Test and Measurement News

August 2008

PicoScope 6.0.16 Released

If you’re a PicoScope 6 user, it’s easy to keep your software up to date. You can download the latest version, free of charge, from our website at any time. Here are some of the improvements that we’ve made in version 6.0.16:

  • Custom colours. Change the trace colours and thicknesses, and colours of other screen elements, for better visibility or to match your documentation. This is controlled from the Tools | Preferences menu.
  • Per-view axes. You can now display or hide any combination of channels in any view. For example, you can display only channel A on one view and channels A and B on another view. This feature is controlled from the View | Channels menu or by right-clicking on a view.
  • Save all waveforms as CSV. Now you can save all waveforms on the screen to multiple CSV files with a single command. CSV files can be imported directly into Microsoft Excel and other applications, allowing you to process PicoScope waveforms using your own algorithms.
  • Advanced measurement options. These new options give you finer control over details such as the configuration of the harmonic detector used for THD measurements, the frequency response of the filter used for frequency-related measurements, and the search band of the peak detector used in spectrum frequency measurements. Again, use the Tools | Preferences menu.
  • Download the entire waveform memory. PicoScope 6 normally manages the scope’s waveform buffer for the fastest possible triggering rate, which limits the record length to just under half of the scope’s memory. You can now override this and force PicoScope 6 to save the entire buffer (up to 125 million samples on the PicoScope 5204 scope) to disk. Set the scope to “Single” trigger mode, set the “Number of Samples” control on the toolbar to 200 MS and the timebase to 50 ms/div. The “Properties” sheet will show the number of samples that PicoScope is about to capture. Capture a waveform, select File | Save Current Waveform As, and PicoScope 6 will then save the entire record to disk.
  • German language support. We are steadily improving the foreign language support in PicoScope 6. You can now select German menus and dialogs, and an online help manual in German will follow soon.

Download the latest version of PicoScope 6

Linux Drivers Updated

This month we’ve updated several of our Linux drivers, all of which are available free of charge.

Updated 32-bit and 64-bit Linux drivers for USB Oscilloscopes

Both 32-bit and 64-bit Linux drivers are now available for the PicoScope 2000, 3000 and 5000 Series of USB Oscilloscopes.

The 32-bit version Linux driver RPM has been tested in both 32-bit and 64-bit Fedora 8.0. The 64-bit version RPM has been tested in 64-bit Fedora 8.0.

2000 & 3000 Series, 32-bit: R3.
2000 & 3000 Series, 64-bit: R3. (beta)
5000 Series, 32-bit: R1.
5000 Series, 64-bit: R1. (beta)

Download 32-bit Linux drivers for your scope
Download 64-bit Linux drivers for your scope (beta release)

Updated ADC-16 Linux driver

The ADC-16 Linux driver has been updated for improved operation on both 32-bit and 64-bit Linux operating systems. The driver has been tested in 32-bit and 64-bit Fedora 8.0 operating systems over the full input range of [-2.5 V, +2.5 V] and with all return value types (millivolts, microvolts and ADC counts).

Download the ADC-16 Linux driver

USB TC-08 Linux driver updated to 1.7.2

Version 1.7.2 works in both 32-bit and 64-bit Linux systems and includes a couple of bug fixes. This driver has been tested in 32-bit and 64-bit Fedora 8.0 systems over the full range of temperatures from -100 to +1200 degrees C.

Download the USB TC-08 Linux driver

Thank you, Experiment Designers!

We would like to thank the reader who replied to our “Design an Experiment” challenge last month. We still have a few ultra- compact scopes to give away, so please get in touch with us if you have a good idea for an educational experiment. The new experiments will appear on our website, free of charge to all customers, once we have finished editing them. In the meantime, you can look at the experiments we have already published:

View the Pico library of Science Experiments

Email us today with your idea

PicoScope 2200 Range Now Our Top-selling Scopes

At the end of July the ultra-compact PicoScope 2200 scope range (a range that includes the PicoScope 2203, 2204 and 2205) became our best-selling scope range. These scopes have been highly popular ever since their launch in February 2008, thanks to their small size and great value for money. Here are the main features:

  • Up to 200 MS/s real-time sample rate
  • Up to 4 GS/s repetitive signal sample rate
  • Up to 25 MHz bandwidth
  • Spectrum analysis built in
  • Arbitrary waveform generator (AWG)

They all include a 24-month warranty and, like all Pico scopes and loggers, they come with free software updates and free technical support.

Read more about these scopes

Questions and Answers

Here is a selection of the questions that have cropped up recently on our support forum.

Q. Can I use multiple USB TC-08s with PicoLog?

A. Yes, you can use up to 20 USB TC-08 thermocouple data loggers, giving you a total of 160 channels. When you configure PicoLog from the File | New Settings menu, remember to tick the “Use multiple converters” box in the Recording dialog. Select the logger type in the Converters dialog, and you will then see a list of all your loggers in the Converter Details dialog. Select all of the converters that you wish to use (Shift-click and Ctrl-click allow you to select multiple items) and they will be listed when you return to the Converters dialog.

Q. Are the outer shields of the BNC inputs connected together on the PicoScope 2203?

A. Yes, as with most oscilloscopes from Pico and elsewhere, the BNC shields are all connected to the instrument’s ground. This means that you cannot use these scopes for measurements on floating circuits. To do this, you need a special type of scope with floating inputs, like the PicoScope 3425 4-channel differential scope, or you can use a conventional scope with a differential probe such as the Pico MI053.


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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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Pico Technology, James House, Colmworth Business Park, St. Neots,
Cambridgeshire, PE19 8YP, United Kingdom
Tel.: 01480 396395 (+44 1480 396395)
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