Automotive Newsletter

March 2012

Competition Announcement!


This month we are launching a new competition where you, our readers can win up to £200 worth of credit vouchers to spend on Automotive Pico Technology products when buying direct.

What do you have to do? Simply navigate to the Case Studies section of our forum and tell us about your investigations and success stories when using our products. We will award the credit to whom we believe submits the best quality case study. To improve your chances of being chosen, your submission should have a clear explanation of the task, and include photos and PicoScope screen captures.

New Case Study: Ford Windstar

This month we have a Case Study from Rich Barton of Iowa, courtesy of iATN. This 1996 Ford Windstar minivan that ran well when cold, but misfired badly when warmed up. Using scan tools gave mixed results, but a toolkit consisting of our Pico Diagnostics software, PicoScope oscilloscope and FirstLook sensor helped Rich to pinpoint the fault.

View the Ford Windstar case study

Best of the Web

Pete Meier from Motor Age magazine has produced many useful videos, showing how he uses his Automotive PicoScope. This month we feature his Fuel System Diagnostic Tips video, from his successful series of “The Trainer” videos.

Motor Age magazine will be hosting a live webcast on testing engine mechanical health. They’ll be using a PicoScope, WPS500 transducer and a FirstLook tailpipe sensor. The training is offered free, but you need to register. It takes place on May 31st at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (April 1st at 1 a.m. GMT) and is live on the car. This allows the audience to ask questions and participate during the webcast. As with all of the Motor Age webcasts, the recorded session will be uploaded for viewing at a later date.

Here we have a video on YouTube from Paul Denner of Engine Performance Diagnostics. The video covers “Solenoid Type IAC Test using a Picoscope” and is intended to complement the Automotive How-To section of the oscilloscope. Automotive Picoscope users as well as those who use other types of scopes will find the information contained in this video helpful.

Our very own collection of informative videos can be found in our automotive library.

Featured Product


With the Mixmaster 12–channel automotive signal mixer you can view an ignition parade display of up to 12 cylinders using a single channel of your lab scope. If you have a two–channel scope, then Mixmaster can also display 2 engine banks separately with up to 6 cylinders per bank. Mixmaster includes a trigger output, derived from one of the 12 input signals, which can be used to synchronise the scope to a known cylinder. Additionally, Mixmaster features a simple switch so you can invert a bank of signals to deal with negative–going signals on wasted-spark systems.

Designed for use with the Automotive Oscilloscope Kit, Mixmaster can also be used on virtually any other lab scope, and can be used on both DIS and distributor ignition systems. Mixmaster is battery powered and includes a low-battery indicator. The shockproof rubber case makes Mixmaster suitable for heavy–duty workshop use and incorporates a handy stand to make it easier to use. Mixmaster is supplied with three BNC leads to connect to the oscilloscope, an engine–block ground lead, and a set of 4 short secondary ignition leads. Additional packs of secondary ignition leads can be purchased separately. Mixmaster is a cost–effective way to display parade ignition waveforms on your lab scope. Compact and battery powered, it is ideal for mobile automotive diagnostics, and makes a valuable and inexpensive addition to your tool kit.

View detailed specifications and order your Mixmaster today

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

Please see our events page for the latest information about forthcoming exhibitions, courses and other events.

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss the Professional Diagnostics Ltd Engine Management Diagnostics course. 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 class–based theory sessions and practical demonstrations in a workshop using the Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and the following dates are currently available:

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Weekend)
28/29 April 2012
Bedford, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by ALS)
17/18 May 2012
Exeter, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Weekend)
26/27 May 2012
Glasgow, Scotland

Places are limited, so please call 07881 555385 to reserve your place, or visit for more information.

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

PicoScope Hands On Class
18 May 2012
4715 Fir Tree Rd SE, Olympia, WA, USA 98501 (Autonerdz Training Center)

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

Diagnostic Solutions, a Pico distributor based in Ireland, delivers PicoScope Oscilloscope Training in Dublin. Please email for further information


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)

Web technical support:
Twitter: picotech
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