All aboard: Passport-sized scope offers 200MHz bandwidth

9th November 2013
Posted By : Mick Elliott
All aboard: Passport-sized scope offers 200MHz bandwidth

A passport sized, 19m thick series of oscilloscopes from Pico Technology offer bandwidths up to 200MHz and an arbitrary waveform generator. ThePicoScope 2000 series instruments are connected to and powered from a USB port and are almost 80% smaller than the previous generation of PicoScopes.

The scopes can be kept in an engineer’s laptop bag, and offer all the features and performance of a traditional bench-top oscilloscope.

The new PicoScope 2000 range was very much a "skunkworks" project, explained Managing Director Alan Tong.  "We give all of our engineers one afternoon a week to work on a project of their own choosing, and a group decided to see how small they could make an oscilloscope without compromising on performance. They kept the project secret until they had a working prototype complete with a 3D-printed enclosure. When I saw it I was immediately sold on the idea, as it was a product I wanted to own myself. It’s so small and light, I now carry an oscilloscope in my laptop bag all the time."

The specifications include a maximum sampling rate of 1GS/s, adjustable analog offset over the full input range, and high-speed USB streaming up to 1 MS/s for waveform captures of up to 100 million samples in length. The built-in signal source can act as a standard signal generator (sine, square, triangle and others) with programmable sweep or as a 12-bit 20MS/s full-function arbitrary waveform generator.

Despite their small size, the dual channel scopes include a comprehensive list of features as standard including an FFT spectrum analyser, up to 48K samples of segmented memory for rapid captures, math channels, automatic measurements, colour persistence display mode, advanced digital triggering, mask limit testing and serial decoding (CAN bus, LIN bus, FlexRay, SPI, I2C, I2S, UART). A free SDK with example code is available for developing your own applications in languages such as C, Microsoft Visual Basic, National Instruments LabVIEW and MathWorks MATLAB.

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