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Picoscope 6 in Demo Mode and Spectrum View

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Picoscope 6 in Demo Mode and Spectrum View

Postby jom » Mon May 07, 2007 4:02 am

I'm having trouble getting PS 6 to go into Demo mode (I'm not talking the Demo version software). I was going to try out a few of the functions without hooking up the scope so the User Guide said to go into Demo Mode. This doesn't seem to work however. There are not Demo devices in the drop-down menu.

One thing I did notice is that the version I got with the CD (6.0.6.0) had a "right click" menu that allowed to add toolbars. I tried to add the Demo toolbar but it wouldn't take. I then downloaded the latest version (6.0.9.0) and it did NOT even have a "right click" menu that allows you to add a toolbar. What gives?

Added: The reason for wanting to use the Demo mode is that I'm having a very difficult time showing a complete Spectrum view. For whatever reason I simply cannot get a complete "max'd" out view of the spectrum. There doesn't seem to be a way to adjust either axis. So instead of hooking up the Scope I wanted to try it without any Scope plugged in. Hence the problems....

Added: OK, I've tried this for 3 days now and I still can't get it to work. Regardless, the bottom line question here is: How can I adjust the Y-axis of the Spectrum View? Much of the info is down below the view (noise floor) but I can't get the view to go below -50 dBV or so. ???

Added again: Now starting up version 6.0.9.0 and inputing an arbitrary waveform (square of sine) the device will simply NOT trigger. The problems I'm having seem to be increasing every day. :(

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Postby ziko » Wed May 09, 2007 11:29 am

Hi and thank you for your post.

If you saved a waveform you can load that waveform up if no device is connected. This is the only way to use the software without the a device being connected.

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Postby jom » Wed May 09, 2007 2:53 pm

ziko wrote:If you saved a waveform you can load that waveform up if no device is connected. This is the only way to use the software without the a device being connected.


That's not what the Help files say. Maybe you should correct the "help" files.

As to my other problems:

1) Can't adjust Spectrum View of Y-axis. Why can't I see the noise floor?

2) New problem with latest software: Using the waveform generator as a source, the scope will not trigger on a simple 1kHz sine or square wave.

Thanks

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Postby ziko » Thu May 10, 2007 12:23 pm

Hi,

I had a look into this, and the demo mode is currently not in however it will be in a future release.

To answer your other questions, the noise floor has been cut off to approximately the dynamic range of the scope. In terms of triggering of the square wave, I cannot recreate this. Could you send me more information regarding this.

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Postby jom » Thu May 10, 2007 4:49 pm

the noise floor has been cut off to approximately the dynamic range of the scope.


I've seen spectrum waveforms before from examples on this site that show the tones peaks all the way down to the floor (and below) so why can't I get them now on my scope? I just don't understand why the Y-axis can't be adusted like, say, the scope mode can.

On the triggering: What I do is put in a square or sine wave at, say, 1kHz from the arbitrary generator into input A. The scope now won't trigger...it just "floats" across the screen.

BTW, this has only happened since I downloaded the 6090 release. If I put back the original version I got with the CD (don't remember the version #) it doesn't seem to be a problem.
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Postby Guest » Fri May 11, 2007 8:53 am

The scope now won't trigger...it just "floats" across the screen.


Hello!

We have experienced the same problem while measuring on a periodic signal with T = 10 us with our 5203. We can not get the scope to trigger on the signal. Instead it just "floats" as jom described it. We are also using the latest release 6090. I noticed btw this morning that it can't be downloaded from the website at the moment, so perhaps a revision is under way.

I also would like to know if future releases will support zooming in on a single axis. For example in the spectrum view it would be convenient to zoom only on the X-axis while maintaining the full range for the Y-axis. It may be the case that I have to RTFM some more, but I think I tried everything. :)

/Chris
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Postby jom » Fri May 11, 2007 3:01 pm

Thanks Chris! At least I know I'm not crazy (or more likely doing something wrong). Did you have the problem with earlier versions? The verison that came with the unit (not sure which) seemed to work (trigger). However, my Spectrum view problem didn't work in either version.

I'm curious, what does RTFM mean?

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Postby jom » Sun May 13, 2007 7:17 am

There is a Microsoft update for the .NET program that seems to have fixed my triggering problem. So if you are having this problem with v6090 of Picoscope then go check the MS website for that update.

Now that that is cleared up what about the Spectrum view? Not only do I not get a decent view of the spectrum the frequency axis is wrong. All I want to do is see the purity of the built-in AWG's sinewave at a simple 1kHz and the graph is incoprehensible. I also tried the squarewave thinking it would give the standard ODD harmonic values but it was just a straight line. Weird. Is this part of the software really ready to go?

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Postby CR » Wed May 16, 2007 10:58 am

Hi jom!

Thanks for the tip regarding the update fixing the triggering problem! We haven't had time to try it out at work yet, but I'll keep my hopes up for success!

We have only tried version 6090 and the version before that, which was listed as a beta version on the website. No problems with the one listed as beta as far as I know. The spectrum view issue is in regard to version 6090 only, since the earlier beta version didn't have that feature.

RTFM = Read The F*****g Manual! I don't like manuals and have a tendency to just browse through them instead of giving them a good read. :D

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Postby alan » Sat May 19, 2007 10:13 am

In answer to the questions about the spectrum analyser.

1. The dynamic range of the spectrum analyser is set during development of the product. What we try to do is to set the visible range so that cut off is close to the noise floor of the product.

If we show to much dynamic range it is rather pointless as it wastes display area - if we show too little then some of the smaller harmonics / noise may not be seen.

In the case of the PicoScope 5203/4 the dynamic range was set when were testing the performance of the beta units - the production units proved to have a slightly lower (ie better) noise floor than the pre-production ones. For this reason the noise floor is (just) off the bottom of the screen. We will evalute more units and decide whether to display more of the noise floor in future software releases.

2. If you are used to the spectrum in PicoScope 5, then it is important to realise that the spectrum currently in PicoScope 6 is different. The spectrum in PicoScope 6 is designed to show the spectrum of the currently captured scope display (something that can not be done in PicoScope 5). Try displaying the sine or square wave from the AWG in a scope view then right click to open a spectrum view. The frequency span of the spectrum will depend on the timebase / sampling rate of the scope - this may cause the data of interest to be bunched up in the left hand of the screen. If so use the zoom tools to display the area of interest. As the scope has such a big memory buffer it will adjust the memory depth / sampling rate automatically to ensure the displayed part of the spectrum has enough data points.

3. In a future release of PSW6 we will also include a dedicated spectrum similar to that of PSW5. Rather than viewing a spectrum of scope data this will be a stand alone spectrum analyzer.

Regards
Alan
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Postby jom » Fri May 25, 2007 4:24 pm

alan wrote:If we show to much dynamic range it is rather pointless as it wastes display area - if we show too little then some of the smaller harmonics / noise may not be seen.


Then why not let the user decide. I mean, if you can have the user set the frequency scale, why not the y-axis?

On a side note: Any idea why the frequency scale was off. I put a 1kHz AWG and did not get a tone at 1kHz as it was off some 10s of Hz. Could the analyzer be correct and the AWG was off? Just curious.

3. In a future release of PSW6 we will also include a dedicated spectrum similar to that of PSW5. Rather than viewing a spectrum of scope data this will be a stand alone spectrum analyzer.


This is good news. Any time frame?

Thanks for your response.

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Postby alan » Wed May 30, 2007 8:22 am

Hi,

The idea about a user setting for the displayed dynamic range is a good one which we will consider.

The frequency error you mention is an odd one - is it possible to recreate? Both the AWG and Scope / Spectrum are locked to the same master clock so this should not happen.

Finally the PSW5 style spectrum is currently planned for an end of July 2007 release. We have a release due out soon (end of May / early June) with additional advanced triggers and third party software drivers (C++ etc). There will be a another release at the end of June / early July with some user interface enhancements and new data export options. The PicoScope 5 style spectrum will be the release after this. As with all software releases the dates are not exact.

Regards
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