Multi-channel probe positioning system

Oscilloscopes with more than two channels present humans with a common problem: none of us have enough hands to hold more than two oscilloscope probes in place. This is especially an issue when using an 8-channel oscilloscope such as the new PicoScope 6800E devices, so it was particularly important for Pico Technology to address it.

There aren’t many solutions to this problem, and they’re nearly all either inefficient or uneconomical: for example, you may have obliging colleagues who can help you hold the probes – not the best use of their time though. You could try soldering the probes to the device under test – this can work for some tests but ruins the probe.

Are you feeling the gravity of the situation?

Pico has come up with an ingenious solution to hold a PCB under test firmly in place and accurately position as many test probes as required, so that the user has their hands free to operate the oscilloscope or other test equipment.

The distinctive design of the flexible “gooseneck” probe holding and positioning system uses the Pico 2.5 mm fine pitch probe supplied with the PicoScope 6000 Series oscilloscopes. The key to their perfect balance and flexibility is a sublimely weighted probe holder that exploits the force of gravity to push the sprung probe tip just enough to make a good contact with the board or component under test.

The four pillars of control: stability, firmness, balance and grip

With almost any PCB held firmly in place by four spring-loaded magnetic pillars, the system can be used for inspection or for soldering. Additionally, a rigid but lightweight steel baseplate keeps the pillars and probe holders stable and has a mirror finish on one side, enabling the user to see any status LEDs that may be on the underside of the PCB. 

The probe holders include pairs of silicone cable ties in the PicoScope channel colors (blue, red, green, yellow, purple, gray, light blue and magenta). These stretchy rubber ties secure the probe cable to the probe holder gooseneck, adding balance and also a neat way of identifying which probes are connected to which channels (especially useful with an eight-channel oscilloscope!)

Probe positioning kits:

PQ215 Probe positioning kit with no probes

The PQ215 probe holder and PCB holder kit is a valuable accessory to your PicoScope 6000 Series oscilloscope. It has been designed exclusively for use with the 2.5 mm probes included with every PicoScope 6000 Series oscilloscope past and present (TA061, TA062, TA101, TA151, TA133, P2036 and P2056). Included in the kit is an A4-sized (about 11" x 9") steel base plate, four PCB holders, four probe holders and eight pairs of colored elastic cable ties.

PQ217 Probe holder kit with 4 x P2056 500 MHz probes

The PQ217 probe holder and PCB holder kit is a valuable accessory for any BNC-input oscilloscope up to 500 MHz bandwidth. It has been designed exclusively for use with the range of 2.5 mm probes from Pico, of which four P2056 500 MHz probes are included in this kit. Also included in the kit is an A4-sized (about 9" x 11") steel base plate, four PCB holders, four probe holders, and eight colored elastic cable ties.

PQ218 Pack of 4 probe holders

The PQ218 kit is a pack of four probe holders specifically designed for use with the Pico 2.5 mm passive probes included with every PicoScope 6000 Series oscilloscope past and present (TA061, TA062, TA101, TA151, TA133, P2036 and P2056). The pack contains the four probe holders and eight pairs of colored cable ties (probes are not included).

PQ219 8-channel probe holder kit for PicoScope 6800E Series

The PQ219 probe holder and PCB holder kit is ideal for making hands-free measurements, for PCB inspection, or even as a soldering station! The kit is a valuable accessory for your 8-channel PicoScope 6824E or 6804E oscilloscope, ideal if you already have the scope and the four P2056 probes supplied. Included in the kit:

  • An A4-sized (about 11" x 9") steel base plate
  • 4 x PCB holders
  • 8 x probe holders 
  • 8 x pairs of colored elastic cable ties
  • 4 x P2056 probes (to add to the four probes already included in the 8-channel PicoScope 6000E product pack)