Test and Measurement News

June 2008

New: EnviroMon EL042 Alarm and Relay Unit

EnviroMon, our Data Logging network, has received a hardware and software upgrade to enable it to handle more complex alarm conditions.

EnviroMon automatically measures and records temperature, humidity and other parameters and warns you when readings go out of range. The system is both flexible and economical: you can start off just recording a single temperature and expand it to monitor up to 40 sensors per logger spread around a site.

When the new EL042 detects an alarm condition, it can activate its built-in sounder, send a message by activating an external telephone dialler, or trigger up to three user-supplied alarm devices connected to its opto-isolated outputs. The unit has a rechargeable backup battery allowing it to maintain its alarm outputs for several hours in the event of a power failure.

The EL042 enables a new, advanced feature called a “deviation alarm”. You can now set up the EnviroMon system to monitor a number of channels as a group. The EL042 can activate an alarm if any channel differs from the group average, or from any other channel in the group, or from the median of the group, by more than a specified amount. You can even define nested groups of sensors. This new feature makes the EL042 ideal for monitoring large installations such as heating systems and server farms.

Find out more about the EnviroMon data logging system
More information on the EL042

Sotware upgrade

Even if you don’t need the new EL042, you can still upgrade your EnviroMon software to the latest version, free of charge, to make use of some of the new features:

“Rate alarms” – to notify you when a parameter changes by more than a specified amount in a specified time
New file-handling commands – for saving configuration and data files in a single convenient archive file, and for loading and saving alternative configurations
Improved graph panning – now you can specify the exact vertical and horizontal ranges on graph displays.

Learn About the PicoScope 9201 12 GHz PC Sampling Oscilloscope

Because the PicoScope 9201 is so different from our existing range of PC Oscilloscopes, many customers have asked us to explain exactly what a sampling oscilloscope is and what it can be used for. In response, we have put together a “Questions and Answers” page that explains the basics of sampling oscilloscopes. Here are the questions that we answer:

How is the PicoScope 9201 Sampling Oscilloscope different from a normal digital storage oscilloscope?
Is the PicoScope 9201 a digital signal analyser (DSA)?
What is the difference between real-time sampling rate and equivalent-time sampling rate?
Can I use the PicoScope 9201 in general test and measurement applications?
What is the difference between the Direct Trigger and HF Trigger inputs?
What is the histogram function for?
What do you get when you buy a PicoScope 9201?

Read “Sampling Oscilloscope Questions and Answers”
Read more about the new PicoScope 9000 Series

New: Separate Downloads for Drivers

To make it easier for you to find the Pico device drivers and Software Development Kits that you need, and to keep download file sizes reasonable, we are now supplying all drivers as separate files. As before, you can download everything free of charge from our website.

Just go to our “Software” page, select your hardware device in Step 1 and the software you need in Step 2, then click “Download”. The new drop-down menu layout clearly shows all the software options for each product and all the latest version numbers on a single web page.

Download the latest software for your Pico product

New: Linux Drivers for PicoScope 5000 Series Scopes

If you are a programmer working in Linux, the new PicoScope 5000 Series Linux driver will allow you to control the PicoScope 5000 Series scopes using your own software. The driver is supplied as source code, and has been tested on Fedora 8, Ubuntu 8.04 and openSuse 10.3. It is accompanied by installation and usage instructions, and an example program in C.

The new driver supports all oscilloscope features except ETS mode. It has been thoroughly tested, but we cannot guarantee that the software will be stable under all conditions. We would like to hear from you if you experience any problems or have any suggestions for improvements.

Download the drivers free of charge
(In Step 1, select your PicoScope 5000 Series scope; in Step 2, select “Linux drivers”; then click “Download”.)

Questions and Answers

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

Q. I’ve got a ADC-16 and some K-type thermocouples. I’d like to use the thermocouples with the ADC-16, but I think I cannot because of the cold junction, the amplification of the signal and the scaling factor. Do I need a signal conditioner?

A. You are correct to say that you cannot connect thermocouples directly to the ADC-16. However, it is possible to adapt the ADC-16 to use a thermocouple. 

Q. What is the *.mat file format in PicoScope 6?

A. There is a detailed description of the *.mat (Matlab 4) file format produced by PicoScope 6 in the PicoScope 6 User’s Guide, under the heading “Binary formats”. You can find the manual on your software installation disk, or download a free copy here (2.8 MB PDF).


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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)
Fax:+1 620 272 0981

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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