Test and Measurement News

December 2008

New Oscilloscope Probes: 25 MHz to 1.5 GHz

We’ve released another batch of new oscilloscope probes covering a wide range of frequencies and voltages.

Fast active differential. The TA045 and TA046 active differential probes, with bandwidths up to 800 MHz, have high CMRR, allowing them to measure fast signals in the presence of ground noise. The TA045 is optimized for small-signal applications such as telecom measurement, xDSL, high-speed power measurement and differential transmitter and receiver design, while the TA046 is designed for high-bandwidth applications such as wireless and data communication, disk drive design, communication pulse shape compliance and troubleshooting ground bounce problems.

Power active differential. The TA057 and TA058 differential probes for power measurement are suitable for measuring transients in switching power supplies, inverters and motor drives, electronic ballasts and CRT displays, as well as signals in the millivolt range from sensors and other instrumentation. The differential inputs make it possible to measure voltages on floating circuits.

High-bandwidth passive. The new range includes the TA061 and TA062, two very high-bandwidth 1.5 GHz passive probes suitable for use with high-speed oscilloscopes and spectrum analyzers. Applications include digital communications and RF design. The TA061 has an SMA connector, making it ideal for use with the PicoScope 9000 Series PC Sampling Oscilloscopes, while the TA062 has a BNC connector. A selection of accessory kits is also available.

Here’s the complete list of the new probes released this month:

  • TA045 200 MHz active differential probe
  • TA046 800 MHz active differential probe
  • TA057 25 MHz ±1400 V active differential probe
  • TA058 50 MHz ±70 V active differential probe
  • TA061 1.5 GHz passive SMA probe
  • TA062 1.5 GHz passive BNC probe

Full details on the complete range of Pico oscilloscope probes

PicoScope 6.2.0 Release – with Channel Math!

PicoScope 6.2.0 is now available for free download from our website. Here are the new features:

  • Channel maths. Now you can invert, add, subtract, multiply and divide channels, or create your own functions with the equation wizard. Look out for the new “Sigma” button. You can have up to eight real or calculated channels in each scope view. If you run out of space, just open another scope view and add more!
  • Low-pass filtering. On the 3000 and 5000 Series scopes, you can enable a digital low-pass filter with adjustable cut-off frequency. Click the Channel Options button and click “Activate filtering”.
  • Improved persistence display. Colour persistence and analog intensity modes now have improved resolution, giving a more detailed and accurate display.

Download PicoScope 6.2.0 now

New Application Note: Measuring the Mechanical Properties of Wood

Our latest application note shows how a customer is using Beam Identification by Nondestructive Grading (BING) software and a PicoScope 3224 PC Oscilloscope to measure the elastic and non-elastic characteristics of wood.

This case illustrates how the PicoScope 3000 Series hardware driver for Windows can be built in to a customer’s application. Pico supplies Windows and Linux drivers, free of charge, for most of its PC Oscilloscopes, along with example programs for various programming languages and environments such as C, Delphi, Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Excel, National Instruments LabVIEW and Agilent VEE.

Read “Measuring the Mechanical Properties of Wood”

Questions and Answers

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

Q. You supply thermocouple probes with either PTFE or fiberglass insulation. What are the differences between these materials?

A. PTFE insulation is in the form of a smooth plastic sleeve, so it is resistant to moisture and chemical attack. It is also non-flammable, thin and light. It has a working temperature range of about -75 °C to +250 °C (-100 °F to +480 °F). Fiberglass insulation is made from woven glass fibers, so it does not provide much protection against water entry or chemical attack. Its working temperature range is about 0 °C to 350 °C (32 °F to 660 °F).

Q. What is the maximum USB cable length I can use with the USB TC-08? My application involves measuring very low voltages (between 200 and 1000 µV) with type T thermocouples.

A. The USB TC-08 works with a USB cable up to 5 meters in length, which is the maximum allowed by the USB standard. The cable length will not affect the accuracy of your measurements.


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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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Tel:+1 800 591 2796 (Toll Free)
Fax:+1 620 272 0981

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Shanghai 200070, PR China
Tel: +86 21 2226-5152

Email: sales@picotech.com