USB Adaptor extends connectivity

USB to Parallel Port Adaptor (Hi-res)

22 July 2002
Category: General

Further boosting the versatility of PC-based test and measurement solutions, Pico Technology launches its USB to Parallel Port Adaptor

  • Supporting existing customers
  • Enhances the performance of some products
  • USB port enabling software provided FREE
  • Multiple units can be run

Cambridge, UK — 22 July 2002 — PC-based instrumentation and data logging specialist Pico Technology has announced the immediate availability of its USB to Parallel Port Adapter for use with all of its popular low-cost, parallel port based, test and measurement products.

The USB-Parallel Port Adapter enables users to connect a desktop or laptop PC to 10 of Pico's oscilloscope (and spectrum analyser) instruments and six of the company's data loggers via the PC's USB port: freeing up the parallel port for printers and other peripherals. In addition, the USB Parallel Port adapter can be used to connect multiple instruments, via a USB hub, to a single PC.

Martin Berriman, Pico Technology's Research and Development Manager, comments: “As USB becomes increasingly popular, and newer PCs are without parallel and/or serial ports, Pico has taken the decision to support fully those customers that have already invested in our hardware. Other test and measurement companies however have simply decided to stop supporting serial and parallel ports on some products - forcing their customers to upgrade.”

By providing connection to its low-cost parallel port based products via USB, Pico is offering new and existing users alike greater connectivity to the host PC.

“Older PCs tend to have a parallel port but no USB, newer PCs have both, and tomorrow's PCs will typically have USB but no parallel port," notes Berriman. "The launch of the USB Parallel Port Adapter and the fact that our instruments and data loggers are external to the PC means companies can afford to equip their engineers and technicians with a number of different instruments - all of which can be easily interchanged between PCs. In short, engineers need never have to wait their turn to use a shared instrument, as is often the case with traditional bench-top instruments.”

In addition, the USB-Parallel Port Adapter enhances the performance of a number of Pico's products: for example those instruments which do not have internal memory - and are therefore dependant on the PC's memory and sampling - now have improved integration with the Windows environment for 'smoother', crystal controlled sampling.

Supporting USB, first through the launch of a USB-Serial adapter last year and now with the USB to Parallel Port Adapter, underpins Pico's view that PC-based instrumentation should be external to the PC and should not require expensive, hard to install plug-in cards. In addition, having purchased instrumentation and data logging hardware, software should be provided free of charge: not only with the product but also as upgrades, so that users can always have access to the latest instrumentation functionality.

To benefit fully from the USB-Parallel Port Adapter users need to be running version 5.08.3 (or above) of Pico's software. This can be downloaded, for free, from Pico's website, and will shortly be available on CD.

Berriman concludes: “The launch of the Parallel Port Adapter has, in addition to complementing our USB to Serial offering, greatly boosted the versatility of our PC-based test and measurement solutions.”

Available immediately, the USB-Parallel Port Adapter, reference PP196, costs £50 (+VAT). The USB-Serial Adapter, reference MI069, costs £49.

Products with which the USB-Parallel Port Adaptor can be used:


  • ADC-40 and ADC-42 single channel, 8 bit resolution oscilloscopes
  • ADC-100 dual channel, 12 bit resolution oscilloscope
  • ADC-200/20, /50 and /100 dual channel 8 bit resolution oscilloscopes
  • ADC-212/3 dual channel 12 bit resolution, 3 MS/s oscilloscope
  • ADC-212/50 and /100 dual channel 12 bit resolution, 5GS/s (ETS) oscilloscope
  • ADC-216 dual channel 16 bit resolution oscilloscope

(All of the above can be used as spectrum analysers and meters.)

Data Loggers:

  • ADC-10 and ADC-12 single channel 8 and 12 bit (respectively) resolution data loggers
  • ADC-11 11 channel, 10 bit resolution data logger
  • ADC-22 22 channel, 10 bit resolution data logger
  • DrDAQ educational data logger