Test and Measurement News

June 2002

Technical Tip — Faster Meter / Scope Updates

PicoScope software used on a modern PC gives a fast 'real time' update on the oscilloscope / spectrum analyser. The meter however updates much more slowly and will reduce the update rate of open scope / spectrum windows.

To avoid this reduction in update rate, we recommend that rather than using a separate meter to make measurements, you make use of the automated measurements within the oscilloscope/ spectrum analyser. The measurements (available by selecting Settings | Measurements) include all the functions of the meter (AC volts, DC volts, frequency, dB) and many more as well (rise time, duty cycle, THD, SINAD to name a few). The only time we recommend using the meter is when a very large numerical display is needed.

The reason that the meter is slower than the automated measurements is that the meter has no knowledge of the frequency of the signal being measured. To cope with this it usually has to make multiple readings at different sampling rates. The automated measurements work with the data displayed in the scope or spectrum so do not require additional data to be collected.

Special Offer for Automotive Customers

One of our favourite automotive web sites is that of Auto-Solve. It is a membership only site that contains 100s of pages of regularly updated technical information for professional mechanics and technicians. It also contains a discussion board so that you can tap into the collective experience of all the members. The site makes extensive use of waveforms captured using the Pico ADC-212/3 oscilloscope.

Subscription to the site normally costs £120, however we have negotiated a £60 GBP half price offer for Pico customers. To take advantage of this offer, mention that you are a Pico customer and quote offer code PTAS. This offer is open until the end of June.

Call for Interesting Applications

We would like to hear from customers who are using our products for interesting or unusual applications. This is for use in the 'interesting applications' section of our web site. If you would welcome some free publicity for your application or company then please e-mail marketing@picotech.com with brief details of your application. We will then get back in touch to discuss what is involved.

Our PR agency is also keen to talk to customers who are using our products to make high accuracy temperature measurements. Once again, please e-mail marketing@picotech.com.

New Science Experiment

Our library of science experiments for data loggers and oscilloscopes continues to grow. New this month is a physics / electronics experiment investigating the efficiency of a light bulb.

See this and 56 other interesting and educational experiments at: http://www.picotech.com/experiments/index.html

If you are interested in contributing an experiment to our library, please contact experiments@picotech.com.

Currently we are most interested in new biology and chemistry experiments. To encourage people to submit experiments, we will donate a DrDAQ data logger or ADC-40 for each experiment we use on our web site.

TC-08 Thermocouple Data Logger — Special Offer

Each month Pico Technology offers a different product at 15% discount for orders placed through e-commerce. For details of this months special offer, follow the link below:


Dropping Eggs

Last month we asked for help with a customers question concerning dropping an egg off a roof without breaking it. We were totally overwhelmed with responses (no more please!!).

Some of our favourite replies were:

  • Drop the egg whilst it is still in the hen. (just make sure its not a hen with clipped wings).
  • Put the egg inside a tin can with is larger than the egg and fill it with water. Add salt so that the egg will float in the solution. The salt water will behave like a shock absorber. It can work very well up to 14 meters.
  • Hold the egg carefully in your hands and jump off the roof.

Rather than fill the entire newsletter with answers more can be found on our web site at:


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