A digital oscilloscope for the analog world
Most digital oscilloscopes have been designed for viewing fast digital signals. The trend has been to use new technology solely to increase sampling rate and bandwidth. With the PicoScope 4262, however, we have focused on what’s important for measuring analog signals: increasing the resolution, improving dynamic range, and reducing noise and distortion.
- Dual channel oscilloscope / spectrum analyzer
- 16-bit resolution
- Low distortion (96 dB SFDR)
- Low noise (8.5 µV RMS)
- 5 MHz bandwidth
- 16 MS buffer memory
- Low-distortion signal generator
- Arbitrary waveform generator
- USB powered
The result is an oscilloscope / FFT analyzer that has a level of performance to put most audio analyzers to shame yet has a 5 MHz bandwidth making it equally suitable for vibration and ultrasound signals as well as a wide range of precision measurement tasks.
Many applications such as vibration analysis require long captures at high sampling rates, which requires a deep capture memory. The PicoScope 4262 has a 16 million sample buffer memory so can capture at 10 MS/s for timebases as long as 100 ms/div. If you require longer times, the USB streaming mode can sample directly into PC memory.
PicoScope software dedicates almost all of the display area to the waveform. This ensures that the maximum amount of data is seen at once. The viewing area is much bigger and of a higher resolution than with a traditional benchtop scope.
With a large display area available, you can also create a customizable split-screen display, and view multiple channels or different views of the same signal at the same time. As the example shows, the software can even show multiple oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer traces at once. Additionally, each waveform shown works with individual zoom, pan, and filter settings for ultimate flexibility.
The PicoScope software can be controlled by mouse, touchscreen or keyboard shortcuts.
FFT spectrum analyzer
The spectrum view plots amplitude vs frequency and is ideal for finding noise, crosstalk or distortion in signals. The spectrum analyzer in PicoScope is of the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) type which, unlike a traditional swept spectrum analyzer, can display the spectrum of a single, non-repeating waveform.
A full range of settings gives you control over the number of spectrum bands (FFT bins), window types, scaling (including log/log) and display modes (instantaneous, average, or peak-hold).
You can display multiple spectrum views alongside oscilloscope views of the same data. A comprehensive set of automatic frequency-domain measurements can be added to the display, including THD, THD N, SNR, SINAD and IMD. A mask limit test can be applied to a spectrum and you can even use the AWG and spectrum mode together to perform swept scalar network analysis.
More information on Spectrum analyzer >>
Arbitrary waveform and function generator
The PicoScope 4262 has a built-in 20 kHz function generator (sine, square, triangle, DC voltage, ramp, sinc, Gaussian, half–sine, white noise and PRBS). The function generator offers an outstanding sine wave distortion performance of 102 dB SFDR.
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.
Trigger tools allow one or more cycles of a waveform to be output when various conditions are met such as the scope triggering or a mask limit test failing.
As well as the standard waveforms available from the function generator, custom waveforms can be created using the 16 bit / 192 kS/s arbitrary waveform generator (AWG). AWG waveforms can be created or edited using the built-in editor, imported from oscilloscope traces, or loaded from a spreadsheet.
More information on Arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) >>
High signal integrity
Most oscilloscopes are built down to a price. Ours are built up to a specification.
Careful front-end design and shielding reduces noise, crosstalk and harmonic distortion. Over 20 years of high resolution oscilloscope design experience leads to improved pulse response and bandwidth flatness.
We are proud of the dynamic performance of our products and publish these specifications in detail. The result is simple: when you probe a circuit, you can trust in the waveform you see on the screen.
The PicoScope 4262 oscilloscope is small, light and portable and requires no external power supply.
In the lab they take up the minimum of bench space while for the engineer on the move they slip neatly into a laptop bag.
software herePicoScope 4262 Features[fast waveform update rate]Hardware acceleration ensures fast screen update rates even when collecting 10,000,000 samples per waveform
Hardware Acceleration Engine (HAL2)
Some oscilloscopes struggle when you enable deep memory; the screen update rate slows and controls become unresponsive. PicoScope 4262 avoids this limitation with use of a dedicated hardware acceleration engine inside the oscilloscope. Its parallel design effectively creates the waveform image to be displayed on the PC screen and allows the continuous capture and display to the screen of millions of samples every second. PicoScope oscilloscopes manage deep memory better than competing oscilloscopes, both PC-based and benchtop.
The PicoScope 4262 is fitted with second-generation hardware acceleration (HAL2). This speeds up areas of oscilloscope operation such allowing thousands of waveform updates per second and the segmented memory/rapid trigger modes. The hardware acceleration engine ensures that any concerns about the USB connection or PC processor performance being a bottleneck are eliminated.
Advanced digital triggering
The majority of digital oscilloscopes still use an analog trigger architecture based on comparators. This causes time and amplitude errors that cannot always be calibrated out and often limits the trigger sensitivity at high bandwidths.
In 1991 Pico 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.
The sub-10 µs rearm delay provided by digital triggering, together with segmented memory, allows up to 10,000 waveforms to be captured in a 20 ms burst.
The PicoScope 4262 offers an industry-leading set of advanced triggers including pulse width, runt pulse, windowed, logic and dropout.
More information on Triggers, advanced >>[PicoScope color persistence mode]Digital persistence modes
Advanced display modes allow you to collect thousands of waveforms per second. New or more frequent data can be displayed in a brighter color or shade. This makes it easy to see glitches and dropouts and to estimate their relative frequency. Choose between analog persistence, digital color, fast or custom display modes.
More information on Persistence modes >>[Oscilloscope mask limit test]The waveform buffer navigator can quickly highlight waveforms that fail the mask limit test
Mask limit testing
Mask limit testing allows you to compare live signals against known good signals, and is designed for production and debugging environments. Simply capture a known good signal, draw a mask around it, and then attach the system under test. PicoScope will check for mask violations and perform pass/fail testing, capture intermittent glitches, and can show a failure count and other statistics in the Measurements window.
More information on Mask limit testing >>[waveform buffer]Waveform buffer and navigator
Ever spotted a glitch on a waveform, but by the time you’ve stopped the scope it has gone? With PicoScope you no longer need to worry about missing glitches or other transient events. PicoScope can store the last ten thousand oscilloscope or spectrum waveforms in its circular waveform buffer.
The buffer navigator provides an efficient way of navigating and searching through waveforms, effectively letting you turn back time. Tools such as mask limit testing can also be used to scan through each waveform in the buffer looking for mask violations.
More information on Waveform buffer >>[CAN bus serial decoding]Serial bus decoding and protocol analysis
PicoScope can decode 1-Wire, ARINC 429, CAN & CAN-FD, DCC, DMX512, Ethernet 10Base-T, FlexRay, I²C, I²S, LIN, MODBUS, PS/2, SENT, SPI, UART (RS-232 / RS-422 / RS-485), and USB 1.1 protocol data as standard, with more protocols in development and available in the future with free-of-charge software upgrades.
Graph format shows the decoded data (in hex, binary, decimal or ASCII) in a data bus timing format, beneath the waveform on a common time axis, with error frames marked in red. These frames can be zoomed to investigate noise or signal integrity issues.
Table format shows a list of the decoded frames, including the data and all flags and identifiers. You can set up filtering conditions to display only the frames you are interested in or search for frames with specified properties. The statistics option reveals more detail about the physical layer such as frame times and voltage levels. PicoScope can also import a spreadsheet to decode the data into user-defined text strings.
More information on Serial bus decoding and protocol analysis - overview >>
High-end features as standard
Buying a PicoScope is not like making a purchase from other oscilloscope companies, where optional extras considerably increase the price. With our scopes, high-end features such as serial decoding, mask limit testing, advanced math channels, segmented memory, and a signal generator are all included in the price.
To protect your investment, both the PC software and firmware inside the scope can be updated. Pico Technology have a long history of providing new features for free through software downloads. We deliver on our promises of future enhancements year after year, unlike many other companies in the field. Users of our products reward us by becoming lifelong customers and frequently recommending us to their colleagues.