Test and Measurement News

January 2022

Pico Technology Test & Measurement Newsletter
January 2022

Happy New Year from all of us at Pico! We're starting off 2022 with a bang, and a product launch to match; automatic calibration and TRL calibration for PicoVNA launches TODAY. Be sure to check out the launch video and the additional technical content below.

Following on from one video series... have another! Roger Berry, Teaching Fellow at University of Leeds, has put together a series introducing students to PicoScope.

In addition, we have software updates for PS7 T&M Early Access and PicoLog Cloud available.

This month, we also want to draw your attention to the amazing features of our 8-Channel PicoScopes. We are additionally are continuing our 'Meet the team' section, this time with Bob Baker from our US office.

Fancy joining the Pico family? Check out our vacancies below!

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PicoVNA E-Cal and TRL released TODAY

 
Pico Technology has complemented its hugely successful PicoVNA vector network analyzer by adding two important calibration options.  Existing and new customers of the PicoVNA 108 8.5 GHz analyzer can now benefit from automated E-Cal calibration and TRL/TRM calibration.

The PicoVNA 108 achieves calibration automation through either male SMA or female SMA E-Cal modules.  These are USB-powered and controlled to electronically select the various short, open, load and through reference standards as they are needed within the calibration process.  You simply power the module, make a single connection of the E-Cal standard between the PicoVNA test ports, and then initiate the automated procedure from within the PicoVNA 108 user interface.

Meanwhile, TRL (Through Reflect Line) and TRM (Through Reflect Match) calibration typically gain favour when needing to measure substrate-mounted DUTs, for example surface-mounted networks or components on a PCB or ceramic.  The necessary transmission lines, low-frequency match and reflections (shorts or opens) can all be readily fabricated at precise on-substrate measurement reference planes.  Additionally, if necessary, the calibration will account for the environmental conditions and any variability of the test substrate.

Very shortly, existing users will be able to add both E-Cal and TRL/TRM functionality to their PicoVNA 108 using the free-of-charge software update from the download page (coming soon!).  PicoVNA instruments and accessories come with a comprehensive three-year warranty.

Visit the our website to find out more!
 

Training videos for PicoVNA E-Cal and TRL

 

In celebration of the PicoVNA E-Cal and TRL calibration launch, we've composed a playlist of training videos, talking through the features and relevant processes of this technology.

In the first video, our own Mark Ashcroft explains the differences between traditional and automated calibration processes, comparing these traditional fixed calibration standards with the new automated E-Cal calibration standards.

In this second video, Mark uses a PicoVNA check standard in a demanding comparison of the uncertainties of the two calibrations using Fixed and E-Cal standards. He then extends to a rarely performed comparison, using high reflection Short and Open standards. Automated E-Cal calibration performs remarkably well throughout.

As a bonus, keep an eye out for a third and final video, coming soon! In this, Mark will explain the process of TRL and TRM (Through Reflect Line and Through Reflect Match, respectively).

 

Learning electrical engineering with PicoScope - A video series for students

 
Roger Berry, Teaching Fellow at the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Leeds, has put together a series of videos going through the basics of PicoScope for students using them for the first time. This introductory video explains the vital role that PicoScopes have played in the restructuring of his teaching, since the start of the pandemic. It also includes some amazing testimonials from his students, and we're delighted to hear that our products have had such a positive impact on their studies in such challenging times!

His video series provides the perfect overview of all information you need to begin using PicoScopes. Be sure to check out the full playlist at the link below!
 

PicoScope 7 T&M Early Access 7.0.90

In our most recent release of PicoScope 7 T&M Early Access 7.0.90 last week, our development team reached a significant milestone: the completion of the Signal Generator / AWG editor function.

Most T&M PicoScope models are equipped with a Signal Generator that can deliver Sine, Square, Triangle, Ramp, Sin(x)/x, Gaussian, Half sine, White noise and PRBS waveforms. This is complemented with a sweep function that enables device testing to be performed over a predefined frequency range; this is perfect for testing filters, operational amplifiers, etc., over their specified operating range.

More complex devices need to be tested using real-world waveforms, which is where an AWG (Arbitrary Waveform Generator) comes in handy. Many PicoScopes include an AWG, which can now be fully controlled from within the PicoScope 7 user interface. 

Check out the full article, and download PS7 Early Access, on our website.

 

PicoLog Cloud 6.2.3

We are pleased to announce an update to PicoLog Cloud! This release includes the following additions:
 
- Updated TC-08 driver in order to support minor hardware change
- Added Dark Mode display theme
- Added Display scale setting

Added Dark mode display theme

This feature can be set to either follow the setting applied as default in the operating system, or manually fixed to light or dark mode.

 

Added Display scale setting

This settings allows the user to increase or decrease everything within the whole app, including fonts, icons, images and so on.

PicoLog Cloud 6.2.3. is available to download from our website now.

 
 

8-Channel PicoScopes

Sometimes it’s necessary to have more than 4 analog channels on an oscilloscope when looking at multiple signals, for example in multi-phase power applications.
 
For users looking for 8 analog channels we have the following options:
 
PicoScope 4824A 
20 MHz analog bandwidth
12-bit high resolution
Full details available here
 
PicoScope 6804E / 6824E
500 MHz analog bandwidth with the option to add 16 digital channels to either model
Either 8-bit fixed resolution or 8/10/12-bit FlexRes (model dependent)
Ultra-deep capture memory of up to 4 GS (model dependent)
Full details here
 
We are also able offer our novel probe holder kit with the PicoScope 6000E Series. Ideal for helping the user work with multiple probes; find more details on our website.
 

Meet the team!

Bob joined Pico Technology mid-summer 2021, relocating from Houston to our North American headquarters in Tyler, TX. Having already spent much of his career helping Pico customers and distribution partners with sales and support of electronic components, Bob feels this background on the component side of the business helps him understand the Test & Measurement needs of our customer and distributors.

As Sales and Distributor Manager for North America, Bob believes that his engineering, supply chain and procurement support of prior programs will enhance Pico’s relationships, time to market and revenue growth goals. His caring and transparent approach to interacting with clients anticipates the expectations of the customer. “Our customers have faced unprecedented supply chain issues in the procurement of semiconductors, electronic components, plastics, etc. We at Pico feel this pain as well”.

Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his adult sons, who are both Black Belts in karate, as well as finding the time to be musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs. Bob also spends time keeping up with Formula 1 Racing, playing guitar, hiking, camping, and working on his small farm in the beautiful 'Piney Woods' of East Texas... and, of course, hanging out with his dog, Enzo Furrari!
 

Careers at Pico

Fancy joining us? These are just two of the positions at Pico currently on offer!
 

Technical Content Creator | All locations

As a Technical Content Creator you will get to work on a variety of marketing materials, including engaging, high-quality videos and written content, promoting innovative test and measurement solutions. No two days will be the same! You will be working in a supportive and friendly marketing team of five. To perform in the role, a degree, HND/HNC or ONC in electronic engineering is preferred. But most importantly: good practical experience. 
 

Software Development Manager | St. Neots

We are looking for an exceptional leader, who can mentor, inspire and develop a small, but growing team, including Graduate and Senior Engineers. The team uses C++ for development.

For full details of both roles, including information on how to apply, please visit pico.jobs!
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Pico Technology, Colmworth Business Park, St. Neots, Cambridgeshire PE19 8YP, United Kingdom