November 2000

Pico Technology’s FREE PicoScope software update features enhanced measurement capabilities including THD and SNR to the Spectrum Analyzer view.

spectrum analyser (analyzer) software

Cambridge, UK - November 2000 - PC-based instrumentation specialist Pico Technology has announced the immediate availability of version 5.06 of PicoScope, Pico Technology’s popular software product which turns desktop and laptop PCs into high-performance, oscilloscopes and spectrum analyzers. Version 5.06 of PicoScope, which can be used with Pico’s entire range of PC-based oscilloscope products, features extended functionality to the spectrum analyzer view.

“We’ve totally revamped the spectrum analyzer’s measurement capability,” says Mike Green, Managing Director of Pico Technology, “and created a PC-based instrument second to none. Applications for PicoScope v5.06 include audio and vibration analysis as well as traditional filter analysis.”

In the Spectrum Analyzer view, PicoScope v5.06 can be used to provide direct readings of:

  • Peak Frequency - the frequency of the datum;
  • Peak Amplitude - the amplitude of the datum;
  • Total Power - the total RMS power level for the entire spectrum;
  • THD - the total harmonic distortion;
  • THD+N - the total harmonic distortion plus noise;
  • SFDR (Spurious Free Dynamic Range) amplitude - the ratio of the amplitude of the datum [typically the Peak Frequency] and the second largest amplitude;
  • SFDR frequency;
  • SINAD - signal to noise and distortion ration;
  • SNR - signal to noise ratio;
  • IMD - InterModulation Distortion, a measure of the distortion caused by the interaction (mixing) of two tones; and
  • Gain - the ratio of the power between channels at the datum point, typically used to measure the gain of an amplifier. In addition to the above measurement capability enhancements, PicoScope’s spectrum analyzer now has multiple X and Y rulers. Green continues: “X and Y rulers just aren’t available on the majority of spectrum analyzers. These tend to have just two vertical rulers for measuring a frequency range. At Pico we believe it’s as important to be able place a ruler horizontally for amplitude measurements as it is to use rulers in the frequency axis. Why be limited in what you can measure?”

PicoScope v5.06’s spectrum analyzer view also allows the user to perform statistical analysis, such as standard deviation, and also to set error limits. “The setting of error limits is a major bonus and is one of the many features available within the oscilloscope view that has made PicoScope so popular,” adds Green. “Users can use error limits to set pass/fail criteria - and this is particularly useful for post production, end-of-line inspection.”

Pico Technology has extended the zoom and scrolling functions within the Spectrum Analyzer, which makes the analysis of small signals possible even when large signals are present. In addition, both oscilloscope and spectrum measurements can be copied to clipboards for easy analysis and results can also be transferred using Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE).

PicoScope v5.06 is free to download and can be used with any of Pico Technology’s ADC products. For example, when used with the 16bit, dual channel ADC-216, the spectrum range 0 to 166kHz can be analysed with a dynamic range of 100dB - making the hardware/software combination ideal for audio analysis applications. “And with our extensive range of low cost, 8, 12, and 16bit ADCs we’re able to meet the majority of Test & Measurement requirements at a fraction of the cost of traditional and bulky desktop solutions,” concludes Green.

Available immediately, version 5.06 of PicoScope can be downloaded free of charge from www.picotech.com/download.html

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