Test and Measurement News

March 2013

The World’s First USB 3.0 Oscilloscope!

The PicoScope 3207A and 3207B USB 3.0 oscilloscopes are the new top–of–the range models in the PicoScope 3000 Series. With upgraded bandwidth, faster sampling, larger buffer sizes and an improved timebase accuracy of ±2 ppm, these scopes represent fantastic value for money.

As well as these impressive specifications, don’t forget that PicoScope oscilloscopes include all of these advanced features at no extra cost:

  • Serial decoding — I²C, I²S, UART/RS-232, SPI, CAN, LIN, FlexRay
  • Mask limit testing — with alarms
  • Segmented memory — with graphical buffer navigator
  • Rapid triggers — up to 10,000 waveforms in a 10 ms burst
  • Advanced digital triggering — for single–sample accuracy
  • Digital lowpass filtering
  • Channel math — with 30 operators, functions and constants
  • Color persistence display — also with intensity and custom options
  • Built-in function generator or arbitrary waveform generator
PicoScope 3207
Model Bandwidth Sampling Buffer FG / AWG
PicoScope 3207A 250 MHz 1 GS/s 256 MS FG
PicoScope 3207B 250 MHz 1 GS/s 512 MS FG+AWG

Win a PicoScope 3207B!

Correctly answer the four questions in our quiz for your chance to win a PicoScope 3207B. Entries must be submitted before midnight (UTC) on the 29th March 2013. The winner will be announced in the April newsletter.

Enter the competition

PicoScope 9000 Series Overview

The PicoScope 9000 Series sampling oscilloscopes are a special class of high-bandwidth oscilloscopes designed for capturing repetitive signals such as serial communications data and semiconductor test waveforms. These compact, portable devices plug into your PC or laptop, creating an advanced measuring instrument at a fraction of the cost of a traditional, stand–alone unit. And, unlike many competing products, there are no hidden costs as all the advertised software features are included in the price.

The core specifications are as follows:

  • 2 channels
  • 12 GHz bandwidth
  • 5 TS/s effective sampling rate
  • USB 2.0 port
  • PicoScope 9000 software for Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 included

There are four models in the series. Additional features are as follows:

PicoScope 9200 Series
  9201A 9211A 9221A 9231A
LAN port   Y   Y
Clock recovery trigger   Y Y Y
Pattern sync trigger   Y Y Y
Dual signal generator outputs   Y   Y
Electrical TDR/TDT capability   Y   Y
8 GHz optical–electrical converter     Y Y

For more information, see our series of over 20 instructional videos on various features of the PicoScope 9000 Series including the menu system, eye diagram analysis, jitter measurement, mask testing, pattern sync trigger, TDR/TDT and optical measurements.

Measure For a Good Cause!

Since launching our appeal for application notes last month, we have received some interesting ideas and we will announce the results as the notes are published. We are still looking for examples of Pico products put to industrial, scientific or educational uses, and for each story that we use we will donate £250 to Cancer Research UK. If you would like to contribute, please contact us at newsletter@picotech.com with brief details of your application. We will then explain what information we require.

See our library of application notes to get an idea of the articles that we have previously published.

Tech Tips

Fast streaming with the PicoLog 1000 Series

Q. The PicoLog software limits the sampling rate to 1 kS/s with the PicoLog 1000 Series data loggers in streaming mode. Is there any way to sample faster than this?

A. Yes, you have two options. The first is to use the PicoScope software. Although this is mainly intended for use with oscilloscopes, it also works with some of our faster data loggers including the PicoLog 1000 Series. Before running PicoScope, ensure that the logger is not connected to the PicoLog software. The second option is to write your own software using the SDK. Both options will allow streaming–mode capture up to 100 kS/s. PicoScope and the PicoLog 1000 Series SDK can be downloaded free of charge. (Note: if the 8 k sample buffer is sufficient for your application, you can run in block mode at 1 MS/s.)

EXT trigger input, safe limits

Q. I was wondering how to safely interpret the External Trigger voltage specifications. The PicoScope 3206B EXT Trigger specification is ±5 V operating and ±100 V overvoltage. Often overvoltage specifications suggest some limited occurrence criteria. Is this the case with the PicoScope 3206B? We are in a 0 to 20 V environment and we often wish to trigger on 16 V rising edges although the threshold is within the operating range. Is this a safe operating condition for repeated use?

A. 16 V won t harm the device, even if repeatedly applied. If the rise to 16 V is quick then the trigger time may be slow due to saturation but it will still work. Adding a clipping circuit would improve the response speed.

Distributor of the Year Award

Our congratulations go to HongKe Technology Co. Ltd. of Guangzhou, China, winner of the Pico Technology Distributor of the Year Award 2012 for the Asia–Pacific region. Established in 1995, HongKe is our master distributor in China and offers our complete product range of oscilloscopes, data loggers and automotive diagnostic kits.

We shall be presenting the award at the AMR2013 (Auto Maintenance and Repair Expo) show in Beijing in April.


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