Test and Measurement News

January 2014

Flexible Resolution Oscilloscopes win DesignVision award!

The PicoScope 5000 Series of Flexible Resolution Oscilloscopes recently won yet another award: the coveted DesignVision 2014 award for Test and Measurement Equipment. The award was presented at the DesignCon 2014 show by UBM Tech Electronics, publisher of many familiar electronics titles such as EDN, EE Times and Planet Analog.

The PicoScope 5000 Series scopes are the only oscilloscopes to provide selectable hardware resolution from 8 to 16 bits in a single device while maintaining low noise and distortion. They achieve this by using a novel digitizer architecture in which multiple high-resolution ADCs are sequenced in a variety of series and parallel combinations.

This great performance, combined with the advanced features of the PicoScope 6 software, means that the PicoScope 5000 Series is the only general-purpose oscilloscope that you need on your workbench.

Flexible Resolution - 5000 series

  • 2 and 4 channel models
  • Maximum sampling rate of 1 GS/s
  • 60 to 200 MHz bandwidth options
  • Arbitrary waveform generator
  • Up to 512 Msample buffer memory
  • Advanced triggers including pulse width, dropout, window, runt pulse, logic and delayed
  • Math channels
  • Spectrum analyzer
  • Serial decoding of SPI, I²C, I²S, UART/RS-232, CAN, LIN, FlexRay

Read more about the PicoScope 5000 Series

Featured video: Flexible Resolution Oscilloscopes

This month we bring you a video on an application of the PicoScope 5000 Series Flexible Resolution Oscilloscopes. The video is by Colin O'Flynn, who has published a number of videos on electronics debugging. As Colin writes in the introduction:

The PicoScope 5000 Series allows you to dynamically change the ADC resolution. If you're trying to get a high dynamic range this is a godsend, as for example happens with a large spike in one part of the trace which you need to capture, but you still want to see detail about the rest of the trace.

Watch the video Switching PSU Load Test - 8 vs 12 bit Resolution (PicoScope 5000) on YouTube, and then follow the links to more videos on oscilloscope use. 

Independent review of PicoScope for Linux

Joonas Pihlajamaa, author of Code & Life blog, has published his first impressions of the new beta release of PicoScope for Linux. He found that it had "a very polished feel", which will please our developers who put a lot of effort into the user interface. Below the surface, the new PicoScope has comparable performance to the Windows version and includes all the main features, including spectrum view, persistence mode and automated measurements. Some advanced capabilities have not been ported to Linux yet, but we are working on them.

Download PicoScope for Linux, free of charge

Developers use PicoScope to test SimpleRDC radio protocol

The experimenters behind the Bit Happens blog have been working on SimpleRDC, a cut-down port of the Contiki open-source, low-power radio protocol to the TI Launchpad. PicoScope turns out to be an ideal debugging tool for this, as its deep memory and fast sampling rate allow the experimenters to capture long sequences of detailed data.

The test results from the project are set out in the blog at "Simple yet efficient wireless with Contiki".

The experimenters used a PicoScope 3206B dual-channel, 200 MHz bandwidth, 8-bit oscilloscope to measure the power consumption of the development board. You can see how screen captures from PicoScope's high-resolution display are great for illustrating your blog, with no need for blurry screen photos. PicoScope provided visual proof of the low power consumption and acceptable latency that the designers were aiming for.

More details of the PicoScope 3206B oscilloscope

Tech tips

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

Custom units for spectrum analyzer

Q. I am making measurements on a random vibration excitation using an accelerometer, current source and a PicoScope 2203 in spectrum analyzer mode. I would like to have the vertical axis display in units related directly to vibration, preferably g2/Hz. Is there a way to edit the parameters to display something other than dB?

A. Yes, you can do this using a custom probe. Go to Tools > Custom Probes and create a new probe with your desired units. You must also click the Spectrum Options button and change the Scale from Logarithmic to Linear.

Multiple data loggers

Q. Is it possible to have two (or more) data loggers (PicoLog 1216 or ADC-24) connected to the same laptop, using the same instance of PicoLog Recorder? I have a rig with more than 16 variables which if possible I'd like to log.

A. Yes, you can have up to 20 loggers of the types mentioned above. Just make sure that when you are installing PicoLog you tick the Use multiple devices box, and when creating new settings enable the Use multiple converters option.


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Software releases

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