High resolution, differential input oscilloscope
PicoScope software dedicates almost all of the display area to the waveform. This ensures that the maximum amount of data is seen at once. The viewing area is much bigger and of a higher resolution than with a traditional benchtop scope.
With a large display area available, you can also create a customizable split-screen display, and view multiple channels or different views of the same signal at the same time. As the example shows, the software can even show multiple oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer traces at once. Additionally, each waveform shown works with individual zoom, pan, and filter settings for ultimate flexibility.
The PicoScope software can be controlled by mouse, touchscreen or keyboard shortcuts.
On many oscilloscopes waveform math just means simple calculations such as A + B. With a PicoScope it means much, much more.
With PicoScope 6 you can select simple functions such as addition and inversion, or open the equation editor to create complex functions involving filters (lowpass, highpass, bandpass and bandstop filters), trigonometry, exponentials, logarithms, statistics, integrals and derivatives.
Waveform math also allows you to plot live signals alongside historic peak, averaged or filtered waveforms.
You can also use math channels to reveal new details in complex signals. An example would be to graph the changing duty cycle or frequency of your signal over time.
The custom probes feature allows you to correct for gain, attenuation, offsets and nonlinearities in probes, sensors or transducers that you connect to the oscilloscope. This could be used to scale the output of a current probe so that it correctly displays amperes. A more advanced use would be to scale the output of a nonlinear temperature sensor using the table lookup function.
Definitions for standard Pico-supplied oscilloscope probes and current clamps are included. User-created probes may be saved for later use.
PicoScope can be programmed to execute actions when certain events occur.
The events that can trigger an alarm include mask limit fails, trigger events and buffers full.
The actions that PicoScope can execute include saving a file, playing a sound, or executing a program.
Alarms, coupled with mask limit testing, help to quickly validate signal quality in electronic system designs.
The software development kit (SDK) allows you to write your own software and includes drivers for Microsoft Windows and beta drivers for Apple Mac (OS X) and Linux (including Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone).
Example code shows how to interface to third-party software packages such as Microsoft Excel, National Instruments LabVIEW and MathWorks MATLAB.
The drivers support USB data streaming, a mode which captures gap-free continuous data over USB direct to the PC’s RAM or hard disk at rates of up to 1 MS/s. Capture sizes limited only by available PC storage. Sampling rates in streaming mode are subject to PC specifications and application loading.
In PicoScope, waveform averaging is a mathematical function that computes the average of a sequence of waveforms. This is useful for removing noise from a repetitive signal. The result of averaging is a cleaner picture with the same frequency resolution as the original capture but with increased vertical resolution.
The example opposite shows the result of waveform averaging on a noisy square wave. The lower waveform is the raw signal. The upper waveform is the cleaned-up signal at the same scale factor. Despite the reduction in noise this waveform has a large amount of high-frequency detail, giving us an accurate picture of the original pulse shape.
The waveform buffer toolbar at the top of the window shows that PicoScope captured 32 waveforms to create the averaged result. It is also possible to run PicoScope in a continuous averaging mode, in which the displayed waveform is the time-weighted average of all previous waveforms.
Resolution enhancement is a technique for increasing the effective vertical resolution of the scope at the expense of high-frequency detail. It is useful for resolving small signal details and for reducing unwanted noise. Unlike waveform averaging it can be used on single-shot signals.
Your PicoScope is provided with many powerful tools to help you acquire and analyze waveforms. While these tools can be used on their own, the real power of PicoScope lies in the way they have been designed to work together.
As an example, the rapid trigger mode allows you to collect 10 000 waveforms in a few milliseconds with minimal dead time between them. Manually searching through these waveforms would be time-consuming, so just pick a waveform you are happy with and let the mask tools scan through for you. When done, the measurements will tell you how many have failed and the buffer navigator allows you to hide the good waveforms and just display the problem ones. This video shows you how.
Perhaps instead you want to plot changing duty cycle as a graph? How about outputting a waveform from the AWG and also automatically saving the waveform to disk when a trigger condition is met? With the power of PicoScope the possibilities are almost endless. To find out even more about the capabilities of PicoScope software, visit our A to Z of PC Oscilloscopes.