Pico Technology VNA software for PC, MAC, Linux and Raspberry Pi

Update: August 12, 2023
Pico Technology VNA software for PC, MAC, Linux and Raspberry Pi

Dubbed ‘PicoVNA 5’, and replacing the Windows-only PC-only ‘PicoVNA 3’ software, it “will run at speed on Linux, Windows and macOS, and PCs, Macs, and embedded systems, including Raspberry Pi 3”, according to Pico Tech. “Whatever your VNA application, PicoVNA 5 brings a snappy live presentation of your measurements, your instrument status and your controls, with minimal clutter.”

“Using a drag and snap view port grid, arrange your measurement plots, single or dual axes, across as many individually sized, shaped and positioned plot channels as you wish,” it continued. “At any monitor size and resolution, you can keep a user-configured eye to all the live and stored trace plots that you need” and “an arbitrary mix of frequency and time domain plots.”

PicoVNA 5 Previous (PicoVNA 3)
operating systems Linux*
Windows 7+
macOS 11 (Big Sur)+
Windows 7+ only
host hardware PC
Mac (Intel/Arm),
Linux AArchh64 onwards
Raspberry Pi 3 onwards 64bit
PC only
display resolution Any Limited re-scaling to monitor aspect and resolution
development environment Ground-up design.
Compatible with older computer hardware
Makes use of modern hardware data processing
Designed for expansion
Legacy MSWindows design environment and toolset

*Tested on Debian 8 Jessie, Ubuntu 18.04 (LTS), Mint Cinnamon Vera, openSUSE Leap 15.0, Fedora 28, Arch Linux. Pico Tech said: “No problems anticipated on other distributions.”

On-plot parameter controls give direct access to sensitivities, offsets, reference positions and sweep or time domain parameters – and plot type (log, lin, Smith, polar, phase) can be changed.

On-trace cursor readouts present under mouse or touch hover, allowing trace marker drop with a single click. Drag or click the marker again to edit the marker, its type, its position, its grouping, and the multiple parameter or delta readouts.

Within each plot, the user can add a second axis, maximise the plot, add a zoom of frequency or time span, or a use a live spy-glass magnified view. “Now you really can see just how tight your impedance matching is on your Smith chart,” said Pico Tech.

Displayed traces and marker readouts are vector or linear interpolated when not snapped to a measure point, and the user has access to interpolation alternatives to optimise between point plot and measurement integrity.

“Most frequent instrument operations are covered without any need to find an off-plot menu,” said the company, adding that menus will sometimes spontaneously appear under the mouse or touch point.

Networked remote or mirrored operation is supported on the user interface for collaborative working, and the software can be used without VNA hardware connected.

“Programmer command and retrieve access to PicoVNA 5 has been designed for fast data transfer, familiar SCPI, and multiple simultaneous user interface access points,” said Pico Tech, which has a Git-hub repository for a set of SCPI and API SDK examples for Matlab, Labview, Python, C, C# and C++.

The PicoVNA 5 product page can be found here

View more : IGBT modules | LCD displays | Electronic Components