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Pico Technology unveils 8-channel, 12bit, USB oscilloscope

26 Feb 2014  | Martin Rowe

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Pico Technology has unleashed an eight-channel, 12bit, USB oscilloscope. The PicoScope 4824 is geared for audio, vibration, mixed-signal and power applications. It also connects to a PC using USB 3.0 and doesn't require an external power supply, while functioning as a generator and arbitrary waveform generator.

Each analog input channel has 20MHz bandwidth. Maximum sample rate is 80Msps/ch when running up to four channels. When running five to eight channels, the Picoscope 4824 provides up to 40Msps/ch. Waveform capture memory is 256Msamples aggregate across eight channels.

Each BNC input is color coded. Those colors correspond to the colors you'll see on the PC screen when using PicoScope 6 software, included with each unit.

PicoScope 4824

The back of the unit has the USB connector and a BNC connector for the waveform generator output, which produces signals with 14bit resolution. When using the output as a function generator, you can get standard waveforms such as sine, square, and triangle frequencies up to 1MHz. As an arbitrary waveform generator, the analog output has a sample rate of up to 80Msps with a 16ks waveform buffer. You can capture signals with the analog inputs and play them back through the waveform generator.

The PicoScope 6 software lets you display up to eight waveforms. These can be live inputs, math channels, or reference waveforms previously stored. In addition, the software's FFT function lets the oscilloscope operate as a spectrum analyzer at up to 20MHz. It also lets you decode low-speed serial buses such as RS-232, I2C and SPI.

For making power measurements, you can use a current probe and let the PC calculate and display a power waveform. Tables let you see numerical representations of calculations such as power, signal-to-noise ratio, and total-harmonic distortion as well as statistics such as mean and standard deviation. In addition, you can use math to convert voltage or current to other units by using mX+b or nonlinear curve-fit equations.

Standard voltage probes, differential probes, and current probes are additional.

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