Best practices for using a large number of scopes

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jthanpicoscope
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Best practices for using a large number of scopes

Post by jthanpicoscope » Wed May 13, 2020 5:43 pm

Hi Folks,

I'm considering a problem where I have to monitor 64 channels, which I could do, in principle, using 8 PicoScope 4824. What could possibly go wrong? I've already used a 4 channel PicoScope to acquire from 4 channels, so why not scale up to 64?

Each channel could trigger an acquisition on all channels for a particular scope (using the "or" function in the trigger mode). It would be common for several scopes to trigger simultaneously, in which case we'd want the data from all the scopes that triggered.

Questions:

1) Is it POSSIBLE to hook 8 PicoScope 4824s to a single computer?
2) Is it ADVISABLE to hook 8 PicoScope 4824s to a single computer?
2) What is the BEST WAY hook 8 PicoScope 4824s to a single computer?
(e.g., using 2x USB 3.1 PCI-E cards, perhaps)

Since this is a pretty expensive idea, any advice in advance is welcome.

bennog
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Re: Best practices for using a large number of scopes

Post by bennog » Fri May 15, 2020 8:45 am

What is the sample speed you want.
e.g. 100 k samples / sec or 100 m samples / sec
What bit resolution do you want 8 bit or 12 bit.

This scope does not have an external trigger input so there is no way to trigger them all at the same time without sacrificing 1 of the 8 inputs for trigger.
Also USB3 power consumption would be a problem and bandwidth of the USB3 controller if you have high sample rates.

Benno

jthanpicoscope
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Re: Best practices for using a large number of scopes

Post by jthanpicoscope » Fri May 15, 2020 1:40 pm

We could live with 8 bits. I expect we could get the trigger rate below 1000/second, on average (asynchronous bursts). In any case, we have control of the mean rate. Each scope would trigger itself independently from the others based on its own inputs (using the OR function on all channels).

It would be essential to have a high-resolution time stamp to combine correlated trigger events. (I seem to recall that PicoScope offers that, but I don't know if the different unit clocks would be synchronized. I wonder if we could synchronize them somehow.)

Not sure if this approach is viable!

Martyn
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Re: Best practices for using a large number of scopes

Post by Martyn » Wed May 20, 2020 9:45 am

Would you want to use the PicoScope 6 software ? or would you be writing your own application to control all the devices ?
Martyn
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