Test and Measurement News

September 2015

PicoScope and SDK updates!

PicoScope serial decoding for Linux and OS X

The latest R6.11.6 releases of PicoScope for Linux and OS X now include serial decoding. This is the latest valuable feature to be added in our drive to complete the PicoScope software for these operating systems. For just the cost of a PicoScope oscilloscope, you can now decode 1-Wire, ARINC 429, CAN, DCC, DMX512, Ethernet (10BaseT and 100Base-TX), FlexRay, I²C, I²S, LIN, PS/2, RS-232, SENT, SPI and USB serial protocols.

Download PicoScope 6 for Linux and OS X

New Software Development Kits (SDKs) for Windows

We have just released updated Software Development Kits (SDKs) for all current Pico Technology oscilloscopes and data loggers. The new SDKs are easier to use: you just run the installer, select the products you're interested in, and the necessary drivers, header files and code examples will be installed automatically. The drivers are self-contained so you can use them even if you don't wish to install the PicoScope 6 or PicoLog applications.

As usual there are 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Windows versions of all our drivers. Drivers for Linux and OS X are also available.

Download free SDKs for all our products

PicoScope 9000 Series sampling oscilloscopes with MATLAB

The PicoScope 9000 Series oscilloscopes use equivalent-time sampling technology to capture repetitive signals with very high timing resolution. Equivalent sample times can be as short as 64 fs with the PicoScope 9300 Series. This makes the instruments suitable for characterizing high-speed serial communication data, semiconductor test, and TDR/TDT analysis.

Example code is now available for controlling the PicoScope 9000 Series oscilloscopes using MathWorks MATLAB®. The examples demonstrate how to communicate with the oscilloscopes using Microsoft ActiveX, and display a GUI when run. Separate versions are available for the PicoScope 9200 Series 12 GHz models and the PicoScope 9300 Series 20 GHz models.

Download the example code from the MATLAB File Exchange

Focus on: RS-232 serial decoding

RS-232 is an electrical standard for serial data communication that is widely used in industrial machinery, networking equipment and scientific instruments, as well as some older PC peripherals.

PicoScope can decode all common formats of RS-232 data: from 5 to 9 data bits, odd/even/no parity, 0/1/1.5/2 stop bits, LSB-first or MSB-first, and bit rates up to megabits per second. As the logic threshold is programmable, the decoder can also be used on RS-422 and RS-485 signals as well as logic-level outputs from UARTs.

More information about PicoScope's RS-232 serial decoding

Measuring more than eight thermocouple channels, time-correlated

You might think that with the USB TC-08 eight-channel thermocouple data logger, eight channels is the limit – but think again. The PicoLog software lets you connect multiple TC-08s and record and chart the results on a common timebase. Our latest YouTube video shows how.

This example uses two TC-08s, giving 16 channels, but up to 20 devices and 160 channels are possible.

Watch Using PicoLog with Multiple Units (USB TC-08's in example) on YouTube

Tech Tips

Q. Can I optimize PicoScope for visually impaired and colorblind users?

A. As well as taking advantage of the usability features in Microsoft Windows, PicoScope also has color and line thickness settings that can make traces easier to distinguish. For example, you can choose bright colors for traces and black for the background to maximize contrast. Go to Tools > Preferences > Colors to customize the colors of many of PicoScope's features as well as line thicknesses of traces.

Q. Can I copy a waveform from a math channel trace into the arbitrary waveform generator?

A. This ability is built into the PicoScope 6 software. Open the Signal Generator dialog and click Arbitrary..., which will open the waveform editor. Now click Import from a channel (leftmost button on the toolbar) and select the math channel that you created. The math channel waveform will then appear in the waveform editor.

This feature is quite a powerful way of defining your own arbitrary waveforms: for example, using the T (time) operand, you can write an equation like sin(100*T)*exp(-10*T) to create an exponentially decaying sine wave.


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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)

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Tel:+1 800 591 2796 (Toll Free)
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Shanghai 200070, PR China
Tel: +86 21 2226-5152

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