New scope offers four true differential channels

17 February 2017

Pico Technology introduced the PicoScope 4444 high-resolution differential oscilloscope, featuring four true differential input channels.

The new PicoScope addresses the perennial problem of making accurate voltage waveform measurements on circuit elements that are not ground-referenced, without the risk of short circuits that could damage the device under test or the measuring instrument.
 
Scientists and electronics engineers frequently need to make low-voltage measurements in the presence of high common-mode noise or varying offset voltages. Ground-referenced oscilloscopes require use of two input channels and an A–B math function to observe the differential signal of interest. But, as well as this requiring two input channels, most scopes don’t have a high enough common-mode rejection ratio (CMRR), nor the resolution to make measurements with sufficient precision.
 
Engineers working on polyphase power distribution systems need to measure phase-to-phase AC voltages, rather than phase to ground. A ground-referenced scope can’t be used as it will cause a short circuit. External differential probes are a solution but they are quite expensive and cumbersome, with each probe requiring its own power supply.
 
The PicoScope 4444 has differential inputs and a choice of 1:1 low-voltage and 25:1 1000V CAT III probes to address both of these problems.
 
Furthermore, the scope has a novel intelligent probe interface that, in addition to delivering the differential signal to be measured, can also provide power for active probes such as Hall Effect AC/DC type active current probes. The scope detects when a compatible probe is connected and sets the corresponding units and vertical settings in the PicoScope 6 software.


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