Test and Measurement News

September 2007

New Software Release: PicoScope 6

Our latest PC Oscilloscope software, PicoScope 6, now covers our entire range of USB PC Oscilloscopes. Owners of the high-performance 5000 Series scopes are already familiar with the improved layout and advanced triggering options of PicoScope 6. From September, all our USB scope customers will be able to use the new software.

New features in PicoScope 6.0.11

  • Extended scope support. PicoScope 6 now supports all our USB PC Oscilloscopes: the entry-level 2000 Series, the general-purpose and high-precision scopes of the 3000 Series, and the high-performance 5000 Series.
  • Resolution enhancement. This new filtering algorithm adds up to four bits to the effective resolution of your scope. For example, it can boost the effective resolution of a PicoScope 5203 or 5204 from 8 bits to 12 bits, and the 12-bit PicoScope 3224 and 3424 high-resolution scopes can now deliver up to 16 effective bits. The resolution enhancement is selectable in increments of 0.5 bit.
  • Improved zoom. PicoScope 6 now has independent horizontal and vertical zoom, using new controls that are easily accessed from the toolbar. The familiar windowed zoom tool is still there to allow quick inspection of the details in your waveforms.
  • Improved data export. The 64 K sample limit for text files has been increased. You can now export text-format data files up to 1 million samples long.

Download your free copy of PicoScope 6 for Windows XP (SP2) and Vista

Tech Tip: PC Power Management

When you want to collect data over a long period of time, it is important to make sure that the PC does not switch to a power-saving mode while the data logger is running. Here are the main settings you should check before beginning a long data logging session.

  • Power settings for the USB hub. Open the Windows Computer Management console by right-clicking on the My Computer icon and selecting Manage. In the Computer Management console, click on Device Manager. You should then see a list of devices including Universal Serial Bus Controllers. In the USB section, one or more USB root hubs will be listed. Double-click each root hub to open its Properties dialog, click the Power tab and look for your PicoScope device in the list of Attached Devices. When you have found the correct root hub, go to the Power Management tab and make sure that Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power is not ticked. This will prevent the computer from switching off the PicoScope device in mid-run.
  • Power management setting. Go to the Power Options section of the Windows control panel. Set the Put the computer to sleep option to Never.
  • User profile. To avoid having to change the power management setting repeatedly, you can create a new user account in which the power management scheme (part of your User Profile) is configured to keep the computer on at all times.

Visit our site for more Tech Tips

PicoScope 5000 Series News

Latest technical note

We have just published a new technical note explaining the advantages of the deep waveform memory of the PicoScope 5000 series scopes. Find out how the large, high-speed memory buffers of these scopes give you more than just storage space: they also let you sample faster than other scopes at long timebases.

Read Deep Memory In PC Oscilloscopes
Other application notes

PicoScope 5000 Questions and Answers

Q. Some scopes on the market have memories of only 1,000 samples. Do I really need the multi-million-sample memory provided by the PicoScope 5000 Series scopes?
A. A deep memory allows you to select a long timebase while at the same time using a high sampling rate. Then, when you see a feature of interest, you can zoom in with high magnification without having to recapture the data. The PicoScope 5000 scopes can do all this without slowing down the display. These benefits are explained in detail in our illustrated technical note entitled Deep Memory In PC Oscilloscopes, which you can read on our website.

Q. Why don’t you add an on/off switch to the PicoScope 5000 scopes to save energy?
A. When the PicoScope software is not running, the PicoScope 5000 scopes remain in a standby mode in which they use a fraction of a watt of power. The mains (line) adaptor is a very efficient switching unit that uses less than a watt when idle, and meets California's stringent 2008 CEC Tier 2 energy standard. Therefore, if you want to save energy, it is better to unplug the adaptor from the wall than to switch off the scope.

Q. Where can I find out about the advanced triggering types?
A. We have published an illustrated technical note entitled Advanced Triggering With PicoScope 5000 Series PC Oscilloscopes, which you can read on our website.

Find out more about PicoScope 5000 series PC Oscilloscopes

Automotive News

PicoScope 6 Automotive software upgraded

The PicoScope 6 Automotive software has emerged from beta testing and is now on general release. All automotive customers can download a copy from our website at no extra charge. The program supports all our automotive scopes.

Here are some of the more important new features:

  • Resolution enhancement. A filter that removes noise from low-level signals such as current-clamp waveforms. Now you can measure small currents more accurately.
  • Improved zoom. You can now zoom the horizontal and vertical axes independently. This means that you can easily expand the timebase without disturbing the voltage or current scaling.
  • Reliability and ease of use. PicoScope 6 has been designed from the ground up to make the best use of the latest versions of Windows: XP SP2 and Vista.

Download your copy of PicoScope 6 Automotive

Low-cost leasing reminder

Thanks to an arrangement with our preferred leasing company, Prolease, you can now lease equipment from us on low-cost, easy terms. All you need to do is choose a Pico product or list of Pico products worth a total of 1000 GBP or more, then contact our sales department to discuss leasing terms.

Send us an email at sales@picotech.com, call us on +44 (0)1480 396 395, or use the contact address at the end of this newsletter. Leasing is available to UK customers only.

Next training course

Hinckley College, Leicestershire, UK
4-5 October 2007

The ‘Engine Management Diagnostics using PicoScope’ training courses are run on behalf of Pico Technology by experienced instructors assisted by Pico automotive experts. The two-day course teaches you how to diagnose electrical and mechanical automotive problems using a Pico automotive PC Oscilloscope. The time is divided between classroom-based tuition and practical, hands-on learning using engine rigs. We give you a set of detailed notes to remind you of all the subjects covered in the course.


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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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