Mixed signal oscilloscopes are a very useful tool when it comes to investigating digital or logic boards. Mixed signal oscilloscopes combine the traditional oscilloscope functionality with additional inputs that are able to detect the logic state of additional nodes.
In just the same way that oscilloscopes can be linked to a computer via a USB interface, so too it is possible to have USB mixed signal oscilloscopes, or USB MSOs.
Mixed signal oscilloscope basics
The PicoScope MSOs conform tot the same basic concepts as other MSOs. They provide detailed analogue channels and alongside these they provide the logic state traces. Accordingly the PicoScope MSOs allow multiple time-aligned digital and analogue waveforms to be displayed on a single display.
This is partocaulrly useful when investigating embedded systems such as microcontroller circuits.
It has been found that many electronic design engineers, and particularly embedded developers prefer a mixed signal oscilloscope like the PicoScope MSO series to a full logic analyzer as the MSO is simpler to set up, and it also has the capability to look at analogue waveforms.
Unless high channel counts are necessary, the 16 logic channels combined with the two or four analogue channels provided by the PicoScope MSOs are much to be preferred. The instrument is able to perform analogue measurements of waveforms which a logic analyzer is unable to do, and 16 logic channels is often more than sufficient.