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Connecting more than 1 Picoscope to a PC

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Connecting more than 1 Picoscope to a PC

Postby Peter_Washington » Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:59 pm

I think that the cost / performance ratio of the 220B MSO Picoscope is such that I can afford to buy 2 of them, but I would like to be able to use both together to create a 4 channel Analogue Oscilloscope with 32 bit Digital input as well.
This pipe-dream would obviously require a modifications to the Picoscope software, which I cannot do.
So my question is "Would Picoscope consider this update since it could massively increase the usability of their products ?"
I await a reply with baited breath :)
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Re: Connecting more than 1 Picoscope to a PC

Postby Hitesh » Tue May 03, 2016 11:19 am

Hi Peter,

I've added your comments to an existing feature request.

It is possible to use the Software Development Kit to control more than one device from a single application, although one point to note is that it can be difficult to synchronise data between two or more devices as the ADCs could be operating at slightly different frequencies.

Regards,
Hitesh

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Re: Connecting more than 1 Picoscope to a PC

Postby Peter_Washington » Tue May 03, 2016 3:27 pm

Hi Hitesh / PicoScope,

Thank you for a very quick reply :)

I completely understand your point about synchronising the ADC's, that only real way of doing it would a master / slave approach where the the "Master" outputs the Timebase to the "Slave". Then you'd need to minimise skewing the Timebase by sending the Timebase from the "Master" to an External Timebase input, (similar concept to the External Trigger), on BOTH units at the same time, with identical cable lengths :shock:

In the meantime whilst I wait for the huge amount of hardware rework required to export the Timebase, at least I can display 4 Analogue and 32 Digital Channels at the same time, and just hope that the signals are synchronised well enough for my needs :)

Cheers Peter
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Re: Connecting more than 1 Picoscope to a PC

Postby bennog » Thu May 05, 2016 8:38 am

You can use a slow 5V square wave on the digital inputs of the scope.

You will lose 1 digital input on each scope but you can trigger on this digital input on both scopes to synchronize them.
Problem is the software will not support this at the moment (only the SDK)
But data from the SDK can not be viewed in picoscope, nor saved as .psdata file.

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Re: Connecting more than 1 Picoscope to a PC

Postby Peter_Washington » Thu May 05, 2016 3:21 pm

Hi Bennog / PicoScope,

So If I sacrifice 1 digital input on each Picoscope for a slow, (let's say 10KHz), square wave the leading edge of that can be used to synchronise the two displays, BUT, I can't do this now because only the SDK supports the necessary synchronisation code, but it cannot display or save the synchronised data ?

So the solution seems to be to update the SDK, OR port the necessary functionality from the SDK into the main PicoScope software. Now I won't pretend that either route is simple, but if it can be done I would Definitely buy 2 off PicoScope 2208B's for £1300 that would give me capability of 4 x 100 MHz Analogue and 30 Digital Channels, BARGAIN !!

Cheers Peter.
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Re: Connecting more than 1 Picoscope to a PC

Postby Gerry » Fri May 06, 2016 3:24 pm

Hi Bennog/Peter,

If you are trying to synchronize the triggering of 2 PicoScope 2208B's you need to bear in mind that, how closely they will be synchronized will depend upon the parameters used, and the specification for the PicoScopes. But triggering is just the start of data capture and the 2 Picoscopes will drift out sync because of differences between the Timebase accuracies. The PicoScopes will never be completely synchronized (it will never be the same as using a 4 channel PicoScope), but how closely the waveforms of the channels are matched in time may or may not be enough for your requirements.

Just to be clear on some other points that were mentioned:

The SDK doesn't have synchronization code. It enables you to have 2 PicoScopes open and providing you with data. So, you CAN then save the data for the 2 PicoScope waveforms, just not in the format that can be loaded into PicoScope 6, i.e. psdata files.

You can use a digital channel of an MSO to trigger the capture of an analogue channel. So, you CAN set up 2 Picoscope 2208B's to trigger together whether using PicoScope 6 or the SDK. However, using PicoScope 6 makes it a much more convoluted process to get the data into one file in order to make it meaningful, while the SDK allows you to get the data from 2 PicoScopes and save it all directly to the same file.

Regards,

Gerry
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