Test and Measurement News

May 2011

PicoScope 9000 Series Training Videos: Part 4

The PicoScope 9000 Series 12 GHz PC Sampling Oscilloscopes are specialized instruments designed for analyzing serial data signal quality; for characterizing cables, connectors and circuit boards; and for TDR/TDT testing. 8 GHz optical-input models are also available. These scopes require careful setting up to obtain accurate results, so we have produced a series of instructional videos to help you use their capabilities to the full.

Here are the latest video releases:

Watch out for more videos later!

Explore our library of videos on our YouTube channel

DrDAQ Application: Evaluating Cavity Wall Insulation

Forum contributor FrancisL has posted a report on his measurements using a DrDAQ to evaluate the effect of cavity wall insulation. He has used the original parallel-port DrDAQ, but the experiment can easily be upgraded to use the new USB DrDAQ, which has all the features of the original device and many more:

  • Oscilloscope input
  • Signal generator and arbitrary waveform generator
  • Microphone (waveform and sound level)
  • pH/redox sensor input
  • Resistance input
  • 3 external sensor inputs (use our sensors or create your own)
  • 4 digital I/Os (2 with pulse-counting input and PWM output)
  • Light sensor
  • Temperature sensor

Read FrancisL’s post on our forum
Read more about the USB DrDAQ

20th Anniversary Product Survey

In July Pico Technology will celebrate its 20th anniversary! As part of the festivities, we plan to publish stories of the oldest Pico products still in use. If you are using an early Pico oscilloscope or data logger, please let us know which one it is and what you are using it for. We will publish the most interesting applications in our July newsletter.

Email us with your ‘early Pico product’ story

Application Note: How to Tune Scope Probes

To prevent signal distortion, it is important that attenuated oscilloscope probes are correctly compensated or ‘tuned’ to match the oscilloscope. We can supply factory-tuned passive probes for use with our higher-bandwidth scopes such as the PicoScope 3000A, 3000B and 5000 Series. If you already own a general-purpose probe like the 250 MHz MI103, this application note will show you how to tune it for use with any oscilloscope. The article covers both low-frequency and high-frequency compensation, but you can omit the HF adjustment if your probe has only LF compensation.

Read “How to Tune x10 Oscilloscope Probes

Questions and Answers

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

Q. Connecting two HumidiProbe sensors. In the description page of the HumidiProbe sensors it is mentioned that up to 4 can be connected to a PC running PicoLog. However, I cannot find a way to have my two sensors monitored at the same time: if I go to “Settings > Input channels…” I see both my sensors but I can only choose one of them. Is there something I am missing?

A. When you go into “File > New Settings”, the “Recording” dialog will open. In the bottom left-hand corner there is a tick box labelled “Use Multiple Converters”. If you tick that box, you will be able to select more than one converter in the following dialogs. PicoLog now supports up to 20 devices at once.

Q. Channel markers in PicoLog. When I first used PicoLog, different-coloured markers appeared on the graphs. Now I no longer see them, even after restarting the program and starting new recordings. I have found the box for “Display markers” and this is ticked. What else can I try?

A. The “All traces on one graph” format (Graph View > Options Button > Format) does not automatically switch on the markers. Change the format to “Automatic” and the markers will return.


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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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Pico Technology, James House, Colmworth Business Park, St. Neots,
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