Test and Measurement News

October 2010

New PicoScope 4224 IEPE oscilloscope

An IEPE, or Integrated Electronics Piezoelectric, sensor is an accelerometer or microphone with a built–in amplifier. It uses a single coaxial cable for signal output and power input. Normally, these sensors can be used only with specialised, expensive measuring instruments that have a suitable power supply built in, or with an external IEPE power supply. Now, following a number of customer requests, we have developed a PicoScope with IEPE capability.

The PicoScope 4224 IEPE is a 12–bit, 2–channel precision scope that is compatible with industry–standard IEPE accelerometers and microphones. Equipped with standard BNC connectors, it can also be used as a standard 2–channel oscilloscope similar to the regular PicoScope 4224. We also supply an IEPE accelerometer with a range of ±490 m/s2 (±50 g).

PicoScope 4224 IEPE Essential Specificatons

Bandwidth 1.5 Hz to 20 MHz (IEPE mode)
DC to 20 MHz (voltage mode)
Resolution 12 bits
Maximum sampling rate 80 MS/s
DC accuracy ±1% of full scale
Input ranges ±50 mV to ±20 V
IEPE output current 4 mA

Ordering information:

PP695 PicoScope 4224 IEPE Precision Oscilloscope £599 ($988/€725)
TA095 IEPE Accelerometer £159 ($262/€192)
TA096 Mounting Magnet for TA095 £75 ($123/€90)

US dollar and euro prices are subject to exchange rate variations.

Tech Tip: Finding Glitches with PicoScope

Recently, in PicoScope 6.4.10, we added the ability to show in the waveform buffer overview only the waveforms that failed a Mask Limit Test. If you're not normally interested in Mask Limit Testing, you may have overlooked this feature, but it can be very useful when you are looking for an infrequent glitch.

Imagine that you have a square wave with an occasional spike that you want to capture. You could switch PicoScope to Persistence mode. In time this will catch the spike, but the display will show an overlay of a large number of waveforms with noise, making it difficult to see the exact shape of the spike. The new Mask Limit Test feature allows you to capture the spike without adding the clutter of the Persistence display.

To use this feature:

Set up PicoScope to trigger on individual pulses in the square wave. For best results, use “Rapid” trigger mode, which captures successive waveforms with minimal trigger re–arm time.
Go to Tools > Masks > Add Masks, select the channel of interest, and click Generate. This generates a testing mask, which appears as a colored area surrounding the waveform.
If necessary, edit the mask to include the normal waveform and exclude the spike. (Right-click, Mask, Edit.)
Start PicoScope capturing, and wait until the waveform buffer is full.
Inspect the waveform buffer using the Buffer Overview button. This will initially show all the waveforms captured, but if you open the drop–down menu and select “Show only Mask Limit Test failures”, only the captured waveforms with a spike will be displayed. You can select any of these waveforms to display in the main view.

Read more about PicoScope and download the latest version

Product Focus: PT-104 with USB and Ethernet Ports

We introduced a new version of the PT-104 Data Logger in last month’s newsletter. It has four precision measuring channels suitable for all types of PT100 and PT1000 sensors. Another feature that is sometimes overlooked is its ability to measure voltage and resistance with 24-bit resolution. In case you are still wondering whether it’s the product for you, here are some more detailed specifications for all of the PT-104’s measurement types:

Specification Temperature Mode Resistance Mode Voltage Mode
Range -200 to +800 °C 0 to 375 Ω
0 to 10 kΩ
0 to 115 mV
0 to 2.5 V
Accuracy (25 °C) 0.01 °C 20 ppm 0.2% (2.5 V)
Temperature coefficient 5 ppm/°C 5 ppm/°C 100 ppm/°C
Resolution 0.001 °C 1 µΩ 1 µΩ

PP682 PT-104 Data Logger £399 ($658/€482)

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the questions that have cropped up recently on our support forum:

Q. With a positive–only signal, for example 0 to 5 volt TTL, is it possible to remove from view the negative half of the input range to expand the signal to the full screen in PicoScope?

A. Yes. The quickest way is to add some vertical zoom using the zoom tools to make the waveform fill the display. You can also make a custom 0–5 volt probe that you can call up at any time from the channels toolbar. Duplicate the x1 probe into your custom probes library. Then edit the probe, changing the range management to advanced, auto generate ranges, and then add your desired 0–5 volt range. Have your scope plugged in when you do this so you generate all the hardware ranges for that model.

Q. I would like to measure humidity up to 100%. Is this possible with the EL030 and which probe do you recommend?

A. The EL030 measures 0-90% RH non-condensing. If you need a sensor that goes to 100% then perhaps you could go to either Rotronic or Vaisala. These sensors can be integrated into our unit using the EL037 which accepts inputs from ±5 V, ±10 V or 4–20 mA.


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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)

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