Test and Measurement News

May 2013

New: Flexible Resolution Oscilloscopes!

Introducing a new class of USB oscilloscope: the Flexible Resolution Oscilloscope!

The revolutionary architecture of the PicoScope 5000 Series oscilloscopes allows them to operate at a range of resolutions from 8 bits, like most standard digital oscilloscopes, all the way up to a very high-resolution 16 bit mode. Unlike software-enhanced resolution modes, these are true hardware resolutions achieved by combining multiple high-resolution ADCs to create minimal distortion and noise while maximizing bandwidth. The performance figures speak for themselves:

Resolution Bandwidth Max. sampling rate THD (100 kHz FS)
8 bits 60 to 200 MHz 1 GS/s < –60 dB
12 bits 60 to 200 MHz 500 MS/s < –70 dB
14 bits 60 to 200 MHz 125 MS/s < –70 dB
15 bits 60 to 200 MHz 125 MS/s < –70 dB
16 bits 60 MHz 62.5 MS/s < –70 dB


The PicoScope 5000 Series contains a variety of bandwidth, buffer size and signal generator options to suit your technical requirements and your budget. Every model has the same high-quality flexible resolution design that will give you outstanding performance from 8 bits to 16 bits. What's more, all this power fits in a unit small enough to carry around with your laptop! 

Model Bandwidth Max. sampling rate Buffer size FG/AWG* £ US$
PicoScope 5242A 60 MHz 1 GS/s 16 MS FG 699 1153 846
… all the way up to …
PicoScope 5444B 200 MHz 1 GS/s 512 MS AWG 1699 2803 2056

*Function generator/arbitrary waveform generator

There isn't enough room here to discuss all the advanced features of these scopes, including channel math, spectrum analysis, serial decoding, measurements with statistics, mask testing and persistence display modes. All models include a function generator with 14-bit resolution and 200 MS/s sample rate, and in some models this is extended to a powerful arbitrary waveform generator. Download the data sheet and find out why a PicoScope 5000 Series Flexible Resolution Oscilloscope could be the only scope you need!

Java app for PicoScope 2000 Series

An experimental Java app for the PicoScope 2000 Series shows you how to use our free SDK to write your own Java programs. The app collects data in block mode and sets up the built-in signal generator. Devices supported are the PicoScope 2104, 2105, 2202, 2203, 2204 and 2205.

Download the application with source code from this post on our forum.

New: three-axis accelerometer kit

Use the new three-axis accelerometer to measure vibration, acceleration or orientation in three dimensions. It's easy to use, with no adjustments or setting up required, and plugs into any oscilloscope with three or more channels.

  • ±5 g acceleration range
  • DC to 350 Hz frequency range
  • Compact sensor
  • Standard mounting thread
  • Kit includes sensor, mounting magnet, interface box, lithium battery and BNC cables.
Order code Description £ US$
PP877 Three-axis accelerometer kit 249 410 300

If you need an oscilloscope to go with your three-axis accelerometer, we recommend a high-resolution four-channel PicoScope such as the PicoScope 4424 or the new PicoScope 5000 Series.

Tech tips

Here are some of the latest tips delivered by our technical support experts. Keep watching our forum for more great ideas.

Noisy derivatives

Q. I would like to use the derivative() operator in PicoScope 6 to create a math channel from measurement data. I've found the d/dx function calculates the derivative on a per sample basis, but the result is noisy. How can I clean up the derivative waveform?

A. There are several techniques that can reduce the noise on a derivative waveform. You should first try reducing the number of samples, as this has a dramatic effect on noise. The noise on a capture of 1 000 000 samples is likely to be much larger than the signal, while reducing the capture to 1 000 samples should make the derivative appear with only a small amount of noise. You can further reduce noise by using waveform-to-waveform averaging, which is possible in the equation editor using the average() operator or the x-bar button.

Generating arbitrary waveforms

Q. I'm thinking of buying a PicoScope with an arbitrary waveform generator. How easy is it to define waveforms? Can I import them or do I have to draw them?

A. You can do either. You can import waveforms from a CSV (comma-separated values) text file generated by a spreadsheet program like Excel. You can copy a live waveform, reference waveform or math channel from the PicoScope oscilloscope screen. Finally, the arbitrary waveform editor lets you edit a waveform regardless of its source, generate a regular waveform such as a square wave, sinusoid or binary pattern, or draw a new waveform using freehand and line-drawing tools.


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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)

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Pico Technology, 320 N Glenwood Blvd, Tyler TX 75702, United States
Tel:+1 800 591 2796 (Toll Free)

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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