Most USB-powered oscilloscopes have real-time sampling rates of only 100 or 200 MS/s, but the PicoScope 5000 Series offers up to 1 GS/s, and a maximum bandwidth of 200 MHz. Equivalent time sampling (ETS) mode can be used to further boost the sampling rate to 10 GS/s for a more detailed view of repetitive signals.
Most digital oscilloscopes sold today still use an analog trigger architecture based on comparators. This can cause time and amplitude errors that cannot always be calibrated out. The use of comparators often limits the trigger sensitivity at high bandwidths.
In 1991 we pioneered the use of fully digital triggering using the actual digitized data. This technique reduces trigger errors and allows our oscilloscopes to trigger on the smallest signals, even at the full bandwidth. Trigger levels and hysteresis can be set with high precision and resolution.
Digital triggering also reduces re-arm delay and this, combined with the segmented memory, allows the triggering and capture of events that happen in rapid sequence. At the fastest timebase you can use rapid triggering to collect 10,000 waveforms in under 20 milliseconds. Our mask limit testing function can then scan through these waveforms to highlight any failed waveforms for viewing in the waveform buffer.
Huge buffer memory
The PicoScope 5000 Series offers memory depths up to 512 million samples, more than any other oscilloscope in this price range.
Other oscilloscopes have high maximum sampling rates, but without deep memory they cannot sustain these rates on long timebases. Using its 512 MS buffer, the PicoScope 5444B can sample at 1 GS/s all the way down to 50 ms/ div (500 ms total capture time).
Managing all this data calls for some powerful tools. There’s a set of zoom buttons, plus an overview window that lets you zoom and reposition the display by simply dragging with the mouse. Zoom factors of several million are possible.
Each captured waveform is stored in a segmented buffer so you can rewind and review up to 10,000 previous waveforms. No longer will you see a glitch on the screen only for it to vanish before you stop the scope. A mask can be applied to hide waveforms that are not of interest.
As well as the standard range of triggers found on all oscilloscopes, the PicoScope 5000 Series offers an industry-leading set of advanced triggers including pulse width, windowed and dropout triggers to help you capture the data you need.
Arbitrary waveform and function generator
All units have a built-in function generator (sine, square, triangle, DC level). As well as basic controls to set level, offset and frequency, more advanced controls allow you to sweep over a range of frequencies. Combined with the spectrum peak hold option this makes a powerful tool for testing amplifier and filter responses.
The PicoScope 5000 Series B models include additional built-in waveforms as well as an arbitrary waveform generator. Waveforms can be created or edited using the built-in AWG editor, imported from oscilloscope traces, or loaded from a spreadsheet.