zoom in to see details even at high frequencies - something that is impossible with scopes that are limited to a few thousand samples.
  • Waveform buffers - When you have a time-varying spectrum like that of a swept sine wave, PicoScope's waveform buffers let you scroll through a sequence of captures to see how the spectrum evolves over time.

Visit Colin's YouTube channel for a list of videos about PicoScopes and general electronics topics.

DrDAQ applications: universal input buffer; HV PSU

An experimentally-minded visitor to our forum has posted a couple of new applications for the DrDAQ educational data logger:

  • A universal input buffer. Plugs into an EXT input of DrDAQ to give it high impedance and measurement through zero volts. Also allows one-point calibration. Optional improvements possible such as 0 to 10 V range and three-point calibration. Powered by DrDAQ or by optional DC input.
  • A high-voltage PSU. DrDAQ controls a 400 Hz switch mode PSU to generate voltages of 15 V and above.

If you have created any interesting projects with DrDAQ, please share your experiences with other users on our forum.

Visit DrDAQ on picotech.com

Tech Tip: importing AWG waveforms

Q. It would be very useful to me in my present assignment (Faraday Cup Instrument of the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft) if I could cause the analog output of the signal generator channel of my scope to trace a stored waveform, earlier recorded on a PicoScope channel. Is this possible?

A. Yes, PicoScope can do this. Open the Signal Generator dialog, click Arbitrary to open the arbitrary waveform editor, then click Import from Channel to copy a captured waveform into the editor. If the waveform is too long for the AWG, PicoScope will resample it to make it fit.

Tech Tip: custom current clamps

Q. I just bought a current clamp to use with my PicoScope. How do I set up a new probe so that 1 mV is 1 A?

A. The answer lies in the Custom Probes dialog: Tools > Custom Probes. Click New Probe, set the Output Units to amperes, set the Scaling Method to linear equation, and set the equation to y = 1000x + 0 amperes. Give a name such as New Clamp to the probe. Having closed the Custom Probes Wizard, click the Channel Options button on the main toolbar and select the probe just created. Output from the probe will then be scaled correctly in amperes.


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)

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Tel:+1 800 591 2796 (Toll Free)

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Shanghai 200070, PR China
Tel: +86 21 2226-5152

Email: sales@picotech.com