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Software Question

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Software Question

Postby Guest » Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:59 am


I've considered buying one of the Pico scopes and due to it's somewhat higher price I'm also contemplating another pc-based scope. My main concern about the Pico (other than price) is the software. I've downloaded the demo and find it rather...well....not very good. :( Is there going to be some improvement to this in the near future? The other scope I'm considering has software that is far better (I've got that demo also) so it is swaying my decision (along with the price).

Any ideas/thoughts?



Postby Ruud » Sun Apr 08, 2007 7:47 pm

Hi Jom

Along with the price (which delivers very good value for your money compared to desktop units imho) I would strongly recommend to consider the following:

(a) Bandwidth
(b) Sampling rate (the real-time/single shot sampling rate is what counts)
(c) Memory buffer size

Bandwidth and sampling rate are quite obvious, but the buffer size is often forgotten. If you want to be able to zoom your measured signal to a great degree and you don't want to deal with aliasing issues, you need a large memory buffer. Other PC Oscilloscopes often lack in this department. I've checked out a lot of devices, before I've (recently) decided to buy a PicoScope. And I'm happy with my choice (3000 series).

As for your initial question. The PicoScope v5 software isn't as user friendly as it can be, but it's far from being bad. And it's said that v6 (which has huge improvements) will be compatible with a large amount of devices (hopefully it'll be soon). Furthermore the software is constantly being improved, so it's more important to turn your attention to the hardware qualities.

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Postby jom » Sun Apr 08, 2007 9:26 pm

Ruud wrote:
(a) Bandwidth
(b) Sampling rate (the real-time/single shot sampling rate is what counts)
(c) Memory buffer size

Thanks for the reponse!

I have considered these and the one I'm looking at does lack at least in two cases. I don't believe it has the buffer size (I don't remember exactly) but I'm sure the one I'm considering does not have the bandwidth of the 3206 (which I'm considering). It does, however, match up with the 3205. The sampling rates for continuous waves seems to be the same or better (not sure about one-shots). The other doesn't have an external trigger which I really do need and the Pico's function generator is a nice addition. But considering the other device came with probes I'm going to have to weigh an extra 50% to 100% more for the Pico depending on which I'd want (3205 or 3206).

It was just the software that really bothered me. This other device had something called "Softscope" that came with it. After about 10 seconds it was clear this software was far superior than Pico's. If the people who work for Pico are listening they should strive to get their program to a similar standard. I even had a hard time just getting an FFT of the sample waveforms in Picoscope's demo...the software needs a lot of work, IMHO.

Unfortunatly, my decision is not an easy one given all of the factors.

Thanks again for the help. :D

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Postby ziko » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:14 pm

Hi and thank you for your post.

We always strive to improve our product range and always are keen to see what customers want.

PicoScope 6 is the latest scope software that comes with the 520x. This will be available for the 3000 series in future. PicoScope 6 has been designed from scratch and as such is significantly different to PicoScope 5.

I personally have not used SoftScope, however PicoScope 5 emphasis is on having a big screen to view your waveform. In terms of the Spectrum analyser feature this is simply achieved by clicking on View -> New Spectrum.

PicoScope 5 has a wealth of features most of which will be available in PicoScope 6 when released for the entire product range.

Kind regards

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