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