Analyzing multiple data streams such as audio, ultrasound, vibration, power, and complex timing systems simultaneously is usually a very expensive proposition. Making simultaneous high-precision measurements on multiple inputs has been the job of expensive, high-end desktop oscilloscopes or PC cards. Applications like solar power generation, electric vehicle propulsion where high-power, variable frequency electronics is combined with digital control lines are often a challenge to developers.
But European PC-scope specialist Pico Technology has developed a USB3.0-connected oscilloscope with exactly these applications in mind. The PS4824 features eight analog input channels with 12 bits of vertical resolution, with a useful bandwidth of 20MHz. Oscilloscopes with multiple inputs and high resolution are also ideal for debugging systems that contain a complex mix of power electronics, clock, digital logic, serial data and analog sensor signals, such as embedded systems in automotive ECUs, industrial equipment, or household appliances.
With a 12-bit A/D converter for each channel, 16 times more resolution is possible over normal scopes. Housed in a compact 7.5” x 6.7” x 1.6” rugged enclosure, the PicoScope 4824 offers 12-bit resolution, a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface, and an integrated 14-bit arbitrary waveform generator. The new eight-channel PicoScope has the same small footprint as previous two- and four-channel models, and can replace cumbersome full-sized workbench scopes. Like all PicoScopes, the 4824 is small, light, and highly portable. Despite its high specification, it is entirely powered via USB and does not require a bulky separate adapter.With eight high-precision, low-noise inputs, a bandwidth of 20MHz, and sensitivity from 2mV/div, this scope is well suited to a broad range of applications such as power supply start sequencing, decode and time-aligned display of related I/O lines, seven‑channel audio signals, three‑phase voltage and current measurements, and multi-phase motor drives. The maximum sampling rate of 80MSa/s, a deep buffer memory of 256MSa and data streaming capabilities enable the scope to measure detailed, useful signal capture over prolonged periods.
The PicoScope 4824 features a comprehensive list of capabilities, such as a 20 MHz FFT spectrum analyzer, segmented memory (for bursts of up to 10,000 captures in less than 30 milliseconds), math channels, automatic measurements, color persistence display mode, split-screen waveform viewing, advanced digital triggering, mask limit testing, and serial decoding (SPI, I2C, I2S, RS-232/UART, CAN, LIN and FlexRay). A free SDK is also included for developing applications in various popular programming languages including C, Visual Basic, LabVIEW and MATLAB with example code.
In addition, the PicoScope 4824 has a built-in low-distortion, 80 MS/s, 14 bit arbitrary waveform generator (AWG), which can be used to emulate missing sensor signals during product development, or to stress test a design over the full intended operating range. Waveforms can be imported from data files or created and modified using the included graphical AWG editor. A function generator is also included, with sine, square, and triangle waves up to 1 MHz, DC level, white noise, and many more standard waveforms. Combining offset and frequency controls with advanced and spectrum peak hold options makes this a powerful tool for testing amplifier and filter responses.