Automotive Newsletter

April 2008

Newsletter April 2008

In the latest instalment of our “Real-Life Diagnostics” series, professional motor mechanic Nick Hibberd tracks down a no-start fault in a SEAT Arosa. With no DTCs to point him in the right direction, Nick relies on his PicoScope oscilloscope to trace the problem. His search begins with the injectors but then leads deeper into the electrical system. Illustrated with ‘before’ and ‘after’ scope patterns and circuit diagrams, this article is a valuable lesson in using a scope to diagnose obscure and intermittent faults.

Read “Take a SEAT” by Nick Hibberd

Technical Information and Tips

Here is a quick tip for those of you who have updated to PicoScope 6.

Have you noticed the “32 of 32” box at the top of the screen? This is the buffer navigation toolbar, and clicking on the arrows allows you to select a waveform from a buffer. So how is this useful? Well, perhaps you are trying to capture a particular signal that may be intermittent, something like a crank sensor with a suspected bad connection – but just when you recreate it the screen redraws. No problem: with the frame buffer, just stop the trace as soon as you can and click back through the previous screens!

Here’s a summary of the latest technical resources that you can find, free of charge, on our website.

  • Library of waveforms captured using the Automotive Diagnostics Kit
  • 10 engine management tutorials
  • 11 Real-Life Diagnostics stories from professional motor mechanic Nick Hibberd
  • 8 application notes on technical subjects of interest to automotive diagnosticians
  • PicoScope Automotive Oscilloscope Guide. Almost one hour long, this video guide contains everything from what an oscilloscope is and why you need one, to how to run simple tests and take measurements.

We Have a New Team Member

The automotive team would like to take this opportunity to welcome Matt Williams, who has taken the position of Automotive Technical Specialist within the company. He will be available for all technical queries relating to the automotive Pico equipment, so if you have any suggestions or queries please use the details at the bottom of the newsletter to contact him.

Pricing and Ordering

If you are thinking of buying a new kit or recommending one to a friend or colleague, now is the time!

We have held our prices since the product’s introduction but, unfortunately, due to ever-increasing costs, we are introducing a 6% price increase across all automotive kits.

The good news, however, is that you have until the 1st May 2008 to purchase at the current prices!

Engine Management Diagnostics Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine Management Diagnostics course. This provides expert training on the fundamentals of engine management diagnostics, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course is run several times a year around the UK.

These courses are popular, so book your course now!

Training Courses Next Month

Engine Management Diagnostics using PicoScope

Preston College, Preston, Lancashire
20-21 May 2008

This two-day course introduces the basic working principles of engine management systems, component testing and system diagnostics using oscilloscopes. The course is split between theory sessions and practical demonstrations in a workshop using the Pico Automotive Diagnostic Kit on engine rigs.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Training Dates

Visit the exhibitions page at for full details of upcoming exhibitions and training dates.

Employment Opportunities

Due to our continuing growth, we have vacancies for the following positions:

  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Windows Desktop Application Software
  • Development Engineer - Windows Device Driver Software

We look forward to hearing from you if you want to be part of a growing company at the leading edge of test equipment design.


Please visit Pico Exhibitions for the latest list of exhibitions and trade shows that Pico and its representatives will be attending.

We're hiring!

Thanks to our continuing success and growth Pico are always seeking talented people to join our company.

Please visit to see our current vacancies. We look forward to hearing from you!

Software releases

Our latest software releases are available as free downloads. To check which release you are using, start the software and select Help > About.

About this newsletter

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Contact details

Pico Technology, James House, Colmworth Business Park, St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, PE19 8YP, England
Tel.: 01480 396395 (+44 1480 396395)
Fax: 01480 396296 (+44 1480 396296)

Pico Technology North America Inc.
320 N Glenwood Blvd.
TX 75702
United States
Tel:+1 800 591 2796 (Toll Free)
Fax:+1 620 272 0981

Web technical support:
Twitter: picotech
Facebook: Pico-Technology