The latest release of the PicoScope software, version 6.1.0, has two new display modes to help you find glitches and measure noise and jitter. Unlike the standard display mode, which erases each old waveform before drawing a new one, the new persistence modes keep old waveforms in the background and draw new waveforms over the top of them.
In digital colour mode, frequently repeating waveforms are drawn in a “hot” colour (red), while intermittent waveforms appear in “cooler” colours (yellow and blue). In analog intensity mode, new waveforms are drawn with maximum contrast while older waveforms fade to paler colours. You can also change the default colours from theTools | Preferences menu.
To start persistence mode, just click the new Persistence Mode button on the toolbar. Click the other new button on the toolbar, Persistence Options, to customise the display. Here’s how this new feature can help you:
If you don’t yet own a PicoScope oscilloscope, you can still run PicoScope 6 in demonstration mode and try out all of its features.
Have you ever saved a*.psdwaveform file using PicoScope 6 and then wondered why the file was too small? This happens because PicoScope 6 compresses waveforms when it saves them on your hard drive. It uses “lossless compression”, which means that when you load the waveform back into PicoScope you get exactly the same data that you started with, with no distortion. Compressed waveforms take up less space on your hard drive than raw waveforms, typically only a quarter as much, although the exact compression ratio depends on the content of the waveform. As the buffer sizes of our oscilloscopes get larger (our biggest to date is the PicoScope 5204, with up to 128 megasamples per waveform), this compression feature is likely to become even more valuable.
EN-Genius Network has published an independent review of the PicoScope 9201 PC Sampling Oscilloscope. The review explains how the PicoScope 9201 differs from real-time oscilloscopes, and predicts that it “will give major oscilloscope vendors a run for their money”.
The two-channel 12 GHz PicoScope 9201 sampling oscilloscope costs under £6,000 (about $12,000 or €8,000), less than half the price of comparable sampling oscilloscopes. Unlike sampling scopes from other manufacturers, the PicoScope 9201 includes all hardware and software functions as standard, with software updates provided free of charge. It is the perfect instrument for signal analysis, timing analysis, testing and design of high-speed digital communication systems, network analysis, semiconductor testing, and research and development.
We are developing two new thermocouple data loggers in die-cast metal enclosures: the TC-08R with 8 channels and the TC-32R with 32. Electrical specifications are the same as those of the standard USB TC-08. Here are the main points:
Recently we announced the new WPS500X Diagnostic Pressure Transducer for automotive use, but we think it will also be of interest to non-automotive customers. This ultra-high-resolution sensor can measure a wide range of pressures, making it a cost-effective alternative to more specialist types. Here are just a few of the applications:
The transducer features three pressure ranges: 0 to 500 psi, 0 to 50 psi and ±5 psi, pressure relief valve and a rechargeable Li-Po battery all enclosed in a durable housing. It has an extremely fast 100 µs response rate from 0% to 90% of full scale and sensitivity down to about 5 millibar (about 0.07 psi). This provides accurate representation of rapidly changing signals across a wide pressure range. Also included is a unique zoom function that allows users to ‘zoom in’ on small signals.
The sensor is priced at $765 (about º383 or €566), which could save you hundreds of pounds compared to a set of application-specific transducers with the same capabilities.
Here is a selection of the questions that have cropped up recently on our support forum.
Q. I am getting strange readings from my K-type thermocouples. When I touch the thermocouple, the temperature drops and does not change until I let go. I then noticed that when I touch and hold a different one of my 6 thermocouples, all of the readings change. I am planning on testing a DC generator’s heat output. Would the field or current that the generator produces affect the readings as well?
A. This effect sounds like a common-mode voltage problem. If, by touching the uninsulated end of one of the thermocouples, you cause it to be pulled out of the common-mode voltage range of the TC-08 (±5 V), then all channels will be affected. This voltage is either caused by conduction to earth through your body where the mains earth is at a different voltage to local earth or direct pickup of radiated interference. Just ensure that in normal use the uninsulated end of the thermocouple is not electrically connected to the metal structure of the generator being tested. (Good thermal contact is necessary, though.) Sometimes screening of the thermocouple leads is also necessary in high-noise areas.
Q. I am using an ADC-11/10 with PicoLog, and I wish to start recording on channel 2 when a trigger signal occurs on channel 1. How do I make PicoLog start recording?
A. Here are some points to check when using the trigger function with PicoLog:
Please visit Pico Exhibitions for the latest list of exhibitions and trade shows that Pico and its representatives will be attending.
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!
Our latest software releases are available as free downloads. To check which release you are using, start the software and select Help > About.
To make sure that your Pico newsletter reaches your inbox every month, add firstname.lastname@example.org to your email address book or safe list. If you found this newsletter useful, please recommend it to your friends and colleagues. Back issues are available from our newsletter archive.
Pico Technology, James House, Colmworth Business Park, St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, PE19 8YP, England
Tel.: 01480 396395 (+44 1480 396395)
Fax: 01480 396296 (+44 1480 396296)
Pico Technology North America Inc.
320 N Glenwood Blvd.
Tel:+1 800 591 2796 (Toll Free)
Fax:+1 620 272 0981
Web technical support: www.picotech.com/tech-support/