Test and Measurement News

February 2011

New 60 MHz to 200 MHz PicoScopes!

The latest dual-channel PC Oscilloscopes in the PicoScope 3000 Series are the highest-performance USB-powered oscilloscopes available, yet offer excellent value for money. We think that engineers, technicians and enthusiasts who need a complete test bench in a single unit will find these scopes irresistible. Here are some of the most outstanding features, all included at no extra cost:

  • Segmented, ultra-deep memory
  • Built-in function generator
  • Dedicated external trigger input
  • Built-in arbitrary waveform generator (in “B” models)
  • Mask limit testing
  • Advanced triggering
  • Live decoding of I²C, UART, SPI and CAN bus data
  • Intensity- and color-coded persistence displays
  • Automatic measurements with statistics
  • Spectrum analysis
  • Math channels
  • Free SDK

Ultra-deep memory. With the power of up to 128 million samples of memory, over a thousand times more than other bench-top scopes in this price range, you can capture long waveforms without slowing down the display or reducing the sampling rate. It’s even possible to sample at the maximum rate on timebases as long as 20 ms/div.

Advanced digital triggers. These include pulse width, interval, window, window pulse width, level dropout, window dropout, runt pulse, variable hysteresis, and logic. Digital triggering, which has been always a feature of Pico oscilloscopes, ensures lower jitter, greater accuracy and higher voltage resolution than analog techniques.

Free SDK. As with all our scopes and data loggers, we supply a free Software Development Kit (SDK) allowing you to control the new scopes using your own software. The SDK includes example programs in C, C++, Microsoft Excel and National Instruments LabVIEW. Our software is compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. Two probes and a 5-year warranty are included with all models.

Full specifications and ordering details

New PicoScope 9000 Series Training Videos

The PicoScope 9000 Series Sampling Oscilloscopes offer 12 GHz signal analysis at highly competitive prices. These instruments, aimed at the digital communications, cable and interconnect industries, must be operated with great care to obtain accurate results, so we have been busily producing training information for users.

What’s the difference between a real-time scope and a sampling scope?

The first two PicoScope 9000 Series training videos are now available to watch on our video website, picoscope.tv. These videos highlight the most advanced feature of the latest models in the series: TDR/TDT (time domain reflectometry and transmission) measurement. The PicoScope 9211A and 9231A feature a dual, 100 ps step generator as well as high-bandwidth oscilloscope inputs, allowing them to be used as portable or bench-top cable and interconnect analyzers for serial communications into the gigabits-per-second range.

  • TDR Basics - how to use the PicoScope 9000 Series for TDR
  • TDR Correction - how to improve accuracy by compensating for imperfections in the test signal

Each video runs for about 4½ minutes and is presented by an expert in the field of serial communications test and measurement. Further videos on the 9000 Series are in the production pipeline.

PicoScope 9000 Series Sampling Oscilloscope description and data sheet

More New Hardware and Software

New high-temperature PT100 sensor

The new SE041 is a high-quality PT100 (100-ohm platinum resistance) sensor for temperatures up to 600 °C or 1112 °F. Its conductors are protected by fibreglass insulation within a stainless steel braid that is resistant to abrasion, heat and corrosion. The probe is designed for use with our PT-104 4-channel temperature data logger, a low-cost, high-precision, easy-to-use measuring instrument. The PT-104 is used with the PicoLog® software to display charts and spreadsheets of data acquired over any period from seconds to months.

The new SE041 temperature sensor, plus our full range of PT100 sensors

New PicoScope beta release R6.5.64

For those who wish to keep pace with the latest software developments, a new PicoScope 6 beta release is available for download from our website. The main new features and improvements since last month are as follows:

  • Support for the new USB DrDAQ data logger. Use the USB DrDAQ as an oscilloscope as well as a data logger.
  • Tracking rulers. You can now lock together the two rulers for one channel, so that one moves when you drag the other. This makes it easier to compare time intervals at different points in your waveform.
  • CSV export of math channels. It’s now possible to export the calculated data from a math channel.
  • MATLAB export of reference waveforms. Reference waveforms (saved copies of channel data) can now be exported in this standard format for further analysis.
  • Custom logo on printouts. If you use printouts from PicoScope to show to your clients and customers, you can now choose to include your own company logo.

Download PicoScope beta from our website

USB DrDAQ SDK update

USB DrDAQ SDK (Software Development Kit) R10.1.0.14 is now available for download. This has new C, C++, Excel and LabVIEW programming examples and an updated Programmer’s Guide.

Download the latest software for DrDAQ

Questions and Answers

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

Q. On-screen notess. Is there an option to put a text box onto the waveform being displayed in PicoScope 6? I would like the text box to be visible when I print or save. The purpose of the text box would be to provide a description of the circuit, measurement, or the settings, etc.

A. Yes, you can click “Edit > Notes” to add a Notes area to the bottom of the window. You can type any text in there. The notes appear when you print and are also saved in PSDATA files. By the way, you can also select “Views > Properties” to display a window showing the main setup parameters of the scope.

Q. USB TC-08. I would like to use, for example, my Pentronic type N miniature connector thermocouples. My measurement is in the range of 700-800 degrees. Can I directly use them with the TC-08? Does the equipment come with only USB, or can I order it with an RS232 port? Which one do you recommend?

A. Yes, you can use N type miniature thermocouples. The TC-08 supports all types of miniature thermocouples. We used to make an RS232 TC-08 but this is now obsolete, and is replaced by the USB TC-08 which is functionally equivalent in all other respects.

PicoScope 2000 Series Prize Draw Result

Congratulations to Peter A. Wells of A. J. Wells & Sons Ltd., Isle of Wight, who is the winner of our prize draw announced in December. Mr Wells will receive a PicoScope 2205 ultra-compact oscilloscope.

We would like to thank all of you who entered the draw and responded to our survey. The results will help us to publish relevant information about Pico products in the magazines and websites that you read.


Please visit Pico Exhibitions for the latest list of exhibitions and trade shows that Pico and its representatives will be attending.

We're hiring!

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)

North America Office:
Pico Technology, 320 N Glenwood Blvd, Tyler TX 75702, United States
Tel:+1 800 591 2796 (Toll Free)
Fax:+1 620 272 0981

Asia-Pacific Office:
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