Automotive Newsletter

August 2014

Waveform Library and Competition news!

Our Waveform Library feature in PicoScope 6 Automotive is growing at a superb rate, with over 530 waveforms now available.

To access the Waveform Library you must have an automotive scope connected and have a valid user name and password for the Pico Automotive forum.

Waveform Library Competition

All the waveforms uploaded to the database before midnight on July 31st were entered into a draw for 10 chances to win a voucher worth GBP100 / USD165 / EUR121. This voucher can only be used when ordering direct from Pico Technology, and there is no cash alternative.

One of the most useful types of waveform is CAM vs CRANK. Due to this we stated 5 of the 10 vouchers will be awarded to people who have uploaded this type of waveform. The following waveforms were chosen at random. Each name listed below will receive a PM on the automotive forum, with details on how to claim your voucher.

Cam and Crank Winners

  • LucaB: Opel Corsa D
  • Sherlock: Fiat 500
  • Daniel R Knudsen: Audi A6
  • Arjen: Ford Focus
  • RyanH: Chevrolet Silverado

Other Winners

  • Sherlock: Buick Verano
  • Paulnick: Buick Roadmaster
  • Karl Winter (KarlW): Ford E-Series Van
  • Sherlock: Fiat 500
  • Arjen: Fiat Stilo

Wait, there's more..

To further support the growth of the Waveform Library, all waveforms uploaded between midnight on August 31st, and midnight on Septmber 30th will be entered into a draw for another 10 chances to win a voucher worth GBP100 / USD165 / EUR121. This voucher can only be used when ordering direct from Pico Technology, and there is no cash alternative.

We will stick with the theme of CAM and CRANK, again offering 5 of the 10 vouchers to people who have uploaded this type of waveform.

Upcoming events and exhibitions

Automechanika Frankfurt

Automechanika is the leading international meeting place for the automobile sector. As the world's biggest trade fair for the automotive aftermarket, the Automechanika spotlights innovations and solutions in the fields of parts, systems, tuning, workshop equipment, bodywork and paintwork, car wash, IT and management and the latest automobile services. Back in 2012 Automechanika Frankfurt attracted over 4500 exhibitors, and over 147000 visitors over the 5 day period.

Pico will be at the show in 2014 with our latest innovative products and accessories (such as our new 10:1 attenuator) so if you are attending, why not come and see us in Hall 8.0, stand H61.

Inter Cars Expo

This is the 14th Exhibition Fair of Spare Parts, Tools and Garage Equipment. Inter Cars SA has invited all its customers and suppliers to participate in this unique and unforgettable event. The event takes place between 5th and 7th of September 2014, at Warsaw-Bemowo Airport.

This is the only opportunity during 2014 to get to see and know a wide and specially prepared selection of products. Nearly 200 other exhibitors shall be presenting their offer besides Inter Cars SA., so a great chance to gain market advantage by contact with most modern products and technology.

Pico will be at the show with our latest innovative products and accessories so if you are attending, why not come and see us.

Autonet Mobility Show - Bucharest

The 3rd Autonet show of 2014 takes place in Bucharest and will follow the great success seen at the Cluj Napoca and Budpest shows.

The event takes place between 24th and 25th of October 2014, at the Romaero Baneasa exhibition center. Pico will be at the show with our latest innovative products and accessories so if you are attending, why not come and see us.

An NVH question from the forum


LucaB recently asked a question on our support forum, relating to our NVH sensor.

I have seen this sensor, my question is: What diagnose exactly with this sensor? What help can I give? I see frequency of a noise, but then how do I know if the injectors, valves, wheel bearings, gearbox, etc?

Steve Smith replies:

This is a very loaded question as NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness) is a specialist area of engineering that requires some homework and study to understand the foundation on which the tool operates.
Having said that, it is no more difficult than the oscilloscope which I am sure when you first started using raised more questions than answers.

The NVH tool and software will enable you view the strength or amplitude of a vibration, relative to the speed or frequency at which a component rotates.
Think about the oscilloscope and how we look at the amplitude of a voltage (y axis) relative to time (x axis).
The NVH software changes the time base to represent "frequency" along the x axis and changes the amplitude to show the strength of a vibration (y axis). This is called "Spectrum mode" and you can see an example of a spectrum view from your PicoScope 6 automotive software.

Please do not despair at this point as all will become clear. It is vitally important to grasp the information above because with this foundation in place you can then interpret the results obtained.
So how does the NVH tool help me find the location of vibration and noise?

A vital piece of information here, Sound and Vibration are one and the same! In other words, sound is simply a vibration you can hear, vibration is a sound you can feel....

To continue reading Steve's reply, please refer to the full thread on the Pico Automotive forum.

Tech Tip: USB 2.0 Cable length and extensions


Steve Smith, our Automotive Applications Specialist has been asked a few times about extending the length of our USB cables. This need may arise due to using scopes in a workshop, or where instructors have a vehicle in a workshop and students in a classroom. Here is Steve's Tech Tip:

There is a general acceptance in the field of USB 2.0 communication that the absolute maximum USB cable length that can be utilised is approximately 5 metres before the integrity of the power supply and data begins to suffer (5 meters being the industry standard).
Given our scopes are powered via the USB, we have to err on the side of caution and for this reason we have opted to manufacture a longer 4.5 m lead. Speaking with colleagues, 10 meters has been suggested as OK for communication via USB but again this has not been confirmed or tested.

Utilising a powered USB 2.0 hub does give the option to use 2 x 4.5 meter blue USB cables that may help customers achieve an approximate extension of 10 m. We strongly suggest using the blue Pico USB leads as they are a high quality cable, containing additional strands of wire, and have improved grounding. This ensures the integrity of the signals measured during transfer to the PC (Low noise level). Please do not be tempted to use non-Pico USB leads. Alternatively you could use the 1.8 meter Pico blue USB lead on one side of the powered USB 2.0 hub, reducing the total extension length to 6.3 meters.

The blue USB leads can be found on the test lead page of

Training courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a PicoScope Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn't miss the Professional Diagnostics Ltd engine management diagnostics course. This two-day official Pico Technology course introduces the basic working principles of engine management systems, component testing and system diagnostics using oscilloscopes. The course is split between class-based theory sessions, and practical demonstrations in a workshop using the PicoScope Automotive Diagnostics Kit. The two day course includes everything you need to get the best from an oscilloscope.

Please contact Professional Diagnostics Ltd via their contact form to register interest. Please state your location and training needs when completing the form. Alternatively you can call 07881 555385 or visit for more information.

A certificate of completion from Pico Technology Ltd will be presented to qualifying delegates. The courses run from 9am to 5pm with an hour for lunch (lunch is included in the booking fee).

There are training courses planned later in 2014, at the following locations:

  • Bedford, England
  • Bournemouth, England
  • Spennymoor, County Durham, Scotland
  • Glasgow, Scotland
  • Warwickshire, England
  • Honiton (Exeter), England
  • Lancaster, England

Please contact ProDiag via their contact form to register interest in any of their training courses.

Autonerdz, a Pico distributor based in North America, delivers PicoScope Oscilloscope Training both at its headquarters located in Olympia WA, and online. The following date is currently available:

PicoScope Hands-On Class
12th September, 2014
4715 Fir Tree Rd SE, Olympia, WA USA 98501 (Autonerdz Training Center)

For further information, or to register early, call Autonerdz on 877-628-4899 FREE (Toll Free USA and Canada) or via email.

PCB Automotive, a Pico distributor based in Italy, are taking their PicoScope training courses on tour. The following dates and locations are available:

PicoScope Class: Sicily
September 25th Level I
September 26th Level II
September 27th Level III

For more information please visit the PCB Auto events webpage, or email them directly.


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.

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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)

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