Test and Measurement News

March 2011

Adding Custom Sensors to Your USB DrDAQ

The USB DrDAQ is our low-cost, multi-input data logger designed for hobby use, education and good honest fun. As well as using its built-in sound, light and temperature sensors, and the additional plug-in sensors that we supply, you can also make your own custom sensors. The manual includes general instructions for doing this, but now our very own mad professor, Pete, has created some specific examples and posted construction details on our Discussion Forum. Here are the topics he has created so far:

If you have created your own DrDAQ sensor, please post on our forum and tell us how you did it!

Go to the new “USB DrDAQ Sensors” section on our forum

PicoScope 9000 Series Training Videos: Part 2

We have three new screencasts explaining the menu structure and basic operation of the PicoScope 9000 Series software. They are all presented by Pete Darby, Pico Technology’s expert in microwave instrumentation and sampling oscilloscope technology. The videos are embedded in our website so you don’t need to install any new software or download any files in order to watch them. The new titles are:

Explore our library of videos on our YouTube chanel

Product Focus: PicoScope High-Resolution Oscilloscopes

The PicoScope 4226 and 4227 are 2-channel high-resolution oscilloscopes suitable for field servicing, research and development, and scientific use. Their accuracy and resolution make them ideal for vibration and noise analysis as well as general-purpose measurement applications, and with their built-in signal generator they provide a complete test bench in one instrument. The scopes are USB-powered so there is no need for a separate power supply.

Just plug the oscilloscope into the USB port of any modern Windows PC, run the PicoScope software supplied, and you are ready to work. You can install PicoScope on as many computers as you like at no extra cost. Our software gives you all the features of a traditional bench-top oscilloscope, plus advanced features such as serial decoding, mask limit testing and automatic measurements with statistics - features that often cost extra on competing scopes in this price range.

Here are the main specifications:

  • Bandwidth: 50 or 100 MHz
  • Resolution: 12 bits (16 bit software-enhanced)
  • DC accuracy: 1%
  • Maximum sampling rate: 125 or 250 MS/s
  • Buffer memory: 32 MS

The PicoScope 4226 and 4227 are supplied with two probes and a hard carrying case, and include a 5-year parts and labor warranty.

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the questions and answers that have cropped up recently on our discussion forum:

Q. PicoScope window dropout trigger. I have a PicoScope 4424. We have a scenario where we have to trigger on falling edge. The first voltage threshold is at 12 V and second is at 2 V. The time duration between these two thresholds varies from 2 µs to 10 µs. The trigger should fire in case of 2 µs edge duration only.

A. Use the window dropout trigger under Advanced Triggers. You can setup 2 trigger levels with your window, one at approximately 12 V and one at approximately 2 V. Then set it as Entering or Exiting, and set the Time that you require.

Q. CAN bus serial decoding. I was planning on using a TA041 differential probe across CAN High and CAN Low. I was told that this is the best way to look at the electrical aspects of the CAN signal. Is this true? If I want to decode also, does PicoScope 6 support this type of connection?

A. There is no problem with viewing and decoding CAN data using a differential probe. If you have one it’s a good idea as it allows CAN H and CAN L to be monitored with a single channel. If you connect the positive lead of the probe to CAN H, then you should set the software to decode CAN H. On the other hand you can do the same using two channels and standard passive probes. The software allows both CAN H and L to be selected and decoded at the same time. You can also use a math channel to do (CAN H) - (CAN L) and set the software to decode the result as CAN H.


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Software releases

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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