- Pico Technology has designed a device to position and hold in place up to 8 probes of an oscilloscope. Users of its PicoScope 6000E Series modular oscilloscopes can attach their eight probes to the PCB under test while keeping their hands free.
Once an oscilloscope has more than two channels, it becomes tricky for a user to hold more than three probes in place with both hands, no matter how nimble their ten fingers are. So when it comes to an oscilloscope with 4 or even 8 channels, it’s a real headache.
Of course, there are solutions, and everyone has their own way of doing things. One of them is to ask one of his colleagues for help in holding the probes. Another is to weld the probes to the device under test. To make life easier for users of multi-channel oscilloscopes, Pico offers a solution that allows the printed circuit board under test to be held in place while precisely positioning as many probes as required. This leaves the user’s hands free to set up the oscilloscope or perform any other task.
The probes are mounted on a flexible rod, the base of which is held by strong magnets on a light but rigid metal plate with a mirror finish. The sign-neck shaped rod has been designed to match the characteristics of the 2.5 mm probe supplied with PicoScope 6000 Series oscilloscopes with 8 analog inputs at 500 MHz. The balance and flexibility of the probe holder harnesses the force of gravity to push the tip of the test probe sufficiently to make good contact with the board or component under test.
The flexible probe holders are combined with eight pairs of silicon cable ties in the colours of PicoScope’s eight channels (blue, red, green, yellow, purple, grey, light blue and magenta). These expandable rubber clamps attach the probe cable to the gooseneck of the probe holder. This ensures the stability and identification of the probes.
The PCB under test is fixed on four small magnetic posts resting on the metal plate. Spring clamps grip the PCB under test. The clamps are equipped with a pair of replaceable insulating washers to prevent short circuits on the printed circuit board.
The mirror finish of the support plate allows the user to see any status LEDs that may be located on the underside of the printed circuit board.
The positioning system is compatible with P2056 500 MHz 10:1 passive probes (available in single and dual versions) and is suitable for use with PicoScope 6000E Series oscilloscopes.
# Several kits are available:
- PQ215: Probe positioning kit supplied without probes
- PQ217: Probe positioning kit supplied with 4 probes
- PQ218: Set of 4 flexible probe holders
- PQ219: 8-Channel Probe Positioning Kit for PicoScope 6000E Oscilloscopes