Test and Measurement News

June 2016

New PicoScope Beta for Linux

The PicoScope Beta software for Linux now supports all PicoScope 2000 Series oscilloscopes including the new models launched in April. This series includes:

  • Two-channel oscilloscopes from the PicoScope 2204A (10 MHz) to the 2208B (100 MHz)
  • Four-channel oscilloscopes from the PicoScope 2405A (25 MHz) to the 2408B (100 MHz)
  • Mixed-signal oscilloscopes from the PicoScope 2205A MSO (25 MHz) to the 2208B MSO (100 MHz)

PicoScope Beta for Linux is available from online repositories for Debian, Ubuntu, Mint (using apt-get), OpenSUSE (using zypper) and Fedora 20 / CentOS 6 (using yum).

Guide to installing PicoScope for Linux

PicoScope 2208B MSO review

Joonas Pihlajamaa's Code and Life blog has a new review of the PicoScope 2208B MSO ultra-compact mixed-signal oscilloscope.

Joonas surveys the differences between the various models in the PicoScope 2000 Series before diving into the details of the 2208B MSO. Along the way you will find out how to: compensate a scope probe; use the basic controls such as timebase, number of samples and channel settings; find signal irregularities using persistence mode; decode serial data; and use your scope as a logic analyzer.

The "Pros and Cons" list at the end will help you with your purchasing decision.

Read PicoScope 2208B MSO Review on Code and Life blog

PicoScopes and USB Type-C

You may have noticed USB Type-C connectors appearing on some new devices. PicoScope oscilloscopes and PicoLog data loggers are compatible with these connectors: just use the blue USB cable provided with your device in conjunction with our TA285 USB Type-C to Type-A adaptor.

You don't need to know about the complexities of USB Type-C cables and power supply currents when connecting a PicoScope or PicoLog device to your computer, but for users of other peripherals we have written a brief guide. For more information on USB Type-C and its compatibility with peripherals, see Will my Pico oscilloscope or data logger work with a USB Type-C port?.

Video of the month: Detecting glitches with PicoScope

This month's video, Detecting glitches with PicoScope, is presented by Pico Applications Engineer Stuart Murlis. Stuart demonstrates how three features of PicoScope:

  • segmented memory
  • mask limit testing
  • alarms

can be used to find intermittent signals that are invisible when viewed by a simple real-time scope.

Visit the Pico Technology YouTube channel for more videos on oscilloscopes and data loggers

Tech Tip: rise time

Q. Can you please explain the effect of the PicoScope rise time specification on the acquired signal? Could it happen that the bandwidth matches the requirement but the rise time is not good enough?

A. In PicoScope specifications the rise time is calculated from the bandwidth using the formula rise time (s) = 0.35 / bandwidth (Hz). This is an approximation that assumes a simple lowpass filtering characteristic on the oscilloscope input.

We provide the rise time specification as an alternative to the bandwidth for applications involving square waves and other signals with fast edges. The shorter the rise time is for a PicoScope, the more vertical the edges and sharper the corners will be on a captured high-frequency square wave. For example, if you want to look at a pulse with a rise time of 100 ns, you will need an oscilloscope with a shorter rise time than this (ideally 10 to 20 ns) in order to see the pulse shape accurately. For more information, see Anyone who can tell me how Rise Time affect signal sampling on our forum.


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