Test and Measurement News

November 2014

New drivers for Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone

New beta drivers for PicoScope oscilloscopes and PicoLog data loggers are now available for the ARM-based BeagleBone Black and Raspberry Pi development boards.

The new drivers give programmers access to a wide range of Pico oscilloscopes and data loggers. Separate driver packages and snippets of C code are available for Raspbian and Debian systems, and similar code could be developed in C-compatible programming languages such as C++, Java and JavaScript.

As beta products, these drivers are explained and supported on our forum. Full details are in this post: Drivers for BeagleBone Black and Raspberry Pi.

In addition, beta drivers for Mac OS X and Linux, and drivers and SDK for Microsoft Windows, can all be downloaded free of charge.

Java Native Access for PicoScope

As an alternative to using Java Native Interface (JNI) to call PicoScope and PicoLog API functions, you can use Java Native Access (JNA) to do the same without having create an intermediate Dynamic Link Library (DLL). We've posted some example code on our forum to control PicoScope 3000 Series oscilloscopes using the ps3000a driver.

All the resources that you need, such as the PicoScope 3000 Series SDK and Programmer's Guide, the Java Development Kit, and the JNA jar file, are available free of charge.

Read Using JNA to call PicoScope/PicoLog API Functions on the Pico Technology forum. 

Video of the month: scope probes

This month's video, by electronics blogger Colin O'Flynn, is of general interest to all oscilloscope users. The video begins with a review of the high-quality TA150 and TA133 probes supplied with the PicoScope 6000 Series scopes. Colin then shows the importance of correct probe grounding, with a demonstration of the appearance of a square wave using different types of ground connection. If you haven't used the ground spring that comes with your high-frequency probe, we recommend that you try it as it dramatically reduces ringing and noise.

Watch PicoScope 6000 Probe Review (TA150/TA133) (YouTube video) by Colin O'Flynn.

New resources on PicoLog and PicoScope

PicoLog® Self-Help Guide

The new PicoLog Self-Help Guide is a compilation of advice given by our technical specialists to PicoLog data logger users. Topics include:

  • System requirements
  • Installation
  • Configuring and using the software
  • Running multiple instances and using multiple devices

Information on specific temperature and voltage data loggers

Download the PicoLog Self-Help Guide (400 KB PDF) and improve your data logging skills.

Updated PicoScope® 6 Training Program

There are many sources of information about PicoScope 6, the software for PicoScope oscilloscopes:

The Training Program has just been updated to cover some of the latest features in PicoScope. It introduces most of the capabilities of the software in a clear, step-by-step guide that complements the more detailed presentation in the User's Guide.

Download your free copy of the PicoScope 6 Training Program (issue 3) now.

Tech Tips

Finding the sampling rate in PicoScope

Q. I know that PicoScope adjusts the sampling rate of the hardware according to the selected timebase. How do I know what the current sampling rate is?

A. The current sampling rate is shown in the Properties window. This window is not displayed by default, but can be switched on using the Views > View Properties menu command.

DC offset on scopes

Q. Do PicoScopes have a DC offset feature?

A. Many of them do. The definitive list of supported scopes is in the PicoScope 6 User's Guide (in the "Device Feature Table") and includes some of the 2200A Series, most of the 3000 Series and all of the 5000A/B and 6000 Series. This feature, also called analog offset, adds a DC voltage to the input signal, effectively increasing the dynamic range of your scope. For example, when viewing a DC power rail with ripple, you can apply a DC offset to cancel out the power supply voltage and see only the ripple. Another application, viewing a serial data signal with a DC offset, is explained in detail in our app note Using Analog Offset to Maximize Oscilloscope Resolution.

Events

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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