Review: IkaScope WS200 wireless oscilloscope probe

March 1, 2018 | 13:55
Review: IkaScope WS200 wireless oscilloscope probe
Review: IkaScope WS200 wireless oscilloscope probe
With test equipment such as oscilloscopes, innovations usually come at a slow pace and there is rarely anything really new. However, the IkaScope from the French company Ikalogic – mainly known for their logic analysers – has some features that I have never seen before in my long career as a product reviewer. That means it’s time to get better acquainted with this unusual device.

Hardware

The IkaScope is shaped like a broad pen and weighs just 60 gram. Removing the protective cap reveals the probe tip. The probe communicates via Wi-Fi with a PC, tablet or smartphone. There is no on/off button; on the rear there are just two LED indicators and a micro USB connector for charging the built-in battery. The sharp carbide tip of the IkaScope also acts as a power switch for the entire device. Ikalogic has patented this under the name ‘ProbeClick’, but in fact it is simply a pushbutton switch mounted at the other end of the probe pin.
You use the IkaScope by grasping it firmly and pressing the probe tip against a point in the circuit where you want to make a measurement, causing the tip to be pushed in slightly. That switches on the IkaScope electronics, and then the pen looks for a Wi-Fi link to a PC, tablet or smartphone to deliver its measurement data. When you lift the probe tip, the scope image is frozen and saved.

Software

Screenshot of the oscilloscope display
with some cursor lines.
The associated measurement software is available for virtually all current types of computer: PCs with Windows, Linux or MacOS, and tablets or smartphones with Android or iOS. The user interface is virtually the same on all systems. The measured signal occupies most of the screen (window), just like other oscilloscope programs. The usual control knobs for functions such as triggering, signal attenuation and time base are located at the side and bottom edges.
At the top left you can see which IkaScope pen the program is connected to. You can also use that button to select the type of network you want to use. By default the IkaScope sets up its own Wi-Fi network (soft AP), but you can also use your own home or company network by logging in to it in the program. In that case access to the measurement data sent by the pen is not limited to Wi-Fi devices; any computer connected over Ethernet can also see it.
 
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