Automotive Newsletter

October 2011

New Case Study: Proton Impian


A Proton Impian was suffering from intermittent starting problems, and the vehicle randomly cut out. This caused the engine warning light to illuminate. The first stage of the investigation was to use a diagnostic tool and obtain any ‘DTC’ (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) information and relevant data from the ECU. However, when this was tried, there was no communication with the scan tool. At this point it was unknown whether the scan tool or the ECU of the vehicle was at fault. Read on and see the outcome of the investigation, and the reason for the reported issues.

Read ‘Proton Impian’

Competition Time! Do you fancy a 4223?


This month we have a PicoScope 4223 worth £499 up for grabs! What do you have to do… well simply follow the link below, and complete our survey. Why do you need a 4223?…Well 2 channels, 80 MS/s sampling rate, 20 MHz bandwidth, voltage ranges from ±50 mV  to ±100 V, and all of this portable due to no external power supply being required! Install your free software, plug your included USB lead into your laptop and the 4223, and you’re away! Why wouldn’t you? You only have till the 25th November, and the lucky winner will be announced in November’s newsletter!

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:

Oscilloscope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by CES) 
8/9 November 2011
Chester, England

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course
14/15 December 2011
Weybridge, London, England

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
6th January 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 contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Best of the Web


On 22nd November, MotorAge (along with Delphi) are hosting a live, FREE webinar. They’ll be sharing tips on using a scope for fuel system diagnostics, including the use of our WPS Pressure Transducer, mated with a low amp clamp, and of course an automotive PicoScope. 

Pete Meier from Motor Age magazine has put together many videos in a series named “The Trainer”. This set of videos covers topics such as the importance of gathering information first, detecting air conditioning leaks, and performing routine maintenance.

In our “New Features in PicoScope 6.6” video, one of our Technical Specialists gives guidance on using some of the new features available in PicoScope 6. Although the video is not specific to automotive diagnostics, it does contain many hints and tips that you may find useful.

Our full collection of videos can be found in our automotive library.

Questions and Answers

This question appeared recently on our discussion forum:

Q. Please help on capturing two signals?
I want to capture two signals: 1. Injector signal, negative pulsed, and 2. COP, positively pulsed 4 volts. Is there a way to do this?

A. Hi, Please download this psdata file which should suit your requirements.

In terms of set up:

Channel A (blue) has been set up to look at 100 V  Signal, common injectors can vary between 60 — 80 Volts so 100 V  range should comfortably accommodate the one you wish to capture. It has been set up with the X20 probe in conjunction with using the 20:1 attenuator as you haven’t mentioned which Automotive PicoScope you have, so this will protect the oscilloscope’s input if you’re using an older 200 series or 3000 series PicoScope.

Hardware wise you need to set Channel A up as follows using the following accessories:

SCOPE > 20:1 Attenuator > BNC to 4 mm  Test Lead > Acupuncture Probe

Channel B (red) has been set up to look at a 5 V  signal. This will appear in the lower half of the screen and this should give you in which I’m assuming is the trigger signal for the COP Unit.

Hardware wise you need to set Channel B up as follows using the following accessories:

SCOPE > BNC to 4 mm  Test Lead > Acupuncture Probe

The timebase has been set up to 20 ms/div. This should hopefully give you 2 Injector signals on the screen i.e. 720 degrees of engine rotation in which you can also see the trigger signals. I have also added a repeat trigger to channel A so this should hold the signal steady to make it easy for you to look at. If for any reason you can't get an Injector or COP signal and the connections you have made are all good, then simply switch the trigger off as it may not be right for the particular engine you’re working with. Be advised you may need to alter the timebase according to the engine/vehicle you are working with but this should help get you on your way.


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

To make sure that your Pico newsletter reaches your inbox every month, add to your email address book or safe list. If you found this newsletter useful, please recommend it to your friends and colleagues. Back issues are available from our newsletter archive.

By subscribing to our newsletter, you agree to receive one email a month plus no more than two special announcements a year. Our use of your email address is governed by our privacy policy.

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
Facebook: Pico-Technology