I have loaded a neural network onto a Raspberry pi pico and I want to know how to connect it to the oscilloscope to measure its power consumption over time. I have the necessary components for wiring such as the breadboard, wires, and resistors but I am unsure how to connect everything. Thanks for your help!

  • 1
    not a question about Raspberry Pi ... if you have to ask, then an oscilloscope is not a suitable device for you because the oscilloscope does not measure power usage directly ... find a USB power meter
    – jsotola
    Oct 25, 2022 at 0:44
  • 1
    this is what is called an XY question ... you think that an oscilloscope is a solution to your problem, so you ask about the oscilloscope ... you should really be asking about the problem you are trying to solve
    – jsotola
    Oct 25, 2022 at 0:47
  • Please edit your question and add more details: Over what time range do you want to measure the power? Do you need a diagram? Or the peak value? Or the total energy in a time interval? What oscilloscope and what probes do you have?
    – Bodo
    Oct 25, 2022 at 16:57

2 Answers 2


In general, you should "use the proper tool for the job" - which, in this case, means you might try to find a tool that's better-suited to power measurement than an oscilloscope. Oscilloscopes, in general, measure voltage changes over time. Since power measurements require measuring both voltage and current (or being able to calculate current), you may find the oscilloscope awkward for making power measurements - unless you're lucky enough to have a full-featured scope (see @Gil's comment below).

There is another answer here that offers several alternatives for measuring power input to an RPi - they will also work for measuring power input to the Pico.

I would suggest that you first consider one of the many USB devices for this. They sit between the Pico's USB microB input connector and the USB cable you use to power it. You may find one with USB micro-b connectors; otherwise, you'll need adapters.

Let us know if you have further questions on this, but N.B. that you'll need to do your own shopping - the rules here don't support "shopping requests".

  • 2
    It depends on your scope and probes. I have a scope that will do that. I have a current probe that is sensitive to the range I need and it will measure voltage. I can use the math function and get power in watts displayed on the screen in digital format.
    – Gil
    Oct 25, 2022 at 14:00
  • @Gil: Aye - that's why I used the term in general. Sounds like a nice scope!
    – Seamus
    Oct 25, 2022 at 18:58

Easy, clamp the current probe around either the + or - power supply wires. If the trace is reversed remove the probe, flip and put back. You then place the scope vertical input on the + and the ground on -. Adjust appropriately and at this point the screen will give you current and voltage. If your scope has math functions you can program it to give you watts directly. If not multiply them, just be careful of the decimal points (they usually get me). The one I use to do this is an older model A Tek a MSO 4054. The current probes use a separate amplifier. The newer ones do not need the external amp. My scope is my most important almost-all-in-one tool. Mine is a bench model which if fine.

This solution will work with micro power devices to ultra large industrial loads, you just have to scale the probes. When mains are involved I always use a step-down transformer, all that I normally need to know is the turns ratio. You can figure that out with the scope as well.

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