Latest news at Pico Technology

Product news

New PicoVNA 106 vector network analyzer - only US$ 5995

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The PicoVNA 106 is a professional-grade vector network analyzer for RF, microwave and gigabit data applications. With a frequency range of 300 kHz to 6 GHz, over 118 dB dynamic range, only 0.005 dB RMS trace noise at 140 kHz bandwidth, and "Quad RX" four-receiver architecture, it delivers unprecedented portability and value for money. It's fast, too, with the ability to gather a 500-point 2-port .s2p Touchstone file in less than one tenth of a second!

If you're visiting the International Microwave Symposium (IMS2017) in Honolulu this week, you can see the PicoVNA 106 in action. Our RF business development manager, Mark Ashcroft, will be on hand to answer your questions - visit us at booth 1656.

If you can't make it to Hawaii, full technical information is available on our website. Place your order today and be one of the first to receive a PicoVNA 106 later this year.

Read more about the PicoVNA 106 >  [2017-06]

New sprung hook probes and CAT III test prods and leads

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You can use our new test prods and leads with the new PicoScope 4444 differential oscilloscope and in many other applications.

TA308 and TA309 black and red 1000 V CAT III shrouded 4 mm to 4 mm 0.5 m test leads. Use with any test equipment requiring shrouded 4 mm connectors.

TA327 and TA328 black and red unshrouded sprung hooks. For making temporary connections to exposed conductors where touch protection is not required.

 

TA310 and TA311 black and red 1000 V CAT III test prods. Designed to make safe contact with conductors in fixed mains wiring installations.

More Pico test prods and leads > [2017-04]

New 25 GHz PicoScope sampling oscilloscopes!

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The PicoScope 9300 Series 20 GHz sampling oscilloscopes have been joined by two new 25 GHz models. The new scopes offer these impressive specifications:

  • 2 or 4 channels
  • Down to 14 ps calculated rise time
  • 1 MS/s sample rate to 32 kS store
  • 64 fs, 15 THz effective sampling rate
  • Up to 15 GHz prescaled trigger
  • 2.5 GHz direct trigger
  • Pattern sync trigger of length 7 to 223–1
  • 1.8 ps typical RMS jitter
  • 16-bit ADC resolution

Learn more >  [2017-04]

Single- and 3-phase flexible AC current probes

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Also new this month, we bring you the TA325 and TA326 flex current probes, which use Rogowski coil technology to measure AC currents up to 3000 A.

  • 30/300/3000 A AC RMS
  • 10 Hz to 20 kHz bandwidth
  • Flexible sensor coils for hard-to-reach conductors
  • Non-magnetic: no saturation

The TA325 is a 3-phase current probe with three sensor coils and three scope connection leads, all color-coded to match Channels A, B and C in the PicoScope software. Typical battery life is 1000 hours.

The TA326 is the single-phase equivalent, with a typical battery life of 2000 hours.

Pico current probes > [2017-03]

See the difference: high-resolution differential oscilloscope

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We are delighted to launch our latest product, the PicoScope 4444 differential oscilloscope.

  • 4 differential inputs
  • 20 MHz bandwith
  • 12 to 14 bit resolution
  • 1000 V CAT III probes
  • Low-voltage probes
  • Current probes

Safely measure voltages up to 1000 V CAT III with the PicoConnect 442 passive differential voltage probe. Use the PicoConnect 441 1:1 passive differential probe to measure millivolt-level signals in the presence of noise. The PicoScope 4444 rejects large DC offsets that would overload a conventional scope. Additional current probes and adaptors bring even more applications.

Pico is at Embedded World in Nuremberg and Electronica China in Shanghai from 14 to 16 March - come and see the difference for yourself!

Learn more [2017-03]

Coming soon: PicoScope 4444. See the difference!

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  • 4 differential inputs
  • 20 MHz bandwith
  • 14 bit resolution
  • 1000 V CAT III probes
  • Low-voltage probes
  • Current clamps

A differential oscilloscope is essential for those tricky measurements where the signal is not referenced to ground. This occurs in situations such as switch mode power supplies, mains installations, biomedical sensors and differential buses.

Come and see the difference for yourself at Embedded World Nuremberg and Electronica Shanghai from 14 to 16 March, or register your details to find out more. [2017-02]

PicoSample release 3.25.0

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PicoSample is the software for PicoScope 9300 Series sampling oscilloscopes. This free update brings you:

  • USB 3.0 masks
  • Calculator for touchscreen parameter controls
  • Faster random sampling acquisition

The PicoScope 9300 Series USB sampling oscilloscopes offer 20 GHz bandwidth and 64 fs timing resolution for repetitive signals. All this at a fraction of the cost of traditional benchtop instruments! Free download [2017-02]

PicoScope release 6.12.7

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PicoScope 6 works with all our real-time USB oscilloscopes, and it's free to download. Changes include:

  • New CAN FD serial decoder
  • New pop-up notifications
  • Clearer channel overrange warnings
  • New built-in settings for TA325 and TA326 flex current probes
  • Improved handling of PicoScope .psdata files saved with a different device

Release notes [2017-02]

PicoScope 6.12.5 released!

The latest release of PicoScope 6 has a clearer display and more convenient controls aimed at users of touchscreen devices. The improvements also make PicoScope even more of a pleasure to use on conventional laptops and desktops. There are also some new automated measurements.

  • Larger control buttons
  • New adjustment buttons for easier control of numerical settings
  • New control setting grids for faster setup
  • Color-coded serial decoding packets
  • New edge count measurements

Watch the video to learn about the PicoScope 6.12.5 update in only five minutes! [2017-01]

New 9 GHz PicoConnect 900 Series RF, microwave and digital probes

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This new series of passive oscilloscope probes dramatically lowers the cost of performing low-invasive measurements on gigahertz-frequency circuits. The PicoConnect probes have an extremely low input capacitance of typically 0.3 pF, which minimizes disturbance to the device under test and ensures a well-defined pulse response. This makes them more accurate than expensive active probes at very high frequencies.

Prices from only $699 / €579 / £449 [2016-10]

Free update to PicoSample 3 software

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PicoSample 3.22.0, the latest update to the software for PicoScope 9300 Series sampling oscilloscopes, is now available for download. It includes some major improvements including:

  • Upgrade of the user interface for touchscreen operation
  • New random sampling mode
  • TDR support through COM object (allowing other programs to control the oscilloscope in TDR mode)
  • Access to waveform database through COM object

If you don't have a PicoScope 9300 Series oscilloscope, you can still download PicoSample 3 and try it out in demo mode. Read more [2016-07]

New PicoScope 2000A and 2000B oscilloscopes now shipping

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The latest PicoScope 2000 Series low-cost, ultra-compact oscilloscopes give you better performance and more features than ever before – all in an extremely portable package. Now you can carry an oscilloscope, function generator, arbitrary waveform generator (AWG), spectrum analyzer, logic analyzer and serial protocol decoder with you wherever you go. PicoScope USB oscilloscopes run on practically any PC or laptop with Windows 7, 8 or 10.

Up to 100 MHz bandwidth • Up to 1 GS/s sampling on analog channels • Mixed signal (MSO) models with 16 digital channels • Up to 128 MS deep buffer memory • Up to 1 MHz function generator and AWG • Serial decoding, math channels, spectrum analyzer, color persistence display, mask limit testing included as standard

Entry-level models from only $129 / €109 / £79 without probes

Deep-memory models from only $379 / €319 / £229 including probes

Read PicoScope 2000 Series detailed description and specifications

Watch Picoscope 2208B unboxing video (YouTube) produced by the Code and Life blog [2016-05]

New PicoScope 2-channel, 4-channel and mixed-signal models!

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The brand new PicoScope 2000 Series low-cost, ultra-compact oscilloscopes give you better performance and more features than ever before – all in an extremely portable package. Now you can carry an oscilloscope, function generator, arbitrary waveform generator (AWG), spectrum analyzer, logic analyzer and serial protocol decoder with you wherever you go. PicoScope USB oscilloscopes run on practically any PC or laptop with Windows 7, 8 or 10.

These oscilloscopes may be small, but just look at the features that are included in the price:

  • Up to 100 MHz bandwidth
  • Up to 1 GS/s sampling on analog channels
  • Mixed signal (MSO) models with 16 digital channels
  • Up to 128 MS deep buffer memory
  • Decode up to 15 serial protocols
  • Up to 1 MHz function generator and AWG
  • Free software updates
  • Beta software for Linux and OS X
  • Free Software Development Kit (SDK)

There are 15 models to choose from in the new PicoScope 2000 Series with varying channel counts, bandwidths and buffer memory depths. Here is just a selection of the models available in the PicoScope 2000 Series:

Model Bandwidth Channels AWG? Price
PicoScope 2204A without probes 10 MHz 2 Yes $129 / €109 / £79
PicoScope 2206B 50 MHz 2 Yes $379 / €319 / £229
PicoScope 2408B 100 MHz 4 Yes $1235 / €1045 / £749
PicoScope 2205A MSO 25 MHz 2+16D Yes $489 / €419 / £299
PicoScope 2208B MSO 100 MHz 2+16D Yes $1075 / €909 / £649

Read about all 15 models in the new PicoScope 2000 Series, watch the video presentation and download a data sheet [2016-04]

New PicoSource Pulse Generators!

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The new PicoSource PG900 Series differential pulse generators can stimulate a transmission path, device or network with a broad-spectrum signal in a single instant. These signals are invaluable for making high-speed broadband measurements in many fields such as time-domain reflectometry, semiconductor testing, gigabit interconnect and port testing, and in radar systems.

Despite the dominance of high-speed differential data in today's digital, computing, interconnect and telecommunications systems, it was hard to find cost-effective, fast-transition differential pulse generators... until now!

Highlights of the new PicoSource PG900 Series differential pulse generators:

  • 60 ps edge step recovery diode outputs, amplitude adjustable up to 6 V (PG911)
  • 40 ps edge tunnel diode outputs, fixed > 200 mV amplitude (PG912)
  • Dual-technology model (PG914) with both types of output
  • Differential outputs with programmable deskew in 1 ps steps
  • Signal characteristics specified in detail
  • USB-connected
  • Graphical control software (for Microsoft Windows) included

PicoScope 9000 Series sampling oscilloscopes latest

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The PicoScope 9000 Series sampling oscilloscopes are specialized USB-connected measuring instruments for viewing high-speed, repetitive signals such as serial data streams and test patterns. They are available with bandwidths of 12 GHz and 20 GHz, and with optional TDR (time-domain reflectometry), TDT (time-domain transmissometry) and optical-input capabilities.

Updated Programmer's Guide

For those developing custom applications for the PicoScope 9300 Series sampling oscilloscopes, an updated PicoScope 9300 Series Programmer's Guide is now available. This includes new instructions on programming the oscilloscopes in TDR (time-domain reflectometry) and TDT (time-domain transmissometry) applications as well as measurement of optical parameters. These sampling oscilloscopes can be controlled from a PC through either the USB or Ethernet port to provide all the functions available in the PicoSample 3 software, including:

  • Time-domain display and characterization of repetitive signals up to 20 GHz bandwidth
  • Multiple math functions of input channels
  • Eye pattern analysis
  • Automated amplitude and timing measurements to IEEE 1057–2007
  • Measurement of optical parameters (with the PicoScope 9321 optical-input model)
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Differential TDR probing challenge solved

Pico Technology now recommends the GigaProbes DVT30-1MM Dual Probe TDR Interconnect Analysis Kit for use with the PicoScope 9000 Series. The DVT30 is a 30 GHz balanced odd-mode 100 Ω differential time-domain reflectometry (TDR) probe, featuring conductive diamond-tipped contacts that can make a reliable connection to differential striplines and device pads on PCBs. It is thus ideal for making accurate measurements of signal levels and impedances on high-speed differential data lines. The DVT30-1MM can also be used on 50 Ω single-ended circuits using the adaptors included in the kit. [2009-08]

Pico news

Technical support news: MATLAB example for PicoScope 4444

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We have added a MATLAB example for the PicoScope 4444 High-Resolution Differential Oscilloscope to our GitHub repository. The script demonstrates how to call shared library functions to acquire data from the scope.

Our Instrument Drivers and examples for MathWorks MATLAB are now hosted on GitHub for easier sharing of code, but we recommend that you continue to use the MATLAB Add-On Explorer for installation or visit our Community Profile page. [2017-08]

MATLAB page for PicoScope 4444 >

PicoScope offers bandwidth with versatility: Engineering.com reviews the PicoScope 5444B

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In this article, James Anderton reviews the PicoScope 5444B.

"The Model 5444B we tested shipped in ESD-resistant packaging and is notable as a complete kit; the four-channel ‘scope includes four probes, each with a full accessory set, two certified high-speed USB cables and a power supply with a neat clip-on adapter plug that makes the unit compatible with mains supplies anywhere in the world. In two channel mode, the unit can self power through the USB connection for added portability." [2017-08]

Read on >

GitHub: Java examples for PicoScope and PicoLog products

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Our Technical Support engineers recently added some Java examples to our repository on GitHub.

These latest examples specifically cover the PicoScope 4000 Series drivers. [2017-08]

View examples >

Techimp’s high voltage monitoring system is built on PicoScope

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Techimp, a world leader in electrical asset diagnostics, recently supplied TenneT with their Power Connection Monitoring System (PCMONS). PicoScope oscilloscopes are an integral part of this system.

The purpose of the system is to collect evidence of the behavior of a combined transmission cable/overhead line and confirmation of the mathematical model in a transient regime, and to obtain a possible indicator of the degradation of the system (residual lifetime) as a result of transients occurring in time. [2017-08]

Read more >

Modbus serial decoding: Part 2

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Last month we introduced you to our exclusive Modbus RTU and ASCII serial decoding protocol in PicoScope 6. This month we wanted to give our readers more information on Modbus, its architecture, versions, function codes and more.

Modbus is a low-speed serial data protocol commonly used in industrial applications where a supervisory computer (master) controls or monitors multiple remote devices (slaves).

The specification was originally published in 1979 by Modicon (now Schneider Electric) for use with its programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

In a standard Modbus network there is one master, and up to 247 slaves each with a unique address from 1 to 247. [2017-08]

Read more >

In memory of Sheila Felicio 1975 – 2017

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We are deeply saddened by the loss of Sheila, a much-loved and highly experienced member of Pico's software development team since 2013. Sheila tested many of the features in our T&M and Automotive ranges.

She will be remembered for helping less experienced colleagues gain in confidence, but most of all for the way she made everyone smile. [2017-07]

New PicoSDK 10.6.12

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The latest PicoSDK (software development kit) includes support for our newest devices including:

  • PicoScope 4444
  • New PicoScope 2000 Series models

as well as updates to many of the existing drivers.

Please note that code examples are now hosted on our GitHub pages. [2017-07]

Download for free >

Exclusive to PicoScope: Modbus serial decoding

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The new PicoScope beta release, 6.13, adds Modbus RTU and ASCII to its growing list of serial decoders. Modbus is used in industrial automation to communicate with programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

PicoScope 6 now supports a total of 18 serial protocols and is the only oscilloscope that can decode Modbus. [2017-07]

Download for free >

Application note: Measuring the supply current of IoT devices

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We've added a new application note to our website, showing how to use the PicoScope 4444 differential scope to calculate the supply current of an IoT device - in this case an Amazon Echo smart speaker.

You'll need to measure the voltage across a sense resistor, so differential measurements are essential in order to avoid shorting either side of the resistor to ground, and the low voltages involved make this an ideal application for the PicoConnect 441 probe.

Find out more > [2017-06]

CAN FD decoding

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One of the new features in the most recent PicoScope 6 software release (6.12.7) is the addition of CAN FD serial decoding.

Introduced by Bosch in 2012, CAN FD allows for increased data lengths and provides the option of switching to a faster data rate after the arbitration phase.

Find out more > [2017-05]

Differential debug in the Internet of Things

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This month sees the second in our series of application notes on the PicoScope 4444 high-resolution differential oscilloscope. We look at how to debug a DC/DC converter of the kind typically used to deliver power in Internet of Things applications. The differential inputs of the PicoScope 4444 allow us to measure across a floating inductor without shorting it to ground.

Read "IoT debug gets a boost from true differential probing" >

Missed Part 1? Catch up here > [2017-05]

Prize draw winners

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We held a series of prize draws at Embedded World in Nuremberg, back in March. The winner of the grand prize, a PicoScope 4444 differential oscilloscope, is:

Dr. Adrian Zink
from Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Congratulations, Dr Zink. You can now make four-channel, high-precision, single-ended and differential measurements!

The winners of the daily prize draws are Sascha Grunert, Daniel Baeder and Stefan Paulus, each of whom receives a PicoScope 2206B mixed-signal oscilloscope! [2017-04]

New Asia-Pacific representative office

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Pico's expansion continues with the recent opening of a new office in Shanghai, China, to give a local presence for our Asia-Pacific (APAC) sales and support.

Speaking at the opening press conference, Managing Director Alan Tong said: "We have a unique sales approach where we treat customers as our friends ... We will now be able to extend this close relationship with our customers based in the APAC region." [2017-03]

PicoScope 2000B Series is ACE Awards finalist

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The PicoScope 2000B Series was selected by a panel of experts for a place in the Test and Measurement Systems and Boards category.

PicoScope 2000 Series oscilloscopes deliver the functionality of six instruments – oscilloscope, logic analyzer (on MSO models), spectrum analyzer, function generator, arbitrary waveform generator, and serial bus analyzer – in a pocket-sized enclosure. Prices are around half those of traditional benchtop oscilloscopes with comparable performance. [2016-12]

Decoding the DCC protocol

The Digital Command Control (DCC) serial protocol was developed to enable more complex setups on model train sets. In this month's video, one of our Technical Support Engineers uses a PicoScope 5000 Series oscilloscope to decode the signals sent on a Hornby Digital Train set. [2016-11]

EM Best of Industry Awards

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EM Media, the group behind Electronics Maker magazine, hosted the second annual EM Best of Industry Awards ceremony in Bangalore on 21 September. We're very pleased to report that Pico came first in the Best Portable Test Solutions category. [2016-10]

Competition time

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For three days of EuMW, we ran a prize draw to win a PicoScope 2207B, one of the new PicoScope 2000 Series oscilloscopes we launched earlier in the year. We're very happy to tell you that our three winners were as follows:

Day 1: Ralph Green from Portsmouth
Day 2: Abdelhakim Boughriet from Reading
Day 3: Alex Jacobs from Maidstone

Congratulations to all of you. We hope you’re enjoying using your new scope!

Video of the month: PicoConnect 900 Series

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You may remember a few months ago we posted a video from the International Microwave Symposium, where Mark Ashcroft, our RF Business Development Manager, mentioned a secret new product under development. That product was revealed to the world at European Microwave Week as the PicoConnect 900 Series of low-invasive RF, microwave and gigabit probes. In this video, taken at the launch, Mark tells us a bit more about the range.

Software update: PicoLog 5.25.3

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We recommend that all our Data Logger users download the latest update to benefit from recent bug fixes and improvements.

  • Supports all PicoLog data loggers
  • Graph and spreadsheet views
  • Suitable for Windows 7, 8 and 10
  • Software is free of charge

Download PicoLog 5.25.3 [2016-09]

Review: PicoScope 2208B MSO

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Elektor magazine has just published a detailed review of the PicoScope 2208B MSO (mixed-signal oscilloscope). Within hours of setting up his new oscilloscope, the author was able to pinpoint a fault in an audio amplifier.

Find out how easy it is to get started with your first PicoScope and why it's important to compensate your scope probes!

Read the review [2016-09]