Questions about 2203/4/5 triggering and mask testing

Post any questions you may have about our current range of oscilloscopes
Post Reply
Posts: 0
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:47 pm

Questions about 2203/4/5 triggering and mask testing

Post by zetgeist » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:01 pm

OK, answered my own question.

Trying out the PicoScope 6 Demo software answers questions (i), (ii) & partly (iii). Finding one of the newsletters (April 2010 I think) and a thread on UART, IIC (I2C) and SPI decoding answered the rest of (iii).

============== original posting =================

I've been looking at the datasheets and apps notes for the 2203/4/5 scopes.

i) I note that the 2203/4 do not support any advanced triggering modes. Am I correct in assuming that this means any of the Advanced Trigger options in PicoScope 6 do not apply to these models (but do to the 2205)?

ii) I'm looking at these devices to use as part of an automated test site to perform waveform mask testing. I understand that this is possible with the PicoScope 6 software. However I don't understand what my options are for being able to respond to a mask failure. How do I get the host PC to take some action on a failure (such as writing something to a file or a spreadsheet)?

iii) Are there any plans to offer RS232 / UART serial decode as an option in PicoScope 6?

Many thanks,


Pico Stuart
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:08 pm

Re: Questions about 2203/4/5 triggering and mask testing

Post by Pico Stuart » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:10 pm

Hi There,

Thank-you for your inquiry with regard to your 2200 series application.

You can set an action for the program whenever there is an "Alarm" condition. One of the actions can be "Save Current Buffer" or "Save All Buffers" to the Hard Drive. We don't yet have an alarm caused by a trigger so you need to artificially cause an alarm when the signal triggers. Using the "Masks" function, it is easy to set up a mask which will always trigger an alarm on your particular waveform. In this way, you can set-up an equivalent to the "save on Trigger" command. This will have to do until we do a formal implementation of this function. Please contact again if you need more help getting it to work.

Mask limit testing is a feature that tells you when a waveform or spectrum goes outside a specified area, called a mask, drawn on the scope view or spectrum view. PicoScope can draw the mask automatically by tracing a captured waveform, or you can draw it manually. Mask limit testing is useful for spotting intermittent errors during debugging, and for finding faulty units during production testing.

To begin, go to the main PicoScope menu and select Tools > Masks > Add Masks. This opens the Mask Library dialog. When you have selected, loaded or created a mask.

(A) Mask
Shows the allowed area (in white) and the disallowed area (in blue). Right-clicking the mask area and selecting the Edit Mask command takes you to the Edit Mask dialog. You can change the mask colors with the Tools > Preferences > Colors dialog; add, remove and save masks using the Masks menu; and hide and display masks using the Views > Masks menu.

(B) Failed waveforms
If the waveform enters the disallowed area, it is counted as a failure. The part of the waveform that caused the failure is highlighted, and persists on the display until the capture is restarted.

(C) Measurements table
The number of failures since the start of the current scope run is shown in the Measurements table. You can clear the failure count by stopping and restarting the capture using the Start/Stop button. The measurements table can display other measurements at the same time as the mask failure count.

To download the latest version of PicoScope 6 please proceed to the following link

Incorporating features such as: -

Merged channel options button and channel label
Automatic device reconnection
Buffer overview navigate on mask fails
I²C decoding
Added bitstream to AWG creator

If you require further assistance please do not hesitate to contact via

Kindest regards,

Technical Specialist

Post Reply