PicoScope® 2000 Series
Like a benchtop oscilloscope, only smaller and better
PicoScope 2208B MSO Review from Elektor Magazine
Picoscope 2208B MSO Review from Code and Life
PicoScope 2000A Review - All about test (German) (PDF)
PicoScope 2204A Review - James (Bald Engineer) Lewis - Element 14 community
PicoScope 2204A Review - s2000gt - Element 14 community
I have been using a 2204a for 5-6 years now, mostly for analog audio hobby projects. I’ve only used the software under Windows, but it works great and was a large reason why I picked this brand. It operates more-or-less like a standard oscilloscope, except of course it doesn’t have all of the physical knobs and I get a much larger screen. The probes mine came with are still working well so are reasonably durable, and my measurements (I’m an amateur so take with a grain of salt) indicate the 3-dB bandwidth of my particular unit is >10 MHz when the probes are in both x1 and x10 settings. The scope unit itself also seems durable, and mine is made in the UK so I suspect was manufactured under stricter environmental regulations than might apply in countries where production would be cheaper.
The built-in signal generator makes very clean signals and has been adequate for most of my needs. And there is free third-party software (FRA for Picoscope) that can be downloaded to do frequency-response analysis - aka Bode plots - which most scopes cannot do. Of course the 2204a is not sufficient to measure distortion in modern low-THD audio amplifiers and such - the specifications make that clear. But an oscilloscope is the wrong tool for that job. Any reasonable soundcard/audio interface with 24-bit ADCs and DACs (even one costing significantly less than the 2204a) will probably be much better than any scope will be (even one costing thousands of dollars).
Overall this has been a fantastic device for me, and if I could go back in time I would purchase it all over again. The combination of the scope, signal generator and excellent software make it a bargain.
I have been using oscilloscopes since 1965, in radiocommunications, radar and IT, and now scientific instrumentation design and development. In comparison with all of the preceding scopes I am blown away by the simplicity, excellent functionality and usability of the 2204A.
Works as advertised and then some. Nice lightweight unit that emulates an old school oscope…except the software includes every feature you ever wanted but could never afford. Thanks Pico!
this an excellent scope i have been capturing sine waves square waves Ms pulse width signals and coupled with a 20:1 attenuator its amazing what waveforms you can capture , the software experience is great i would recommend this product
I’m a software engineer so my knowledge in electronics is limited but I can say that the Picoscope 2204A I bought is an entry level product only if compared to other Picoscope scopes.
The most powerful features that make for me this little USB great when compared to other scopes in the same range of price are:
- input voltage up to 20V without attenuators (instead of the most common 5V)
- triggered signals are not only displayed on the screen but also stored in a FIFO buffer for late analysis
- any signal can be captured also at a very high sample rate for a long period (like in a data logger)
- functional custom triggers
- built-in signal generator with the ability to creare any custom signals
- realtime signal decoding
- custom probes configurator (eg. for amp clamps or pressure transducers)
- save/load captured signals
The software also provide very useful features like the RPM calculator rulers or rotation degrees and scrollable zooms.
My suggestion to everyone interested in a scope like this one is to download the software and play with it using the demo mode spending at least 2 or 3 hours to better understand how Picoscope software works and how much powerful it is.
This is especially true if you have previuos experience with other USB scopes.
I am blown away by the features of this unit, compared to the price. I work in the field of medical equipment, and I carry this wherever I go, which was nearly impossible back in the day when we had to lug around a big Tektronix unit with a CRT. In addition to the scope functions, it is really handy for verifying digital data (although I don’t care to analyze it, but I could), and also low DC voltages. You can measure even higher voltages with the (included) 10/1 probe and an optional attenuator. I almost never use my Fluke DVM, unless I need to read capacitance or resistance. I chose the 25 MHZ version because I don’t get involved in RF and 25 MHZ gives me all the “legroom” I need. There is also a way to analyze serial data, but I have not needed to do it. I hope to try it some day. This unit is much better than all of the “portable” scopes out there, as your screen is only limited to the size of your PC display. I use mine with a 15” laptop, and it is HUGE! I have a cheapo handheld scope bouncing around my car, and I NEVER use it after buying this. Setup is so easy that there is nothing remotely comparable. Just BUY it. You won’t regret it!
I had to decode a (simple) infrared remote pulse stream but my nice older oscilloscope (starts with “T”) would not freeze the waveform so I could see the pulse timing. The PicoScope did all that and more! I ordered a more featured model for the office, my manager and colleagues were impressed with what we could do with the PicoScope.
Great product, plenty of features, good price.
One of the best tools that i use for troubleshooting.
It´s very small and fits to my laptop bag, so i can carry it around the world.
Everything works fine and the CAN analyser is a very goog tool when i work in a wind turbine.
I really like it. The only issue is with the Picoscope 6 for Mac OS (sometimes it does not start or takes a long time, but when it starts it works flawlessy).
For the device itself: terrific products. I love it.
I wanted a scope to do automotive diagnostics but as a DIYer I didn’t want to spend $900 on a dedicated automotive scope. I decided on the Pico 2205A and I couldn’t be happier. I keep it velcro’d to a small laptop with the Picoscope 6 software installed. I am building a library of “known good” wave forms. It has been very helpful as I read about ignition diagnosis to see the actual wave forms. I have used to it to diagnose a bad crank sensors. It is compact and ruggedly built. This really puts oscilloscope use within the price range of the home mechanic. I am surprised that there are no YouTube videos promoting these less expensive Picoscopes. I might just have to make one.
I bought a 2204A after reading an on-line review of three such that operate via a computer. This one is available in UK at around £100 - the other were similarly priced, though one of the others would have had to be brought from USA.
It seems to be a professional-grade job within its specification, has good versatility, and works with an external waveform generator if an external wave form is needed. It should be easy to spot impurity in waveform - such as audio distortion. It seems to be fine with a standard pair of probes - not included.
The USB connection appears to be for both the signal and the power for the picoscope.
Before I retired, I had used Picoscopes at work for some years. We invariably carried a laptop, so it was easy to throw into the backpack for site visits. Another trouble with other lab instruments is that they come in a variety of flavours and you have to learn how each work; it was easier just to take the engineers’ Picoscope and use that. The easy of storing waveforms and even cutting and pasting images into e-mails is a great time saver. I found that I often did post analysis of saved waveforms using Picoscope software for reports (eg calculations of rms current etc)
When I retired recently, I realised I would no longer have access to an oscilloscope and when I was offered a retirement gift I chose the 2407B which has a more professional performance specification and offers much flexibility. I am very happy it was a good decision.
Extremely useful device for audio hifi equipment. The signal output allows easy measurement of frequency response, power output, impedance and a host of other parameters—the built-in oscillator has too much distortion for measuring audio equipment distortion so an external high quality audio oscillator is still important. The software has a wide range of useful tools. I wish it had a few more built in features for measuring audio equipment parameters like listing output or distortion at various frequencies, but overall this is an indispensable tool for hifi work!
Very good scope I have used now for 5 years since my old Tektronix went. It does far more than I expected and it is pleasing the way Pico keep updating the software. The signal generator has been particularly useful. I have been using the scope with a desktop PC but now intend to use it mostly with a little battery powered HP laptop (Stream) for fully floating ground. But where is the on/off switch!
Very good scope for the price. I use it with a Mac, and at first the user interface confused me a little bit. But after about a day, I got used to it and discovered a few features that I really can’t get along without. For example, it does delayed capture, allowing me to really expand in time the feature I am interested in. Also, it has a limited DC offset feature which allows me to expand in voltage the features I am interested in. Eliminated the need for me to develop some clever signal conditioning circuitry.
This is a very capable scope for it’s price! This is in large part because of the software:
It’s cross platform. It’s easy to export measured data for further analysis. Screen captures are real easy. It’s stable and easy to use. The triggering setup is equally capable and easy to set up.
Because of this i’d argue that you get more that you pay for. Especially so with the entry level models, since you get the same great software for all models.
Works very well, no problem with installation or operation on Win10. has lots of features. Like the built in AWG. I use it to set up phase angle fired drives and also for evaluation of a complex wave voltmeter I am developing. Has all the usual measurements and scope functions, but fits nicely in my backpack. saving scope shots is real easy as its already on my laptop. The supplied x10 probes supplied are not rated high enough for me (10 x 20v max peak still only 200v) So I bought x 100 probes too, (BK precision PR100A) which work very well. Be aware that the ground on the scope is the same as for the usb to pc connection, also no ground stud on scope box. All in all, very happy with it, and it was easy to buy.
So.. I was upgrading a Velleman HSP10 which was £70. I plumped for the 2204A, £99 from RS. Minor point is that it included 2 probes. I expected it without probes -so bonus. Also as Linux user I expected to have to run a Windows VM to have it work, then maybe later find/develop some rudimentary software. I was impressed. Picoscope produce their own Linux software and support it from their own repository. The software is very stable, has loads of features and worked right from the get-go. So definitely worth the 5 stars.
As a high school science teacher, I am perhaps not the most demanding user. My PicoScope 2205A was bought initially to be able to project an oscilloscope screen. The data logging capability is also a big plus in a school. It fulfills all my teaching needs amply. In addition I do a fair amount of precision measurement, and the ability to define specially calibrated probes is appreciated. The software on the whole is very well thought out. I am also a Linux user. No other DSO has as good Linux support. Most have a primitive scope, or nothing at all. However, the lack of basic math functions under Linux is a shame. Similarly, custom probes under Linux would be a big plus.
As far as the actual hardware goes, the DSO works great. It is small and light and does not expose any glitches. The more I play with it, the more impressed I am with its capabilities. No surprises. everything works as promised and within specifications.
My gripe is with the AWG. While it is supposed to work up to 100kHz, it is not very useful above about 10 kHz as it has a nasty jitter above this frequency, especially when using square waves. I generally end up using my old analogue signal generator instead. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this? This is the only reason for rating at 4 stars.
Brilliant replacement for old Gould ‘industry standard’ analogue scope. Software pretty intuitive and I’ve almost certainly not found it all yet. It also turns a laptop whose performance was becoming a little slow into a useful piece of kit whilst not taking up function on the working laptop.
Only slight gripe being that the mouse driven settings are much less convenient than the classic knobs and switches on the analogue scope. Maybe somebody could come up with an after-market USB ‘extra’ to give these facilities.
Wow more than I expected!!. I reluctantly decided to give up the old bench top oscilliscope and what a surprise. I purchased a 2204a and it is a great piece of equipment along with the software which is very easy to use.
I am a bit old school and use an old analogue scope for 98% of what I do - but occasionally I have a need for something like a storage scope. Picoscope fills that need for me very well. Plus, this morning I was about to buy a cheap logger for doing some research on battery discharge curves - then I found that I can use the pico as a logger too. Great value product!
Love the 2204A and how Pico Scope listen their customers, even when they have bought the entry level product.
I chose 2204A to put together a ultra mobile scope consisting of 8” Dell venue Pro Windows Tablet and scope to provide wireless analysis tool with a 4-5 hour running time and fitting into to your jacket pocket. Excellent for my electronics, amplifier repair and automotive analysis uses.
Hardware is robust and solid piece of engineering and “battle ready quality”. Software is best you can get, offering many advanced features at entry level cost.
Pico Scope listen their customers. For me it is magnificent that Pico Scope 6 Beta software is now optimized for touch screen as I’m using a tablet. Great work Pico!
Highly recommended product and great value, two probes and scope for 180€ is an ultimate offering what quality of hardware and software is excellent!
Pic of my ultra-mobile scope and greetings from Finland:
I needed a scope as a Student/Hobbyist looking to get serious with my personal projects, but had a limited budget. A Benchtop would have been a bit cumbersome and expensive so i went for a picoscope 2204a
The scope itself is exactly what is advertised, it does what it needs to do within the specifications. Can’t ask for more. The included AWG is great little extra.
The software is the real star tough. Ive never expected such a amount of features for a entry-model scope. Advanced triggers, Spectrum analysis, persistance mode, Able to add custom math channels and a arsenal of measurements make the scope outshine most entry level benchtops. you can view much more information on your computer much faster then you ever could with the small display on a benchtop.
In overall the picoscope is simply great. Every bit from the scope to the software and the support shows care and passion. Considering how satisfied i am when the time comes to get a faster scope i would probably go for a picoscope again!
Not many USB scopes works on Win & Mac & Linux too, so that proves me that guys from Pico really cares about us, customers. This made my decision much easier when I was looking to buy an USB scope.
For its price, the 2204A scope does the job pretty well, has a low noise input stage (I measured around 200uV RMS with included probes) and the software is quite great too.
Pros: small and portable, decent probes, low noise input stage, great software that works on most operating systems.
Cons: no USB isolator, internal memory could be bigger.
Md. Kamrul Hussain
it’s a handy tool for those who need a “scope” anywhere anytime. Its small enough to fit in your pocket but strong enough to provide a bench-top performance and smart enough to give you flexible operations. In a single word, it is just a ‘perfect’ entry level PC based Oscilloscope.
It is a great scope. I had a weird problem - it did not work on one of my PC’s. Customer service gave me first class service. We isolated the problem to “me not using the supplied USB Cable”. It turns out, that a USB Cable is not just a USB cable.
So when the manual tell you to use the one delivered - that is the smart thing to do.
If I could give 6 stars for customer service - I would do so.
PicoScope 2205 MSO
Very good device.
I bought the Picoscope 2205 MSO kit to analyse signals clocked at 24MHz and it does this well on its 16 channels. The software is reasonably intuitive and makes good use of the PC to offer useful measurements, calculations and note-keeping facilities. The combination of oscilloscope, logic analyser and waveform generator in a light, portable device has been invaluable for my work.
The kit was worth the additional cost over the basic device.
PicoScope 2205 MSO
The best scope for the price.
This is the best scope I ever bought. Works perfect to it’s spec. And the + with 16 digital channels and a function generator. Can’t beat it for the buck. Can highly recommend it.
PicoScope 2205 MSO
Excellent functionality for low cost.
I am very impressed with the functionality of the 2205 MSO (Mixed signal) scope. The only issue so far is that the wave form generator (AWG) cannot generate 5 volts.
PicoScope 2205 MSO
Great Value Scope.
Bought this scope purely for the Serial Decoding feature - which incidentally works very well. However, have used the scope for all genreal purpose activities along with the logic analyser. Wouldn’t be without this device, has made my other scopes redundant!
The addition of an AWG is very useful and now I don’t have to use a seperate signal generator unless I want an isolated signal (I assume the ground is common across chan A/B & AWG).
The software is fairly universal across all ranges which makes even the ‘lowest’ scope in their range a very powerful tool.
Being able to use the datalogger with this is also a bonus - I can log slow data without needing a different device (for example, testing a battery charge / discharge cycle).
My only irk is that many ‘buttons’ do not appear to have equvalent drop-down menu items. Most software I’ve used has every setting or configurable item under a menu option somewhere, even if they are inactive. This is especially important for options that are rarely used - it allows me to ‘search’ for what I need by working through the drop down menus. It also means I can just use the keyboard, which can be easier and quicker than the mouse. If you’re in a tight spot ballancing a laptop on one knee while tring to hold a probe on a wire, moving a mouse just gets impractical. For example, probe settings are only under the probe icon - there is no menu item for this. Likewise for the AWG: have to use the icon.
But, all-in-all a brilliant piece of kit and highly recommended for all workshops.
Just powered this up. Install is easy and the interface is pretty intuitive. I really like the AWG. Lots of power compared to a regular scope. For a first pass, everything works and I’m impressed with the form factor. Will review again in a month.
I purchased the most inexpensive 2-channel scope for electronics debugging and in a few weeks it has made a huge difference in my hobby. Robust design, good features and amazing software. You definitely get your money’s worth and then some. And it even understands I2C and other serial protocols!
I was faced with a huge overweight bill to take my R&S Scope with me to Papua New Guinea recently. (16Kg being the limit and I had other gear to take as well)
So it was a no brainer to buy a Picoscope and pack it in with my carry on laptop.
It performed perfectly in the heat of the Highlands near Wewak, Papua New Guinea. I would highly recommend this product for Engineers who have to travel and are faced with the problem of excess luggage !!
“Pack a Pico” and your problems are over.
2204A Remarkable bang for the buck.
This instrument is a goldmine.You buy an oscilloscope but you get somewhat more.
What arrives is a well made little box with good quality probes. In a few minutes you will be up and running using a very intuitive interface. Its scope functions are exactly what you would expect.
The range of triggering options does not normally come with an instrument of this price. What a dream! And they work beautifully.
There is an option to view a spectrum analyser at the same time as the scope and a very handy zoom function all of which enable a “wide angle view” of the signal. There is also raft of real time measurements.
All the set ups and wave forms can be saved and reloaded. Great for any intended use.
The maths channels provide a mass of nestable functions, including filters. Besides other uses, this is a wonderful educational tool which has allowed me to build a lock in amplifier (phase sensitive detector) into the oscilloscope in a few minutes.
There is even a wave form generator to serve as a reference for the lock in.
Although this model does not have the white noise or pseudo random bit function it does have an arbitrary waveform generator, should you want to play in the spread spectrum field.
Another enormous bonus is the serial signal analyser. You could of course decode a captured trace by hand, but this package really adds another layer of value by capturing for example only signals sent to a particular address.
If all this were not enough for 10 stars, the icing on the cake is the Picotech technical service. You are connected fast and its not a premium line. Their engineers are interested and knowledgeable. They simulate your issue locally, in real time and they follow up.
.........and then there are free software/ firmware upgrades and a 5 year guarantee.
As a first-time user to the the PicoScope 2205 my response after an hour or so to my colleaque was “It’s simply brilliant”.
Settings are easy, usability is easy, and the total experience was nice.
It is simply brilliant :)
Great for the Hobbyist
A PicoScope 2205A was offered for an element14 RoadTest - my review is at www.element14.com/community/roadTestReviews/1725
Ease of Use.
I bought this ‘scope as a hobbyist having retired from engineering a few years ago but still building circuits for my DCC model railway and audio equipment. With the supplied software I was up and running within minutes of installation - it couldn’t be easier to use. The features are everything I could need at a price I can afford.
A monster in a pocket
The Picoscope 2204 is by far the most affordable, reliable, professional and complete instrument in its category.
Moreover, as it is endowed with its waveform generator, is a complete workbench for most measuring tasks.
Great Tool at your Fingertips.
For on-site checking and debugging, the 2205A is a great tool to have on my fingertips. It’s about that small than my phone (but somewhat more thick) and offers the permanent availability, that helps often to make the proper first decisions on-site based on accurate measurements without the need of moving the much bigger and expensive types of DSOs.
The 2205A gives me a solid base for almost every first on-site decision without the delay of checking with bigger DSOs at lab first.
Memory should be bigger/deeper!
robust and great value.
I have used my 2204 for nearly 2 years now. It has been very robust and reliable. The ease of data collection, manipulation and export with Picoscope software make it a great value for my project.
pretty good desktop osciliscope like, but ...
If I use Picoscope 2204 as an alternative solution of normal desktop osciliscope, it is a pretty good decision. If you want to do the measurement system integration, it is just like a DAQ or A/D. The value of Picoscope 2204 maybe rely on the software nearly 60%. Why the software could not integrate with our own program through COM, RPC, ... It should be more easy than a real GPIB or USB cable.
Thanks for picoscope 2206 it is one of the latest and easy to use on my laptop and the data collected is also accurate