High resolution, differential input oscilloscope
Most oscilloscopes can only measure signals referenced to ground and have what are known as “single-ended inputs”. The PicoScope 3425 has four fully differential inputs that allow you to measure signals that are not referenced to ground. With a maximum common mode and differential range of 400 V, the PicoScope 3425 is capable of measuring both high voltage and low level signals.
Typical high voltage applications include capturing waveforms from switch mode power supplies, telephone cables, motor inverters and electric / hybrid vehicles.
The high-impedance, high-resolution inputs are also suited to biological and scientific research as they allow measurements on low-level signals in the presence of common-mode noise without the need for expensive differential preamplifiers or differential oscilloscope probes. Differential inputs can also be used to connect to bridge type sensors for example to measure load, pressure and strain.
The PicoScope 3425 is a 12-bit oscilloscope that offers 16 times more vertical resolution than traditional 8-bit oscilloscopes (4096 vertical levels vs 256). The example shows how with a 12-bit oscilloscope (blue trace) you can zoom in to reveal details of the signal that are not visible on an 8-bit oscilloscope (black trace).
As well as the high vertical resolution, the 512,000 sample buffer memory ensures a high horizontal resolution as well. You can collect long detailed captures without the sampling rate dropping.
Once you have seen high-resolution waveforms on a high-resolution PC monitor you will never want to use a traditional benchtop oscilloscope with its small display again.
As well as improved oscilloscope traces, high resolution offers big benefits when performing spectrum analysis offering an additional 20 dB dynamic range on the spectrum over 8-bit oscilloscopes. Signals that were previously hidden in the noise floor are now clearly visible and the spectrum becomes a powerful tool to track down the causes of noise.
The spectrum view plots amplitude vs frequency and is ideal for finding noise, crosstalk or distortion in signals. The spectrum analyzer in PicoScope is of the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) type which, unlike a traditional swept spectrum analyzer, can display the spectrum of a single, non-repeating waveform.
A full range of settings gives you control over the number of spectrum bands (FFT bins), window types, scaling (including log/log) and display modes (instantaneous, average, or peak-hold).
You can display multiple spectrum views alongside oscilloscope views of the same data. A comprehensive set of automatic frequency-domain measurements can be added to the display, including THD, THD+N, SNR, SINAD and IMD. A mask limit test can be applied to a spectrum for automated testing.
Most oscilloscopes are built down to a price. PicoScopes are built up to a specification.
Careful front-end design and shielding reduces noise, crosstalk and harmonic distortion. Years of oscilloscope design experience can be seen in improved bandwidth flatness and low distortion.
We are proud of the dynamic performance of our products and, unlike most oscilloscope manufacturers, we publish our specifications in detail. The result is simple: when you probe a circuit, you can trust in the waveform you see on the screen.
Pico Technology oscilloscopes are small, light and portable. In the lab they take up the minimum of bench space while for the engineer on the move they are small enough to fit in a bag with your laptop.
The USB connection makes printing, copying, saving, and emailing your data quick and easy. The high-speed USB interface allows fast data transfer, while USB powering removes the need to carry around a bulky external power supply.
The PicoScope 3425 USB Oscilloscope comes in a tough carry case complete with all the probes, leads, clips and adaptors you need to start taking differential measurements: