PicoScope 4444 1000 V CAT III Differential Oscilloscope Kit
PicoScope 4444 1000 V CAT III kit High-resolution differential oscilloscope with three PicoConnect 442 1000 V CAT III passive differential voltage probes and one TA271 single-ended D9-BNC adaptor.
- 4 true differential inputs
- Flexible 12- or 14-bit resolution
- 20 MHz bandwidth
- Up to 400 MS/s sampling rate
- 256 MS capture memory
- High common-mode rejection ratio
- Balanced high-impedance inputs for a low circuit load
- Intelligent probe interface
- Measure differential signals with a single channel
- Measure non-ground-referenced signals
- Reject common-mode voltages in electronic and biomedical applications
- Safely probe single and 3-phase voltages with 1000 V CAT III probes
- Measure power drawn by mobile and IoT devices
- Controllable from a Microsoft Windows PC over USB interface by using the PicoScope 7 free sofware
The PicoScope 4444: a new standard in differential measurement
With four true differential inputs, 12- to 14-bit resolution and wide differential and common-mode voltage ranges, the PicoScope 4444 and its accessories offer accurate and detailed measurement for a multitude of applications.
The two key accessories are the new PicoConnectTM differential voltage probes. We have used 9-pin D-type connectors to create a true differential probe interface. These Pico D9 connectors also allow the PicoScope software to automatically identify the probe and select the appropriate display settings.
The TA271 and TA299 adaptors allow you to use the PicoScope 4444 with traditional BNC-connected accessories.
1000 V CAT III differential probes
Testing and characterization of power supplies can present the oscilloscope user with many challenges, such as hazardous voltages (often floating without reference to ground), feedback circuitry with electrical isolation, and a wide range of signal levels. One wrong connection of a ground lead and sparks can fly! Using the PicoConnect 442 1000 V CAT III differential voltage probe with the PicoScope 4444, you can easily connect to and visualize the wide range of signals that need to be characterized.
The PicoConnect 442 probe has a 25:1 attenuation ratio and is suitable for testing in a range of applications, including distribution boards, circuit breakers, junction boxes, switches, fixed socket outlets and industrial equipment such as permanently connected stationary motors.
Why make differential measurements?
While you can make a wide variety of measurements with an ordinary ground-referenced scope, there are some circumstances where that just won’t work.
Common-mode voltages are unwanted signals that are applied equally to both measurement terminals in your probing system. The circuit above consists of a signal source (purple) with AC and DC components producing a total output of VSIG, which we wish to measure. However, the circuit also contains an unwanted voltage source (green) that also has AC and DC components adding up to VCM, a common-mode voltage. This situation is quite common, for example when probing high-side drivers in amplifiers and power supplies.
As the diagram above shows, probing this circuit with a single-ended scope results in a distorted waveform (VSUM) on the display. We cannot simply connect the probe ground to the negative terminal of VSIG, as that would short-circuit VCM to ground through the oscilloscope, possibly causing a circuit malfunction or damage to the instrument. We need a measuring system that can safely detect VSIG and ignore VCM.
The solution, as shown below, is to connect a differential scope input across the positive and negative terminals of the signal source. The differential input does not measure VCM, only VSIG, so VSIG is what you see on the oscilloscope display.
Differential scopes can measure the AC or DC voltage between two points connected to the positive and negative leads, when neither of the points is grounded. This enables them to take measurements where single-ended scopes can’t, for example at voltages that are much higher than ground potential. The resulting measurements focus exclusively on the potential difference between the probes.
Why use the PicoScope 4444 differential oscilloscope?
There are, of course, plenty of differential probes available, all with similar inconveniences: bulky interface boxes, missing or flat batteries, snaking power leads... The PicoScope 4444 uses specially designed passive voltage probes that have smaller and lighter (or no) interface boxes. The PicoScope 4444 has high resolution and deep memory and lets you make multiple differential measurements at the same time, while never occupying more than one power socket. Its intelligent probe interface automatically configures the PicoScope display to your probes, so you don’t have to.
True differential measurements in high resolution
The PicoScope 4444’s four D9 inputs allow you to make true differential measurements. The maximum input range at full scale is ±50 V (±1000 V using the PicoConnect 442 1000 V CAT III probe), and the maximum common-mode range is also ±50 V (also ±1000 V with the PicoConnect 442 probe). You can set the scope to measure at resolutions of 12 or 14 bits, far better than the 8-bit resolution typical of many oscilloscopes. The deep capture memory (up to 256 million samples shared by the active channels) is another advantage, allowing you to carry out long captures without lowering the sampling rate.
The two images below show a sine wave with a sawtooth interference pattern, displayed on an 8-bit PicoScope 2208B (left) and a PicoScope 4444 in 12-bit mode (right). The PicoScope 2208B has greater bandwidth and a faster sampling rate than the PicoScope 4444, but fails to resolve the fine detail of the signal. The 12-bit resolution of the PicoScope 4444 offers 16 times as much vertical detail, and its deeper capture memory of 256 MS gives it greater horizontal resolution, too.
PicoConnect 442 probe: 1000 V CAT III test leads
The PicoConnect 442 is a passive differential voltage measurement probe with 25:1 attenuation and 10 MHz bandwidth. It is rated for use up to 1000 V CAT III, and using this probe with the PicoScope 4444 is the most cost-effective way to make these measurements safely on multiple channels. With no need for a battery pack, the PicoConnect 442 is suitable for short- and longer-term voltage measurements. The probe is double-insulated to eliminate the need for a safety ground. It is fitted with shrouded 4 mm banana leads and comes with a selection of suitable test probes. Applications for this probe include testing the equipment listed for Overvoltage Category III under EN 61010-1:2010, such as measuring voltages on distribution boards, circuit breakers, and fixed socket outlets.
TA271 D9-BNC adaptor
The TA271 D9-BNC adaptor lets you use traditional differential voltage probes and current probes, and make single-ended measurements with a ground-referenced probe. It is also essential when using the TA325 and TA326 current probes.
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