Automotive Newsletter

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015 - VW Polo with misleading fault codes

September 2015

August 2015 PicoScope kit comparisons online

July 2015 - New Pico Automotive website

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014 - ScannerDanner Video Case Study

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013 - Best of the Web and PicoScope technical tips

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

October 2010

August 2010

June 2010

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

July/August 2009

June 2009 - PicoScope 4423 product test

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

November 2008

October 2008

September 2008

August 2008

July 2008

June 2008

May 2008 - PicosScope training and tips

April 2008

February 2008 - Pico moves to a new building

Newsletter January 2017

Guided Test: WPS500X – Turbocharger operation

The purpose of this test is to rapidly confirm the operation of the turbocharger; from idle speed through to a wide open throttle (WOT) snap test, and returning to idle speed.

This procedure is not a definitive test for your turbocharger. It does, however, confirm the presence of a positive pressure (above atmospheric) during the WOT snap test, confirming the rotation of the turbine and compressor shaft.
Read the Guided Test >

Guided Test language options


Our Guided Tests are now available online in five different languages.
Using the Language selection button , you can choose your desired language from the drop-down menu. Currently available languages are: French, German, Italian, Spanish, and English.

See our Guided Tests >

New product releases

This month we have launched some new accessory kits and some smaller accessories. The new kits include our WPS500X Low pressure fuel kit, which is also featured in this month's focus piece, the WPS500X Diesel glow plug adaptor kit, and our brand new premium breakout leads.

You can find information on these and our other new products on our News page.
See the new products >

Best of the web

Frank Massey's Top ten tests with PicoScope: Test 8
Pico and Frank Massey of ADS Limited bring you Frank's eighth test in his "Top ten tests with PicoScope" series.

This month, Frank is looking at the function of the electronic control unit and hydraulic pump performance.
Watch the video >
Eric from South Main Auto Repair runs through a PicoScope Guided Test – Inductive floating crankshaft sensor AT428.

 
Watch the video >
Our friends over at Garage Wire recently published a Case Study on "Why it's not always a safe bet fitting cheap parts".

The case study discusses the use of PicoScope to measure the O2 sensor, throttle position sensor and airflow performance.
Read the article >

Product focus – Sight Block

The introduction of the Pico Sight Block this January opens up another level of diagnostic capability to the WPS500X. This accessory is extremely useful when you are looking for air in low-pressure diesel systems.
Read the full piece >

Training

We have a collection of some of the best material for new users to reference and learn how to use their Automotive PicoScope. To view this content please visit the training section of our website.

For a list of Pico-endorsed trainers, please visit the UK, US or German trainers page.

Newsletter December 2016

The best of 2016

Case Studies

Part of our job at Pico Technology is to support our customers and distributors across the world. Over the years we have published many Case Studies where the PicoScope automotive oscilloscope is used to diagnose vehicle faults. Fault-finding procedures, detailed explanations of components and systems, and high-performance automobiles make this high-octane series a must read. 

These Case Studies help our users understand both how and why we test new components or systems on problem vehicles.

This year we have added another few Case Studies to our Library.  A Honda CR-V with severe hesitation, a BMW that juddered at low speed and a Jaguar X-type with severe power loss. 
See all our Case Studies >
 
 
 
Guided Tests
We have brought you four new Guided Tests this year:
  • Parasitic battery drain 
  • In-cylinder cranking compression test for petrol engines
  • Bosch LSU 4.2 broadband oxygen sensor
  • Common rail diesel injector back-leakage testing
These will naturally be deployed in a future release of the PicoScope software, but for now, you can find them on our website.

We have over 150 Guided Tests within our PicoScope software: you can find them under the Automotive menu. The Guided Tests will set the scope settings and provide you with a help file that not only gives connection details but technical information and test theory too.
See all our Guided Tests >

Videos

Videos

Frank Massey's Top ten tests with PicoScope: Test 7
Pico and Frank Massey of ADS Limited bring you Frank's seventh test in his "Top ten tests with PicoScope" series.

This month, Frank is looking at common rail pressure sensor testing with the performance of the high-pressure pump under full load. 

Did you know that 
if you have missed any of Frank's videos, you can see them all on our YouTube channel?
 
  PicoScope Automotive
Watch the video >
 
In March, ScannerDanner published this video. It is a very hands-on video that shows the diagnosis of a non-starting pre-1996 car.  He guides you through the thought process and the simple tests to find the problem.
In September, we published Frank Massey's fourth video. It covers wide band lambda and is great for system evaluation. Frank discusses the theory of the test, what is being tested and the simplicity of using a scope for this test.

What do you want for Christmas?

It is that time of year where we all wonder if we've been good or bad enough for Christmas presents. Well, if you have been good, you might be interested in our line of Automotive accessories. 

Our vast selection of accessories ranges from the small to the big, from the cost-effective to the premium, and everything in between. Whether you require a replacement S-hook for £2, an assorted set of the ever-useful Gear Ties for £11, or our widely used and praised WPS500X Pressure Transducer for £529, we have what you wish for.
 
The question is:
What do you want for Christmas? >
 

Looking back at 2016 shows and events

By Phil Rutt

    Over this last year,  the Pico Automotive team have participated in 34 trade shows in 10 different countries, either with distributors or with our own stand. This part of our business is very important to us, and we are grateful for the time we get to discuss our products with our visitors. If you are interested in some of our Pico products, why not come and find one of us at an event? We will be happy to help you and answer your questions. 

We are already planning next year's events and are looking forward to meeting you.

For more information about the upcoming shows and events, please see the Exhibitions page on our website.
 
 

Training

We have a collection of some of the best material for new users to reference and learn how to use their Automotive PicoScope. To view this content please visit the training section of our website.

For a list of Pico-endorsed trainers, please visit the UK, US or German trainers page.

Newsletter November 2016

Guided Test: Common rail diesel injector back-leakage testing

This month we present a Guided Test from Steve Smith, testing a Common rail diesel injector for back leakage.

This Guided Test will be included in a future update of our PicoScope 6 Automotive software, but you can find the full test on our website right now.

The purpose of this test is to evaluate each common rail diesel injector’s contribution to back leakage pressure and balance.

How to perform the test

Accessories

1. BNC to BNC cable
2. WPS500X pressure transducer
3. TA085 Vacuum hose
4. TA129 Vacuum adaptor
5. TA189 30 A current clamp

PicoScope settings

Channel A:
30 A Current clamp
Input range -5 to 20 A

Channel B:
WPS500X Range 3
± 69 mbar
Timebase 20 ms/div

The WPS500X pressure transducer requires a single connection to the spill pipework, at the point where all injector back leakage returns to the fuel tank. All injector leak off will, therefore, pass through...

Read the complete Guided Test >

Videos

 
Videos
NVH Road test
Discover our newest video covering NVH, featuring our very own Steve Smith. He talks about our NVH kit and completes a 3-axis vibration measurement.


 
Watch the video >
Frank Massey's Top ten tests with PicoScope: Test 6
Pico and Frank Massey of ADS Limited bring you Frank's sixth test in his "Top ten tests with PicoScope" series.

This month: Power, ground, current.
Watch the video >

New Beta version of PicoScope 6 Automotive

   A new and improved Beta version of PicoScope Automotive is now available to download on our website. This update brings with it some updated features, but the first thing you will notice is the improved user interface.
The PicoScope 6 Automotive user interface has been updated to support our customers who use PicoScope on touchscreen devices. The new interface incorporates new Increase and Decrease buttons for various PicoScope settings, and a grid menu for Collection Time and Input Range selection.

In addition to the user interface update, there are also updates to Serial Decoding. Packet Fields have now been integrated, along with an update to the Serial Decoding interface itself.

Remember: Downloading and installing PicoScope 6 Automotive Beta will also give you our latest PicoDiagnostics Beta. See below for more information on the PicoDiagnostics update.


Please note that releases from 6.12.1 onwards will not support Windows XP or Vista. Windows 7 and later is the minimum requirement. Users of older operating systems will need to remain on 6.11 versions of the software.
Download the new software >

PicoDiagnostics Beta – NVH features


Along with PicoScope Automotive, you also get a new Beta version of PicoDiagnostics. In this build of PicoDiagnostics, you will find several improvements and new features in the NVH test.

The main updates are:
  • Filter improvements
  • OBD PID Functionality added
  • Time domain
  • Function generator
  • Strobe light is now part of the function generator
  • G-scaling
  • Harmonic markers, up to 64 can be added
  • Microphone playback improvements to combine all channels in view into a single audio channel
 
Read more >

MECHANEX at Sandown Park

 
By Phil Rutt

On a sunny Tuesday morning, I was standing looking out across the racecourse at Sandown Park. We were prepped and ready for the Mechanex Sandown show.

This two-day event was supported by exhibitors from the automotive industry, with live seminars by guest speakers, Frank Massey and James Dillion.

Pico Technology had a 3 x 4-meter stand, displaying our complete automotive kits, our Sonic tool box solutions (which also work with other tool box solutions) and a selection of OEM branded scopes.

The stand was manned by myself and co-support engineer, Steve smith, assisting customers with inquiries on both software and hardware. We were supported by marketing assistant Samantha Graham, on-site to research stand design and media marketing.

During the two days, the event was visited by 1714 people.

 

Training

We have a collection of some of the best material for new users to reference and learn how to use their Automotive PicoScope. To view this content please visit the training section of our website.

For a list of Pico-endorsed trainers, please visit the UK, US or German trainers page.

Newsletter October 2016

Guided Test: Bosch LSU 4.2 broadband oxygen sensor

This month we present a Guided Test from Steve Smith, testing a Bosch LSU 4.2 broadband oxygen sensor.

This Guided Test will be included in a future update of our PicoScope 6 Automotive software, but you can find the full test on our website right now.

The purpose of this test is to evaluate the operation of a Bosch LSU 4.2 oxygen sensor (pre-catalyst) in relation to the air-fuel ratio using the voltage drop method.

How to perform the test

Accessories

1: 1 x TA125 Test lead
2: 1 X TA126 Test lead
3: 1 X TA127 Test lead
4: 1 x TA018 Current clamp
5: 1 x 6 way Universal breakout lead set (required size may vary)



PicoScope settings
ChA : x1 Test lead ±1 V
ChB : x1 Test lead ± 1 V
ChC : x1 Test lead ±20 V
ChD : 20/60 A current clamp ± 2 A
Timebase: 1 s/div
Sample count: 1 MS (min.)

Note: The correct operation of the oxygen sensor depends on:

  • the temperature of the sensing tip
  • the mechanical condition of the engine
  • fuel quality
  • engine temperature
  • the external environment of the sensor (contamination)
  • the integrity of the engine management system
The following procedure assumes that the conditions mentioned above are all in order and the oxygen sensor is functioning correctly. Any failures identified with the operation of the oxygen sensor while... 
 
Read the complete Guided Test >

Frank Massey's Top ten tests with PicoScope: Test 5

Pico and Frank Massey of ADS Limited bring you Frank's fifth test in his "Top ten tests with PicoScope" series.

This month: ignition profiling.

Product focus: Test leads


Did you know that Pico provides a variety of different length leads (including USB) for your scope?
 
Check out Phil Rutt's product focus piece this month.

Best of the web – YouTube video

Intermittent No Start - Fuel Pump Current Ramping

New PicoScope user Eric O, owns and operates a small town shop in upstate New York, South Main Auto Repair.

In this video Eric discusses the importance of knowing why you are changing a part, and being 100% sure it is at fault. Eric looks at a Jeep Grand Cherokee that has a no start condition (unless you bang on the gas tank). To be 100% sure of his assessment, Eric uses his PicoScope (advanced kit) and gathers a current ramp of the fuel pump, showing the difference between the new one and the old one.

To subscribe to Eric's channel follow this link to his YouTube account: South Main Auto Repair.

Waveform Library

The waveform library first appeared in our PicoScope 6 Automotive software in June 2014. Since then, over 2750 waveforms have been added to the library by users from around the world.

Having access to this ever-growing library of reference waveforms that covers a multitude of vehicles, engines and fuel types is invaluable. The Waveform Library currently lives under the File menu within PicoScope. It can be accessed using the same login credentials you use to access our Support forum
New users can easily register using just an email address and, with their
PicoScope connected, access the Waveform library via the software (assuming
an internet connection is present).

For more information on this fantastic software feature please view our Waveform library page.

Training

We have a collection of some of the best material for new users to reference and learn how to use their Automotive PicoScope. To view this content please visit the training section of our website.

For a list of Pico-endorsed trainers, please visit the UK, US or German trainers page.

Newsletter September 2016

Richard Boyd

In memory of

Richard Boyd
1986 – 2016

We are deeply upset by the sad loss of Richard, who was a key member of the Pico family and worked in our North American office for 11 years. We will all miss his knowledge, enthusiasm, friendship and lively sense of humor. Our thoughts are with Richard's family and friends at this difficult time.

Guided Test: In-cylinder cranking compression test for petrol engines

This month Steve Smith has put together a superb Guided Test on in-cylinder cranking compression of a petrol engine using our WPS500X pressure transducer.

This Guided Test will be included in a future update of our PicoScope 6 Automotive software, but you can find the full test on our website right now.

The purpose of this test is to evaluate the cylinder efficiency of a petrol engine through 720° of crankshaft rotation during cranking. The Pico standard compression hose used during this test does not contain a Schrader valve, therefore the rise and fall in cylinder pressures will be recorded relative to crankshaft position.

How to perform the test

PicoScope settings

Channel A: 1 x WPS500X (Range 1) @ -2 .. 14 bar
Timebase: 500 ms/div

Note: Cylinder efficiency is dependent upon: cranking speed, adequate intake and exhaust flow, correct valve timing and the mechanical condition of the engine.

During the various stages of crankshaft rotation, cylinder pressures may be either positive or negative. For the purpose of our test, Atmospheric pressure = 0 bar, therefore any value above 0 bar relates to positive pressure, and any value below 0 bar relates to negative pressure (vacuum).

Note: Engine must be prohibited from starting and fuel injection is cut from all cylinders.

Read the complete Guided Test >

Frank Massey's Top ten tests with PicoScope: Test 4

Pico and Frank Massey of ADS Limited bring you Frank's fourth test in his "Top ten tests with PicoScope" series.

Product focus: M18 Adaptor

Phil Rutt gives a short product focus piece and links to an example of the WPS500X M18 adaptor in use.
 

Read on >

Automechanika Frankfurt 2016

 
What a show Automechanika Frankfurt was this year! Official stats say 136,000 visitors from all over the globe met, talked and built relationships with a record-breaking 4820 exhibitors.
Pico's stand was very busy, with visitors from more than 60 countries coming to see us. We enjoyed meeting with so many of you, and it was really great to show the latest developments and discuss your use of PicoScope. Our NVH demonstration was front and centre, attracting lots of attention from visitors and exhibitors alike. Our Master kit was also particularly popular, with many customers placing orders as soon as they returned to the office. Between distributor meetings, technical demonstrations and discussions with many end users, the Pico team was kept busy throughout the week.

Competition
If you visited us at the show you will hopefully be aware that we were running a competition to win a PicoScope 4425 Standard Kit. We are pleased to announce the winner, and huge congratulations go to:

Xavi Bosch of VAG Indauto, Spain.

The kit will be on its way very shortly, well done!

Waveform library

Our latest waveform library figures are in. The waveform library now features over 2650 waveforms!! These cover multiple vehicles, engines and fuel types. Have you uploaded your saved waveforms yet?

Training

We have a collection of some of the best material for new users to reference and learn how to use their Automotive PicoScope. To view this content please visit the training section of our website.

For a list of Pico-endorsed trainers, please visit the UK or US trainers page.

Newsletter August 2016

Introduction

A new month with new possibilities. This month our resident Automotive Specialist Steve Smith brings you a brand new Guided Test. Covering parasitic battery drain, Steve discusses both how to complete the test and how to analyze your results.

We are currently working hard preparing for our next big event, the huge international show Automechanika Frankfurt. We also have a new product focus piece on our breakout leads kits, Frank Massey's third video from our Top ten tests series, and a video overview of the latest update (version 16) to Diagnostic Assistance from Auto-Solve.

Guided Test - Parasitic battery drain

 

This month Steve Smith has put together a superb Guided Test on parasitic battery drain, using a current clamp. This Guided Test will be included in a future update of our PicoScope 6 Automotive software, but you can find the full test on our website right now. The purpose of this test is to evaluate the level of parasitic current draw from the battery during a vehicle's shutdown phase and sleep periods.

How to perform the test

How to perform the test

PicoScope settings

Channel A: 1 x TA125 Test lead @ ± 20 V
Channel B: TA234 20/60 A current clamp (large jaw) @ ± 500 mA.

Alternatively the TA018 20/60 A current clamp (small jaw) can be used. However, a 10 A fused jumper wire may be required if the battery cable diameter exceeds 8 mm).

Timebase: 200 s/div
Sample counter: 1 MS

One of the most important items to check before carrying out this test is the status of the current clamp you wish to use.

Making sure that the current clamp's internal battery is sufficiently charged seems simple enough, but if you do not check this you could lose valuable data. You should also switch on the current clamp and let it warm up internally so it can acclimatize...

Read the complete Guided Test >

Frank Massey's Top ten tests with PicoScope: Test 3

Pico and Frank Massey of ADS Limited bring you Frank's third test in his "Top ten tests with PicoScope" series.

Product Focus: Breakout leads kits

Phil Rutt gives a product focus piece on the must-have tool for diagnostic kits: breakout leads.

Read on >

Automechanika Frankfurt 2016

Automechanika Frankfurt is the world's leading trade fair for the automotive service industry and is unique with regard to the breadth and depth of the product range on display. The fair is the shop window for innovations in the automotive aftermarket across the entire value chain. As an international meeting place for all market participants from the industry, dealership trade and maintenance and repair segments, it provides a major platform for business and technological knowledge transfer. 

This year, Pico Technology will be showing off  the new 5 Steps to success training program, along with various product features.

We look forward to seeing you there.

New products

HT extension lead (TA037)
HT extension leads are simple accessories that allow you to take accurate secondary ignition measurements on COP ignition systems. They are designed to aid diagnostics on secondary ignition circuits by allowing an HT measurement to be made when there is no, or limited, access to any spark plug leads.
Buy now >
Gear Ties (TA295)
Gear Tie reusable rubber twist ties have a tough rubber shell that provides excellent grip, a strong wire inside that holds it shape, and a range of bright colour to catch your eye. At Pico we use these for a number of different applications, from hanging up diagnostics tools to tidying cables. The possibilities are endless. 

Buy it, Twist it, Tie it, Reuse it - Gear Ties. 
Buy now >

PicoScope Master kit

 
Our automotive Master kit has been designed to give our customers a way of buying everything they need in one hit. Although the amount of tools available to add to your toolbox is constantly expanding, this will provide you with the necessary equipment for comprehensive diagnostics. It consists of an upgraded and extended Advanced kit in a new, larger and tougher carry case along with our WPS500X Maxi kit in a separate case. The kit also includes our connector breakout lead kit B, the fuse extension lead kit, insulation piercing probes and an assorted pack of gear ties. The carry case also has foam cut-out locations for the PicoScope NVH Diagnostics kit.

         
Buy now >

Auto-Solve Diagnostic Assistance v16

Version 16 of the useful Diagnostic Assistance software from Auto-Solve is now released including significant  updates to the already valuable content
Thousands of garages, workshops, mobile technicians and colleges benefit from the use of Diagnostic Assistance, which is there to help improve the diagnostic processes and first-time fix rate. 
There has been a significant update to the content in this version with a host of new features. Several new technologies are covered, such as MOST, FLEXRAY, LIN, components, vehicle networks and more. In addition, it has a new Body Systems Component Test section with 24 tests, 138 DTC linked component test plans, over 2700 drawings...

Auto-Solve Introduce Diagnostic Assistance V16

A quick 5 minute review of the latest version of this helpful software. Lots of info, comparative data and just-in-time-training. 
Read more and buy the software >

Autotechnician's Big Day Out

3rd September 2016

Guests will benefit from the vast technical know-how of James Dillon, Frank Massey, Pico’s Steve Smith and Andy Crook of GotBoost. The event will run between 10am and 4pm at Tool Connection in Warwickshire. It will bring independent technicians and workshop owners together, with trainers and the team at autotechnician magazine to share techniques and ideas in an informal setting.

One lucky raffle winner will take home a PicoScope 2-Channel Starter kit. If they already have a PicoScope, the prize can be exchanged for a 2000 A current clamp with a flexible COP probe.

(Tickets subject to availability.)

More information >

Automotive Testing Expo 2016 Shanghai

Taking place from 26th - 29th September 2016 at the Shanghai World Exhibition & Conference Centre. The automotive testing expo 2016 will feature many automotive test technologies, including:
  • Engine and emissions analysis
  • Vibration testing
  • Acoustic testing
  • Data acquisition
 
  • Sensors and transducers
  • NVH
  • Quality testing/inspection
Pico Technology will be represented by Hongke. Why not pay them a visit in Hall 3 at booth 6033?

Waveform Library

Our latest waveform library figures are in. The waveform library now features over 2550 waveforms!! These cover multiple vehicles, engines and fuel types. Have you uploaded your saved waveforms yet?
Waveform Library >

Training

We have a collection of some of the best material for new users to reference and learn how to use their Automotive PicoScope. To view this content please visit the training section of our website.

For a list of Pico-endorsed trainers, please visit the UK, US or German trainers page.

Newsletter July 2016

Jaguar X-Type - Severe power loss

 

  Steve Smith investigates a Jaguar X Type, with an illuminated MIL and accompanied by a severe lack of power under acceleration after changing gear or when pulling away from rest. 

A road test was completed and an obvious and abrupt loss of power under acceleration was experienced. It would appear the vehicle reverted to limp mode (where the ECU restricts performance and or gearing when a fault is detected) as no power was restored until the ignition was cycled (off to on).


Upon restarting the engine, all power was restored and the engine warning light extinguished until attempting to accelerate where the above symptom would return. The customer interview revealed important information regarding the vehicle, and a vehicle scan confirmed engine fault codes indicating circuit errors with both the EGR valve and Turbocharger boost control position sensor...
 

Read more on Steve's progress >

Frank Massey's Top ten tests with PicoScope: Test 2

Pico and Frank Massey of ADS Limited bring you Frank's second test in his "Top ten tests with PicoScope" series.
 

Product focus: 20/60 A Current clamp

Phil Rutt gives a product focus piece on the must-have tool for diagnostic kits: Pico's 20/60 A current clamp.

Read on >

Waveform library

 
Our latest waveform library figures are in. The waveform library now features over 2250 waveforms!! These cover multiple vehicles, engines and fuel types. Have you uploaded your saved waveforms yet?
          
 
Waveform library >

Video by ScannerDanner

 

Earlier this month ScannerDanner published a video to his YouTube channel regarding where to find known good waveforms. Not only is our waveform library featured, but this video is well worth 15 of your precious minutes.

Updates to PicoScope 6 Automotive Beta: 6.12

In the latest Beta, Pico Technology have introduced a new and improved user interface, consisting of:

  • Larger control buttons for improved touch screen instrument control.
  • Addition of Increase and Decrease buttons for easier control of primary oscilloscope functions.
  • Addition of control settings grids for faster control of primary oscilloscope functions.

New feature:

  • Edge count measurements​

Software downloads >

Training

We have a collection of some of the best material for new users to reference and learn how to use their Automotive PicoScope. To view this content please visit the training section of our website.

For a list of Pico-endorsed trainers, please visit the UK, US or German trainers page.

Newsletter June 2016

BMW ABS Case Study

Steve Smith investigates a BMW 1 Series with a customer complaint of juddering at low speeds.

 

Customer's description
Driving at low speed the vehicle appears to judder, with a yellow warning light illuminated within the instrument panel. The symptom was evident on every drive regardless of temperature and road condition, and had been evident for over a week.

Technical description and road test
The customer's description of the symptoms was correct and certainly evident during the test drive. The fault proved to be with the traction control operating at low road speed (the yellow warning light reported by the customer was the traction control indicator).

An extended road test at higher speed confirmed that the juddering stopped, but an additional "DTC" warning illuminated within the instrument panel.

Diagnosis

The customer interview confirmed that the vehicle had full service history, no additional accessories installed and no recent repairs. The customer complaint was verified and the vehicle's identification and specification were confirmed.

The basic inspection confirmed visible ABS connections to be secure and the wheel and tire combination to be the correct specification for the vehicle. Tire wear, brand, orientation, condition and pressure were also inspected and confirmed to be correct. This is an overlooked fundamental inspection when diagnosing ABS and traction control faults. The ABS controller monitors the rate of acceleration and deceleration of wheel speed signals to determine if brake pressure intervention is required. Wheel speed signals vary depending upon tire circumference, and in scenarios where tire tread depths, styles and manufacturer differ, there is potential for tire circumferences to vary by 15 mm or more, resulting in differing wheel speeds during straight-line driving. Such a variation in wheel speed signals will have an adverse effect on brake control intervention.

In a perfect world all installed tires should be the same make and specification (and within the same construction date (stamped on the tire wall)) but in reality this is near impossible. We can, however, physically measure tire circumference and tread depths to confirm whether the deviation between tires is within manufacturer specification and eliminate these variables from our diagnosis.

A vehicle scan confirmed ABS fault codes, indicating signal plausibility and a possible concern surrounding the condition of the sensor pick-up (see code 5DC2 below "increment gear")...

To read on and see how Steve was able to correctly diagnose this fault, please see the BMW 1 Series case study on our website.

New videos: Frank Massey's top ten tests

 

Pico and Frank Massey of ADS Limited have joined forces to bring you Frank's top ten tests with PicoScope.

In video #1, Frank discusses using PicoScope to observe voltage drop against load, measured as current by the consumer. Frank discusses the theory of the test, what is being tested and the simplicity of using a scope for this test. Timebases, voltage ranges, and of course the physical connections required are all covered.

New Master and Maxi kits released

 

WPS500X Maxi Kit
Our WPS500X Maxi Kit allows you to purchase the WPS500X Automotive Pressure Transducer together with our full set of hoses and adapters, giving you the maximum possible flexibility we can offer.

More information on the WPS500X Maxi Kit and its extensive list of parts can be found on our website.

 

Master Kit
Our Automotive Master Kit contains everything a new user could ever wish for in a PicoScope diagnostics kit. With everything from the Advanced Kit included, and the addition of our new WPS500X Maxi Kit and additional accessories too!

Our Master Kit will be available later this month and will appear on our product kits page.

Pico Technology celebrates its 25th Anniversary

On the 1st July 2016, Pico Technology celebrates its 25th year of business.

Pico data loggers, oscilloscopes and signal generators are used by engineers, scientists and technicians around the globe to bring their products to market. Pico automotive diagnostics products help keep the wheels turning for vehicle manufacturers and service organizations on every continent.

1991 was an interesting year. Intel introduced the low-cost 486SX microprocessor, priced at $258. It was implemented on PCs running MS-DOS 5.0 and Windows 3.0. The World Wide Web Consortium was founded by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, and the GSM mobile network was launched in Europe.

On 1st July Alan Tong and Mike Green co-founded Pico Technology. The company was originally set up as a software consultancy to develop data acquisition solutions using plug-in expansion cards, mostly for customers in the medical industry.

Pico, operating from Hardwick near Cambridge, introduced its first product, the ADC-10, so called because it was an analog to digital converter and sampled at 10 kS/s. It connected to the PC via the parallel port. The first order for ADC-10s was received in August that year, with two units sold for £49 each.

The ADC-10 was the world's first PC Oscilloscope, and in the years that followed Pico notched up several more industry firsts, including the first oscilloscope with digital triggering and the first high-resolution scope.

Today, Pico has over one hundred employees at its head office in St Neots, UK and its subsidiaries in the USA and Lithuania. The company has three divisions producing Test & Measurement, Automotive Diagnostics and Radio Frequency test products that are sold worldwide.

To read on, please visit the news section of our website.

Careers at Pico Technology

Pico Technology is an exciting and innovative leader in the design of PC-based oscilloscopes and data acquisition technology. Our products include PC oscilloscopes, data loggers and automotive diagnostic equipment.

At Pico we believe that employing the right people is more important than fulfilling any specific vacancy, so if the right people are interested in working for us we will consider applications. We are particularly interested in applicants with a technical software background or experience of test equipment design.

If you want to be part of a growing company at the leading edge of test equipment design, why not take a look at our pico.jobs web page and see what we have to offer? We look forward to hearing from you.

Training

 


We have a collection of some of the best material for new users to reference and learn how to use their Automotive PicoScope. To view this content please visit the training section of our website.

   

For a list of Pico endorsed trainers, please visit the UK or US trainers page.

Newsletter May 2016

Filtering: When, Where, Why and How?

 

We have an article in the Library section of our website covering Filtering: When, Where, Why and How. The article was written by our very own Steve Smith, and covers the filtering options available to you when using PicoScope.

This ten minute video complements the article, giving visual guidance on how the filters work, and how to set them up. To watch the Filtering: When, Where, Why and How? video, please view it on YouTube.

If you want to read the Filtering: When, Where, Why and How? article, please find it within the library section of our website.

PicoDiagnostics: BETA features

 

Our PicoDiagnostics software currently has a BETA release. One exciting feature in this latest release is a real-time feature when using NVH, to assist in the capture of harshness signals, such as knocks, creaks, and squeaks. While such noise and harshness signals are annoying, they are present for a very short period of time, with insufficient energy to be transferred and displayed in the Frequency Display (FFT) of the NVH user interface.

Those of you who have used the NVH software, may have noticed the effect on the signal history chart, when monitoring vibration and noise, when the vehicle hits a pothole. The event (pothole strike) is captured in the signal history, as this displays the input of the attached microphone or accelerometer live (relative to time). Such events are not transferred for view in the Frequency Display as we require a minimum of 2.5 seconds of continual disturbance in order to process the event. Until now, symptoms such as these would be reserved for listening devices, enabling the technician to listen to the intensity of noises delivered to a headset from microphones placed about the offending area of the vehicle. The results however are subjective and open to misinterpretation...

Steve Smith, Pico Technology's Automotive Technical Specialist covers this update to the beta software in great detail on our support forum. To read on, and find out what the new Time Domain feature could mean for you, please view the New features of beta NVH software thread on the forum.

You can download the beta versions of both PicoDiagnostics and PicoScope Automotive directly from our website at https://www.picoauto.com/downloads.

Careers at Pico Technology

Pico Technology is an exciting and innovative leader in the design of PC-based oscilloscopes and data acquisition technology. Our products include PC oscilloscopes, data loggers and automotive diagnostic equipment.

At Pico we believe that employing the right people is more important than fulfilling any specific vacancy, so if the right people are interested in working for us we will consider applications. We are particularly interested in applicants with a technical software background or experience of test equipment design.

If you want to be part of a growing company at the leading edge of test equipment design, why not take look at our pico.jobs web page and see what we have to offer? We look forward to hearing from you.

Training

 


We have a collection of some of the best material for new users to refer to when learning how to use their Automotive PicoScope. To view this content, please visit the training section of our website.

   

For a list of Pico-endorsed trainers, please visit the UK or US training page.

Newsletter April 2016

RATCHET+WRENCH: PicoDiagnostics NVH Kit

 

Anna Zeck from RATCHET+WRENCH has written a small article starring Matt Fanslow (of Riverside Automotive, a 10,000-square-foot shop in Red Wing, Minnesota), on the PicoDiagnostics NVH kit. You can read more about the NVH kit, read other reviews and of course find the link to the RATCHET+WRENCH article on our NVH review page.

Review competition - The results are in

To support our new product Review system we asked you to tell us what you think of our products. Our competition came to a close in April, and the results are in. In what is quite possibly our biggest ever selection of prizes, the entries came in thick and fast. Without further ado...

With 9 prizes to give away, here are the results:

We'll be in touch with each of you regarding your prizes, and we are already thinking about our next competition. Thanks to all who took part!

From the forum: Optical Sensor Kit demo

Recently Belet, a user on our support forum, made the following post:

The Optical Sensor Kit includes a new way that teaches you how to balance the propshaft. It's advanced. But I find neither cases nor videos that demonstrate how it works. Can any one share some demonstrations with me?

Pico Technology's Steve Smith responded, and we hope it will help any of out there you who may struggle with this test:

I have attached a step-by-step guide to balancing the propshaft using the hose clamp method. A couple of tips when balancing propshafts:

  • This procedure would be carried out after discovering a high P1 (propshaft first order vibration) result when measuring vibration using the NVH software. High P2 levels are not caused by balance issues.
  • Ensure propshaft joint angle and alignment are correct.
  • Ensure propshaft run-out is correct (there may not be a spec for this value and so a comparison will be required).
  • Remove road wheels when balancing but re-install road wheel studs (beware of wheel stud length when refitted with road wheels removed).
  • Simulate vehicle ride height and posture as it would be on the road whilst on the lift.

I hope this will help clear up some of the mystery that surrounds this procedure.

To view the post, and indeed access the step-by-step guide to balancing the propshaft when using the hose clamp method, please view the thread on our automotive forum.

Careers at Pico Technology

Pico Technology is an exciting and innovative leader in the design of PC-based oscilloscopes and data acquisition technology. Our products include PC oscilloscopes, data loggers and automotive diagnostic equipment.

At Pico we believe that employing the right people is more important than fulfilling any specific vacancy, so if the right people are interested in working for us we will consider applications. We are particularly interested in applicants with a technical software background or experience of test equipment design.

If you want to be part of a growing company at the leading edge of test equipment design, why not take look at our pico.jobs web page and see what we have to offer? We look forward to hearing from you.

Training

We have a collection of some of the best material for new users to refer to when learning how to use their Automotive PicoScope. To view this content please visit the training section of our website.

For a list of Pico endorsed trainers, please visit the UK or US trainers page.

Newsletter March 2016

Case study: ScannerDanner Video

It's been a while since we featured a ScannerDanner video. Here, ScannerDanner discusses how to test for spark on a GM type two waste spark system and how to test for proper fuel injector control. He also covers testing for fuel pressure and checking the fuel pump electrical system.

Please follow our link to the video: ScannerDanner: No start troubleshooting.

Don't forget, we also have our own YouTube channel. We will be adding new videos to our channel on a regular basis, so why not subscribe and you'll receive updates when new videos are posted? You can also submit videos to our channel that you feel would suit our best of the web section.

  Pico Automotive YouTube channel

Review competition - Huge prize list!

Our competition is in full swing, and it is great that so many of you have taken the time to leave us your feedback and reviews. It really is quite possibly our biggest giveaway ever...

To support our new product Review system we are asking you to tell us what you think of our products.
If you've bought one of our products (either direct from us or through one of our distributors) please find it on our website, look for our new Review button (as seen above) and leave us your feedback. Note that to leave feedback we must have your email address as this allows us to contact you regarding your review and if you are lucky enough to be a winner, your prize.

What prizes are on offer you ask? 9 reviews will be picked at random with prizes as follows:

In total we have 9 prizes to give away, so what are you waiting for? Head over and leave us your first review! There is no limit to the number of reviews you can leave. If you have bought a kit from us, we are more than happy for you to leave a review for each piece of equipment within the kit that appears on our site. Each review will count as an entry to the competition. More reviews, means more entries, which means more chances to win.

Terms and Conditions

All reviews left are checked by Pico Technology, and those that are deemed to be authentic will be entered into the competition. Entries must be received by close of business (GMT) on 15th April 2016. Winners will be contacted before the end of April 2016.

NVH Upgrade Offer

Following the recent software and hardware updates to our PicoDiagnostics NVH kit, we are now offering a route for owners of the PP858 PicoDiagnostics NVH kit to upgrade their Pico NVH hardware.

The new hardware allows you to take full advantage of our latest version of PicoDiagnostics NVH software, which supports analysis of up to four vibrations or sounds simultaneously.

The upgrade kit contains the 3-output interface box and three coloured BNC cables all of which are compatible with your existing TA143 accelerometer.

The upgrade kit is available to buy via the Noise, vibration, and balancing section of www.picoauto.com.

Careers at Pico Technology

Pico Technology is an exciting and innovative leader in the design of PC-based oscilloscopes and data acquisition technology. Our products include PC oscilloscopes, data loggers and automotive diagnostic equipment.

At Pico we believe that employing the right people is more important than fulfilling any specific vacancy, so if the right people are interested in working for us we will consider applications. We are particularly interested in applicants with a technical software background or experience of test equipment design.

If you want to be part of a growing company at the leading edge of test equipment design, why not take look at our pico.jobs web page and see what we have to offer? We look forward to hearing from you.

Training

 


We have a collection of some of the best material for new users to reference and learn how to use their Automotive PicoScope. To view this content please visit the training section of our website.

   

For a list of Pico endorsed trainers, please visit the UK or US trainers page.

Newsletter February 2016

Case study: Honda CR-V

The owner of this Honda CR-V had complaints of the vehicle violently surges back and forth during hard acceleration. The symptom is evident regardless of engine temperature, and is present whenever the driver attempts hard acceleration (the symptom is permanent). The symptom has been noticeable from when the vehicle was purchased at an auction recently.

The customer interview points out lack of historical information, as the vehicle had just been purchased at auction. The customer complaint was verified and the vehicle's ID and specification were confirmed.

The basic inspection confirmed connections, hoses, harness routing, and fuel quality as correct. However, it also revealed that a non-standard part had been installed before the fuel rail pressure (FRP) sensor. Even though it was tempting to simply remove this part and road test the vehicle, it was necessary, in order to qualify and prove a potential repair, to capture data with the vehicle in the error state.

A vehicle scan confirmed no fault codes, and an overview of engine data parameters confirmed that the engine was running as normal during both idle speed and a free-rev test at 3000 rpm. The PCM software level is confirmed as correct for the specification of vehicle (no relevant updates). Description and operation data from Denso was referenced for in-depth knowledge of component functions.

Possible causes based on symptom and evaluations made above:

  • Boost pressure control/integrity (under or over boost)
  • Fuel pressure control circuit
  • APP sensor input
  • EGR leakage

Available data confirmed no known issues of this nature.

To continue reading Steve's Honda CR-V article, please view it within the training section of our website.

YouTube video uploads: PicoScope Automotive

Over the last few months, we have been placing new content on our PicoScope Automotive YouTube channel. These videos are short informative clips giving an overview on how to connect certain accessories to a vehicle, and how to complete the associated test.

Below are a couple of examples of our new videos:

Please click the button below view the PicoScope Automotive YouTube channel. We will be adding new videos to our channel on a regular basis, so why not subscribe to our channel and you'll receive updates when new videos are posted? In addition to this, you can also submit videos to us you feel would suit our best of the web section.

  Pico Automotive

Scope School Extra: Bonus class

Over the last couple of months we have given a reminder about our Scope School articles. Following on from "Scope School 3: Tips and Tricks" last month, we now have "Scope School: Bonus Class"

Catch-up here:

Scope School Extra: Bonus class

A bonus class gives Pico the opportunity to add even more information to our Scope School articles that appear to grow like the features within PicoScope itself.

Scope School Extra is to carry on where Scope School 3 left off, opening more avenues within the software, allowing you to get the absolute most from your PicoScope and presenting users with the ability to develop the scope for their own applications. Covering items such as Maths Channels, floating ground inputs, Custom probes and Filtering.

To read Scope School Extra: Bonus Class, please find it in the training section of picoauto.com.

Review competition - Huge prize list!

Our compeition is in full swing, and it is great that so many of you have taken the time to leave us your feedback and reviews. It really is quite possibly our biggest giveaway ever...

To support our new product Review system we are asking you to tell us what you think of our products.
If you've bought one of our products (either direct from us or through one of our distributors) please find it on our website, look for our new Review button (as seen above) and leave us your feedback. Note that to leave feedback we must have your email address, this allows us to contact you regarding your review and in this case, contact you about your prize if you are lucky enough to be a winner.

What prizes are on offer you ask? 9 reviews will be picked at random with prizes as follows:

In total we have 9 prizes to give away, so what are you waiting for? Head over and leave us your first review! There is no limit to the number of reviews you can leave, so why wait? If you have bought a kit from us, we are more than happy for you to leave a review for each piece of equipment within the kit that appears on our site. Each review will count as an entry to the competition. More reviews, means more entries, which means more chances to win.

Terms and Conditions

All reviews left are checked by Pico Technology, and those that are deemed to be authentic will be entered into the competition. Entries must be received by close of business (GMT) on 15th April 2016. Winners will be contacted before the end of April 2016.

NVH Upgrade Offer

Following the recent software and hardware updates to our PicoDiagnostics NVH kit, we are now offering a route for owners of the PP858 PicoDiagnostics NVH kit to upgrade their Pico NVH hardware.

The new hardware allows you to take full advantage of our latest version of PicoDiagnostics NVH software, which supports analysis of up to four vibrations or sounds simultaneously.

The upgrade kit contains the 3-output interface box and three coloured BNC cables all of which are compatible with your existing TA143 accelerometer.

The upgrade kit is available to buy via the Noise, vibration, and balancing section of www.picoauto.com.

Careers at Pico Technology

Pico Technology is an exciting and innovative leader in the design of PC-based oscilloscopes and data acquisition technology. Our products include PC oscilloscopes, data loggers and automotive diagnostic equipment.

At Pico we believe that employing the right people is more important than fulfilling any specific vacancy, so if the right people are interested in working for us we will consider applications. We are particularly interested in applicants with a technical software background or experience of test equipment design.

If you want to be part of a growing company at the leading edge of test equipment design, why not take look at our pico.jobs web page and see what we have to offer? We look forward to hearing from you.

Training

 


We have a collection of some of the best material for new users to reference and learn how to use their Automotive PicoScope. To view this content please visit the training section of our website.

   

For a list of Pico endorsed trainers, please visit the UK or US trainers page.

Newsletter January 2016

Steve Smith gives some tips and tricks on cleaning up those captured signals, without losing vital information.

Within this article you will discover a number of PicoScope features and techniques that will reveal the signal that lies beneath. In this typical example we are using a narrowband Zirconia lambda sensor.

Both the test procedure to capture this waveform, and the expected result from the capture of such a component has been well documented in the past. With its characteristic sine waveform switching from 0.1 V to 0.9 V at a frequency of 1 Hz.

What is not so documented is the vulnerability of such a signal in the harsh environment of the engine bay, with high frequency switching components radiating EMI (Electromagnetic Interference). The image above presents a typical example of noise induced into a lambda sensor signal, seen here as long rising / falling spikes and hash about the sine wave that lies beneath.

The tool used to capture the lambda sensor signal will determine just how much of this noise is visible. There are tools available which will present a textbook artificially conditioned signal to the technician, so revealing only half the story.

Could the noise actually be responsible for a lambda sensor code or an emission failure? Within the noise itself could be evidence of ignition/injection spikes, arcing from worn components, chafing to adjacent cables or shorting internally to the lambda sensor heater element / engine ground.

Without the true signal revealed on screen how will we ever know?

To continue reading Steve's Filtering article, please view it within the training section of our website.

YouTube video uploads: PicoScope Automotive

Over the last few months, we have been placing new content on our PicoScope Automotive YouTube channel. These videos are short informative clips giving an overview on how to connect certain accessories to a vehicle, and how to complete the associated test.

Below are a couple of examples of our new videos:

Please click the button below view the PicoScope Automotive YouTube channel. We will be adding new videos to our channel on a regular basis, so why not subscribe to our channel and you'll receive updates when new videos are posted? In addition to this, you can also submit videos to us you feel would suit our best of the web section.

  Pico Automotive

Scope School 3: Tips and Tricks

Last month we gave a reminder about our Scope School articles. Following on from "Scope School 2: The next step" last month, Steve Smith now moves on to "Scope School 3: Tips and Tricks"

Catch-up here:

Scope School 3: Tips and Tricks

While we never stop learning in this ever-evolving trade of ours, we have to bring Scope School to a close. So I want to finish off by talking about some of the tips and tricks of PicoScope that can make life easier as you develop with this essential tool. In this final chapter I'll cover some capture and analysis features that I am sure you will find invaluable during your diagnosis.

Coupling

The Coupling option is located next to the voltage range control. The default DC setting allows the scope to display both the DC and AC aspects of the input signal. Selecting the AC coupling option we block the DC component of the input signal and allow only the AC to be displayed on screen.

As an example of the value of this feature, connect Channels A and B of your scope across a 12 V battery and start the engine (enabling the alternator to commence charging). Leave the coupling option of Channel A set to DC (120 V) and select AC coupling for Channel B (1500 mV). Channel A will display the DC voltage, and Channel B will display the AC voltage across the battery revealing the alternator ripple. We are measuring the same voltage but gaining the value of two properties from it. Applying this coupling feature to fuel rail pressure sensors and certain active wheel speed sensors will reveal much more.

Buffers

There may be times during scope use where you miss the event you were trying to capture. This could be a momentary misfire or drop in signal while wiggle testing a wiring harness. Stopping the capture and using the buffer feature enables you to scroll back through time, a screen at a time. PicoScope stores the last 32 screen captures (or more, depending on scope settings), allowing you to scroll through your data to find and view the waveform with the misfire or signal dropout; this is the proof needed for you and your customer.

Reference waveforms

Reference waveforms are a great way to help you compare a known good waveform against your captured suspect waveform, on the same screen. With your known good waveform on screen, select Tools > Reference Waveforms and then select the waveform channel of interest from the Available list. Now click the Duplicate button and tick the box adjacent to your highlighted waveform in the Library list, then click OK.

A duplicate of your known good waveform will appear (and remain) on screen while you capture a suspect waveform for comparison.

To continue reading Scope School 3: Tips and Tricks, please find it in the training section of picoauto.com.

Review competition - Huge prize list!

It's time for another competition, and it is quite possibly our biggest giveaway ever...

To support our new product Review system we are asking you to tell us what you think of our products.
If you've bought one of our products (either direct from us or through one of our distributors) please find it on our website, look for our new Review button (as seen above) and leave us your feedback. Note that to leave feedback we must have your email address, this allows us to contact you regarding your review and in this case, contact you about your prize if you are lucky enough to be a winner.

What prizes are on offer you ask? 9 reviews will be picked at random with prizes as follows:

In total we have 9 prizes to give away, so what are you waiting for? Head over and leave us your first review! There is no limit to the number of reviews you can leave, so why wait? If you have bought a kit from us, we are more than happy for you to leave a review for each piece of equipment within the kit that appears on our site. Each review will count as an entry to the competition. More reviews, means more entries, which means more chances to win.

Terms and Conditions

All reviews left are checked by Pico Technology, and those that are deemed to be authentic will be entered into the competition. Entries must be received by close of business (GMT) on 15th April 2016. Winners will be contacted before the end of April 2016.

NVH Upgrade Offer

Following the recent software and hardware updates to our PicoDiagnostics NVH kit, we are now offering a route for owners of the PP858 PicoDiagnostics NVH kit to upgrade their Pico NVH hardware.

The new hardware allows you to take full advantage of our latest version of PicoDiagnostics NVH software, which supports analysis of up to four vibrations or sounds simultaneously.

The upgrade kit contains the 3-output interface box and three coloured BNC cables all of which are compatible with your existing TA143 accelerometer.

The upgrade kit is available to buy via the Noise, vibration, and balancing section of www.picoauto.com.

Training

We have a collection of some of the best material for new users to reference and learn how to use their Automotive PicoScope. To view this content please visit the training section of our website.

For a list of Pico endorsed trainers, please visit the UK or US trainers page.

AESwave Case Study: 2002 PT Cruiser P0172

This month we heard about a great case study from one of our distributors (AESwave.com) that we simply had to share. Based on a 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser this case study has been put together by Adam Robertson, instructor for the CARQUEST Technical Institute, in the Western United States.

Complaint
The throttle must be wide open to start this 2002 Chrysler or the spark plugs will foul from excessive fuel. Once finally running, the vehicle will stumble, yet can be driven if kept above about 1200 rpm. If you let it idle, it will blubber down and try to stall. Black smoke puffs from the tailpipe at times. Check engine light is on. Continually sets a P0172 (rich condition bank one). There are no other codes.

Some Basics
This vehicle uses a speed density system, which is a MAP sensor (not a MAF). In this type of fuel control system, proper vacuum is critical. We are working at about 4000-ft above sea level and the idle vacuum is about 13 inches. It will achieve about 17 inches when free revving at about 2500 rpm. The O2 sensors are soot fouled but when warmed enough are pegged near 1v. The fuel trims show a rich condition but this vehicle is hesitant to go into closed loop. A tremendous amount work by various shops has been performed on this vehicle to no avail.

Initial Thoughts
Vehicle obviously running rich:

Where is the excessive fuel coming from?
What equipment could I use to determine this?
What systems do I test?

To continue reading the case study, please view it directly on the AESwave website.

Renault Clio Case Study: Fuel pressure pump

This month we have a great case study from Dott. Luca Camertoni of P.C.B. Technologies. This case study covers the diagnostic journey to solving a poorly 2009 Renault Clio...

This 2009 (MK3) Renault Clio 1.5 dCi engine had a complaint just after starting where a strange noise occurred for a few seconds followed by the MIL illuminating and the engine entering recovery mode.

A quick scan revealed the following stored codes:

2.DEF DF007 common rail pressure sensor circuit
1.DEF DF885 Pressure rail

This engine uses a Siemens SID 305 control unit with a flow regulator to fuel pump inlet, and a pressure regulator at the pump outlet. If the inlet receives no signal from the control unit no fuel enters the pump, resulting in no pressure in the fuel rail. When the outlet receives no signal from the control unit, its internal spring regulates the pressure in the rail at just 50 bar.

To continue reading Renault Clio Fuel Pressure case study, please find it in the Case studies section of picoauto.com.

Scope School: Reminder

Do you recall our Scope School articles? Did you know about them? Did you miss out? Well not to worry...we've uploaded the articles to our site and over the next few newsletters we'll feature the articles to help you along.

We featured "Scope School 1: Introduction to PicoScope" not so long ago, so we've included a link to that and will move straight on to "Scope School 2: The next step".

Scope School 1: Introduction to PicoScope

Scope School 2: The next step

You may have experimented with the various techniques we covered when capturing waveforms (see Scope School Part 1). The features of PicoScope we covered included the Home and Auto icons, and the Automotive presets menu. We also covered the all-important key elements when going it alone and capturing a waveform from scratch: Voltage, Time, Trigger, and Probe. I have to say, with all the scope features available, as a new user to PicoScope the Automotive presets menu are a godsend so don't panic. With this knowledge now in place you can now move onto further valuable features of PicoScope that will make life so much easier as your experience and confidence grows.

Now you've made that all important capture, your job now is to evaluate the waveform, and look for the information contained within. Often, at a glance the waveform may look perfectly normal, but analysis is the key to a successful diagnosis and here you will need to Measure and Zoom specific areas of interest within the waveform to reveal the hidden detail. In this example we use a 12 V injector, but the theory behind the tools and their use applies to any signal you capture.

Rulers

At your disposal you have numerous Signal rulers that will enable you to measure the minimum and maximum values of all waveforms on screen. The image below demonstrates the minimum and maximum values of a 12 V injector waveform using the Channel A signal rulers. Click on the signal ruler handle adjacent to the top of your vertical scale and drag down to the location of interest within your waveform, and repeat this process to get your minimum and maximum value positions. The numerical value of the position of the signal rulers on the screen will be displayed in the Ruler legend at the top of your scope screen. Each channel has its own set of signal rulers available.

You also have a set of Time rulers to enable you to accurately measure the time of an event within your capture. Click on the white Time ruler handle located at the bottom left corner of your scope screen and drag to the start point of interest within your waveform, and place a second Time ruler at the end point of your area of interest. The numerical value of the position of the time rulers on the screen will be displayed in the Ruler legend at the top of your scope screen.

To continue reading Scope School 2: The next step, please find it in the training section of picoauto.com.

NVH Upgrade Offer

Following the recent software and hardware updates to our PicoDiagnostics NVH kit, we are now offering a route for owners of the PP858 PicoDiagnostics NVH kit to upgrade their Pico NVH hardware.

The new hardware allows you to take full advantage of our latest version of the PicoDiagnostics NVH software, which supports identifying up to four independent vibrations simultaneously.

The upgrade kit contains the 3-output interface box and three coloured BNC cables all of which are compatible with your existing TA143 accelerometer.

The upgrade kit is available to buy via the Noise, vibration, and balancing section of www.picoauto.com.

Show report: AutoInform Live 2015

Matt Williams of Professional Diagnostics recently assisted Pico Technology in presenting at the second AutoInform Live event. A weekend of innovative technical and hands-on training, powered by OESAA (Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association ) and organised in conjunction with Frank Massey to provide visitors with a 'Hear it, See it and Touch it' experience.

Delegates were treated live on-vehicle training, demonstrations and diagnostics, IMI certified courses, troubleshooting tips and business know-how from industry experts, advice on how to repair and replace the latest OE parts using the best tools for the job and fit and forget technology. The two presentations that Matt (supported by Pico's Jon Parker on the Saturday and Phil Rutt on the Sunday) gave covered PicoScope Hints and Tips, and In-cylinder Diagnostics with the WPS500X Pressure Transducer. The presentations were followed by a Question and Answer session.

During the presentations a Toyota vehicle was available for practical use, and full advantage was taken to show off the WPS500, our Flexible COP and Signal Probe, and our new 30 A current clamp (used for parasitic drain testing).

New product range: Pico Storage Solutions

This month we are releasing a new range of products. Our Pico Storage Solutions range is designed around supplying our customers with products to help store and arrange their equipment in a ready to use manner.

These have been designed to be compatible with many toolbox providers. The trays come in two sizes: 185 mm(W) x 390 mm(D), and 370 mm(W) x 390 mm(D) depending on function. Both sizes include a removable 20 mm strip so they will fit in 370 mm deep trays. The trays will be available on our website from the 1st December 2015, and will be available either with kit, or without if you have your kit already. In addition to these foam trays we also have our trolley boom available for arranging your diagnostic station. A selection of products from our new range is shown below:

Image Descripiton Price

PQ003 - 4-Channel 4425 Standard Kit in foam
Get Pico's most popular 4-Channel Scope kit with a set of Pico foam trays for easy storage.
The 4-Channel Standard Kit gives you the ability to measure and record up to four signals simultaneously. It comes complete with a variety of accessories including leads, probes, clips and current clamps to allow virtually all the components on modern vehicles to be tested.

This kit has the same contents as the PP923 but replaces the PA084 carry case with the following 2 foam trays:

PP983 Scope and basic adaptors
PA108 Current clamps

£1555 / €2175 / $2565
PQ019 - Low amps current clamps in foam
Our two Low Amps current clamps pre loaded in a Pico Foam tray. This option combines both the TA018 20A / 60 A clamp and the TA234 30 A in one bundle along with a protective storage tray.
£269 / €379 / $439
PQ025 - Pico 3-axis NVH Diagnostic Kit (in foam)
Includes 3-axis accelerometers and a microphone
Full screen, high-resolution results are presented clearly and accurately
No external memory required - saves directly to laptop or computer
Record up to 500 seconds of data
Automatic analysis
Detects multiple vehicle vibrations
Customer report function
Plugs into your Automotive PicoScopeR (sold separately)  
£499 / €699 / $819
PA107
Suitable for the WPS500X and all the accessories in the PP939 WPS500 Pressure Transducer kit. Additionally, there is space for 3 pressure taps, 3 optional compression adaptors, and a spare compression hose (e.g. AST).
£59 / €83 / $98

Latest software: Beta release feature

Latest release

As soon as we release new software, it is made available in a free download to all PicoScope Automotive owners from our website. To check which version you are using, start the PicoScope Automotive software and select Help | About.

The current stable version is: PicoScope 6 Automotive R6.10.18.

Beta release

The latest beta release is: PicoScope 6 Automotive R6.11.7. Don't forget, the beta software installs alongside your standard PicoScope installation so as not to disturb your stable software.

Important note: If you have a version of PicoScope earlier than R6.10.16, you must update to R6.10.16 or later before installing this new beta. To update automatically, use the 'Help > Check for Updates' menu command in PicoScope.

Last month we mentioned the new Guided Test format, and improvements to NVH testing within the PicoDiagnostics software. The NVH update is covered in more detail below, along with a feature that wasn't mentioned last month, Crank Maths Channel.

New feature highlight: Crank Maths Channel

An invaluable feature now included with the beta software version 6.11.7 is the crank maths channel.

Graphing RPM using a frequency maths channel has become invaluable when evaluating cylinder balance or confirming misfire detection reported by PCM's. In the example below the frequency maths channel formula 60/36*freq(A) is used to graph the RPM of the inductive crankshaft sensor monitoring a pick-up ring with 36 teeth (36-2) connected to Channel A.

RPM and zoom Picoscope

Here we can graph RPM and zoom in to evaluate the acceleration and deceleration of the crankshaft (at fixed engine speeds) attributed to combustion and compression events (all things being equal this should be uniform across all cylinders).

The missing teeth of our pick-up ring produce a momentary drop in the signal frequency seen above as the long downward spikes that consume the screen.

While there is real value in the frequency maths channel, how good would it be if we could ask the software to graph the RPM but ignore the frequency drop attributed to the missing teeth of the pick-up ring?

The new crank maths channel will now do exactly that!

For further information on this feature, please read Steve Smith's post on our support forum.

New feature highlight: NVH 3 output kit

The current beta PicoScope 6 Automotive software 6.11.7 has a new feature that has been requested by users all over the world...

The current generic NVH kit utilises a 3 axis accelerometer capable of measuring vibration in 3 directions X, Y, and Z or to put this another way, X axis = vibration Fore/Aft, Y axis = vibration Vertical, and Z axis = vibration Lateral. However all 3 axis are summed together inside the single output NVH interface box in such way as to give the end user an overview (average) of all 3 axis . Here then there is no rejection of a particular vibration in a specific axis/direction, everything is accounted for.

Within the new beta, all 3 axis can now be measured and displayed individually from the existing 3 axis accelerometer (current NVH kits) in conjunction with the new 3 output interface box:

Any combination of accelerometers and microphones can now be attached to PicoScope to measure the transfer path of a vibration or to locate the source of vibration/sound.

The new beta NVH software can be used in the identical fashion to the original generic version as a 3 axis "average" device (or single microphone) allowing for very simple and effective diagnosis accompanied with maintenance/monitoring measurements or overview testing.

In effect, with the new beta NVH software, we have features that can be configured by the user with a multitude of options to suit any application.

Measuring all 3 axis individually using 1 x 3 axis accelerometer allows the user to quickly identify all vibrations applicable to the vehicle in all axis. Here very quickly we can reveal the frequency of vibrations, the amplitude of vibrations and the direction of vibrations.

For further information on this feature, please read Steve Smith's post on our support forum.

Case study: VW Polo

Steve Smith's Case Study this month (supported by felow Pico Automotive Specialist Phil Rutt, and Kevin Ives of Ives Garage) covers a VW Polo, where not all is as it seems and misdiagnosis awaits around every turn!

When it comes to diagnosis a cool head must be maintained when all around appears to be crumbling. Our relationship with the customer pays dividends during diagnosis where rapport is essential when things appear to go from bad to worse.

It is very easy to jump to conclusions when the evidence gathered during diagnosis points to a particular component. It is at this stage we should take stock and step away to ponder before we commit to our diagnosis.

James Dillon shares a very good comment surrounding commitment to a diagnosis:

"When replacing a component and you discover the fault is still apparent you then ask yourself, what else could it be? Why not ask yourself this same question before replacing the suspect component?"

Asking yourself this question before committing to your diagnosis could potentially lead you to the actual cause and avoid embarrassment. The case study below is one such example where taking a step back at the correct point in time saved the day.

The vehicle in question is a 1.2 3-cylinder VW Polo. The vehicle's owner complained of power loss and intermittent cutting out at junctions (the customer had also requested a long overdue service).

To read this twisting case study, and understand the need for a PicoScope and accessories to help you diagnose the fault please view the VW Polo | Misleading error codes case study on our website.

Latest software: New Beta release

Latest release

As soon as we release new software, it is made available in a free download to all PicoScope Automotive owners from our website. To check which version you are using, start the PicoScope Automotive software and select Help | About.

The current stable version is: PicoScope 6 Automotive R6.10.18.

New Beta release

The latest beta release is: PicoScope 6 Automotive R6.11.7. Don't forget, the beta software installs alongside your standard PicoScope installation so as not to disturb your stable software.

New features:

New Guided Tests and formatting adjustments (with improved links to online help)
Improvements to NVH testing within the PicoDiagnostics software. All 3-axis can now be measured individually rather than as a vector sum. Allowing you to identify the direction of vibration.

Important note: If you have a version of PicoScope earlier than R6.10.16, you must update to R6.10.16 or later before installing this new beta. To update automatically, use the 'Help > Check for Updates' menu command in PicoScope.

Updated Guided Tests

This month we have two updated Guided Tests for you to browse, and we would love to hear your feedback on them. These tests refer to an Inductive Crankshaft Position Sensor, and whilst they have not yet made it into our software, you can find them on our website.

The two tests can be found on our Automotive Guided Tests page, under: Sensors > Crankshaft > Inductive - Running, and Inductive - Cranking. Alternatively you can follow the links below:

Inductive CPS - Running

Inductive CPS - Cranking

We appreciate the feedback we received last month, and once again ask that you let us know your thoughts on these, and indeed any of our Guided Tests. Feedback should be sent via email to gtfeedback@picoauto.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Fiesta misfire

Steve Smith discusses diagnostic techniques in this Ford Fiesta misfire investigation.

The topic of this case study is not so much "How we managed to diagnose the fault in question" but more about the multiple options at our disposal when it comes to diagnosing component failure.

With scan tools, scopes, multimeters, vacuum/pressure gauges, gas analysers, jump wires, neons, power probes, clamps and smoke machines to name just a few, we are often faced with a dilemma of what tool to select for the right test, to bring the right conclusion at the right time (to quote James Dillon).

Here we have a 2001 1.3 16 V Ford Fiesta, with a complaint of misfire under all engine run conditions. The vehicle arrived at local business Ives Garage (owned and run by Kevin Ives) where we are often invited to experiment with vehicles demonstrating a variety of faults in order to gather real life data.

To read this interesting look into the various techniques, and Pico tools available to you please view the Ford Fiesta misfire investigation case study on our website.

Welcome

Firstly, we'd like to remind you about our online kit comparison tool, located on our kits overview page. This comparison tool makes it even easier for our customers to view the options available to them with each kit. Our Automotive Test Kits are designed to make the vehicle diagnostics intuitive and logical. Each kit comes with a variety of accessories to test a multitude of vehicle components. These accessories and some of the tests the various kits can cover are now shown in a detailed list.

We are currently looking to expand our Technical Publications team. If you want to be part of a growing company at the leading edge of test and measurement and diagnostic equipment design, we look forward to hearing from you.

Waveform library update: Our latest waveform library figures are in. We now boast over 1850 waveforms, covering multiple vehicles, engines and fuel types. Have you uploaded your saved waveforms yet?

New Guided Tests

This month we have two new Guided Tests for you to browse, and we would love to hear your feedback on them. These tests refer to a Floating Inductive Crankshaft Position Sensor, and whilst they have not yet made it into our software, you can find them on our website.

The two tests can be found on our Automotive Guided Tests page, under: Sensors > Crankshaft > Inductive floating - Running, and Inductive floating - Cranking. Alternatively you can follow the links below:

Inductive CPS floating - Running

Inductive CPS floating - Cranking

Feedback should be sent via email to gtfeedback@picoauto.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Competition results! Who won?

In June we announced our new Waveform Library competition. The competition ran to the 23rd August, and we have our winners! We've had over 470 waveforms uploaded since the competition started...

The prizes up for grabs were either an NVH Diagnostics Kit, or a WPS500X Pressure Transducer Kit for our winner, plus four runners up receiving one of our Coil-on-plug and signal probes. We are pleased to announce the top prize of either a WPS500X Pressure Transducer Kit or NVH Diagnostics Kit has gone to:

Volrem! Congratulations to you. You should have received an email from us, requesting delivery information and of course your chosen prize.

The four runners-up prizes of one of our Coil-on-plug and signal probes are as follows:

  • rburgy
  • clt
  • dieseltom
  • markstammers

Well done to you all! Many thanks to the rest of you for your uploads, and we hope to repeat a similar competition in the future.

You may think that's all the prizes allocated, however in light of the sheer volume of uploads and commitment to the Waveform Library during the competition by this individual (over 140 waveforms), a special recognition prize has been awarded to... tode. Their prize... the same as our competition winner, a choice of either an NVH Diagnostics Kit, or a WPS500X Pressure Transducer Kit.

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.

New look website


   

This month we bring news of our new website! Yes, our automotive website has been given a new look and feel. We believe the new look and interface makes navigation easier, for both experienced PicoScope users, and those new to the world of scope diagnostics.


Our fresh new homepage now gives instant access to software downloads, training aids, technical support, company news and more. With a carousel of recent information and news, we believe the new looking www.picoauto.com supports both existing and new customers.


Within our kits overview we now have a kit comparison tool, making it even easier for our customers to view the options available to them. Our Automotive Test Kits are designed to make the vehicle diagnostics intuitive and logical. Each kit comes with a variety of accessories to test a multitude of vehicle components. These accessories and some of the tests the various kits can cover are now shown in a detailed list.

Waveform library update: Our latest waveform library figures are in. We now boast over 1700 waveforms, covering multiple vehicles, engines and fuel types. Have you uploaded your saved waveforms yet?

Case Study: Maserati NVH

 

What follows is a case study concerning a Maserati Quattroporte that both 2010 Top Tech winner Stuart White and 2013 Top Tech winner Steve Smith had the pleasure to diagnose together and more importantly, rectify. Stuart who owns and runs Complete Car Maintenance (CCM) had mentioned a customer complaint of vibration on the above vehicle around 1600 rpm when both stationary and when moving.

The challenge with vibrations is that we all interpret them differently (which is why we should measure and not guess), but with this vehicle you could not deny a considerable vibration throughout the vehicle in a very specific engine speed range. Starting at 1450 rpm through to 1700 rpm the vibration was evident, with peak vibration occurring around 1600 rpm.

Setting up the PicoDiagnostics NVH kit we could measure the frequency and amplitude of a vibration easily by following the setup wizard within the NVH software.

To continue reading Steve's Maserati NVH case study please view it on our website.

Competition time... Win an NVH or WPS500 kit!

 

In June we announced our new Waveform Library competition. We've had over 320 waveforms uploaded since the competition started. Don't forget, the more waveforms you upload, the greater your chance of winning. Every uploaded waveform is another chance to win!

A reminder as to why you should enter the competition, we are going to give 1 lucky winner the choice of receiving either an NVH Diagnostics Kit, or a WPS500X Pressure Transducer Kit. Plus Four runners up will win one of our Coil-on-plug and signal probes.

To enter, simply save your waveforms to the Waveform Library. The more you save, the more chances you get to win! All the waveforms uploaded to the database between June 1st and August 23rd will be entered into the draw. Only one prize per customer. There is no cash alternative. You cannot choose an alternative prize (except where stated). Winner to be announced in August Pico Technology Automotive newsletter.

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.

Channel labelling

What has become apparent since the launch of the Waveform Library is the number of new channel labels that have appeared from users all over the world.

These new labels are gathered together for review and then added to the PicoScope software in order to speed up the process of channel labelling (which is essential when searching for a specific component).

 

As individuals we all have our preferences as to what we call various vehicle components and for this reason we have channel labels such as Oxygen / 02 / Lambda sensor.

Start typing any of the above component names in the channel label box and PicoScope will automatically list the options available. This way you do not have to search through the long list of channel labels until you find the one you want.

We are constantly looking at the growing list of Channel Labels and we feel it only right to include our customers in a streamlining process. Steve Smith has posted a new thread on our forum, based on the very subject of Channel Labelling. We would like to invite you to pass feedback and suggestions to this list so we can further improve our service to you.

The forum post can be found at: https://www.picoauto.com/support/topic10781.html.

Technical question: Negative current

We recently had a customer question come through our Support desk, regarding one of our Guided Tests and preset data. Steve Smith, our Automotive Applications Specialist responds:

 

 

Q: Hi, the waveform relating to the "Charging and Starting > Starting Circuits > Current / Volts Starting (12 V)" Guided Test seems to drop to negative amps. Why is this?

A: Hi and many thanks for your question. As you may have seen in either the Automotive Guided Tests (within PicoScope 6 Automotive software) or the Waveform Library, we use the inrush current to evaluate the battery condition, starter circuit, starter motor, and engine drag. We then use the peaks during cranking to evaluate relative compression, cranking speed and average current draw.

Moving onto the current clamp position (around negative terminal with the engine running) this does serve as an indicator of charge applied to the battery but we have to be aware of the effects of other circuits that will influence the displayed value and potentially disrupt the expected results.

For example

During cranking with the current clamp around the battery negative lead (arrow facing the negative terminal), the current flow will be as expected in the relevant direction: from battery positive through the starter motor returning to the battery via the negative lead (starter loop).

With the engine running (no load after cranking) the current flow will be from the alternator positive terminal through the battery, returning on the negative lead to the alternator. This produces a negative reading on your scope (alternator loop). The value here will be relevant to charge current and be accurate (to a degree) but will read negative.

Assuming we now switch on electrical load such as heated rear windscreen (HRW), current will flow from the battery through the HRW and return on the negative lead to the battery negative terminal (HRW loop). However the alternator will compensate and respond to this additional load and increase the charging current, resulting in very little change in the current value measured by your clamp around the battery negative lead.

If you have any questions on this, or any other Technical Support query please email support@picotech.com.

Employment opportunity: Technical Author

 

Do you want to work at the leading edge of automotive diagnostic and test equipment design? Or perhaps know someone that would thrive in our industry and the environment Pico Technology provides?

We are currently searching for an enthusiastic automotive Technical Author to join our existing team. Main duties will involve:

  • Writing and maintaining technical manuals with emphasis on automotive products
  • Working with external translators
  • Assisting with the creation of marketing documents including newsletters, leaflets and presentations
  • Creating and maintaining automotive help topics for Pico and OEM software
  • Assist webmaster to maintain content of automotive website

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Excellent written English
  • A minimum of two years' technical authoring experience
  • Good organization, communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work on own initiative
  • Experience of documenting complex electrical or electronic products (knowledge of computer systems is not sufficient)
  • Basic knowledge of automotive engine technology, whether professionally or as a hobby, is required
  • Experience with help authoring tools, DTP software, word processors and HTML editors (would be an advantage, not essential)
  • The ability to communicate fluently and clearly in writing

Visit our Technical Author recruitment advert for more information, or take look at our pico.jobs web page and see what else we have to offer?!

Training

 


We have a collection of some of the best material for new users to reference and learn how to use their Automotive PicoScope. To view this content please visit the training section of our website.

For a list of Pico endorsed trainers, please visit the UK or US trainers page.

New WPS500X accessories

 

This month we bring news of not one, not two, not even three... but five new accessories to complement your WPS500X pressure transducer:

  AST adaptor set
The Pico AST adaptor kit enables you to use your WPS500X as a replacement for the gauge in a wide range of AST pressure testing kits. This kit enables you to re-use your existing adaptors and still gain the advantages of seeing pressure activity in real time with the WPS500X.
  Sykes-Pickavant adaptor kit
The Pico Sykes-Pickavant adaptor kit enables you to use your WPS500X as a replacement for the gauge in a wide range of Sykes-Pickavant pressure test kits. This kit enables you to re-use your existing adaptors and still gain the advantages of seeing pressure activity in real time with the WPS500X.
  Vacuum tap
The Pico Vacuum Tap provides a simple way to connect the WPS500X into an existing vacuum hose. Simply disconnect one end of the hose, insert the tap and use an additional short length of hose to reconnect the system.
  Fuel hose pressure tap (small)
The Pico fuel hose pressure tap provides a simple way to connect the WPS500X into an existing fuel or other suitably sized hose. Simply disconnect one end of the hose, insert the tap and use an additional short length of hose to reconnect the system.
  Fuel hose pressure tap (medium)
The Pico fuel hose pressure tap provides a simple way to connect the WPS500X into an existing fuel or other suitably sized hose. Simply disconnect one end of the hose, insert the tap and use an additional short length of hose to reconnect the system.

Competition time... Win an NVH or WPS500 kit!

Last month we announced our new Waveform Library competition. We've had nearly 200 waveforms uploaded since the competition started. Don't forget, the more waveforms you upload, the greater your chance of winning. Every uploaded waveform is another chance to win!

A reminder as to why you should enter the competition, we are going to give 1 lucky winner the choice of receiving either an NVH Diagnostics Kit, or a WPS500X Pressure Transducer Kit. Plus Four runners up will win one of our Coil-on-plug and signal probes.

To enter, simply save your waveforms to the Waveform Library. The more you save, the more chances you get to win! All the waveforms uploaded to the database between June 1st and August 23rd will be entered into the draw. Only one prize per customer. There is no cash alternative. You cannot choose an alternative prize (except where stated). Winner to be announced in August Pico Technology Automotive newsletter.

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.

Top Tech Live! 2015: Review

TopTechLive

Top Tech Live! 2015 was a fantastic show. A new format that included open discussions, interactive training sessions, fact filled informative classroom presentations, and of course announcing the winner of one of the most respected Automotive Technician awards of the year, there is little surprise to hear of Top Tech Live's success.

Pico's very own Steve Smith (both a previous winner of Top Tech, and an ex-Toyota Master Tech) gave a 40 minute class on PicoScope, covering Maths Channels and Custom Probes. In addition to this there were classes and live demonstrations from Snap-On, Frank Massey, James Dillon, and Jim Gilmour.

For download relating to various maths channels and custom probes Steve used during his class, please visit our support forum.

Technical question: Noise filtering

We recently had a customer question come through our Support desk, regarding filtering noise on the various PicoScope channels. Steve Smith, our Automotive Applications Specialist responds:

Q: Is there an easy was to clean up waveforms apart from using filters on each channel? I was checking O2 sensors and there was a lot of noise when watching in real time but the filter cleaned it up at the end of each run?

A: Hi and many thanks for your question. We can take precautions to reduce noise as you have mentioned by:

  • Ensuring test leads are not running alongside consumers such as igniter, HT leads, and injectors.
  • Ensure the scope is grounded to a good vehicle chassis ground.
  • Ensure only the Pico blue USB cable is used to connect your scope to the PC, avoid USB extension leads.
  • Remove external battery chargers from vehicles under test (unless required for battery support).
  • Be aware of environmental conditions that can effect your capture such as noisy mains power supplies (ground), fluorescent lighting, and overhead power cables.

Incorporated into the hardware and software are features to combat noise such as low pass filters (all scopes) and bandwidth limiters (PicoScope 4225 and PicoScope 4425 only). Low pass filtering does remain the quickest way to filter your O2 sensor waveform without losing the benefits of fast sample rates and high sample count for other active channels. What you have identified is the filtering function does not update in streaming mode (slower than 200 ms/div).

You only see the filtered waveform at the end of the existing waveform or during replay of the waveform buffer. We are looking into extended the filtering function into streaming mode and I hope this comes to fruition sooner rather than later.

Upcoming events and exhibitions

Simply Diagnostics

Hickleys: Simply Diagnostics

The annual diagnostic show, Simply Diagnostics, will be bigger and better this year with more suppliers, more technical features, more diagnostics demonstrations and all in a new modern venue. Simply Diagnostics will held on Saturday 11th July 2015 at a new location. The show will be held at the GTG training and conference centre in the West Midlands.

The shows held over the past years have been a tremendous success with well over 200 customers attending. The various training sessions are of great value to new and existing customers and there will a large range of vehicle demos cover a huge range of programming subjects. Feedback on previous shows appreciation for the high technical content, relaxed environment and the opportunity to pick up jaw-dropping deals.

This year's show is shaping up to be the best ever so don't miss out...

Hickleys: Simply Diagnostics
11th July 2015
GTG Training,
West Midlands,
UK

NACAT

NACAT Conference

With over 140 sessions, 12 blocks, and 4 training days this NACAT Conference is sure to deliver.

For a detailed description of each seminar, please visit the NACAT Seminar Descriptions page.

NACAT Conference
20th-24th July 2015
Joliet, IL
USA

Employment opportunity: Technical Author

 

Do you want to work at the leading edge of automotive diagnostic and test equipment design? Or perhaps know someone that would thrive in our industry and the environment Pico Technology provides?

We are currently searching for an enthusiastic automotive Technical Author to join our existing team. Main duties will involve:

  • Writing and maintaining technical manuals with emphasis on automotive products
  • Working with external translators
  • Assisting with the creation of marketing documents including newsletters, leaflets and presentations
  • Creating and maintaining automotive help topics for Pico and OEM software
  • Assist webmaster to maintain content of automotive website

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Excellent written English
  • A minimum of two years' technical authoring experience, within the last two years
  • Good organization, communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work on own initiative
  • Experience of documenting complex electrical or electronic products (knowledge of computer systems is not sufficient)
  • Basic knowledge of automotive engine technology, whether professionally or as a hobby, is required
  • Experience with help authoring tools, DTP software, word processors and HTML editors (would be an advantage, not essential)
  • The ability to communicate fluently and clearly in writing

Visit our Technical Author recruitment advert for more information, or take look at our pico.jobs web page and see what else we have to offer?!

Training courses

 


For a list of Pico endorsed trainers, please visit the training page on our website.

About this newsletter

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Read back-issues

New accessory: TA234 Current Clamp

The TA234 probe is a 30 A current clamp. The extended measuring jaws allow measurement in a confined space and are big enough to fit around a battery cable, so it is ideal for studying battery drain issues. When measuring DC, a simple thumbwheel on the probe allows zero adjustment.

This current clamp is ideally suited for use with scopes and features additional screening to reduce noise pickup.

Competition time... Win an NVH or WPS500 kit!

In 2014 we ran several competitions based around the PicoScope Waveform Library. Now in 2015, we have decided to run another competition. This time we are going to give 1 lucky winner the choice of receiving either an NVH Diagnostics Kit, or a WPS500X Pressure Transducer Kit, with 4 runners up winning one of our Coil-on-plug and signal probes.

To enter, simply save your waveforms to the Waveform Library. The more you save, the more chances you get to win! All the waveforms uploaded to the database between June 1st and August 23rd will be entered into the draw. Only one prize per customer. There is no cash alternative. You cannot choose an alternative prize (except where stated). Winner to be announced in August Pico Technology Automotive newsletter.

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

picoscope automotive waveform library

Top Tech Live! 2015: Semi-final & Final

Top Technician is an annual competition that was created in 2002 to recognise and reward the best vehicle technicians in the UK, at a time when the national press were focussing on the minority who lack technical knowledge and the practical skills needed to ensure the motoring public remain safe in their increasingly complex cars.

Top Technician continues to champion the best repairers in the United Kingdom, whether they work in an independent workshop, dealership, fast fit or operate as a mobile mechanic. Prize funds worth well over  10k and real benefits for every entrant are possible each year thanks to the ongoing support of their technical partner, the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), and blue chip sponsors.

Pico Technology were one of the sponsors of Top Technician 2015, and our very own 2013 Top Technician Winner Steve Smith was asked to judge various stages of the competition. Here is Steve's overview of the semi-final and final this year:

Top Tech Pico challenge (semi-final)

Toyota Auris 1.6 Petrol

The Top Technician Pico semi-final challenge surrounded a relative compression test using PicoScope software, whilst incorporating a sync to identify the offending cylinder from the waveform obtained.

Here the technicians had to demonstrate the principle around a relative compression test using a current clamp to measure peak current in relation to peak compression events of our doctored engine ( 1 x spark plug removed!)

It was clear from the outset that all the semi-finalists had used the technique but incorporating a sync presented some pitfalls whilst the technicians were under examination conditions with the clock ticking (nothing is easy). Preventing the engine from starting was paramount to the test and whilst this could be achieved in a number of ways, disconnecting the injectors was the approved method, preventing neat fuel from entering the catalyst or detonation increasing cranking speed due to residual heat.

The ideal location to obtain a sync signal was via number 1 cylinder coil-on-plug unit. This signal is generally present prior to TDC of number 1 cylinder, allowing the technicians to use the firing to identify the offending cylinder.

Those who synchronised on number 1 injector presented themselves with an additional calculation to make in terms of the injection event during the four stroke cycle. Whilst the ignition event takes place at near TDC compression, the injection event takes place 360 degrees later presenting the technicians with additional calculations to take into consideration when identifying the offending cylinder.

image from Top Tech Semi Final

Above we have the waveform obtained from our engine with number 4 spark plug removed and the number 4 ignition coil shorted to ground, whilst syncing to number 1 ignition coil trigger signal.

Top Tech Pico challenge (final)

Steve Smith's Top Tech final challenge surrounding in cylinder pressure analysis using the Pico WPS500X pressure transducer.

The finalists not only required scope and pressure transducer knowledge, but also required a thorough understanding of the 4 stroke cycle and how it is reflected in the waveforms obtained. Thanks again to James Dillon and the KA engine in a basket, each individual cylinder could be manipulated in such a way as to alter the valve timing presenting the technicians with 4 different waveforms for each of the 4 cylinders!

None of the technicians had any access to technical information about this engine as to be honest, there is very little in the way of official technical data with explanations as to why an in cylinder waveform displays various characteristics. The technicians therefore had to think this one through and analyse the waveform thoroughly (they were on their own with this one).

So, 4 cylinders with 3 faults, once cylinder inlet valve fails to open, one cylinder exhaust valve fails to open, one cylinder with no fault and the final cylinder with a subtle fault in the way of a tight exhaust valve tappet.

screenshoot from picoscope software at Top Tech Finals

Technical question: WPS500X

We recently had a customer question come through our Support desk, regarding the WPS500X pressure transducer. Steve Smith, our Automotive Applications Specialist responds:

Q: Hi - Can you tell me if the WPS500X can be used for dynamic diesel compression measurements?

A: Hi and many thanks for your question. The WPS500X pressure transducer has the ability to measure cylinder pressure on both petrol and diesel engines.

The kit supplied with the WPS500X only includes adapters for petrol engines. Should you wish to use the transducer with a diesel engine, at present you would have to source a diesel compression test kit utilising quick couple connectors that you can link to the quick couple Foster connector of the WPS500X pressure transducer.

We are planning to introduce a diesel compression test kit to link the WPS500X pressure transducer to AST or Sykes Pickavant kits, giving access to their wide range of existing diesel fittings.

For measuring dynamic pressures with petrol engines, this is fine so long as the combustion is removed from the cylinder (injectors are cut from the cylinder under test). The WPS500X is capable of momentarily measuring the dramatic increase in cylinder pressure from idle speed to WOT (Wide Open Throttle) but not for prolonged periods of time i.e. monitoring. The same applies to diesel engines once you have overcome the adaptor issue.

For any compression measurement using the WPS500X the combustion process must be removed from the cylinder.

NB. The increase in cylinder pressure in either diesel or petrol engines must not exceed 500 PSI, and the battery compartment of the WPS500X must never exceed 80 degrees celsius.

Latest award news from Pico Technology

At AMR Beijing 2015 Pico received various awards, including a Top 20 Productaward for our PicoDiagnostics NVH Kit, and the 2015 Recommended Product category for our PicoScope 4425 automotive scope.

For further information on these and previous awards, please visit the awards page on www.picoauto.com.

Upcoming events and exhibitions

Stahlgruber show

Trade visitors from the automotive industry will gain a comprehensive overview of innovations, new legal regulations, current products as well as services and support offered. The STAHLGRUBER exhibitions have more to offer than just information about day-to-day business: The growing market for vintage cars and modern classic cars or approaches to saving energy at car repair businesses are just some of the issues that are put in the limelight!

New exhibitors, additional topics and the new STAHLGRUBER Centre of Excellence are other special features of the new 2015 exhibitions. A total of 180 well-known exhibitors from the industry make sure that a wide and interesting spectrum of information will be provided - for workshop owners and employees.

Stahlgruber Show
30th-31st May 2015
Frankfurt,
Germany

Automechanika Dubai

Automechanika Dubai is the largest automotive aftermarket platform for the Middle East and Africa, showcasing the latest global trends. Discover technological innovations, keep up to date with industry knowledge and source new products and solutions from the world over.

The trade fair which covers the full range of automobile, truck and bus parts, equipment, components, accessories, tools, and services continues to bring world renowned manufacturers, suppliers and service providers in touch with one of the most important growing markets in the world. The show in 2015 promises to be even larger and more successful than ever.

Automechanika Dubai
2nd-4th June 2015
Dubai,
UAE

Andrew Page - Auto Insider Live! 2015

Designed for garage technicians and apprentices, AutoInsider Live! will help you to stay up to date with the latest developments in everything from tools, components and parts through to diagnostics and training. The events also include fun activities such as a racing simulator and chances to win prizes!

Visitors will get the following:

Andrew Page - Auto Insider Live! 2015
18th June 2015
Newcastle,
UK

  • Free Entry into our prize draw to win a Mini!
  • Free Goodie Bag worth £125
  • Huge Discounts on the Day
  • Free Entry and Free Parking
Andrew Page AutoInsider Live exhibition logo

Tutorial: Parasitic drain

This month Steve Smith gives a superb tutorial on how to tackle parasitic drain.

Customer complaints surrounding flat batteries are common throughout the year with peaks during the winter season. Those who comment that their vehicle fails to start after standing for a couple of days must set alarm bells ringing with reference to parasitic drain.

Battery evaluation is normally taken care of using automated devices or better still, the PicoDiagnostics battery test procedure where we test not only the battery, but the starting and charging system in one hit. Once the above are confirmed we must then focus our attention on battery drain and parasitic current draw.

This test is often overlooked yet should conclude any customer complaints surrounding non-starts as a result of a discharged battery.

We can traditionally evaluate both a battery starting and charging system very quickly indeed but parasitic drain demands a prolonged test (30 minutes is not uncommon for a modern vehicle to shut down and move to sleep mode).

To continue reading Steve's parasitic drain tutorial, please view the article on our our website.

ScannerDanner (Premium) Videos

We have previously featured ScannerDanner's free videos in our newsletter. However, this month our readers are in for a real treat. Paul 'ScannerDanner' has allowed PicoScope Automotive newsletter readers see his latest videos free for a limited time. These two videos were destined to be locked for Paul's paid channel on YouTube, but are available to watch right now for a limited time! In a couple of weeks you will have to pay to view these videos on Paul's channel (along with lots of other worthwhile videos contained within it).

Pico's Steve Smith commented on Paul's latest videos:

Scanner Danner's video looks at a petrol engine and the effects upon the running condition as a result of a valve timing error. The vehicle is presented to Paul with multiple engine codes where the initial focus of the diagnosis is on the over fuel condition running rich.

The engine in question has been identified as having retarded camshaft timing (physical check) very early in the video but the main focus is how PicoScope has been utilised with minimal intrusion to confirm valve timing as the culprit.

Paul goes through the various techniques from Cam Crank correlation waveforms and referencing the waveform library (iATN) then on to relative compression and ignition correlation. The limitations of these captures are discussed where Paul moves onto pressure analysis.

Ultimately the decisive factor in the diagnosis of this vehicle comes with the use of the WPS in-cylinder waveform analysis whilst using the reference waveform features of PicoScope to highlight the errors between good and bad captures.

The video is exceptionally well-constructed with great tips along the way, not just about Pico but engine parameters and running conditions relative to a variety of faults.

Paul's videos can be seen on YouTube for a limited time:

How to test for a jumped timing chain or belt using Cam Crank signal and in cylinder pressure (part 1)

How to test for a jumped timing chain or belt using Cam Crank signal and in cylinder pressure (part 2)

Upcoming events and exhibitions

AutoNet: Cluj Napoca

The Autonet Mobility Show is the most important automotive aftermarket exhibition in Romania, and one of the biggest in Hungary. The first event took place in 2012, in Cluj Napoca and, since then, has achieved a traditional status among exhibitors and visitors alike.

Every year, one hundred of the most important auto spare parts, accessories and service equipment manufacturers gather to meet over 3500 workshop professionals who come to learn about the latest developments in their field and to benefit from special promotions.

The Autonet Mobility Show has grown every year and established itself as the benchmark of automotive aftermarket events.

AutoNet: Cluj Napoca
8th-9th May, 2015
Cluj Napoca, Romania

autonet mobility show logo

Autopromotec

From May 20th to May 24th the 26th International Biennal Exhibition of Automotive Equipment and Aftermarket Products takes place in Bologna, Italy. In 1514 exhibitors from 51 different countries attended Autopromotec, with the show attracting over 100,000 visitors. Covering equipment and material for: car repair workshops, vehicle body repair shops, vehicle electricians, tyre retailers, car dealers, service stations, and car washes.

Autopromotec
20th-24th May, 2015
Bologna Trade Fair Center,
Bolgna,
Italy

autopromotec exhibition logo

Stahlgruber show

Trade visitors from the automotive industry will gain a comprehensive overview of innovations, new legal regulations, current products as well as services and support offered. The STAHLGRUBER exhibitions have more to offer than just information about day-to-day business: The growing market for vintage cars and modern classic cars or approaches to saving energy at car repair businesses are just some of the issues that are put in the limelight!

New exhibitors, additional topics and the new STAHLGRUBER Centre of Excellence are other special features of the new 2015 exhibitions. A total of 180 well-known exhibitors from the industry make sure that a wide and interesting spectrum of information will be provided - for workshop owners and employees.

Stahlgruber Show
30th-31st May 2015
Frankfurt,
Germany

Bosch LSU 4.2 Wideband O2 Sensor - Technical note

In this Technical note (and future Guided Test), Steve Smith gives a detailed diagnostic procedure for testing and diagnosing these troublesome sensors...

The purpose of this test is to evaluate the operation of the Bosch LSU 4.2 oxygen sensor (Pre-Catalyst) in relation to the air/fuel ratio using the Volt Drop method.

Note: The correct operation of the oxygen sensor is dependent upon: the temperature of the sensing tip, the mechanical condition of the engine, fuel quality, engine temperature, the external environment of the sensor (contamination) and the integrity of the engine management system.

The following procedure assumes the conditions mentioned above are all in order and the oxygen sensor to be functioning correctly. Any failures identified with the operation of the oxygen sensor whilst conducting these tests does not necessarily indicate a fault with the oxygen sensor itself.

Often the oxygen sensor will display operational characteristics that are inconsistent due to fuelling or mechanical errors. The results obtained are therefore symptoms of underlying conditions and not the cause.

It is therefore paramount to evaluate the engine mechanical condition and management system beforecondemning the oxygen sensor...

To continue reading Steve's Bosch wideband O2 sensor technical note, please view it on on our website.

Scope School - Part 1

Steve Smith gives a basic introduction to PicoScope, in this first of 4 Scope School articles...

PicoScope has given technicians the facility to reveal details hidden deep inside vehicle control circuits, accessing a level of detail that could not have been envisaged just 20 years ago. When we think back to the late 80s and early 90s looking at waveforms displayed on small screens with little colour options, I do wonder how we managed to diagnose anything with reasonable ease and conviction.

Today the sky would appear to be the limit with widescreens, colour monitors, multi channels, high-speed capturing, zooming, and more. With the ability to save, share, and store what we have captured for future reference, the advance in the tools of our trade is fantastic.

All these features have made the automotive oscilloscope (scope) user-friendly and more importantly, the essential companion to the scan tools found in virtually every automotive workshop around the globe. So how do we harness the power of this essential tool and use it to our advantage, not only to assist with diagnosis but to develop our own personal understanding of control circuits and systems?

To continue reading Steve Smith's Scope School Part 1 article, please visit our website.

New: Coil-on-plug and signal probe

The latest design of Coil-on-plug (COP) and signal probe from Pico Technology is the fastest way you can check coil–on–plug ignition coils and spark plugs.

  • Find misfires fast
  • Displays scope patterns of the secondary, faster than scoping the primary
  • Works on all automotive scopes capable of displaying ignition patterns
  • Can also be used to investigate injectors and other inductive actuators
  • Flexible design allows for easier access to hard-to-reach components
  • No batteries required

Compatible with any Pico Automotive scope, the COP and signal probe can also pick up injector and actuator waveforms on a wide variety of vehicle makes and models. You can buy the probe on its own or with a special grounded cable.

To order or for more information, please visit the Coil-on-plug and signal probe page on our website.

Upcoming events and exhibitions

AMR Beijing

Boasting 1200 exhibitors, 100 000 square meters, and an estimated 55 000 visitors AMR Beijing 2015 continues to boast of pride globally and maintain its unique prominence in high quality and professionalism; with a diversified mix of new products altogether, constant waves of wonderful events and overwhelming highlights. Manufacturers, distributors and end users of auto maintenance and repair industry from all over the globe will gather in again in Beijing.

9th-12th April, 2015 AMR Beijing
New China International Exhibition Center,
Beijing, China

AMR China exhibition logo

Automechanika Istanbul

The dynamic Turkish automotive market requires good preparation and smooth entry conditions. Bringing the major players in the Turkish and European industries together, this fair has become a meeting point, for Turkey as well as for the surrounding regions.

Automechanika Istanbul is Eurasia's number one OEM and Aftermarket event. It brings together all relevant professionals from the Automotive Manufacturing, Distribution and Repair sectors in the region and it provides opportunities for Small and Middle Enterprises to step up in the market.

9th-12th April, 2015 Automechanika Istanbul
Istanbul,
Turkey

CV Show

Close to 19 000 business visitors attended the 2014 Show and three out of every four was a fleet owner, director, senior manager or engineer. The CV Show provides a massive audience of decision makers who have purposely left their businesses to see what is on offer.

The Commercial Vehicle Show is by far the best attended, largest and most diverse road transport and logistics event staged in Britain, catering for every operator's requirements. For well over a decade the CV Show has provided the industry with the best sourcing opportunity found anywhere in the UK.

14th-16th April, 2015 CV Show
NEC Birmingham,
UK

Automechanika Chicago

Automechanika, known across the world as putting on some of the biggest automotive specific shows - has decided the states shouldn't be left out. This year, the brand is expanding and adding a location to the US.

Automechanika Chicago, if judging by the other events they put on, will quickly become one of the must go to events for automotive tools and training. There will be scope training classes available as Pico Technology will be at the trade show in booth #1305, showing the latest scopes and accessories.

24th-26th April, 2015 Automechanika Chicago
Chicago,
IL USA

Stahlgruber show

Trade visitors from the automotive industry will gain a comprehensive overview of innovations, new legal regulations, current products as well as services and support offered. The STAHLGRUBER exhibitions have more to offer than just information about day-to-day business: The growing market for vintage cars and modern classic cars or approaches to saving energy at car repair businesses are just some of the issues that are put in the limelight!

New exhibitors, additional topics and the new STAHLGRUBER Centre of Excellence are other special features of the new 2015 exhibitions. A total of 180 well-known exhibitors from the industry make sure that a wide and interesting spectrum of information will be provided - for workshop owners and employees.

Stahlgruber Show
24th-26th April, 2015
Chemnitz,
Germany

Case Study: BMW Charging system communication error

This month the vehicle in question is a 2003 BMW 545. Powered by a 4.4 litre V8, this 1600 kg BMW should hit 60 mph in around 5.8 seconds. Sadly for this customer consistency was not a strong point on this vehicle, with sporadic instrument panel illumination, auto transmission faults, occasional non-starts, and lack of response from the gas pedal, all meant any performance was rarely seen.

Steve Smith explains...

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I cringe at the amount of technology loaded into one vehicle and the potential for things to fail. The good news is, the more they load in the more opportunities pour out when they go wrong. Here is one such vehicle that has been suffering from repeated breakdowns as a result of what proved to be overvoltage.

You can continue reading the BMW 545 case study online...

New accessories

The 1st March sees a whole host of new accessories being launched to further expand your PicoScope kit:

Fuse extension lead kit PP967

Including (also available separately):
• TA035 - Mini-ATC fuse extension lead
• TA034 - Standard ATC fuse extension lead
• TA206 - Maxi fuse extension lead
• TA168 - JCASE Fuse extension

fuse extension lead set for use with picoscope automotive scope

Breakout leads

• TA190 - 2-pin ACS breakout lead
• TA191 - 3-pin Kostal breakout lead
• TA192 - 2-pin Deutsch breakout lead
• TA193 - 4-pin Deutsch breakout lead
• TA194 - 2-pin Kostal breakout lead

breakout connector leads for use with picoscope automotive scope

Customer Question

Steve Smith, Automotive Applications Specialist from Pico's Automotive Technical Support, answers a customer query.

Why should I purchase an oscilloscope when I can use a multimeter to measure various circuits?

This question is one that crops up time and time again when we introduce the new users to PicoScope. We often attend trade events where we include a short presentation containing an image that really does say it all.

So what are the advantages?
Let’s take a look at the update speed or refresh rate of our typical multimeter (which remains a must havetool).

When we measure a component for voltage (a bulb for example) the circuit is reasonably straightforward in that we have a 12 V supply to the bulb and a 0 V ground reference. The display on the multimeter reads 12 V and the bulb illuminates. Now let’s introduce a poor connection into the same circuit that reduces the supply voltage when we wiggle the wiring. What may happen here is that the bulb will momentarily flicker as we wiggle the wiring and the multimeter may display a fall in voltage but only if it exceeds a specific duration, otherwise the multimeter may continue to display 12 V. In this scenario the technician could incorrectly assume the supply voltage is OK and move onto other tests that are not applicable.

The waveform below simulates the drop of a 5 V power supply during a wiggle test.

You could argue that a multimeter with a Min/Max feature (whereby the meter records minimum and maximum voltages during the wiggle test) would capture this fall in voltage and you could be right, but how would it fare in the scenario below?

Think of the output voltage of a crankshaft position sensor where the frequency (speed) of the signal will increase in proportion to engine speed. Using a multimeter to measure the voltage or frequency of this signal will only present you with an average voltage or frequency value. Should the crankshaft sensor be exposed to a deformed or missing tooth of a reluctor ring, the multimeter simply cannot display the momentary drop in voltage or frequency for the time period the missing tooth passes the tip of the crankshaft sensor. At idle speed this takes around 0.75 milliseconds to 1.5 milliseconds depending on design of the pick-up and frequency of the signal.

Connecting PicoScope to the vehicle and acquiring a signal does not have to be daunting or anything to fear. We have been doing this for years with our multimeter and the PicoScope connections are fundamentally the same. Simply requiring a signal (Supply) to be applied to one lead and a 0 V ground reference to the other (sound familiar?).

The scope most certainly has become an essential tool. Not only does it enable the technician to measure voltage, current, pressure and temperature against time, but allows the capture of event’s taking place at lightning speeds with incredible resolution ensuring nothing is missed during diagnosis.

Upcoming events and exhibitions

Vision KC

The largest automotive service industry expo in the Midwest part of the United States, with most attendees saying it is the best show in the states, VisionKC is going on next month showcasing the latest in service related tools, equipment, products and services.

Need some training on your PicoScope or just want to refresh your memory? Pico Technology will be exhibiting at the show, and there will be a hands-on PicoScope specific training course taking place. Covering the advanced features of PicoScope, and utilizing it with different Pico accessories such as our popular pressure transducer. We will also be highlighting the latest in the PicoScope 4000 series, so stop by booth number 233.

5th-8th March 2015 Vision KC
Kansas City, MO USA

Motortec Automechanika Madrid

Motortec Automechanika Madrid 2015, the Spanish edition of the World's Leading Trade Fair for the Automotive Industry catering for trade visitors from Spain and Portugal, Latin America and North Africa.

The last show in 2013, welcomed over 41 000 sector professionals from 85 countries. A total of 469 companies from 20 countries took part in the fair.

MIAC will be attending the show in 2015, and will showcasing Pico Technology's latest products; if you're attending the show why not visit them in hall 6C, stand 29.

Motortec Automechanika Madrid
11th-14th March 2015
Madrid, Spain

Automotive Training Expo

The 2015 Automotive Training Expo will have some of the best trainers from the industry lined up! Get the latest training, browse exhibits ranging from all aspects of the industry, benefit from great networking opportunities and more.

Get inspired, get motivated and get informed! This is your chance to experience top industry-leading trainers speak. Great topics that are not only relevant to our industry and today's economy, but inspirational too. So don't miss out and "Mark Your Calendars" March 20-22,2015.

Autonerdz will be representing Pico Technology at The West Coast's Largest Automotive Training Expo, why not stop by and see them at booth #51

Automotive Training Expo
20th-22nd March 2015
Doubletree Seattle Airport Hotel
18740 International Boulevard
Seattle, WA 98188
USA

Automechanika Chicago

Automechanika, known across the world as putting on some of the biggest automotive specific shows - has decided the states shouldn't be left out. This year, the brand is expanding and adding a location to the US.

Automechanika Chicago, if judging by the other events they put on, will quickly become one of the must go to events for automotive tools and training. There will be scope training classes available as Pico Technology will be at the trade show in booth #1305, showing the latest scopes and accessories.

Automechanika Chicago
24th-26th April, 2015
Chicago,
IL USA

Case Study: Celica brings Scope and Scan Tool together

This month Steve Smith demonstrates how PicoScope fits within the diagnostic jigsaw when resolving seemingly complex issues.

The analogy of a jigsaw fits well if we look at the essential pieces required for a successful diagnosis.

  • The relevant Scan Tool
  • Accurate technical information
  • Experience gained as a direct result of training
  • PicoScope

The vehicle in question is a 2001 Toyota Celica 1.8 190 PS utilising variable valve timing and lift. The complaint from the customer was poor idling, heavy fuel consumption, lack of power, periodic cutting out on over run and the all-important engine warning light was illuminated.

As always the customer interview is vital, and in this case revealed that extensive engine work had been carried out including a cylinder head replacement due to severe overheating.

At this point it is very easy to jump to conclusions and assume "doom and gloom" when a customer arrives having experienced numerous attempted repairs after a major engine overhaul. However, by maintaining a methodical approach throughout the diagnostic procedure we can present our customer with not just a bill, but a working vehicle and the evidence and data trail that supports the necessary rectification.

A basic inspection revealed the tell-tale signs of intrusion about the engine to include, a new cylinder head, VVT oil control valve, coolant temperature sensor, catalyst, pre-catalyst O2 sensor accompanied with a punctured and misrouted wiring harness that resembled a pin cushion! A brief road test confirmed the customer's complaint but also revealed the engine to sound fine with no knocks or rattles, or smoke from the exhaust and both coolant temperature and pressure to be correct. Note: The exhaust fumes did emit the sulphur odor associated with over fuelling or a catalyst working overtime! (it is essential to establish the engine condition before spending the customer's money).

You can continue reading the Toyota Celica case study online...

Pico Technology's Automotive Year: 2014

2014 was quite a busy year for Pico; below is a quick overview of our year:

February 2014 wps600 hydraulic pressure transducer image In February of 2014 we launched our WPS600 Hydraulic Pressure Transducer. A 0-600 bar high accuracy tool for accurate measurement analysis and diagnosis of automotive and industrial hydraulic systems.
When price, performance and versatility matter, there is nothing that compares to the WPS600 Pressure Transducer.
March 2014 In March of 2014 we made a small update to the WPS500X Pressure Transducer kits to include the TA156 M12 compression hose in place of the TA105 M16 Ford Triton Hose.
Not sure why you would need a WPS500? Why not read an online Case Study by Steve Smith, showing just how useful the WPS500 really is.
April 2014 30 A large jaw current clamp In April of 2014 we released the 30 A large jaw current clamp. A precision current clamp allowing you to measure from 5 mA up to 30 A without cutting, disconnecting or stripping the wire. It is ideal for measuring the currents in sensors and actuators across most modern passenger and commercial vehicles.
May 2014 In May of 2014 we released the PicoDiagnostics NVH Kit, the cost-effective answer to the many NVH problems facing technicians today.
June 2014 coloured breakout leads June 2014 saw the arrival of our 5 m (16 feet) versions of the standard premium test leads. Color-coded so the color of the lead in the engine bay matches the default color of the on-screen waveform, the leads are fully screened along their whole length for minimum noise pick-up.
Please visit our website for more information: Test lead accessory page.
July 2014 picoscope automotive waveform library If there was ever a feature of PicoScope Automotive 6 that was worth shouting about, it arrived in our stable release of software in July of 2014. Located under the File menu theAutomotive Waveform Library enables users to search a global database of waveforms that have been uploaded by other PicoScope users from around the world. With numerousSearch Options allowing you to locate a relevant waveform for a specific manufacturer or model, or even a specific engine code.
For more detail and guidance of the Waveform Library, please see Steve Smith's Waveform Library Browser thread on our Automotive forum for more information.
August 2014 picoscope pressure transducer adaptors On the 1st August 2014 we updated the way in which you can connect your WPS500X to your vehicle. Our accessories list now includes a simple universal hose, with a selection of adaptors. This change also affected the contents of our WPS500X kit. We removed the M14, M10, and M12 compression hoses, and replaced them with the standard WPS500X compression hose, M10 short adaptor, the M12 deep reach adaptor, and both the short and deep reach M14 adaptors.
You can see our latest Pressure Sensors, Transducers and accessories on our website.
September 2014 picoscope automotive oscilloscope September 2014 saw the release of our new hardware, the PicoScope 4425 and 4225 scopes. Sampling at up to 400 million samples per second, and 250 million sample memory your investment is protected for many years to come. With an improved input range of +/- 200 V the new scopes are able to handle increasing injector voltages without the need for attenuators. The floating inputs and ConnectDetect(TM) complete a set of improvements that have been enthusiastically received by our customers.
You can view further information and pricing of the newAutomotive PicoScopes on our website.
October 2014 maxi fuse extension breakout The new TA206 Maxi Fuse extension lead was released in October of 2014. It offers a simple way to measure the current drawn in a Maxi Fuse protected circuit, saving you valuable time.

Events

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

Case Study: Problematic VW Caddy

This month we have a problematic VW Caddy Case Study, from our very own Steve Smith.

When it comes to diagnosis, perseverance is key and never has this been more relevant than in the following case study..if at first you don't succeed...you know the rest.

This case study follows post- purchase rectification of a 2007 VW Caddy 1.9 TDI (Engine code BLS). The Caddy was purchased at auction during the summer with the knowledge that the vehicle was not running at its best, but was "running"!

How this differs from a normal case study is that we do not have a customer complaint. In this case we are assisting with a local rectification project, when the owner called upon us as the going got tough. The initial symptoms surrounded engine vibrations, engine noise, lack of power and poor starting. To cut a very long story short the following items were replaced by the owner, curing the performance and balance issues, but leaving the starting issues:

Now had this been a customer's vehicle, can you imagine the cost and explanation to go with each repair above? Knowing the history of the vehicle it proved too much of a temptation to not get involved and apply the PicoScope.

  • Turbocharger
  • Dual Mass Flywheel and Clutch
  • Glow Plugs
  • Timing belt
  • EGR "blank off"
  • Fuel filter
  • Coolant Temperature sensor
  • Priming Fuel pump
  • Tandem pump
  • Injector harness
  • Starter motor and an engine harness repair

You can continue reading the Problematic VW Caddy Case Study online...

PicoScope Automotive 4225 and 4425: Recap

In September of 2014 we launched the next generation of Automotive PicoScopes with a host of exciting features. The new scopes are available as 2-channel 4225 and 4-channel 4425 models, and are supported by a complete range of kits to allow a workshop to earn money from their PicoScope right out of the box.
The displayed input voltage range of the previous 4000 series scopes was 100 V, this has now been increased to 200 V with the new PicoScope 4225 and 4425, so removing the need for attenuation when measuring devices such as injectors etc.

November's Waveform library competition result

Our Waveform Library feature in PicoScope 6 Automotive is growing at a superb rate, with over 1050 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: November's Results

All the waveforms uploaded to the database between 1st November and 30th November were automatically 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

Other Winners

  • epm: Honda Civic
  • markstammers: Renault Modus
  • rburgy: Honda Accord
  • SATIberequipe: Renault Kangoo
  • roadserpent: Chrysler Pacifica
  • ollygould: VW Passat
  • Sherpa: Nissan Micra
  • transguy513: GMC Sierra
  • diagnostics: Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • tode: Alfa Mito

Online training material

We have a new section on our website for online training material. This is a library of articles and videos that will help you to use your PicoScope to reveal information from your chosen vehicle in ways you perhaps may not have considered. This library will continue to grow overtime, so well worth that browser bookmark save.

Currently we have our three Scope School articles (recently featured in PMM magazine), ScannerDanner PicoScope videos, and our introductory guide available.

Upcoming events and exhibitions

Branchenforum, Dortmund

Autologic GmbH, an automotive distributor for Pico Technology is attending and will showcase many of our automotive products. Why not pay them a visit if you are attending the show?

To sign-up please visit the misteratz website.

Branchenforum, Dortmund
18th - 19th January 2015

 

Autozum, Salzburg

Once every two years the AutoZum presents a unique range of products from automobile parts, workshop, garage and fuel station facilities, car washing technology, to accessories and tuning goods; and provides perfect conditions for setting up business deals, cultivating contacts and networking. For over 40 years this show has served markets far beyond the borders of Austria.

Autologic GmbH, an automotive distributor for Pico Technology is attending the show to showcase many of our automotive products. Why not pay them a visit if you are attending the show?

Autozum, Salzburg
21st - 24th January 2015
Am Messezentrum 6,
Postfach 285 A-5021 Salzburg

autozum exhibition logo

Automotive Training Expo

The 2015 Automotive Training Expo will have some of the best trainers from the industry lined up! Get the latest training, browse Exhibits ranging from all aspects of the industry, benefit from great networking opportunities and more.

Get inspired, get motivated and get informed! This is your chance to experience top industry-leading trainers speak. Great topics that are not only relevant to our industry and today's economy, but inspirational too. So don't miss out and "Mark Your Calendars" March 20-22,2015.

Autonerdz will be representing Pico Technology at The West Coast's Largest Automotive Training Expo, why not stop by and see them at booth #51

Automotive Training Expo
20-22nd March 2015
Doubletree Seattle Airport Hotel
18740 International Boulevard
Seattle, WA 98188 USA

Case Study: Toyota Hilux

This month we have a troubled Toyota Hilux, from our very own Steve Smith.

"When it comes to diagnosis there has to be a logical approach at all costs without any preconceptions about "What could be and what has been?". The subject vehicle in this case study demonstrates the application of such a philosophy. We have the arrival of a barely driveable Pickup truck; after the classic scenario of a trader purchasing the vehicle at an auction as a runner. To clarify, the vehicle in question was a 2007 Hilux 2.5 Diesel Manual with 145000 miles and looked like it had lived in a quarry for most of its life. The running symptoms were numerous with warning lights flashing, engine start and stalling, severe engine rattle under brief running conditions and excessive smoke via the exhaust. So where do you start? It has to be the beginning.

The all-important customer interview reveals all the answers that can help with some form of clarity when carrying out the initial assessment. The customer had mentioned how he had viewed the vehicle days before at a local auction but it would not run. An auto electrician was called and miraculously on the day of the auction the vehicle did run (of a fashion) meaning a better price could be requested!
A basic inspection was carried out to assess wiring, connections, fuel quality, fault codes and some initial basic live data. This in itself revealed numerous faults that would link the sequence of events prior to the poor running condition.
The basic inspection confirmed fuel quality to be good, but engine bay and cabin wiring to have been modified, the alternator wiring to be severely corroded, and 2 x fault codes P0340 and P0335 along with the symptom start and stall. The live data revealed reasonable engine speed, good immobiliser data, a cranking signal set to ON (cranking or not), and no injection feedback values during brief engine run conditions! Given the engine would not run long enough to assess the charging system the fault codes had to be pursued remaining mindful of the recently modified engine wiring!

You can continue reading the Toyota Hilux Case Study online...

PicoScope Automotive 4225 and 4425: Recap

In September of 2014 we launched the next generation of Automotive PicoScopes with a host of exciting features. The new scopes are available as 2-channel 4225 and 4-channel 4425models, and are supported by a complete range of kits to allow a workshop to earn money from their PicoScope right out of the box.

One of the exciting features with our new PicoScope 4225 and 4425 scopes was Floating Inputs. The use of Maths Channel A-B perfectly demonstrates this new feature. Think back to a starter motor voltage-drop measurement using a voltmeter across the main supply cable. This would traditionally be carried out by placing the positive test lead to battery positive and the negative test lead to the starter motor terminal 30 (Main connection terminal). The starter motor would be energised and the value displayed on the voltmeter would read the voltage drop across the starter cable.

Using the PicoScope 4223 or 4423 each input shared a common ground. Connecting the ground cable of a test lead to battery negative (of any channel) would also ground the scope's remaining BNC sockets. This is fine for all measurements made with reference to ground (0 V) but the test in question has the ground lead connected to +12 V. To carry out this test using the PicoScope 4223 or 4423 scope we need to utilise 2 Channels. Channel A connected to battery Positive terminal, Channel B connected to terminal 30 of the starter motor and a test lead ground cable connected to the battery negative terminal. The engine is cranked and 2 voltage readings are taken at the battery and the starter motor. Using the Maths Channel (A-B) we can calculate the voltage drop.

Using the PicoScope 4225 or 4425 with floating ground inputs, we can carry out the volt drop test as with the voltmeter (using one channel only):

The term floating defines the architecture of each BNC socket.
Connecting the ground cable of our test lead to either battery negative or +12 V no longer connects the remaining BNC sockets to ground or +12 V. Each BNC socket can now be connected to a reference voltage of 30 V relative to chassis ground. In this scenario the scope reads the voltage drop during cranking without the need for a maths channel whilst utilising only one channel, so allowing your remaining channels to be used for additional measurements. For example, Channel A connected as per the voltmeter, whilst channel B could be connected to the crankshaft sensor measured with reference to ground (monitoring cranking speed).

In summary: Like a differential oscilloscope, each channel requires its own reference. The BNC outer of each channel must be connected to the system under test. Some PicoScope 4423 users are used to connecting just one probe ground clip regardless of the number of channels in use - this will not work with the new PicoScope 4425. As with any differential measurement system, where both input Hi and Low can be connected to a voltage above system ground, there is a limit to how far these inputs can sit above the system ground - the common mode range. The 4425 has a common mode range of +/-30 V at the scope inputs. This means that the voltage between the BNC terminals and the USB/digital backend cannot exceed +/-30 V.

You can view further information and pricing of the new Automotive PicoScopes on our website.

Waveform Library

Our Waveform Library feature in PicoScope 6 Automotive is growing at a superb rate, with over 1000 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.

Aftermarket Competition Winner

We recently ran a competition with Aftermarket Magazine which attracted 100s of entries! We are pleased to announce the winner is....

...Phil Leeks, of Town Garage, Leeds. Phil won a PicoScope 4225 for correctly answering "ConnectDetect" to our question "Which feature confirms the probe has made connection to the circuit under test?". You can see Tony Shortstaff showing off the company's new PicoScope in the picture here on behalf of Phil.

Graphing RPM

Steve Smith, Automotive Applications Specialist from Pico's Automotive Technical Support provides a tech tip on graphing RPM with a Maths Channel.

Did you know we can make use of the Maths Channels feature to calculate RPM (revolutions per minute)? This really does become invaluable when looking at subtle changes in engine speed applicable to very light misfires.
We have to create the Maths Channel formula to calculate the frequency of our engine speed signal relative to 1 revolution of the crankshaft and multiply by 60.

E.g. Our Crankshaft pick up ring has 36 teeth with 2 missing as TDC (top dead centre) reference. Whilst in reality we have 34 teeth, we must include the missing teeth in our formula for accurate RPM results. To explain further how the Maths Channel can display RPM we need to look at the theory.
We are looking at the frequency (measured in Hz [cycles per second]) but require revolutions per minute (RPM):
RPM = Frequency (Hz) x 60 (making our number now per minute [60 seconds in a minute])
So: 1 rotation of 36 Teeth of our crankshaft pick up is equal to: Hz x 60

The Maths Channel formula is written as follows: 60/36 * freq(A-2.5)
This enables the PicoScope to calculate RPM based upon the 36 teeth of the engine speed signal.

  1. Select Tools > Maths Channels and then Create.
  2. Click on Advanced
  3. Enter "60/36*" and then the freq button. When freq( ) appears in the formula box type "A 2.5" if we have a hall effect engine speed sensor on Channel A or simply "A" for an inductive engine speed sensor.
    a. The whole formula will look like 60/36*freq(A-2.5 ) for digital sensors and 60/36*freq(A) for inductive sensors (both with 36 teeth, in reality 34 as two are missing).
  4. Click Next. Choose any colour you prefer for your RPM maths channel.
  5. Click Next.

a. In the upper (Units) section type "Engine Speed" in the Long Name and "RPM" in the Short Name.
b. In the Range section it is best to enable Override automatic range selection. This allows manual override for the actual range you require (in the example I have selected 0 RPM to 1500 RPM).
c. Click Next and Finish.
d. Via the context menu (right-click of the mouse) enable your created Maths Channel and click OK.
Your new Maths Channel will appear and will plot the RPM of the channel you have requested (in our case A-2.5 is an RPM maths channel for Channel A).

Typical Maths Channel formulas for various engine speed configurations are:

  • Digital 36 teeth pick up on Channel A
  • Inductive 36 teeth pick up on Channel A
  • Digital 60 teeth pick up on Channel A
  • Inductive 60 teeth pick up on Channel A

- 60/36*freq(A-2.5)
- 60/36*freq(A)
- 60/60*freq(A-2.5)
- 60/60*freq(A)

RPM calculations using Maths Channels is not limited to a crankshaft sensor signal. Any stable signal output relative to 1 crankshaft revolution can be utilised. Exhaust gas pulsations of a 4 cylinder engine for example:
2 x exhaust gas pulsations per crankshaft revolution can be used to obtain RPM (Engine speed), in the formula:60/2*freq(A)

Go ahead and play with the Maths Channels feature as it will open up a whole new world of measuring techniques, revealing even more about your input signal.

Upcoming events and exhibitions

Automechanika Shanghai, China

Automechanika Shanghai 2013 lived up to its status as the world's second largest international trade fair for automotive parts, accessories, equipment and services and the best platform for tapping into the Chinese and overseas markets. The 2014 show is expected to attract 4,800 exhibitors and 86,000 global buyers.

Hongke, our automotive distributor in China is attending the show to showcase many of our automotive products. Why not pay them a visit if you are attending the show? You will find them on stand W5A03.

Automechanika Shanghai
9th - 10th December 2014
SNIEC
2345 Longyang Road,
Pudong New Area Shanghai P.R.C. 201204

Case Study: NVH Cabin Case Study Tutorial

This month we have an NVH case study tutorial from our very own Steve Smith.

"It is no secret by now that amongst the numerous accessories to accompany PicoScope, the NVH kit (Noise Vibration Harshness) introduces a whole new dimension to diagnosis in which (as technicians) we are only scratching the surface.

When I read through our forums, it never ceases to amaze me how scope users have adapted the scope for their own measurement needs using custom probes and maths channels etc. The possibilities are endless and now with a means to measure and more importantly, identify noise/vibration, we have a whole new area of study to embrace and techniques to apply. A recent question raised on our automotive forum asked "What can I diagnose with the NVH kit?".

A MK5 VW Golf 2.0 TDI with a distinct vibration throughout the cabin at a very specific road speed range of 67- 73 mph, presented a real nuisance at cruising speed. This problem resulted in the customer driving at 65 or 75 mph to avoid the vibration.
The vibration was not evident through the steering wheel and the customer confirmed all 4 wheels and tyres had been balanced.
With any form of diagnosis, confirmation of the symptom with the customer is critical and never before has this been more essential than when investigating NVH. I mention this now because our perceptions of noise and vibration differ from one individual to the next. What might appear a nuisance to the customer may in fact be a vehicle characteristic based on the experience of the technician. Until now, proving this fact to a customer was dependent on the rapport and trust of the technician with the customer.
Now, with Pico's NVH kit we can take a physical measurement of the vibration level and present the customer with factual evidence from their vehicle or even from a donor vehicle (when a comparison is required). This enables you to explain whether the vibration level is a characteristic of that vehicle or requires a component to be replaced or repaired identified from the frequency of the vibrations detected. So how does the NVH kit detect and identify the numerous vibrations present in a vehicle?".

You can continue reading the NVH Case Study Tutorial online...

PicoScope Automotive 4225 and 4425: Recap

Last month we launched the next generation of Automotive PicoScopes with a host of exciting features. The new scopes are available as 2-channel 4225 and 4-channel 4425 options, and are supported by a complete range of kits to allow a workshop to earn money from their PicoScope right out of the box.

The new Automotive PicoScopes are 5 times faster then their predecessors and with up to 400 million samples per second your investment is protected for many years to come.

A 250 million sample memory and comprehensive triggering functions, mixed with a powerful zoom function allows you to have the best of both worlds: high speed and long capture times. With an input voltage range of +/- 200 V to handle increasing injector voltages without the need for attenuators.

The floating inputs on the new PicoScope 4000 Series scopes mean that all inputs can be used in differential mode (e.g. CAN-H and CAN-L signals), or across non-grounded components such as 12 V injectors or for voltage drop testing using a single input.

The new PicoScopes include ConnectDetect(TM) which detects when you have made a good connection in those difficult-to-reach places. This new feature detects circuit connections with a low impedance (100 kilohm). When enabled, the PicoScope displays the status of the connection both as an on-screen icon and corresponding Channel LED located on the front of the scope; handy if the screen is not visible while probing.

The example below shows a good connection on Channel A (Green), a poor or no connection on Channel B (Red) and that ConnectDetect is not applicable on Channel C (Grey) due to a x10 attenuator being used (ConnectDetect does not work with the current clamps and pressure transducers either).

The ConnectDetect icons remain on screen briefly once a good connection has been established, and then become transparent to prevent obscuring the waveform under review. Should the connection be lost during a capture, the relevant icons will return in bold to warn of a connection problem.

You can view further information and pricing of the new Automotive PicoScopes on our website.

Waveform Library and Competition news!

Our Waveform Library feature in PicoScope 6 Automotive is growing at a superb rate, with over 900 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: September Results

All the waveforms uploaded to the database before midnight on September 30th 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

  • Camo: Kia ix35
  • Marcon: VW Golf
  • LucaB: Opel Zafira B
  • linville78: Ford F-150
  • terbo: Vauxhall Astra CC

Other Winners

  • accchris: Smart Fortwo
  • tode: Chevrolet Captiva
  • markstammers: Peugeot 307
  • heronsautos: Renault Espace
  • Daniel R Knudsen: Toyota Yaris

Waveform Library Competition: November Competition

All the waveforms uploaded to the database between November 1st and November 30th will be 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.

With the focus of these uploads on CAM and CRANK, we are offering 5 of the 10 vouchers to people who have uploaded this type of waveform.

A new accessory for your PicoScope kit

The new TA206 Maxi Fuse extension lead is a simple accessory that can save you valuable time.
Simply remove your existing maxi fuse from its fusebox terminal and replace it with our TA206 extension lead. Insert the original maxi fuse into the open end of the extension lead and place your Pico current clamp around the lead. You can now measure the current drawn in the circuit.

A PicoScope 4425 sampling tip via Tech Support

Steve Smith, Automotive Applications Specialist from Pico's Automotive Technical Support provides a a tech tip on how to achieve 250 MS (megasamples) using our latest automotive scopes.

The Buffer Memory (sample memory) for the new scope has a maximum capacity of 250 MS shared between active channels. However, a proportion of the selected buffer memory (half) is utilised for sending captures to the waveform buffer when taking multiple captures (while utilising Buffer memory to display waveform on screen, half of the Buffer memory is also used for writing the previously captured waveform to the waveform buffer).

The way in which we can demonstrate the maximum number of samples would be to carry out a single trigger event on a single channel at 500 ms/div with 300 MS or above selected. The scope however must also be set to block mode when using 500 ms/div, as the default for streaming mode is set to switch from block to streaming at 200 ms/div.

To set block mode at 500 ms/div select Tools>Preferences>Sampling, select the Collection time to any value above 500 ms/div, select Apply and OK (Streaming mode will now only be activated at the level you specified in the Collection time box.

Capture the desired single channel waveform using a single trigger and you will now have 250,000,002 samples on one screen.

Automotive preset library update

No matter how long you've had your Automotive PicoScope, the chances are you have used at least one of the tests in our Automotive preset library. Over 140 preset tests provide connection information, technical information and example waveform data for you to follow and learn from. These tests have been around for many years. With the recent leap forward in our scope technology, the new waveform library feature, and new accessories being supported by the software all the time, the automotive presets and help files are next to get some attention. Work is taking place to bring new help files covering our popular WPS500X Pressure Transducer, and new tests that are required in the ever advancing world of car technology.

Combined with new and updated content we are giving the help files a makeover in order to bring them into line with other documentation and marketing literature. The new and improved help files will be deployed in future releases of software, and will continue to provide useful information to our customers. Watch this space for news on their imminent release.

Upcoming events and exhibitions

Auto Trade Expo - 2014

The new Auto Trade Expo will be the first of its kind ever held in Ireland. It will showcase all aspects of the Irish auto aftermarket in a major trade only event. It will prove a Mecca for mechanics; technicians; and apprentices from independent garages and main dealerships. It will also be a must attend event for workshop and / or aftersales managers, parts managers, and owners and managers of garages, transport workshops, bodyshops, tyre centres, motor factors, and everyone involved in the auto aftermarket.

Trade stands will be interactive with real demonstrations. Touch and feel the parts, tools and equipment and interact with those doing the demonstrations, to learn about new products, tools, equipment, and methods - to have your questions answered. All vehicle aftermarket sectors including motorbikes, passenger cars, light commercials, heavy commercials, trailers and buses will be catered for in the Auto Trade Expo.

A Pico distributor Diagnostic Solutions Ltd will be attending the show, why not take a look at what we have to offer?

Auto Trade Expo - 2014
8th - 9th November 2014
Citywest Conference Centre
Saggart, Co.Dublin
Ireland

Mechanex - Sandown, England

Visit MECHANEX 2014 and you'll have the chance to see demonstrations of the latest workshop innovations. In addition take advantage of many exclusive show offers and a free bacon roll and t-shirt courtesy of the MECHANEX team.

The Sandown event takes place between 11th and 12th of November 2014. The aftermarket service diagnostics and repair sector has never been more competitive, Pico will be at the show with our latest innovative products and accessories so if you are attending, why not come and see Pico at stand B5.

Mechanex Sandown
11th - 12th November 2014
Sandown Park
Surrey, England

Employment opportunities

Do you want to work at the leading edge of automotive diagnostic and test equipment design? Or perhaps know someone that would thrive in our industry and the environment Pico Technology provides?

We are always on the lookout for talented individuals to join our expanding team. Based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire we are a growing company with fantastic employee benefits and prospects.

Why not visit (or recommend) our pico.jobs web page, and see what we have to offer?!

Training courses

For a list of Pico endorsed trainers, please visit the training page on our website.

Product launch: Our new Automotive scopes

Pico Technology has launched the next generation of Automotive PicoScopes with a host of exciting features and has again managed to massively improve the performance but keep the same price. The new scopes are available as 2-channel 4225 and 4-channel 4425 options, and are supported by a complete range of kits to allow a workshop to earn money from their PicoScope right out of the box.

The previous PicoScopes were fast enough to capture CAN and FlexRay signals but the new Automotive PicoScopes are 5 times faster, have 16 times more memory and capture up to 400 million samples per second to protect your investment for many years to come.

Intermittent problems have no place to hide thanks to the combination of a 250 million sample memory and comprehensive triggering functions. The powerful zoom functions allow you to have the best of both worlds: high speed and long capture times. With 2 times the input voltage of our previous scopes, the improved +/- 200 V input is able to handle increasing injector voltages without the need for attenuators.

A major innovation is the independent floating inputs; think of it as separate single-channel oscilloscopes in a box all sharing the same timebase and control. This means that all inputs can be used in differential mode (e.g. CAN-H and CAN-L signals), or across non-grounded components such as 12 V injectors or for voltage drop testing using a single input. The new scopes also introduce a new user convenience function with ConnectDetect (TM). This handy feature detects when you have made a good connection in those difficult-to-reach places, displaying the connection status on your screen and on the front of the unit. The 2-channel 4225 model has the same memory and performance as the 4425, but with 2 channels offers a lower cost to fit any budget. PicoScope can pay back on just one job by helping to verify that you have diagnosed and fixed the root cause problem first time.

To ensure that our latest automotive scopes will make the most of recent PC technology improvements, they support USB3 for the highest-speed screen updates and waveform saving. Users of our older automotive scopes such as the 4423 and the previous 3423 shouldn't worry; as always Pico Technology continues to provide free software upgrades to ensure that every PicoScope becomes more powerful long after it has been purchased.

You can view further information and pricing of the new Automotive PicoScopes on our website.

Case Study: Jeep Compass with VW 2.0 PD

This month we have a case study from a Daniel O'Connell, of Auto & Marine Electrical in Ireland.

"I had a customer's 2007 JEEP Compass , European Spec, fitted with the VW 2.0 TDi PD engine (code BLY). Unfortunately standard VAG software (e.g. VCDS) cannot communicate with this ECU (due to it being a JEEP). Communication via standard EOBD displayed "No Codes" although the check engine light was illuminated, and a misfire fault was present.

At this stage I needed to determine 3 things:

  1. Are all injectors receiving a signal from the engine ECU?
  2. Are all injectors drawing equal current?
  3. What cylinder is misfiring?"

You can read the Jeep Compass with VW 2.0 PD Case Study online.

Waveform Library and Competition news!

Our Waveform Library feature in PicoScope 6 Automotive is growing at a superb rate, with over 700 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 September 30th will be 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.

With the focus of these uploads on CAM and CRANK, we are offering 5 of the 10 vouchers to people who have uploaded this type of waveform.

Tech Tip: Active Wheel Speed Sensors

Steve Smith, our Automotive Applications Specialist, gives advice when measuring an active wheel speed sensor. Here is Steve's

Tech Tip:

The test procedure for these style sensors ideally require the use of a milliamps clamp given their output varies only from 6 to 15 mA approximately.

Unfortunately the milliamps clamp is very expensive given the resolution required at such low outputs, however, one possibility would be to use the Pico 60 A clamp in 20 A mode or the 30 A clamp. These are both just about sensitive enough to pick up the changing signal, but to get a clear signal they need some help from one or both of the following methods:

Method 1: Interrupt the circuit with breakout leads and then wind the signal wire 10 times or more times through the jaws of the current clamp, hereby amplifying the signal by 10. The clamp now sees a signal that switches from approx 60 mA to 150 mA.

Method 2: Use the resolution enhance feature to increase the PicoScope resolution from 12 bits to 16 bits, this makes both the inputs more sensitive and filters out some noise through averaging allowing you to detect the switching current. If you have one of the new 4225 or 4425 PicoScopes you can also enable the hardware low pass filter in order to reduce noise and better see the signal.

As an alternative (not using a current clamp) on many systems you can detect a switching voltage. To see this you can utilise the AC coupling feature of the scope to measure activity on the ABS sensor signal wire when the road wheel is rotating. This will expose the fluctuations present on the signal wire that will reveal some valuable signal content allowing you to confirm sensor output.

Pico's range of Current Clamps can be found on www.picoauto.com.

An NVH question from the forum

An interesting NVH question was raised by eric989, relating to vibration levels detected with our NVH kit, and what qualified as acceptable levels.

Steve Smith replies:
Our perception of vibration differs from individual to individual and so "what level of vibration is acceptable?" is an interesting question.

If we take a first order tyre vibration as an example (T1 tyre imbalance), assuming a road-test confirms no vibration in the cabin (experienced by the customer) and a maximum T1 vibration level of 7 mg, then we can assume 7 mg is acceptable for this vehicle set-up.

However a T1 vibration level of 7 mg on a different vehicle set-up may present a detectable level of vibration to the customer. Back to back testing of vehicles is always an invaluable approach allowing you to prove to a customer their vibration level is in fact a characteristic and not a fault when compared to an identical vehicle.

Experience is always key here as we all know that theories don't always translate into the real world and of course the more testing you carry out the more you build that subconscious database of what is and is not normal.

I guess what I am trying to say is, we do not posses a database of acceptable levels of vibration for vehicle components but the more we test with this relatively new tool the more we will all learn and the more data we will acquire.

I know this is not really an answer to the question, more of a question to a question but recent testing I have carried out on a known good vehicle recorded a T1 vibration level of 5 mg at 70 mph.

Please refer to the full thread on the Pico Automotive forum if you wish to join the discussion. Note that the discussion has moved on since the initial question was posted.

Upcoming events and exhibitions

Stahlgruber - Exhibition Sindelfingen 2014

Our German distributor will be attending the Stahlgruber show in late October. The event takes place between 18-19th October, and attracts around 16,000 visitors. At the show will be our latest automotive kits, so if you are attending, why not come and see us.

Stahlgruber Exhibition Sindelfingen 2014
18th - 19th October 2014
Messehalle Sindelfingen
Mahdentalstrasse 116
71065 Sindelfingen
Germany

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.

Autonet Mobility Show - Bucharest
24th - 25th October 2014
Romaero Baneasa exhibition center
Bucharest, Romania

AAPEX - Sands Expo, Las Vegas

Visit AAPEX at Sands Expo Las Vegas and view thousands of new products in every category. Suppliers from around the world will join over 2,400 other exhibitors. New research, new trends, and new education specifically compiled and developed to help grow your business.

The event takes place between 4th and 6th of November 2014 and Pico will be at the show with our latest innovative products and accessories. If you are attending, why not come and see Pico at stand #964.

AAPEX - Sands Expo
4th - 6th November 2014
Sands Expo,
Las Vegas, USA

Mechanex - Sandown, England

Visit MECHANEX 2014 and you'll have the chance to see demonstrations of the latest workshop innovations. In addition take advantage of many exclusive show offers and a free bacon roll and t-shirt courtesy of the MECHANEX team.

The Sandown event takes place between 11th and 12th of November 2014. The aftermarket service diagnostics and repair sector has never been more competitive, Pico will be at the show with our latest innovative products and accessories so if you are attending, why not come and see Pico at stand B5.

Mechanex Sandown
11th - 12th November 2014
Sandown Park
Surrey, England

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 www.picoauto.com.

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 www.prodiag.co.uk 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.

Latest Software: Waveform Library now in stable release!

The current stable release of PicoScope is PicoScope 6 Automotive R6.9.14 and now includes: Waveform Library Browser, improvements to Serial Decoding, new Maths Channel filters, Duty cycle graphing, and various bug fixes.

Waveform Library Browser Update

Our Waveform Library is growing every day. With nearly 450 waveforms now available for users to browse, preview, open, or set as a reference.

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.

An update to the Waveform Library Browser now gives you the ability to manage your uploaded waveforms:

  • Request removal of one of your uploaded waveforms.
  • Edit Waveform allowing you to edit your uploaded waveform information.
  • My Waveforms shows you a list of your uploaded waveforms.

Note: Once a removal request has been made, the waveform is hidden from all users.

These updates are covered in Steve Smith's Waveform Library Update thread on our forum.

The more good waveforms in the database the more useful it will be. If like many users you have built up a collection of waveforms on your own PC, now is the chance to give something back to the community and help fellow techs by uploading them to the database. Adding an existing waveform from your PC to the online waveform database is as simple as loading the waveform into PicoScope, checking details such as vehicle Make and Model are present, and selecting Save and Share.

Waveform Library Competition

Don't forget all the waveforms uploaded to the database before midnight on July 31st will be 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. To encourage you to upload these waveforms 5 of the 10 vouchers will be awarded to people who have uploaded this type of waveform.

There is no limit to the number of waveforms you can upload, the more you upload the more chances you have to win but, if in the judges' opinion a waveform has been uploaded with no useful content simply to enter the competition, then the entry will be removed.

For more detail and guidance of the Waveform Library, please see Steve Smith's Waveform Library Browser thread on our Automotive forum for more information.

New accessories: WPS500X Universal hose and adapters

On the 1st August 2014 we will update the way in which you can connect your WPS500X to your vehicle. Our accessories list will include a simple universal hose, with a selection of adaptors:

  • TA212: Standard hose
  • TA213: M10 short reach adaptor
  • TA214: M10 deep reach adaptor
  • TA216: M12 deep reach adaptor
  • TA217: M14 short reach adaptor
  • TA218: M14 deep reach adaptor
  • TA219: M16 Ford Triton adaptor
  • TA220: M18 adaptor

This change also affects the contents of our WPS500X kit. We will be removing the M14, M10, and M12 compression hoses, and replacing them with the standard WPS500X compression hose, M10 short adaptor, the M12 deep reach adaptor, and both the short and deep reach M14 adaptors.

Please keep an eye on our Pressure Sensors, Transducers and accessories page for more information.

Top Tech Tip: WPS500X Back leakage tests

Sticking with the WPS500X theme, Steve Smith recently added a fantastic thread to our Picoauto forum. The thread, entitled "WPS500X Pressure transducer back leakage tests" covers the Spill Test or Back leakage test procedure when diagnosing common rail diesel systems.

Spill or back leakage is an essential feature of the common rail diesel systems confirming adequate lubrication of the injector assemblies, whilst providing a degree of cooling as a beneficial side effect. Traditionally we have measured the volume of back leakage using graduated collection bottles, whilst monitoring both the rate and amount of fill during cranking or pre-set running conditions.

The back leakage test will always remain relevant as manufactures often specify the volume of back leakage against time (Cubic Centimetres per seconds CC/S). There is however an alternative using the WPS500X pressure transducer that offers some additional advantages:

  1. Connecting the WPS in series with the injector spill return hose will enable the technician to measure the back leakage pressure/pulsations under numerous engine speed and load conditions. The technician can now monitor the contributing back leakage pressure from each injector whilst road-testing the vehicle under the conditions described by the customer or DTC freeze frame data.
  2. The WPS500X pressure transducer will need only one connection into the back leakage return pipework as opposed to disrupting 4 x injector spill hoses on a four cylinder engine.
  3. Using the WPS transducer in conjunction with PicoScope will provide a hard copy of test results including any relevant engine test conditions such as RPM, MAF, MAP Fuel Pressure etc. This builds customer confidence and provides feedback to warranty/insurance companies.

To read the rest of this Top Tech Tip, please visit the thread on our automotive forum.

Automechanika Frankfurt

http://pico.jobs/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 & paintwork, car wash, IT & 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 so if you are attending, why not come and see us in Hall 8.0, stand H61.

Employment opportunities

Do you want to work at the leading edge of automotive diagnostic and test equipment design? Or perhaps know someone that would thrive in our industry and the environment Pico Technology provides?

We are always on the lookout for talented individuals to join our expanding team. Based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire we are a growing company with fantastic employee benefits and prospects.

Why not visit (or recommend) our pico.jobs web page, and see what we have to offer?!

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 www.prodiag.co.uk 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).

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

PicoScope Diagnostics Course
London, Surrey
2nd-3rd August 2014

There are also 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

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.

New Waveform Database, with Big Prizes for user submissions!

The latest beta release of PicoScope is now available. PicoScope 6 Automotive R6.9.9 installs alongside your standard PicoScope installation so as not to disturb your stable software.

What's new in this beta we hear you ask? Well...

New Waveform Library Browser

If there was ever a feature of PicoScope Automotive 6 that was worth shouting about, it has now arrived. The Automotive Waveform Library has now been released. I cannot remember how many times it would have been useful to have a comparison waveform for a circuit under test. Often this would involve sifting through your own library, or ringing round colleagues in the hope you might get lucky.

Well, thanks to the team at Pico the new Beta Version of PicoScope 6 Automotive 6.9 contains a feature called Waveform Library Browser found under the File menu. This new feature will enable you to search a global database of waveforms that have been uploaded by PicoScope users from around the world.

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.

Once logged into the Waveform Library Browser you will find numerous Search Options allowing you to locate a relevant waveform for a specific manufacturer or model.

You can also search for a waveform using just the engine code, allowing you to locate a waveform that may not have been saved under your search entry, but is applicable to other models or manufacturers, given the engine may be installed on numerous other vehicles or brands. With your search criteria filled in, click on the Search button.

From here you have the ability to preview the waveform by clicking the image, Open it in PicoScope, or Load it as a reference waveform to your existing capture. You will notice the green tick visible in the above screen capture: this indicates the waveform has been checked, and verified by a member of the Pico Automotive team.

The more good waveforms in the database the more useful it will be. If like many users you have built up a collection of waveforms on your own PC, now is the chance to give something back to the community and help fellow techs by uploading them to the database. Adding an existing waveform from your PC to the online waveform database is as simple as loading the waveform into PicoScope, checking details such as vehicle Make and Model are present, and selecting Save and Share.

Waveform Library Competition

To further encourage you to upload waveforms, all the waveforms uploaded to the database before midnight on July 31st will be 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. To encourage you to upload these waveforms 5 of the 10 vouchers will be awarded to people who have uploaded this type of waveform.

There is no limit to the number of waveforms you can upload, the more you upload the more chances you have to win but, if in the judges' opinion a waveform has been uploaded with no useful content simply to enter the competition, then the entry will be removed.

We are already showing 265 waveforms in the library and it is growing every day.

For more detail and guidance of the Waveform Library, please see Steve Smith's Waveform Library Browser thread on our Automotive forum for more information.

ScannerDanner Special: PicoScope Basics


Paul Danner (aka ScannerDanner) has created a Part 2 video for PicoScope basics. Below you will find links to both Part 1 and Part 2, with a brief description of each.

In the 40 minute PicoScope Basics Part 1 video, Paul covers setting your timebase, your voltage scale, plus discusses triggers and their options, and multi-channel triggering.

In the 30 minute PicoScope Basics Part 2 video, Paul covers the relationship between the Waveform buffer and the chosen sample rate, and the effect of changing your timebase.

New Product Release: 5 meter BNC to 4 mm Premium Test Leads

These are 5 m (16 feet) versions of the standard premium test leads. Our premium leads are colour-coded so that the colour of the lead in the engine bay matches the default colour of the on-screen waveform in PicoScope Automotive. The leads are fully screened along their whole length for minimum noise pick-up. The 5 m leads come with fixed 2.5 m ground extensions and are designed for technicians working on larger vehicles.

  • TA199: Premium Test Lead: 5 m BNC to 4 mm Blue permanent ground
  • TA200: Premium Test Lead: 5 m BNC to 4 mm Red permanent ground
  • TA201: Premium Test Lead: 5 m BNC to 4 mm Green permanent ground
  • TA202: Premium Test Lead: 5 m BNC to 4 mm Yellow permanent ground
  • TA203: Premium Test Lead: 5 m BNC to 4 mm Black permanent ground

Please visit our website for more information: Test lead accessory page.

Forthcoming exhibitions and events

Simply Diagnostics Show - 2014: This year's Simply Diagnostics show, will be held over the weekend of July 12th - 13th 2014 at Advanced Diagnostics Ltd, in Nuneaton, Coventry. The show is dedicated to diagnostic equipment of all types. Technology has never been advancing at a faster pace and to keep you aware of the latest features and hot topics in the market we have 4 of best diagnostic trainers in the country giving short "Info bites" on the latest hot topics.

Frank Massey, Steve Carter and Mark Hawkins from Redline Automotive will be available all weekend and giving presentations on topics such as Euro 5 and Euro 6 diagnostics, voltage and current measurements, smoke technology and more.

Pico Technology's Philip Rutt will be attending the show, and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our products.

Attendance is by ticket only, so ensure you register to receive your ticket. Early arrivals get a breakfast roll!

July 12th - 13th 2014 Simply Diagnostics Show - 2014
Advanced Diagnostics Ltd, Coventry, England.

Video Case Study

Here we have a superb video on YouTube with Paul Danner (aka ScannerDanner).
In this video Paul covers details that were missed in the cylinder pressure and intake vacuum waveforms from earlier videos in this series. The PicoScope really shows its abilities in this final, before-the-repair video.

View the 2008 Hummer H3 Misfire Case Study (Part 6) or find all ScannerDanner's H3 Hummer videos on YouTube.

New Product Release: PicoDiagnostics NVH Kit

The PicoDiagnostics NVH Kit from Pico Technology is the cost-effective answer to the many NVH problems facing technicians today. Providing real-time diagnosis to the technician in the form of either: a bar graph, a frequency chart, a 3D frequency chart, RPM order or road speed view. The ability to start the recording before a road test, and play back the recording for analysis on your return, ensures that driver attention remains on the road. Saving the recordings couldn't be simpler: much like our other automotive software you simply save the file to your laptop's hard drive.

The cost-effective tool for real-time NVH diagnosis

  • Includes accelerometer and microphone
  • Full screen, high-resolution results are presented clearly and accurately
  • No external memory required- saves directly to laptop or PC
  • Record up to 500 seconds of data
  • Automatic analysis
  • Detects multiple vehicle vibrations
  • Customer report function
  • Plugs into your automotive PicoScope (sold separately)

Please visit our website to order, or view more information on the PicoDiagnostics NVH Kit.

PicoScope Tip: Scope input coupling

Did you know about the AC / DC Scope input coupling option when using your scope? The DC coupling feature instructs the scope to display all aspects of the input signal regardless, including both the DC and AC. This of course is the default setting as we need to see the complete picture on our initial diagnosis. However, if we select the AC coupling option we block the DC component of the input signal and only allow the AC to be displayed on screen.

As an example of the value of this coupling feature, connect channel A and B of your scope across a 12 V battery and start the engine to enable the alternator to commence charging. Leave the coupling feature of Channel A set to DC (±20 V) and select AC coupling for Channel B (±1 V).

The Coupling setting can be found either alongside the Voltage range setting...

or within the Channel Options, depending on your screen resolution.

Channel A will display the DC voltage across the battery, showing the voltage around 14 V while Channel B will display the AC present across the battery, revealing the alternator AC ripple. We are measuring the same voltage but gaining the value of 2 relevant properties of it (both the AC and DC value). Applying this coupling feature to fuel rail pressure sensors and certain active wheel speed sensors will reveal so much more.

Automechanika Dubai: With 1,482 exhibitors spanning 58 countries and 24,141 visitors from 130 countries, Automechanika Dubai is geared up to supply intermediate markets. Renowned as the region's largest and most comprehensive trade and networking exhibition for the automotive aftermarket, Automechanika Dubai offers you a unique spectrum of products from the fields of automotive parts, systems, car washing, tyres & batteries, workshop and filling-station equipment, IT products and services, accessories and tuning.

You will find Pico Technology in the UK pavilion.

3rd - 5th June 2014 Automechanika Dubai
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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 www.prodiag.co.uk 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).

Please contact ProDiag via their contact form to register interest in the following courses taking place in 2014:

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (hosted by Delphi)
Warwickshire, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course
Surrey, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (hosted by EK Motor Factors)
Lancaster, England

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
11th July, 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: Rome
June 20th Level I
June 21st Level II

PicoScope Class: Bari
July 4th Level I
July 5th Level II

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.

PicoScope Article: Math Channels

In the words of a recent post on our Forum "Maths Channels are so cool", and here, Pico Technology's Steve Smith explains why:

Many users of the PicoScope 4000 Series Automotive scope will have already discovered the frequency coupling feature built into the scope, which can measure a digital MAF meter output. Whilst this is an invaluable feature it is only available on one channel and so measuring frequency on multiple channels becomes an issue......or does it?

Over and above the frequency coupling feature we have a multitude of math calculations we can make to an input signal (waveform) using the "Math Channels" feature of PicoScope.

Clicking on 'Tools>Maths Channels' from your PicoScope screen will reveal numerous "Built-in" maths channels that will assist you when looking at the input signals for any channel you wish. These "Built-in" maths channels will simply invert, add, subtract, divide, or multiply any combination of waveforms to any channels of interest (the "Built-in" maths channels use Channels A and B).

Let's take a look at a CAN communication signal using Channels A CAN HI and B CAN LO. With the waveform on screen click on 'Tools>Maths Channels' and tick the box adjacent to A-B, then click OK. This will then display a 3rd (maths) channel with the calculation you have requested.

In this case: CHA A - CHA B = CAN HI - CAN LO = 0 V and 2 V which is this message hidden within CAN HI and CAN LO transmission.

Below we can now see the 3rd (Math) channel but it is difficult to interpret because of the interference in the CAN HI circuit. If you now right-click on your scope screen, select "Channels" and untick boxes "A" and "B", you will remove these channels leaving just the math channel behind.

The remaining math channel clearly reveals the impact on the CAN communication message stored within the CAN signals due to the interference seen on Channel A.

With math channels you are not tied down to the selection in the "Built- in" menu as you can create your own maths channel, and here is where maths channels really do become cool!
Let's take a typical PWM signal of 0 V to 5 V as seen with the digital MAF sensor and assume you want to calculate the frequency of the PWM. Remember with the majority of digital MAF meters, an increase in air flow is directly proportional to an increase in the output frequency of the 5 V signal.

To calculate frequency you need to "create" a math channel and here is the theory:

To calculate frequency the signal must past through zero volts (crossing point), yet our signal travels from 0 V to 5 V. A clever tip therefore is to split the signal in half (2.5 V) and use this value as follows in the formula you are about to create. We use "-2.5" to effectively move the zero crossing point into the middle of the signal output. This allows the maths channel to calculate the number of crossing points in a given time to display the frequency, i.e. the number of times the signal crosses 2.5 volts.

Select 'Tools>Maths Channels' and then 'Create'. Click on 'Advanced' and then the "freq" button. When "freq( )" appears in the formula box, put your cursor in between the two brackets "( )" and type A-2.5, the whole formula will look like freq(A-2.5). Click 'Next', choose any colours, names, and ranges. It is best at this stage to set a manual override to the actual frequency range you require (in the example below I have selected 0 Hz to 300 Hz) and finally click 'Finish'. A new 3rd (math) channel will appear and will plot the frequency of the channel you have requested (in our case 'A-2.5' is a frequency math channel for Channel A).

Above we can now see how the PWM changes over time by plotting the frequency with our math channel. This feature now becomes invaluable allowing you to test dual digital MAF meters on "V" configuration engines, control valves (diesel pump), actuators (EGR) and solenoids (turbo boost control) etc. Basically anything controlled via PWM can be tested using PicoScope not only for the integrity of the signal but speed of the signal over time.

Remember when creating your math channel if you have a 0 V to 12 V PWM signal your formula will be freq(A-6) assuming you wish to measure frequency on Channel A. When setting your scale for the maths channel 0 Hz to 2000 Hz will cover most control solenoids such as diesel pump inlet and turbo boost control.

Go ahead and play with the maths channel feature as it will open up a whole new world of measuring techniques revealing even more about your input signal. For any support you need regarding PicoScope please contact support@picotech.com.

Tech Tip: Avoid Budget Fuses!

Steve Smith highlights the risk of 'budget fuses' and uses PicoScope to show just how dangerous they can be.

This customer couldn't understand how his vehicle had sustained fire damage to both the roof harness and roof lining, when a fuse was in place to protect the circuit.

After some discussion the customer revealed he had purchased an array of budget fuses online, and had fitted one of these 'budget' 10 A mini blade fuses to the circuit in question. We decided to investigate the fuses out of interest, and here are our findings.

The first scope trace demonstrates an OEM 10 A fuse blowing at 60 A peak after
35 ms...

The second scope trace shows the inferior 'budget' 10 A fuse not failing, and allowing near 70 amps through for over a second! At this point I had to let go of the link wire because it was getting hot, hot, hot!

The 0 V moments in the second trace are due to connection issues during the test process...with sparks flying and fingers getting very hot you can imagine why this might occur. Also, you'll notice at the end of the trace there are some voltage drops, this is where the test cables we had created had started to melt...don't forget this fuse should have blown at 10 A, and now our test cables are melting due to the fuse simply not doing its job.

PicoScope Tip: Waveform buffer length

Did you know PicoScope 6 Automotive can store up to 10,000 waveforms?

Whilst the default number of waveforms is 32, this can easily be changed. To do this, choose "Tools > Preferences" to reveal the Preferences dialogue. In the Waveform Buffer section you can either use the spinner to select the number of waveforms you would like, or simply type the number into the box. The actual number of waveforms that are collected will depend on the selected sample rate, as the higher the sample rate the more buffer memory that is used.

New Accessories

Black rubber case
The familiar navy blue PicoScope protective rubber case is now also available in black. The rubber case helps absorb potentially damaging physical shocks to your PicoScope whilst still giving you unobstructed access to all connectors. What's more, being made of rubber the protective rubber case will also help prevent your PicoScope from damaging the paintwork of the vehicle you're working on.

Using our S-hook you can easily hang your PicoScope from the bonnet/hood catch when working in the engine bay - giving you easy access to the scope and leads without the worry of damaging them.

The PicoScope protective rubber case is suitable for PicoScope 4000 Series Diagnostic Scopes and PicoScope 3000 Series automotive oscilloscopes.

While the navy blue rubber case is included for free with the Advanced Vehicle Diagnostics Kit, you can buy either the black or navy blue individually from the Miscellaneous Accessories section of our website.

30 A large jaw current clamp
The 30 A precision current clamp allows you to measure from 5 mA up to 30 A without cutting, disconnecting or stripping the wire. It is ideal for measuring the currents in sensors and actuators across most modern passenger and commercial vehicles.

The TA189 provides improved sensitivity, lower noise and faster response. Featuring a 25 mm jaw size this clamp is suitable for measuring battery drain over long periods. It also features an auto power-down facility to save battery life when not in use (this feature can be disabled for battery drain / shutdown current testing).

Using advanced Hall Effect sensors for improved sensitivity and high external field rejection as well as closed loop control for increased accuracy, the TA189 delivers a breakthrough in range and accuracy to meet the challenges of modern vehicles.

To view more information or to buy the 30 A Large jaw current clamp, please visit our website.

Forthcoming exhibitions and events

Autonet Mobility show 2014: In 2014, the Autonet Mobility Show continues its expansion! This is an event that a distributor of Pico Technology hosts. The already traditional Cluj Napoca event will remain a reference standard for the industry and will take place between the 9th and 10th May.

You will find Pico Technology at the show at stand C17.

9th - 10th May 2014 Autonet Mobility show 2014
Cluj Napoca, Romania

Automechanika Dubai: With 1,482 exhibitors spanning 58 countries and 24,141 visitors from 130 countries, Automechanika Dubai is geared up to supply intermediate markets. Renowned as the region's largest and most comprehensive trade and networking exhibition for the automotive aftermarket, Automechanika Dubai offers you a unique spectrum of products from the fields of automotive parts, systems, car washing, tyres & batteries, workshop and filling-station equipment, IT products and services, accessories and tuning.

You will find Pico Technology in the UK pavilion.

3rd - 5th June 2014 Automechanika Dubai
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Video Case Study: VW Polo Misfire

A great 20 minute video Case Study by James Dillon (dillondiagnostics on YouTube). James tackles a diagnostic job which was booked in to the workshop for the ECU to be swapped. This is where the fun begins. The video covers testing tips and techniques including gas analyser, oscilloscope, ASNU and a little bit of diagnostic brainpower.

You can view the Case Study on YouTube.

WPS500X Pressure Transducer: Updated kit contents

With ongoing changes in vehicle components, we have decided to update the PP836 WPS500X Automotive Pressure Transducer Kit.
The kit will now include the TA156 M12 compression hose in place of the TA105 M16 Ford Triton Hose. We will continue to make the TA105 available as an accessory and are happy to discuss any special requirements with individual customers on a case by case basis.

You can view the WPS500 Pressure Transducer on our website.

Not sure why you would need a WPS500? Why not read an online Case Study by Steve Smith, showing just how useful the WPS500 really is.

Forthcoming exhibitions and events

Automechanika Istanbul: Automechanika Istanbul April 2013 closed with record numbers: 1,245 exhibitors met with 43,812 visitors from all around the world. Automechanika Istanbul is Eurasia's number one OEM and Aftermarket event. It brings together all relevant professionals from the Automotive Manufacturing, Distribution and Repair sectors in the region and it provides opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises to step up in the market.

You will find Pico Technology in the UK pavilion.

10th - 13th April 2014 Automechanika Istanbul
TUYAP Fair, Convention and Congress Center, Istanbul, Turkey

Commercial Vehicle Show 2014: The Commercial Vehicle Show is the primary sourcing and selling opportunity for the entire UK road freight transport and logistics industry, unrivalled in size, product range and visitor attendance. For operators it is THE meeting place, attracting over 18,000 high quality visitors with serious buying power.

You will find Pico Technology at the show with our distributor, Eclipse Tech at Stand 4B16.

29th April- 1st May 2014
(Halls 3A, 4 and 5) Commercial Vehicle Show 2014
NEC Birmingham, England

Autonet Mobility show 2014: In 2014, the Autonet Mobility Show continues its expansion! This is an event that a distributor of Pico Technology hosts. The already traditional Cluj Napoca event will remain a reference standard for the industry and will take place between the 9th and 10th May.

You will find Pico Technology at the show at stand C17.

9th - 10th May 2014 Autonet Mobility show 2014
Cluj Napoca, Romania

Product launch: WPS600 Hydraulic Pressure Transducer

With high accuracy and a wide measuring range, the WPS600 Hydraulic Pressure Transducer connects to your PicoScope for convenient analysis of pressurised hydraulic systems.

Two pressure ranges for increased versatility
The two pressure ranges of the WPS600 allow accurate measurement analysis and diagnosis of automotive and industrial hydraulic systems.

The first range, 0 to 600 bar (approximately 8700 psi) gives you high resolution and accuracy for high-pressure tests in hydraulic systems. The second range measures from 0 to 60 bar (approximately 870 psi). This range is ideal for low-pressure hydraulic systems and oil pumps.

Nothing compares to the WPS600
It is not unusual to require a different pressure transducer for each diagnostic test you want to run. The WPS600 eliminates this need by giving you one ultra-high resolution transducer that can be used for a multitude of hydraulic diagnostics applications. With two pressure ranges and a rechargeable Li-Po battery, all enclosed in a durable housing, the WPS600 is the cost-effective answer to pressure analysis.

When price, performance and versatility matter, there is nothing that compares to the WPS600 Pressure Transducer.

You can view the WPS600 Pressure Transducer on our website.

PicoScope: Did you know?

All versions of PicoScope have the ability to allow you to customise the channel colours, and line thickness. These options can be found under "Tools>Preferences>Colors".

Simply choose the item you wish to customise from the selection tree, and adjust the settings as required.

Auto-solve Diagnostic Assistance Update

http://automechanika-istanbul-tr.messefrankfurt.com/istanbul/en/besucher/willkommen.htmlLatest release

Auto-Solve have released a new version of their software, and version 13 marks 13 years of continuous updating!

Diagnostic Assistance has been developed with the main aim of helping technicians make a quick and accurate diagnosis, and get a first time fix. This year, for version 13, Auto-Solve have added a host of new features, and are bringing it to a wider audience. Many hundreds of garages, workshops, mobile technicians and colleges already benefit from using earlier versions of Diagnostic Assistance. As a guide, Diagnostic Assistance V13 covers 414 different 'topics', including 182 comparative waveforms and guided component testing on 95 different sensors and actuators.

This year's focus has been 'chassis components':

  • Improved navigation
  • 24 new chassis topics
  • Rank your own notes
  • In total 74 new topics and 10 updates
  • New PicoScope files to launch direct from the software
  • On-line members' area to share tips and waveform files

The software has three clear sections:

Section 1 - Fundamentals. Here you will find technical topics that you can read to improve your core knowledge of how systems work. The pages record when you last opened them last, so you can periodically refresh your knowledge by reading them again!

Section 2 - Guided Fault Finding. You can use this section for in-time learning whilst actually working on a car. You can select topics to work through by component or symptom. Each topic describes the component / system operation, what may happen in the event it has failed, how to test the component / circuit, example waveforms utilising the PicoScope and testing with other equipment such as a scan tool or multimeter.

Section 3 - Library. This section contains reference waveforms and scan tool screen shots.

You can purchase the latest version of Diagnostic Assistance from our website.

Forthcoming exhibitions and events

VisionKC: See 60,000 square feet of the latest tools, equipment, products, services, and technology for the automotive service industry...all under one roof! In 2013, nearly 1500 automotive service professionals attended management, technical, or educational training at VISION. The success of VISION comes from offering the latest information on relevant topics by the industry's best trainers! Classes available range from Mastering your PicoScope to J2534 reprogramming.  Stop by  booth #406 to see the latest and greatest products we have.

New for 2014: Hands-on training focused on your brand of scope! Friday, March 07, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM  (T8-B)
Unfortunately, the majority of digital storage oscilloscopes (DSO's) spend a majority of time collecting dust rather than employed in a manner that can save time and increase diagnostic accuracy. When used properly, a DSO provides a virtual window into an electrical circuit. Bring your labscope (required) and join Harvey and Matt as they take each group and focus on your labscope and cover key scope functions in a concise presentation, followed by you putting what was discussed into practice through several team-based exercises. Topics covered include: Voltage settings; Timebase/sweep settings; AC & DC coupling; Scope zoom functions; Understanding X & Y axis; Triggering and slope settings; Buffer utilization; Glitch capture setups; Waveform saving and retrieval and more!

6th - 9th March 2014 VisionKC
Overland Park Convention Centre,
Overland Park, KS 66211, USA

Automotive Training Expo: Autonerdz will be attending the largest Automotive Training and Expo event on the West Coast of the US. The event itself features up-to-date training, keynote speakers, exhibitors and 'hands on' demonstrations, including all the very best in tools, equipment, diagnostics and the latest products from many leading manufacturers. The Autonerdz team will be at the show all weekend featuring PicoScope kits, so why not make a special visit to see them at booth #51.

21st - 23rd March 2014 Automotive Training Expo
The Doubletree Hotel in Seatac,
WA, USA

Automechanika Istanbul: Automechanika Istanbul April 2013 closed with record numbers: 1,245 exhibitors met with 43,812 visitors from all around the world. Automechanika Istanbul is Eurasia's number one OEM and Aftermarket event. It brings together all relevant professionals from the Automotive Manufacturing, Distribution and Repair sectors in the region and it provides opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises to step up in the market.

You will find Pico Technology in the UK pavilion.

10th - 13th April 2014 Automechanika Istanbul
TUYAP Fair, Convention and Congress Center, Istanbul, Turkey

Automechanika Dubai: With 1,482 exhibitors spanning 58 countries and 24,141 visitors from 130 countries, Automechanika Dubai is geared up to supply intermediate markets. Renowned as the region's largest and most comprehensive trade and networking exhibition for the automotive aftermarket, Automechanika Dubai offers you a unique spectrum of products from the fields of automotive parts, systems, car washing, tyres & batteries, workshop and filling-station equipment, IT products and services, accessories and tuning.

You will find Pico Technology in the UK pavilion.

3rd - 5th June 2014
Automechanika Dubai
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

   
   
   
   

Case study: Subaru flat four engine

This month we have another case study from our very own Steve Smith (pictured left).

"The owner of this vehicle had noted that the warning light illuminated when the engine was at normal operating temperature at low road speed. As ever, vehicle history is all important and so a further interview with the customer confirmed starting and driveability to be normal (hot or cold) with no loss of performance, but did reveal his vehicle had been seen by another garage where No. 2 cylinder Spark plug, Ignition coil, and Direct injector had already been replaced!

A basic visual inspection confirmed no issues with hoses, harness, connections, fuel quality, or fuel level.

Looking at the freeze frame data accompanying the fault code P0302, it did indeed support the customer’s version of events, recording a hot engine, low road speed, and a misfire count of 44 on number 2 cylinder!"

You can read the Subaru flat 4 port and direct injection, non-turbo | Cylinder misfire online.

PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

The PicoScope top tips now has a number of useful tips, so why not take a look? Perhaps you can suggest something to assist other users?

View the 'PicoScope Automotive Top Tips' thread on our forum.

Best of the web - Scanner Danner Videos

Here we have a two part Case Study video on YouTube with ScannerDanner. If you have seen Paul's videos before you will know their value, and that it is worth taking the time to watch them.

Paul has been asked to take a look at a Nissan Maxima which has a misfire problem. Paul uses his knowledge and experience with PicoScope to investigate, explaining every step as he goes, covering possible areas of concern and noting any observations.

View the Nissan Maxima Misfire, Part 1 and Nissan Maxima Misfire, Part 2 videos on YouTube.

Application note: WPS500

In this application note we will cover a possible use of the WPS500 pressure transducer:

The WPS500 pressure transducer has become one of those essential tools that cannot be underestimated when it comes to diagnostics. Just like an oscilloscope it has revealed a whole new world of measurement techniques that now enable us to see beyond static readings and analyse what is actually taking place at a precise point in time.

Just like the current clamp reveals the flow of current inside a conductor, the WPS500 allows us to visualize and capture the dynamic pressure changes inside cylinders, fuel lines, intake manifolds, crankcases and even exhaust gas pulsations.

Here at Pico we are constantly looking at ways to utilise and expand our accessories and the WPS500 is always one such accessory that end users are asking us "What else can I do with it?".

Below is an example of the WPS500 in action looking at the diesel fuel priming pressure of a VW Golf TDI PD. Using a "sight block" we are able to analyse the fuel for aeration whilst the WPS500 monitors the various stages of fuel priming from KEY OFF to START-IDLE-WOT-IDLE and finally KEY OFF. The waveform obtained clearly reveals so much more than the traditional gauge as we can now see the transition of pressure under the various stages of operation.

 
You can view our WPS500 Pressure Transducer, and WPS500 Pressure Transducer kit on our website.

Employment opportunities

Do you want to work at the leading edge of automotive diagnostic and test equipment design? Or perhaps know someone that would thrive in our industry and the environment Pico Technology provides?

We are always on the lookout for talented individuals to join our expanding team. Based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire we are a growing company with fantastic employee benefits and prospects. Why not visit (or recommend) our pico.jobs web page, and see what we have to offer?!

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 www.prodiag.co.uk 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).

The following dates are available:

PicoScope Diagnostics Course
Bedford, England
22nd and 23rd February 2014

PicoScope Diagnostics Course
Glasgow, Scotland
15th and 16th March 2014

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by MPD)
Honiton (Exeter), England
24th and 25th March 2014

PicoScope Diagnostics Course
Spennymoor, County Durham, England
29th and 30th April 2014

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
7th March, 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.

Jaguar E-type 3.8 Case study

This month we have a case Study from Steve Smith (pictured left). If you attended the Mechanex show at Sandown in November the chances are you may have met and spoken with Steve. Steve is a recent addition to the Pico workforce having joined us in September of this year from Toyota, where he had been named the 'Toyota Champion Technican' of the year. Add to this being crowned the UK's Top Technician of the Year 2013 too (after being a finalist in both 2010 and 2011) you can see that Pico now has its very own Master Tech. Now you can read his work in this, his first Case Study...

"Amongst all the hi-tech, ultra-fast, multi-computing vehicles of everyday life comes a real gem from yester year that still requires a solid basic understanding of ignition systems and a PicoScope to confirm the ignition cycle in real-time. The vehicle in question was a 3.8 E-type straight 6 cylinder that I have to say was a stunning example of this model and privilege to work with. Our customer's concern was unstable idle speed, reluctance to rev, and horrendous backfiring with hesitation at wide open throttle (WOT [the default position for E-type drivers])..."

You can read the 1961 Jaguar E-type Case Study online.

Mechanex Exhibition and Competition Update

In November Pico Technology attended the Mechanex show at Sandown Park. At the show we ran a competition to win a 2-Channel Starter Kit worth £575 ($948.75, €695.75)! Well the results are in.... and the winner is......

Mike Sharp of Mike Sharp Air Conditioning!! Congratulations go out to Mike, and our Marketing team will be in touch to arrange your delivery!

Many thanks to all those who entered!

PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

A new thread was recently started on our forum as a way of listing some top tips all in one place. The thread is starting to gather pace, and so far has had some great submissions. Why not take a look, perhaps you can submit your own top tip and help out your fellow PicoScope users!

View the 'PicoScope Automotive Top Tips' thread on our forum.

Employment opportunities

Do you want to work at the leading edge of automotive diagnostic and test equipment design? Or perhaps know someone that would thrive in our industry and the environment Pico Technology provides?

We are always on the lookout for talented individuals to join our expanding team. Based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire we are a growing company with fantastic employee benefits and prospects. Why not visit (or recommend) our pico.jobs web page, and see what we have to offer?!

Training courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a PicoScope Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn't miss theProfessional Diagnostics Ltd engine management diagnostics course. This two-day officialPico 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 visitwww.prodiag.co.uk 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).

 

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 
10th January, 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 (Toll Free USA and Canada) or via email.

Newsletter November 2013

Congratulations go to Gary Burgess of Autodiagnostique (also known as Budgie on our forum). Gary uploaded his Case Study to our forum for entry into the competition this time round, and won! A credit of £200 ($330, €242) is now his to spend on Pico Automotive products when buying direct! Read on to see Gary's investigation...

"I thought I would share one of my recent troublesome vehicles with you; I admit that the fix is probably quite obvious using the parts darts technique or best guess scenario, but I thought this particular job demonstrated the use of the WPS500 as an everyday aid to speed up the diagnostic process.
The vehicle in question is a 2010 Ford S Max diesel, which had a history of repeated sudden power loss (vehicle in limp home mode) with a recorded DTC for overboost detected. I apologize for the lack of “P codes” and accurate description as given by the diagnostic tool upon initial interrogation, but, in my defence I can state that the description did lead me to believe that the vehicle was producing too much boost pressure albeit intermittently....."

You can read the Ford S Max Case Study online, or view and discuss it on our forum.

Mechanex Exhibition and Competition Update

Last week Pico Technology attended the Mechanex show at Sandown Park. Steve Smith, Phil Rutt and Mike Valentine were there to talk to customers, prospective customers, and of course to promote our products. The two day exhibition drew in over 2000 visitors, and our stand was busy at all times. It was great for us to speak with everyone who came to see us.

If you did visit our stand there is a chance you entered our show competition to win a 2-Channel Starter Kitworth £575 ($948.75, €695.75)! Well the results are being collated, and the winner will be announced in our December newsletter. Watch this space!

Automotive role available! Employment opportunities

Do you want to work at the leading edge of automotive diagnostic and test equipment design? Or perhaps know someone that would thrive in our industry and the environment Pico Technology provides?

We are currently looking for the following candidates:

Automotive Distributor Manager (Sales)

We are always on the lookout for talented individuals to join our expanding team. Based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire we are a growing company with fantastic employee benefits and prospects. Why not visit (or recommend) our pico.jobs web page, and see what we have to offer?!

Training courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a PicoScope Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn't miss theProfessional Diagnostics Ltd engine management diagnostics course. This two-day officialPico 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 visitwww.prodiag.co.uk 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).

The following dates and location is available:

PicoScope Diagnostics Course 
30th November to 1st December 2013 *Weekend* 
Surrey, England

 

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 
10th January, 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 (Toll Free USA and Canada) or via email.

Newsletter October 2013

The new TA168 JCASE fuse extension lead is designed to be used with standard and low profile JCASE fuses. JCASE is a cartridge style fuse with female terminal design, providing both increased time delay and low voltage drop to protect high current circuits & handle inrush currents.

See the "JCASE Fuse extension lead (TA168)" on our breakout accessories page.

Forthcoming exhibitions (including a competition!)

AVI Conference: Run in conjunction with the AAPEX Show, the AVI Conference brings management and technician training classes to industry week. You don’t want to miss out on the chance to enjoy incredible food and drinks, hang out with the Can Can Girls, and mingle with instructors and exhibitors. Pico Technology will be present during the Hospitality Event/Vendor Expo.

Learn more and sign up for technical classes via: http://aviconference.com.

4th-5th November 2013 AVI Conference 
Las Vegas, NV USA
 

Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX): As the largest annual trade show for automotive aftermarket industry professionals, this show is part of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week. AAPEX represents the do-it-yourself retail aftermarket and the "professionally installed" aftermarket. More than one million square feet of space makes AAPEX your global source for parts, accessories and service equipment.

Pico Technology will be displaying our latest automotive diagnostic kits and accessories at booth #995.

5th-7th November 2013 Automotive Testing Expo 
Las Vegas, NV USA

Mechanex: A 'hands on' event featuring the very best in tools, equipment, diagnostics and the latest products from many leading parts manufacturers.

If you’ve got time to pre-register for the show, there will be a free bacon roll and a free 'Professional Motor Mechanic' T-shirt ready for you to pick up on the day.

Pico Technology will be attending the show, and we will be running a competition on the stand to win a 2-Channel Starter Kit worth £575!

Simply complete our short questionnaire at our stand (D5) with a member of our team and we will announce the entry in our November newsletter!

Please pre-register for the show directly on the Mechanex Sandown website.

12th - 13th November 2013 Mechanex 
Sandown Park, Surrey, England
 

Automotive Engineering Show: The Automotive Engineering Show 2013, provides a uniquely tailored 'showcase' of specialist UK and international engineering services. Design/production technology, specialist parts and component suppliers supporting the UK's multiple vehicle engineering programmes – from Passenger Car, Performance Vehicle, CV, Truck, Motorcycle, Specialist, Low Carbon Vehicle and Engine sectors.

Pico Technology is the world's leading supplier of PC-based Oscilloscopes, and PicoScope is the system of choice for more than 20 of the world's leading vehicle manufacturers. We will be meeting with engineers from Automotive, Aerospace and other sectors at the Advanced Engineering events on November 12th and 13th at the NEC in Birmingham.

Please pass the word, or come and visit us yourself, at stand G62 in Hall 5 of the Advanced Engineering Exhibition.

12th - 13th November 2013 Automotive Engineering Show 
NEC, Birmingham, England

Automotive role available! Employment opportunities

Do you want to work at the leading edge of automotive diagnostic and test equipment design? Or perhaps know someone that would thrive in our industry and the environment Pico Technology provides?

We are currently looking for the following candidates:

  • Automotive Distributor Manager (Sales)

We are always on the lookout for talented individuals to join our expanding team. Based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire we are a growing company with fantastic employee benefits and prospects. Why not visit (or recommend) our pico.jobs web page, and see what we have to offer?!

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a PicoScope Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn't miss theProfessional Diagnostics Ltd engine management diagnostics course. This two-day officialPico 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 visitwww.prodiag.co.uk 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).

The following dates and locations are available:

PicoScope Diagnostics Course 
9th/10th November 2013 *Weekend* 
Bedford, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course 
16th/17th November 2013 *Weekend* 
Glasgow, Scotland

PicoScope Diagnostics Course 
30th November to 1st December 2013 *Weekend* 
Surrey, England

 

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 
8th November, 2013 
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 (Toll Free USA and Canada) or via email.

New PicoScope Automotive Kits

Used by more than 20 of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers, PicoScope Automotive Kits are the ideal way to transform your diagnostic capability, improving customer retention, business performance and profits.

The new PicoScope Kits have been reconfigured to provide more of what you wanted without increasing the price, and offer outstanding value for money. Starting at only £575, all kits feature the market-leading PicoScope system with a carefully chosen set of accessories to fit your needs. As always, additional accessories can be obtained later as you need them.

The new 2000 A current clamp has been included in the new Advanced Kit and, also features in the new Diesel Kit. The new clamp is also available as a separate accessory.

See the new kits on our kits page.

2000 A Current Clamp

The new 2000/200 A heavy duty current clamp allows you to measure up to 2000 amps without cutting, disconnecting or stripping wires. It is ideal for measuring the high currents drawn by the starter motor of commercial vehicles and large engine passenger cars. This new clamp can replace both the existing PP266 (600 A), and PP253 (2000 A) clamps with improved sensitivity, lower noise and faster response.

The TA167 features a 200 A mode for better performance at lower currents and has an improved jaw size. It also features an auto power-down facility to save battery life when not in use (this feature can be disabled for battery drain / shutdown current testing). Using advanced Hall Effect sensors for improved sensitivity and high external field rejection, the TA167 delivers a breakthrough in range and accuracy to meet the challenges of modern vehicles and particularly diesel engines.

See the "BNC 2000A/200A current clamp - TA167" on our accessories page.

Video Case Study

A great video Case Study by Paul Danner (ScannerDanner) and his class at Rosedale Technical Institute. Paul troubleshoots a no start problem on a 1999 Subaru Impreza.

In this unscripted video, everything was filmed live from inside the classroom. For each new step in the diagnostic process, Paul pauses to explain what he is doing and why. This makes the video much longer than previously, but allows for a more step-by-step understanding.

You can view the Case Study on Youtube.

Forthcoming exhibitions (including a competition!)

Automotive Testing Expo North America: From thermodynamic modeling software for designing cooling systems for a concept vehicle to vibration analysis testing equipment for looking at customer complaints post build, the Automotive Testing Expo North America will highlight the top tools from manufacturers with one goal in common – eliminating recalls.

Pico Technology will be exhibiting at booth #7076 highlighting our equipment that can be used throughout the entire process from design to repair/prevention.

22nd-24th October 2013 Automotive Testing Expo 
Novi, MI USA,

AVI Conference: Run in conjunction with the AAPEX Show, the AVI Conference brings management and technician training classes to industry week. You don’t want to miss out on the chance to enjoy incredible food and drinks, hang out with the Can Can Girls, and mingle with instructors and exhibitors. Pico Technology will be present during the Hospitality Event/Vendor Expo.

Learn more and sign up for technical classes via: http://aviconference.com.

4th-5th November 2013 AVI Conference 
Las Vegas, NV USA

Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX): As the largest annual trade show for automotive aftermarket industry professionals, this show is part of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week. AAPEX represents the do-it-yourself retail aftermarket and the "professionally installed" aftermarket. More than one million square feet of space makes AAPEX your global source for parts, accessories and service equipment.

Pico Technology will be displaying our latest automotive diagnostic kits and accessories at booth #995.

5th-7th November 2013 Automotive Testing Expo 
Las Vegas, NV USA

Mechanex: A 'hands on' event featuring the very best in tools, equipment, diagnostics and the latest products from many leading parts manufacturers.

If you’ve got time to pre-register for the show, there will be a free bacon roll and a free 'Professional Motor Mechanic' T-shirt ready for you to pick up on the day.

Pico Technology will be attending the show, and we will be running a competition on the stand to win a 2-Channel Starter Kit worth £575!

Simply complete our short questionnaire at our stand (D5) with a member of our team and we will announce the entry in our November newsletter!

Please pre-register for the show directly on the Mechanex Sandown website.

12th - 13th November 2013 Mechanex 
Sandown Park, Surrey, England

Automotive Engineering Show: The Automotive Engineering Show 2013, provides a uniquely tailored 'showcase' of specialist UK and international engineering services. Design/production technology, specialist parts and component suppliers supporting the UK's multiple vehicle engineering programmes – from Passenger Car, Performance Vehicle, CV, Truck, Motorcycle, Specialist, Low Carbon Vehicle and Engine sectors.

Pico Technology is the world's leading supplier of PC-based Oscilloscopes, and PicoScope is the system of choice for more than 20 of the world's leading vehicle manufacturers. We will be meeting with engineers from Automotive, Aerospace and other sectors at the Advanced Engineering events on November 12th and 13th at the NEC in Birmingham.

Please pass the word, or come and visit us yourself, at stand G62 in Hall 5 of the Advanced Engineering Exhibition.

12th - 13th November 2013 Automotive Engineering Show 
NEC, Birmingham, England

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 officialPico 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 visitwww.prodiag.co.uk 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).

The following dates and locations are available:

PicoScope Diagnostics Course 
19th/20th October 2013 *Weekend* 
Warrington, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by ALS) 
28th/29th October 2013 
Exeter, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course 
9th/10th November 2013 *Weekend* 
Bedford, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course 
16th/17th November 2013 *Weekend* 
Glasgow, Scotland

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 
8th November, 2013 
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 (Toll Free USA and Canada) or via email.

Newsletter August 2013

Congratulations go to Andrew Clarke (Fat Freddy on our forum) of Smart Tech Diagnostics, Western Sydney. Andrew uploaded his Case Study to our forum for entry into the competition this time round, and won! A credit of £200 is now his to spend on Pico Automotive products when buying direct! Read on to see Andrew's investigation...

"I was presented with this 1991 6cyl E36 325i BMW which had an on-going problem for the last two years and it seemed unrepairable. The complaint was lack of power, hesitation and the occasional cutting out on acceleration once warm. First up was the test drive to confirm the fault. Sure enough, once warm, as I accelerated it bucked badly. A massive flat spot that was hard to drive through. This was also accompanied by what sounded like a lean backfire. To me it appeared a definite lean fuel issue. And having six individual coils, the ignition system seemed an unlikely candidate...."

You can read the E36 BMW 325i Case Study online, or view and discuss it on our forum.

Why not enter our October competition! To enter navigate to theCase Studies section of our forum and tell us about your investigations and stories when using our products. To improve your chances of being chosen, your submission should have a clear explanation of the task, and include photos and PicoScope screen captures.

Don't feel your investigations aren't good enough, put them on the forum... you never know!!

See our forum for dates and full terms and conditions.

Best of the Web

Dave Rogers has written a couple of scope related features on his blog,Autoelex. This time base article fits particularly nicely with our next Best of the Web feature, also based on scope basics.

View the Automotive Scope Basics: Setting the time base correctly article on Dave's Autoelex Blog.

Here we have a 40 minute video on YouTube with ScannerDanner. If you have seen Paul's videos before you will know their value, and that it is worth taking the time to watch them.

In this video Paul covers the basics of our Software, from time base settings to triggers, and even covers the connections on the scope. Worth a watch if you are new to oscilloscope diagnostics, or even if you're not!

View the PicoScope Basics Part 1 video on YouTube.

Automotive roles available! Employment opportunities

Do you want to work at the leading edge of automotive diagnostic and test equipment design? Or perhaps know someone that would thrive in our industry and the environment Pico Technology provides?

We are currently looking for the following candidates:

  • Automotive Distributor Manager (Sales)
  • Automotive Technical Specialist

We are always on the lookout for talented individuals to join our expanding team. Based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire we are a growing company with fantastic employee benefits and prospects. Why not visit (or recommend) our pico.jobs web page, and see what we have to offer?!

Forthcoming exhibitions and events

Mechanex: A 'hands on' event featuring the very best in tools, equipment, diagnostics and the latest products from many leading parts manufacturers.

If you’ve got time to pre-register for the show, there will be a free bacon roll and a free ‘Professional Motor Mechanic’ T-shirt ready for you to pick up on the day. Pico Technology will be attending the show, so why not come and see what we have to offer?

Please pre-register for the show directly on the Mechanex Donington website.

10th - 11th September 2013 Mechanex 
Donington Park, Derby, England

Automotive Testing Expo China 2013: Automotive Testing Expo China 2013 is set to capitalise on the rapid growth in new car sales and the need for higher quality and safer vehicles by bringing together the world’s leading test equipment manufacturers and test service providers over three days.
Visitors to Automotive Testing Expo China 2013 will be able to see the very latest test technologies and services that are being used in the full automotive production process. From the initial prototype analysis through to end of line inspection and quality assurance, and every procedure in between, exhibitors will display their very latest products that are all improving vehicle reliability, durability, safety and quality.

HongKe, our Master Distributor in China will be exhibiting at the show: West Hall, 2nd Floor, situated at booth 9001.

For information on the show please see the Automotive Testing Expo China 2013 website. The website is in Chinese, but an English version is available.

10th - 12th September 2013 Automotive Testing Expo China 2013 
Shanghai Everbright Convention & Exhibition Center, China

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 officialPico 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 visitwww.prodiag.co.uk for more information.

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

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 
27th September, 2013 
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 (Toll Free USA and Canada) or via email.

2000 A Current Clamp

The new 2000/200 A heavy duty current clamp allows you to measure up to 2000 amps without cutting, disconnecting or stripping wires. It is ideal for measuring the high currents drawn by the starter motor of commercial vehicles and large engine passenger cars. This new clamp can replace both the existing PP266 (600 A), and PP253 (2000 A) clamps with improved sensitivity, lower noise and faster response.

The TA167 features a 200 A mode for better performance at lower currents and has an improved jaw size. It also features an auto power-down facility to save battery life when not in use (this feature can be disabled for battery drain / shutdown current testing). Using advanced Hall Effect sensors for improved sensitivity and high external field rejection, the TA167 delivers a breakthrough in range and accuracy to meet the challenges of modern vehicles and particularly diesel engines.

See the TA167 BNC 2000A/200A current clamp on our website.

Automotive roles available! Employment opportunities

Do you want to work at the leading edge of automotive diagnostic and test equipment design? Or perhaps know someone that would thrive in our industry and the environment Pico Technology provides?

We are currently looking for the following candidates:

  • Automotive Distributor Manager (Sales)
  • Automotive Technical Specialist

We are always on the lookout for talented individuals to join our expanding team. Based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire we are a growing company with fantastic employee benefits and prospects. Why not visit (or recommend) our pico.jobs web page, and see what we have to offer?!

Forthcoming exhibitions and events

MIMS Automechanika Moscow: Automechanika Moscow powered by MIMS 2013 is a leading international event. It is the International Trade Fair for the Automotive Industry targeting Trade Visitors from Russia and the CIS.
Attending the trade fair is a great opportunity to conclude contracts, find new business partners, enter or strengthen your position in the market, see the latest collections of leading producers from all over the world and expand your assortment of products.
The show covers (but is not limited to) the following product groups: Parts & Systems, Accessories and Tuning, Automobile Design and Engineering, Repair and Maintenance, Automobiles and Buses.
You will be able to find Pico Technology in the UK pavilion.

26th - 29th August 2013 MIMS Automechanika Moscow 
Expocentre, 14, Krasnopresnenskaya nab., 123100, Moscow, Russia

Mechanex: A 'hands on' event featuring the very best in tools, equipment, diagnostics and the latest products from many leading parts manufacturers.

If you’ve got time to pre-register for the show, there will be a free bacon roll and a free ‘Professional Motor Mechanic’ T-shirt ready for you to pick up on the day. Pico Technology will be attending the show, so why not come and see what we have to offer?

Please pre-register for the show directly on the Mechanex Donington website.

10th - 11th September 2013 Mechanex 
Donington Park, Derby, England

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 officialPico 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 www.prodiag.co.uk for more information.

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

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 
27th September, 2013 
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 (Toll Free USA and Canada) or via email.

Newsletter June 2013

Congratulations go to Dale Cooper, a Lecturer in Motor Vehicles at East Surrey College. Dale (Dale Cooper on our forum) sent this case study to us for entry into the competition this time round, and he won! A credit of £200 is now his to spend on Pico Automotive products when buying direct! Read on to see Dale's experiment...

"Whilst covering power and torque with a BTEC level 3 group, I decided to try and take a snapshot of what was happening inside the cylinder in order to show what takes place over the full 720° of crank rotation on a single cylinder engine. The waveform shows the basic evidence gathered by the colleges PicoScope unit. The whole assembly was mounted on a Honda CBR 125R and timed so the leading edge of the first tooth and the spark were together in order to more easily reference top dead centre (TDC)..."

You can read the Honda CBR 125R Case Study Experiment and discuss it on our forum.

Why not enter our August competition! To enter navigate to theCase Studies section of our forum and tell us about your investigations and stories when using our products. To improve your chances of being chosen, your submission should have a clear explanation of the task, and include photos and PicoScope screen captures.

Don't feel your investigations aren't good enough, put them on the forum... you never know!!

See our forum for dates and full terms and conditions.

Website update

Our Automotive Website has recently had an overhaul!

With a fresh look and feel it is one of the first moves to further push forward our position in the automotive market. Improvements in navigation, clarity and the general user experience overall mixed with clear contact information are the signs of our continued commitment to this side of our business.

Don't forget our automotive forum is always open. Sign-up is free, and you can ask all the questions you want! Being a member has many benefits, from being able to tap into the knowledge of other PicoScope users, to requesting known good waveforms... our forum makes life easier when you are a PicoScope Automotive user. It's also the easiest way of entering our Case Study competitions!

Automotive roles available! Employment opportunities

Do you want to work at the leading edge of automotive diagnostic and test equipment design? Or perhaps know someone that would thrive in our industry and the environment Pico Technology provides?

We are currently looking for the following candidates:

  • Automotive Distributor Manager (Sales)
  • Automotive Technical Specialist

We are always on the lookout for talented individuals to join our expanding team. Based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire we are a growing company with fantastic employee benefits and prospects. Why not visit (or recommend) our pico.jobs web page, and see what we have to offer?!

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 officialPico 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. The course runs several times a year around the UK.

Please contact Professional Diagnostics Ltd via their contact form, or by calling 07881 555385. Alternatively visit www.prodiag.co.uk for more information. A certificate of completion from Pico Technology Ltd will be presented to qualifying delegates. The courses runs from 9am to 5pm with an hour for lunch (lunch is included in the booking fee).

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 July, 2013 
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 (Toll Free USA and Canada) or via email.

Best of the Web

Here we have a great article online by LMH Engineering Services Ltd. This article is based upon the Running Compression waveform that is produced when using the PicoScope Automotive Oscilloscope and the WPS500X Pressure Transducer.

View the Understanding Running Compression article on the LMH Engineeringwebsite.

Here we have a 30 minute video on YouTube with ScannerDanner. If you have seen Paul's videos before you will know their value, and that it is worth taking the time to watch them.

In this video Paul has been asked to diagnose this vehicle by another garage, and covers another variable when it comes to relative compression testing with a scope.

View the Relative Compression Testing Variables (2005 Buick Lacrosse) video on YouTube.

Case study competition

Why not enter our June competition! To enter navigate to the Case Studies sectionof our forum and tell us about your investigations and stories when using our products. To improve your chances of being chosen, your submission should have a clear explanation of the task, and include photos and PicoScope screen captures.

Don't feel your investigations aren't good enough, put them on the forum... you never know!!

See our forum for dates and full terms and conditions.

Technical Tips!

Reference Waveform

Q. I recently purchased a 4-channel scope. I would like to be able to overlay a captured waveform with a reference waveform. I can't seem to be able to find any information anywhere about how to do this. Please can you help? Thank you.

A. Yes this is possible. To do this:

The waveform is now loaded in the background. You can drag the vertical axis of either scale and separate or line up the two waveforms. It is worth noting that within the Reference Waveforms options, you can double click your "Available" waveform and rename it. If you do this, it is worth (with it highlighted) choosing "Export". Your reference waveform is then stored in: "....\My Documents\Waveforms\References". Each time you do this a ".psreference" file will appear here, slowly building your own library of Reference Waveforms.

As you build your own library you can then use the "import" option in the Waveform References to use them over and over.

Hiding Channels

Q. I am forever moving the axis of channels that "get in the way" of other information I want to look at. I want to keep the signal data from these channels, but I need to hide them at times, is this possible?

A. Yes this is possible. To do this simply choose Views>Channels. You will see a list of your active channels, each with a small tick beside them. You can remove/add this tick to hide/show individual channel data. The list of channels is also accessible via the right mouse click on the waveform data.

1) Load the file you want to compare to.

2) Choose Tools>Reference Waveforms.

3) If you have various channels enabled on your waveform, ensure that under "Available" you have the Channel you want as the reference highlighted. Choose "Duplicate". This waveform is now in the "Library" section. Click OK.

4) Now, use File>Open and open the second waveform that you want to compare to your first.

5) With this file open, again go to "Tools>Reference Waveforms".

6) You should see your previous waveform still located under "Library". Enable the tick box here and choose OK.

Forthcoming exhibitions and events

Automechanika Dubai: With more than 1,324 exhibitors and over 20,700 trade visitors, Automechanika Dubai is geared up to supply intermediate markets. A trading link to markets difficult to reach, this trade fair is a good platform to find out more about new products, find new suppliers and compare product alternatives. Covering product groups such as Parts and Systems, Accessories and Tuning, Repair and Maintenance, Tyres and Batteries, and Service and Car Washing.
You will be able to find Pico Technology at Stand number 6AM520, in the UK pavilion.

11th - 13th June 2013 Automechanika Dubai 
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Hickleys Simply Diagnostics: The Simply Diagnostics trade show will be a show dedicated to diagnostic equipment of all types. So if you are interested in diagnostic equipment the Simply Diagnostics show will be the place to go in 2013.

Throughout the show there will be live demonstrations of market leading diagnostic equipment being demonstrated on vehicles, covering topics such as Engine management, ABS, SRS, DPF regeneration, module configuration & component programming.

The Simply Diagnostics show, as the description suggests, will cover everything in the diagnostic tool range, including OE level diagnostic stations, scan tools, oscilloscopes, engine analysers, emission testers, battery management, Aircon stations, smoke meters, a huge range of useful test equipment, information systems and accessories.

13th - 14th July 2013 Hickleys Simply Diagnostics 
Advanced Diagnostics Ltd, Nuneaton, Coventry

MIMS Automechanika Moscow: Automechanika Moscow powered by MIMS 2013 is a leading international event. It is the International Trade Fair for the Automotive Industry targeting Trade Visitors from Russia and the CIS.
Attending the trade fair is a great opportunity to conclude contracts, find new business partners, enter or strengthen your position in the market, see the latest collections of leading producers from all over the world and expand your assortment of products.
The show covers the following (but not limited to) product groups: Parts & Systems, Accessories and Tuning, Automobile Design and Engineering, Repair and Maintenance, Automobiles and Buses.
You will be able to find Pico Technology in the UK pavilion.

26th - 29th August 2013 MIMS Automechanika Moscow 
Expocentre, 14, Krasnopresnenskaya nab., 123100, Moscow, Russia

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 officialPico 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. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and the following dates are currently available:

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by EK motor factors) 
11th/12th June 2013 
Lancaster, England

Places are limited, so please contact Professional Diagnostics Ltd via their contact form, or by calling 07881 555385. You can also reserve and pay online. Alternatively visit www.prodiag.co.uk for more information. A certificate of completion from Pico Technology Ltd will be presented to qualifying delegates. This course runs for two days, from 9am to 5pm with an hour for lunch (lunch is included in the booking fee).

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 July, 2013 
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 (Toll Free USA and Canada) or via email.

Case study: Rattling Dodge Intrepid

Congratulations go to Mike Cordell, of M C Auto in Salcha, Alaska! Mike (who is known as mcautoak on our forum) posted this case study on the forum, and it is the winner this time round! A credit of £200 is now theirs to spend on Pico Automotive products when buying direct! Read on to see Mike's work...

This vehicle was sent to me from another workshop because they were too busy to get to it, and the lady needed it repaired ASAP. The symptoms were that the engine oil warning lamp would flicker when the engine was first started from cold. After the engine had warmed up the oil lamp stayed illuminated and the engine had a loud rattling noise. The first workshop had replaced the engine oil filter, but not the oil as it appeared clean. Changing the filter had made no difference.

They were kind enough to put the old filter in a bag and sent it to me along with the car. When I cut the filter open I found no sign of metal or any engine wear. I succesfully set about duplicating the symptoms, the engine sounded normal when cold, but as it warmed up it developed a rattle/ knock and the oil light stayed on...

You can read the Dodge Intrepid Case Study and discuss it on our forum.

Why not enter our June competition! To enter navigate to the Case Studies sectionof our forum and tell us about your investigations and stories when using our products. To improve your chances of being chosen, your submission should have a clear explanation of the task, and include photos and PicoScope screen captures.

Don't feel your investigations aren't good enough, put them on the forum... you never know!!

See our forum for dates and full terms and conditions.

Best of the Web

Here we have a 40 minute video case study on YouTube with ScannerDanner. If you have seen Paul's videos before you will know their value, and that it is worth taking the time to watch them.

In this video Paul has a 2001 Honda Civic with a 1.7 litre engine. The car starts, runs for a brief moment and then stalls. Even with carb cleaner sprayed into the intake and the throttle applied, it makes no difference and still stalls very quickly. After several checks (including fueling, spark, fuel rail pressure, plugged exhaust, compression and injection pulse), Paul digs out the PicoScope and WPS500 pressure transducer.

View the Honda Civic 1.7 (start, run, stall case study) video on YouTube.

Forthcoming exhibitions and events

Mechanex: A 'hands on' event featuring the very best in tools, equipment, diagnostics and the latest products from many leading parts manufacturers.

If you’ve got time to pre-register for the show, there will be a free bacon roll and a free ‘Professional Motor Mechanic’ T-shirt ready for you to pick up on the day. Pico Technology will be attending the show, so why not come and see what we have to offer?

Please pre-register for the show directly on the Mechanex website.

21st - 22nd May 2013 Mechanex 
Event City, Manchester, England

Autopromotec Bologna: Autopromotec is the most specialised international trade fair for automotive equipment and aftermarket products, taking place in Bologna from May 22 to 26, 2013. In 2011 Autopromotec received over 103,000 trade professionals and over 1400 exhibitors. Forecasts predict an exceptional 35% increase in foreign exhibitors for the 2013 show. It is more than likely that the record numbers of international visitors in attendance at the last show will be beaten. In 2013 the show will cover equipment and materials for car repair workshops, vehicle body repair shops, vehicle electricians, tyre retailers, car dealers, service stations, car washes and specialized centers for the repair of means of transport.

Pico Technology will be attending the show, along with PCB, so why not come and see what we have to offer?

22nd - 26th May 2013 Autopromotec Bologna 
Bologna, Italy

Auto Testing Expo: The World’s Leading Testing, Validation, Simulation, Modelling and Quality Engineering Expo. Automotive Testing Expo is the global exhibition for every aspect of vehicle, motorcycle and components testing, validation, reliability assessment, quality evaluation and related data capture and analysis. It is the only event of its type taking place globally, and the essential environment for every vehicle and motorcycle test and validation system. The latest technologies and new iterations of existing technologies will be on show in Stuttgart. This is the essential place to visit if you are involved in any area of vehicle, motorcycle and components testing, evaluation, quality engineering and validation.

4th - 6th June 2013 Auto Testing Expo 
Messe Stuttgart, Germany

Automechanika Dubai: With more than 1,324 exhibitors and over 20,700 trade visitors, Automechanika Dubai is geared up to supply intermediate markets. A trading link to markets difficult to reach, this trade fair is a good platform to find out more about new products, find new suppliers and compare product alternatives. Covering product groups such as Parts and Systems, Accessories and Tuning, Repair and Maintenance, Tyres and Batteries, and Service and Car Washing.

11th - 13th June 2013 Automechanika Dubai 
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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 officialPico 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. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and the following dates are currently available:

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by Delphi) 
30th April/1st May 2013 
Warwickshire, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by ALS) 
2nd/3rd May 2013 
Exeter, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Weekend) 
18th/19th May 2013 
Bedford, England

Places are limited, so please contact Professional Diagnostics Ltd via their contact form, or by calling07881 555385. You can also reserve and pay online. Alternatively visit www.prodiag.co.uk for more information. A certificate of completion from Pico Technology Ltd will be presented to qualifying delegates. This course runs for two days, from 9am to 5pm with an hour for lunch (lunch is included in the booking fee).

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 
10th May, 2013 
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 (Toll Free USA and Canada) or via email.

Case study: Rover 45

This month we feature a Case Study from Rob Smith (Robski on our forum).

Rob had a Rover 45 in with an engine management light illuminated, but there did not appear to be any running issues.

You can read the Rover 45 Case Study online and discuss it on our forum.

Why not enter our April competition! To enter navigate to the Case Studies sectionof our forum and tell us about your investigations and stories when using our products. To improve your chances of being chosen, your submission should have a clear explanation of the task, and include photos and PicoScope screen captures.

Here we have a (long) video case study on YouTube with ScannerDanner. If you have seen Paul's videos before you will know their value, and that it is worth taking the time to watch his videos. In this video ScannerDanner has a 2003 Toyota Echo with a misfire trouble code (P0304). In this video you initially hear the misfire, before Paul walks through the steps of diagnosing the problem. Between the DTC and basic testing it is confirmed that cylinder 4 is the problem cylinder. A clear flood mode crank checks for consistent compression sound, which indicates compression is OK. The next step would be either injector or spark. For the benefit of this video the spark is checked next to help emphasise how to check the 4-pin 4-wire coil over plug designs....

View the How to Test a 4-wire C.O.P Ignition Coil video on YouTube.

Forthcoming exhibitions and events

Auto Maintenance and Repair (AMR) Beijing: Hongke, our Master Distributor in China, is representing Pico Technology at AMR 2013. This year an additional hall has been added to meet the exhibitors' increasing demands. The show has now reached a record-breaking 100,000 square feet, and will attract over 1100 exhibitors and 55,000 visitors. Being one of the biggest Automotive shows in China, AMR Beijing covers equipment, tools, and products in the following areas:

Maintenance Equipment
Car Care Product
Test and Diagnostics Equipment
Toolings
Coating and Maintenance Product
Car Beauty Product
Tyre and Recycling
Teaching
Environment-friendly products
Electronics
Service Station and Car Wash
Chain shops

1st - 3rd April 2013 Auto Maintenance and Repair (AMR) Beijing 
New China International Exhibition Center, Beijing

The Commercial Vehicle Show 2013: Without question since its launch in 2000, the Commercial Vehicle Show has emerged as the most productive sourcing and selling opportunity for the entire UK road freight transport and logistics industry. The CV Show is the largest and most comprehensive road freight transport event staged in Britain, catering for every operator's requirements from truck, van and trailer manufacturers through to handling equipment, insurers, tyre, telemetry and training providers, fuels and lubricant suppliers – and a whole lot more. To ensure the industry's wheels keep turning at maximum efficiency, the Workshop area features 100+ stands showcasing everything from OE components and replacement parts to maintenance management systems, garage and workshop equipment.

A small team from Pico will be exhibiting at the show at stand 4D67, so why don't you come and say "Hi!"?

9th - 11th April 2013 The Commercial Vehicle Show 2013 
NEC, Birmingham

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 officialPico 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. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and the following dates are currently available:

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by CES) 
16th/17th April 2013 
Chester, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course *Weekend* 
27th/28th April 2013 
Glasgow, Scotland

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by Delphi) 
30th April/1st May 2013 
Warwickshire, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by ALS) 
2nd/3rd May 2013 
Exeter, England

Places are limited, so please contact Professional Diagnostics Ltd via their contact form, or by calling07881 555385. You can also reserve and pay online. Alternatively visit www.prodiag.co.uk for more information. A certificate of completion from Pico Technology Ltd will be presented to qualifying delegates. This course runs for two days, from 9am to 5pm with an hour for lunch (lunch is included in the booking fee).

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 
10th May, 2013 
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 (Toll Free USA and Canada) or via email.

Case study: Mercury Sable V6

This month we feature a Case Study from Merrick (also a Pico forum member).

Merrick had a Mercury Sable 3.8 V6 which had a problem with surging. The list of possible causes was long, but with the benefit of experience, backed up by the PicoScope, Merrick was able to pinpoint the problem....

You can read the Mercury Case Study online and discuss it on our forum.

Sadly there is no winner of the competition this month. Although there were cases where PicoScope was used to diagnose some tricky problems, there were no entries that met the case study criteria and that we could successfully collaborate with in time for publicationn. Why not enter our April competition! To enter navigate to theCase Studies section of our forum and tell us about your investigations and stories when using our products. To improve your chances of being chosen, your submission should have a clear explanation of the task, and include photos and PicoScope screen captures.

Don't feel your investigations aren't good enough, put them on the forum... you never know!!

See our forum for dates and full terms and conditions.

Best of the Web

Here we have a video case study on YouTube with Autonerdz. In this video Autonerdz show how to test transmission line pressure easily with the PicoScope and the WPS500 pressure transducer.

View the Transmission line pressure test video on YouTube.

Here we have an online magazine article that features the use of a PicoScope. PMM feature a poor running VW Golf 1.9 TDI that is in need of some attention.

View the article on the PMM website.

Here we have an online Aftermarket article that features Frank Massey, and a Peugeot 306 GTI.

View the article on the Aftermarket online website.

Forthcoming exhibitions and events

Automotive Training Expo: Autonerdz will be representing Pico Technology at the largest Automotive Training and Expo event on the West Coast of the US. The event itself features up-to-date training, keynote speakers, exhibitors and 'hands on' demonstrations, including all the very best in tools, equipment, diagnostics and the latest products from many leading manufacturers. Tom will be at the show all weekend, so why not make a special visit to see him at booth #51.

1st - 3rd March 2013 Automotive Training Expo 
The Doubletree Hotel in Seatac, WA, USA

VISION Hi-Tech Training and Expo

Celebrating its 21st year, this premier training and expo event will be held March 7-10, 2013, at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas City. VISION Hi-Tech Training and Expo offers 60,000 square feet of exhibits and will feature the latest in automotive service tools, equipment and services for the automotive industry. VISION's reach extends beyond ASA members to offer management and technical training to all automotive service professionals. More than 1,400 automotive service professionals from 34 states and from Australia and Canada received over 14,000 hours of training during the 2012 event.

The upcoming 2013 VISION — themed 'PowerUp '13' — includes 20 shop management and 65 technical/educator-focused sessions. Pico Technology will be attending the show, so why not come and see us at booth 406!!

Matt Fanslow will be running two classes at the show:

Intro to PicoScope - Saturday, March 09 @ 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM (T38-D)

Today's vehicle electronics are more complex than ever making waveform analysis a required task for diagnostic techs. In this class, attendees will learn how to manipulate the PicoScope hardware and software to optimize waveform analysis and discover methods for saving PicoScope patterns for easy retrieval and comparison. Using a combination of presentations, along with the built-in PicoScope 6 demo/simulation software, this class will greatly improve your confidence in repairing vehicles. Attendees are asked to bring their laptops, if they can. No Scope modules will be required. This course is recommended to those who already own a PicoScope, or are curious about the system.

Mastering the Digital Storage Oscilloscope (Hands-on/Live car) - Friday, March 08 @ 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (T9-B)

Providing a virtual window into the world of an electronic circuit, the digital storage oscilloscope (DSO) is an indispensable diagnostic tool. When used correctly, a DSO can save you time and make you money. Unfortunately, many scopes function as dust collectors and paper weights. Bring your scope and join Matt as he covers key scope functions in a concise presentation, followed by you putting what was discussed into practice through several team-based exercises. Matt will make you confident and proficient no matter what brand of scope you use. Topics covered include: voltage settings, timebase/sweep settings, AC and DC coupling, scope zoom functions, understanding X and Y axis, triggering and slope settings, buffer utilization, glitch capture setups, signal relationships, waveform saving and retrieval and more! Seating is limited to 36. Attendees are required to bring their scopes to class.

Please pre-register for the show itself directly on the VISION website.

7th - 10th March 2013 VISION 
OPCC, Overland Park, KS 66211 (Kansas City), USA

Motortech Madrid: Iberia´s Leading Trade Fair for Automotive Parts, Equipment and Service Suppliers. Exhibitors are covering Parts and Systems, Accessories and Tuning, Repair and Maintenance, IT and Management, and Service Station and Car Wash products. In 2011, 40,000 professional participants from 41 countries attended the show where over 450 exhibitor stands were on display, and over 140 demonstrations took place.

MIAC our distributor in Spain will be attending the show. Why not see what they have to offer? MIAC will be at stand number 4C16, Pavilion 4.

13th - 16th March 2013 Motortech Madrid 
Madrid, Spain

STAHLGRUBER Show Munich: Under the motto of Information – Inspiration – Fascination, you will be right there to see live performances at many exhibition stands and receive first-hand information. Experience the STAHLGRUBER Exhibition as a communication platform, with detailed information about divisions, industry innovations and a wide variety of topics.

16th - 17th March 2013 STAHLGRUBER Show Munich 
81829 München, Messegelände, Paul-Henri-Spaak-Straße 6, Germany.

Auto Maintenance and Repair (AMR) Beijing: Hongke, our Master Distributor in China are representing Pico Technology at AMR 2013. This year an additional hall has been added to meet the exhibitors' increasing demands. The show has now reached a record-breaking 100,000 square feet, and will attract over 1100 exhibitors and 55,000 visitors. Being one of the biggest Automotive shows in China, AMR Beijing covers equipment, tools, and products in the following areas:

1st - 3rd April 2013 Auto Maintenance and Repair (AMR) Beijing 
New China International Exhibition Center, Beijing

Maintenance Equipment
Car Care Product
Test and Diagnostics Equipment
Toolings
Coating and Maintenance Product
Car Beauty Product
Tyre and Recycling
Teaching
Environment-friendly products
Electronics
Service Station and Car Wash
Chain shops

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 officialPico 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. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and the following dates are currently available:

PicoScope Diagnostics Course 
2nd/3rd March 2013 *Weekend* 
Bedford, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course 
12th/13th March 2013 
Warrington, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by CES) 
16th/17th April 2013 
Chester, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course *Weekend* 
27th/28th April 2013 
Glasgow, Scotland

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by Delphi) 
30th April/1st May 2013 
Warwickshire, England

Places are limited, so please contact Professional Diagnostics Ltd via their contact form, or by calling07881 555385. You can also reserve and pay online. Alternatively visit www.prodiag.co.uk for more information. A certificate of completion from Pico Technology Ltd will be presented to qualifying delegates. This course runs for two days, from 9am to 5pm with an hour for lunch (lunch is included in the booking fee).

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 
15th March, 2013 
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 (Toll Free USA and Canada) or via email.

Case study: Citroen C5

This month we have a Case Study from Steve Bickmore (Liteace), based in Tenerife (and also a member on our forum).

Steve had in a Citroen 2001 C5 2000, 16V (RFN). The owner said it had been to two workshops already. The first workshop fitted a new coil, and the second workshop said it needed a new coil! The owner complained of a hesitation and a yellow lamp flashing up on dash when driving. Also, every now and again at idle (depending on how far or long the car had been driven for), the yellow lamp would go out after stopping and restarting engine. Steve plugged in a diagbox and completed a scan. It showed a P0351\2 Ignition Coil A Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction...

You can read and discuss our latest case study on our forum.

There is time to enter our February competition! To enter navigate to the Case Studies section of our forum and tell us about your investigations and stories when using our products. To improve your chances of being chosen, your submission should have a clear explanation of the task, and include photos and PicoScope screen captures.

Don't feel your investigations aren't good enough, put them on the forum... you never know!!

See our forum for dates and full terms and conditions.

Best of the Web: Video case study

Here we have another video case study on YouTube with Paul Danner (aka ScannerDanner). In this video Paul investigates a 2004 Chrysler 3.3L vehicle, with a Cam sensor problem. The vehicle has P0344 and P0016 trouble codes. The depth of explanation combined with Paul's knowledge and experience enable easy viewing and understanding of his videos, so don't miss out!

View the 2004 Chrysler 3.3L Cam Sensor video on Youtube.

Forthcoming exhibitions and events

Automotive Training Expo: Autonerdz will be representing Pico Technology at the largest Automotive Training and Expo event on the West Coast of the US. The event itself features up-to-date training, keynote speakers, exhibitors and 'hands on' demonstrations, including all the very best in tools, equipment, diagnostics and the latest products from many leading manufacturers. Tom will be at the show all weekend, so why not make a special visit to see him at booth #51.

1st - 3rd March 2013 Automotive Training Expo 
The Doubletree Hotel in Seatac, WA, USA

VISION Hi-Tech Training and Expo

Celebrating its 21st year, this premier training and expo event will be held March 7-10, 2013, at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas City. VISION Hi-Tech Training and Expo offers 60,000 square feet of exhibits and will feature the latest in automotive service tools, equipment and services for the automotive industry. VISION's reach extends beyond ASA members to offer management and technical training to all automotive service professionals. More than 1,400 automotive service professionals from 34 states and from Australia and Canada received over 14,000 hours of training during the 2012 event.

The upcoming 2013 VISION  themed 'PowerUp '13'  includes 20 shop management and 65 technical/educator-focused sessions. Pico Technology will be attending the show, so why not come and see us at booth 406!!

Please pre-register for the show directly on the VISION website.

7th - 10th March 2013 VISION 
OPCC, Overland Park, KS 66211 (Kansas City), USA

Motortech Madrid: Iberia4s Leading Trade Fair for Automotive Parts, Equipment and Service Suppliers. Exhibitors are covering Parts and Systems, Accessories and Tuning, Repair and Maintenance, IT and Management, and Service Station and Car Wash products. In 2011, 40,000 professional participants from 41 countries attended the show where over 450 exhibitor stands were on display, and over 140 demonstrations took place.

MIAC our distributor in Spain will be attending the show. Why not see what they have to offer? MIAC will be at stand number 4C16, Pavilion 4.

13th - 16th March 2013 Motortech Madrid 
Madrid, Spain

STAHLGRUBER Show Munich: Under the motto of Information  Inspiration  Fascination, you will be right there to see live performances at many exhibition stands and receive first-hand information. Experience the STAHLGRUBER Exhibition as a communication platform, with detailed information about divisions, industry innovations and a wide variety of topics.

16th - 17th March 2013 STAHLGRUBER Show Munich 
81829 München, Messegelände, Paul-Henri-Spaak-Straße 6, Germany.

Auto Maintenance and Repair (AMR) Beijing: Hongke, our Master Distributor in China are representing Pico Technology at AMR 2013. This year an additional hall has been added to meet the exhibitors' increasing demands. The show has now reached a record-breaking 100,000 square feet, and will attract over 1100 exhibitors and 55,000 visitors. Being one of the biggest Automotive shows in China, AMR Beijing covers equipment, tools, and products in the following areas:

1st - 3rd April 2013 Auto Maintenance and Repair (AMR) Bejing 
New China International Exhibition Center, Beijing
 

Maintenance Equipment
Car Care Product
Test and Diagnostics Equipment
Toolings
Coating and Maintenance Product
Car Beauty Product
Tyre and Recycling
Teaching
Environment-friendly products
Electronics
Service Station and Car Wash
Chain shops

1st - 3rd April 2013 Auto Maintenance and Repair (AMR) Bejing 
New China International Exhibition Center, Beijing

Popular on the forum....

A popular thread on our forum at the moment relates to a Hyundai Santa Fe'.

Can you assist? Perhaps you can lend your knowledge to the forum? Why not take a read and see? You could help, or perhaps you can benefit from our existing forum users?

You can read the Santa Fe topic on our automotive forum.

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 officialPico 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. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and the following dates are currently available:

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by ALS) 
31st January - 1st February 2013 
Exeter, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by CES) 
6th/7th February 2013 
Chester, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course 
2nd/3rd March 2013 *Weekend* 
Bedford, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course 
12th/13th March 2013 
Warrington, England

Places are limited, so please contact Professional Diagnostics Ltd via their contact form, or by calling 07881 555385. You can also reserve and pay online. Alternatively visit www.prodiag.co.uk 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 
15th March, 2013 
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 (Toll Free USA and Canada) or via email.

Case Study Competition: BMW Mini

Congratulations go to Darren Cotton, from AVC (UK) LTD! Darren posted this case study on our forum, and it’s been chosen as the winner this time round! It was a tough competition this time round, with several great submissions! A credit of £200 is now Darren’s to spend on Pico Automotive products when buying direct! Read on to see Darren’s work…

This Mini was presented to me from a second hand car salesman, not the best customers to do work for in my opinion as their main concern is their profit and the jobs I receive from car sales plots can be in depth and he or she can be pressurising at times, as in their minds its always a quick fix. I am sure many of us can relate to this. Well, this is exactly how it was, with this a 2001 Mini with the airbag light on and tyre pressure monitoring light was also illuminated, this was after they had a valet on the vehicle. The salesman said “If you can just plug it in and reset it” how many times do we hear that one! I was already informed that a mobile company had already been out to it and their diagnostic tool was not connecting to it…

Read the BMW Mini K–Bus Diagnostics case study

There is time to enter our February competition! To enter navigate to the Case Studies section of our forum and tell us about your investigations and stories when using our products. To improve your chances of being chosen, your submission should have a clear explanation of the task, and include photos and PicoScope screen captures.

Don’t feel your investigations aren’t good enough, put them on the forum… you never know!

See our forum for dates and full terms and conditions

New Product: TA156 M12 Compression Hose

Pico Technology is pleased to announce a new accessory for the successful WPS500 pressure transducer.

TA156 is our M12 compression hose and becomes the latest addition to the wide range of accessories already available for the WPS500. Other compression hoses available include the M10, M14, M18 and Triton Hoses.

From the Forum…

Our forum was recently visited by our Chinese Master Distributor, Hongke. Eric kindly created a post outlining some very useful information regarding PicoDiagnostics.

You can read Eric’s thread on our automotive forum.

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 (Hosted by ALS)
31st January — 1st February 2013
Exter, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course
2nd/3rd March 2013 *Weekend*
Bedford, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course
12th/13th March 2013
Warrington, England

Places are limited, so please contact Professional Diagnostics Ltd via their contact form, or by calling 07881 555385. You can also reserve and pay online. Alternatively visit www.prodiag.co.uk 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
8th January 2013 
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.

Newsletter November 2012

Congratulations go to Robski (Rob Smith), from Doncaster, South Yorkshire! Rob posted this case study on our forum, and it’s been chosen as the winner this time round! A credit of £200 is now Rob’s to spend on Pico Automotive products when buying direct! Read on to see Rob’s work…

When cold starting this car would misfire, but would quickly clear. No misfires occurred under normal driving conditions. The first action was to plug–in with the serial scan tools (Scan tools used were Diagbox and SP ACR4/G2) to see what DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes) were present. Sadly in this case there were none stored, and a look at live data didn’t reveal a great deal either, so out with the PicoScope.

Read the Peugeot 206 Misfire case study

You can still enter our December competition! To enter navigate to the Case Studies section of our forum and tell us about your investigations and stories when using our products. To improve your chances of being chosen, your submission should have a clear explanation of the task, and include photos and PicoScope screen captures.

Don’t feel your investigations aren’t good enough, put them on the forum… you never know!

See our forum for dates and full terms and conditions

Technical Tip From the Forum

Ealier this month, we had a query about the possibility of adding an audible alarm feature to our PicoScope Automotive software. As some of you may know this is already a feature in PicoScope, but for those that don’t please see our forum for this query and the how to answer!

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
10th–11th November
Bedford, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course
20th–21st November
Lutterworth, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course
December (date to be confirmed)
Weighbridge, England

Places are limited, so please call 07881 555385 to reserve your place, or visit www.prodiag.co.uk 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
16th November, 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.

Newsletter October 2012

Congratulations go to Robski (Rob Smith), from Doncaster, South Yorkshire! Rob posted this case study on our forum, and it’s been chosen as the winner this time round! A credit of £200 is now Rob’s to spend on Pico Automotive products when buying direct! Read on to see Rob’s work…

When cold starting this car would misfire, but would quickly clear. No misfires occurred under normal driving conditions. The first action was to plug–in with the serial scan tools (Scan tools used were Diagbox and SP ACR4/G2) to see what DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes) were present. Sadly in this case there were none stored, and a look at live data didn’t reveal a great deal either, so out with the PicoScope.

Read the Peugeot 206 Misfire case study

You can still enter our December competition! To enter navigate to the Case Studies section of our forum and tell us about your investigations and stories when using our products. To improve your chances of being chosen, your submission should have a clear explanation of the task, and include photos and PicoScope screen captures.

Don’t feel your investigations aren’t good enough, put them on the forum… you never know!

See our forum for dates and full terms and conditions

Technical Tip From the Forum

Ealier this month, we had a query about the possibility of adding an audible alarm feature to our PicoScope Automotive software. As some of you may know this is already a feature in PicoScope, but for those that don’t please see our forum for this query and the how to answer!

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
10th–11th November
Bedford, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course
20th–21st November
Lutterworth, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course
December (date to be confirmed)
Weighbridge, England

Places are limited, so please call 07881 555385 to reserve your place, or visit www.prodiag.co.uk 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
16th November, 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.

Video Case Study: 1999 Dodge Avenger Misfire Case Study

This month we have a video case study from “Scanner Danner”. The customer complaint here is an intermittent misfire. No diagnostics trouble codes (DTCs) are stored, but recreating the problem in the shop has been possible. During misfires, fuel pressure remains constant and injector patterns look good. Focus now turns to the ignition system. Please view the case study.

Don’t forget about our competition. To enter navigate to the Case Studies section of our forum and tell us about your investigations and stories when using our products. To improve your chances of being chosen, your submission should have a clear explanation of the task, and include photos and PicoScope screen captures.

Don’t feel your investigations aren't good enough, put them on the forum… you never know!

See our forum for dates and full terms and conditions

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:

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Weekend)
20th–21st October
Glasgow, Scotland

PicoScope Diagnostics Course
23rd–24th October
Chester, England

Places are limited, so please call 07881 555385 to reserve your place, or visit www.prodiag.co.uk 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
16th November, 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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie for further information.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

 

Is it Time to Inspire Technology with Your Automotive Passion?

Do you use technology yet dream of developing it? At Pico Technology you can do just that. You’ll feel valued, appreciated and what’s more you’ll be able to see directly how your efforts make a difference to our customers.

Currently we are looking for the below positions to join our talented team of C# and C++ software engineers:

  • Development Engineer — C++ / C# Software Engineer (Automotive diagnostics and testing)
  • Development Engineer — Graduate opportunities
  • Electronics Technician
  • Software Build Engineer

Find details of the above positions, and an online application form at pico.jobs. You will also find our C# / C++ Software Engineers Technical Test online: it could be your first step to an inspiring software design career… so why not have a go? Once you have completed the test simply send us your source code together with your CV when you apply.

Own the Best for Less: Automotive Starter Kits

This month we want to highlight our new Automotive Starter Kits. The automotive starter kits are available in both 2–channel and 4–channel varieties.

The 2–Channel Starter Kit gives you the lowest possible cost entry into PicoScope ownership. The kit comes complete with a basic set of leads and clips to allow you to perform many common tasks including testing most sensors, relative compression and cylinder balance tests. Over time accessories such as current clamps and ignition probes can be added to expand its uses and convert a starter kit into a standard kit.

The 4–Channel Starter Kit contains the same four–channel oscilloscope featured in the standard and advanced kits. To keep costs down it is supplied with a basic set of leads and clips to allow you to perform many common tasks including testing most sensors, actuators, relative compression and cylinder balance tests. Again over time accessories such as current clamps and ignition probes can be added to expand its uses and convert into a standard or advanced kit.

To find out more see our “Which Diagnostics Kit is Right for Me?” webpage.

Case Study: VW Golf 1.9 TDI (ALH) 2001 — Running Issues

This month the case study comes from our forum.

Robski (Rob Smith), from Doncaster, South Yorkshire was passed a VW Golf after the previous repairer had spent a week or so head scratching and internet searching.

“My first action was to plug in the VAG–COM Diagnostic System (VCDS) to pull any diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). There was one:

17656/P1248/004680 - Start of Injection Timing Regulation: Control Deviation.

Looking at the measured value blocks (MVB) group 004, I noticed that the actual injection pump timing was too far advanced in relation to spec, with the coolant temp at +85 °C I switched to basic settings on the TDI timing checker but it was that far advanced it would not plot on the graph. At this point I suspected the N108 commencement of injection (COI) solenoid was stuck advanced.”

View the rest of the case study on our website.

Case Study Competition, Rules and Guidance

The case study competitions will now be run every two months as follows:

  • October 2012 Competition: entries must be received between Sept 1st and October 12th; winner will be announced in October 2012 newsletter.
  • December 2012 Competition: entries must be received between October 13th and December 14th; winner will be announced in December 2012 newsletter.
  • February 2013 Competition: entries must be received between December 15th and February 15th; winner will be announced in February 2013 newsletter.

Further dates will be added to the forum and included in the newsletter as required. We will choose one winner in each competition, who will receive £200 credit for automotive equipment bought direct from us. There is no cash alternative. We may choose to publish additional case studies from other sources. These will not be part of the competition and so will not carry the competition heading.

Entry is the same as before: navigate to the Case Studies section of our forum and tell us about your investigations and stories when using our products. To improve your chances of being chosen, your submission should have a clear explanation of the task, and include photos and PicoScope screen captures.

Don’t feel your investigations aren’t good enough, put them on the forum… you never know!!

Beta Product Testing

Do you regularly work with noise and vibration issues? We are developing a new NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) kit that will allow you to analyze this type of problem. As part of the design process, we are offering you the opportunity to own an NVH kit at a special price in return for your feedback.

NVH is the study of unwanted mechanical movements and sounds generated by a vehicle. The PicoDiagnostics NVH software can analyze vibrations and help to diagnose NVH problems.

This is an exciting opportunity to help influence an exciting new product, and enjoy some visibility and recognition for your expertise.

There is a limited supply of units available for beta testing, so to put yourself forward, please send an email to us to register your interest. We cannot guarantee all who apply will get the opportunity to take part in the beta testing of our exciting new product, but we will do our best to reply to any emails we receive.

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:

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Weekend)
15/16 September 2012
Bedford, England

Places are limited, so please call 07881 555385 to reserve your place, or visit www.prodiag.co.uk 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
7 September 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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie for further information.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Is it Time to Inspire Technology with Your Automotive Passion?

Do you use technology yet dream of developing it? At Pico Technology you can do just that. You’ll feel valued, appreciated and what’s more you’ll be able to see directly how your efforts make a difference to our customers.

Currently we are looking for the below positions to join our talented team of C# and C++ software engineers:

  • Development Engineer — C++ / C# Software Engineer (Automotive diagnostics and testing)
  • Development Engineer — Graduate opportunities
  • Electronics Technician
  • Software Build Engineer

Find details of the above positions, and an online application form at pico.jobs. You will also find our C# / C++ Software Engineers Technical Test online: it could be your first step to an inspiring software design career… so why not have a go? Once you have completed the test simply send us your source code together with your CV when you apply.

Case Study, Competition Still Running!

This month our case study comes from our friends at VNP InterBiz.

“This AUDI A6 (2006) came to us from a transmission repair center who complained of an occasional engine cut-out during cold cranking. It is difficult for technicians to investigate this particular problem due to it occurring during cold cranking. During cold cranking the air/fuel ratio is not able to be controlled.”

View the rest of the VNP InterBiz Case Study on our website.

Do you fancy up to £200 in credit vouchers to spend on Automotive Pico Technology products when buying direct? Entry is the same as before: navigate to the Case Studies section of our forum and tell us about your investigations and 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. Don’t feel your investigations aren’t good enough, put them on the forum… you never know!

Featured Product

This month we want to highlight our Coil–on–Plug Extension Leads. These leads are the simple accessory that allow you to take accurate secondary ignition measurements on Coil–on–Plug ignition systems. Coil–on–Plug extension leads are designed to aid diagnostics on secondary ignition circuits by allowing an HT measurement to be made when there is no, or limited, access to any spark plug leads. The leads are specifically designed for use with the PP178 Secondary Ignition Pickup. COP extension leads are easy to use: simply fit them between the coil pack and the plugs, place a capacitive secondary ignition pickup on each lead, and your oscilloscope will show accurate ignition waveforms with correct kV measurements. Coil–on–Plug extension leads are designed for use with PicoScope automotive oscilloscopes, but can also be used on all other labscopes that are capable of displaying ignition patterns.

Find out more about our Coil–on–Plug Extension Leads

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:

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Weekend)
18/19 August 2012
Bedford, England

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Weekend)
15/16 September 2012
Bedford, England

Places are limited, so please call 07881 555385 to reserve your place, or visit www.prodiag.co.uk 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
7 September 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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie for further information.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

 

Are You a ‘Happy Engineer’, or is it Time to Inspire Technology?

Do you use technology yet dream of developing it? At Pico Technology you can do just that. You’ll feel valued, appreciated and what’s more you’ll be able to see directly how your efforts make a difference to our customers.

Currently we are looking for the below positions to join our talented team of C# and C++ software engineers:

  • Development Engineer — C++ / C# Software Engineer (Automotive diagnostics and testing)
  • Development Engineer — Graduate opportunities

Find details of the above positions, and an online application form at pico.jobs. You will also find our C# / C++ Software Engineers Technical Test online: it could be your first step to an inspiring software design career… so why not have a go? Once you have completed the test simply send us your source code together with your CV when you apply.

Case Study and Competition News

We are pleased to announce that James Scott (with his below Case Study) is the winner of our current Case Study competition… but never fear, our next competition is now running!! Do you fancy up to £200 in credit vouchers to spend on Automotive Pico Technology products when buying direct?

Entry is the same as before, just like James all you need to do is navigate to the Case Studies section of our forum and tell us about your investigations and 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.

Don’t feel your investigations aren‘t good enough, put them on the forum… you never know!

Many have said using PicoScope is a learning experience. This Case Study details James Scott’s (of Seymour Horwell in Devon) first real diagnosis that couldn’t be found using “conventional testing methods”. Armed with his PicoScope 4423, James set about diagnosing the fault on this 2004 Volvo V40 1.9 TD.

“The customer had the vehicle recovered to the workshop with what they suspected to be a timing belt failure. I removed the upper belt cover but the belt was still on and not slack, cranking the engine the car ran, and I drove the ‘non–start’ car into the workshop with a huge sigh of relief that I wouldn’t be taking the cylinder head off…”

View the rest of James’ Case Study on our forum.

Best of the Web

This month Autonerdz have updated their superb download package, free of charge! In the words of Tom Roberts himself “This package has a lot of useful content. Great for educators as well as techs and shop owners. Something in this for everyone.”

Just download the package into a folder on your hard drive or USB stick, unzip and enjoy!

Here we have another video case study on YouTube with Paul Danner (aka ScannerDanner). In this video Paul investigates a 1.8L 2003 Pontiac Vibe. This is a Toyota engine in this car and apparently is known for injector problems. In this video Paul covers the following:

  • How to do an injector balance test with a timer tool.
  • How to monitor injector flow with a pressure transducer connected to the fuel rail using a PicoScope (jump to 18 minutes)
  • Using fuel trim for direction
  • How to use fuel trim numbers at different RPMs.

The depth of explanation combined with the use of Paul’s Smartboard enable easy viewing of his videos, so don’t miss out!

View the 2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8L Misfire, Rough Idle video

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

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:

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by CES) 
10/11 July 2012
Chester, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course
17/18 July 2012
Accrington, England

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Weekend)
18/19 August 2012
Bedford, England

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Weekend)
15/16 September 2012
Bedford, England

Places are limited, so please call 07881 555385 to reserve your place, or visit www.prodiag.co.uk 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
13 July 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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie for further information.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Are You a ‘Happy Engineer’, or is it Time to Inspire Technology?

Do you feel flat and un–motivated on a Monday morning? Do you use technology yet dream of developing it? Do you wish you had the time to investigate and develop your own ideas?
At Pico Technology you can do just that. Our Blue Sky afternoons once a week allow you to flex those brainwaves! If this sounds too good to be true perhaps it’s time you looked to join our award winning company?
As part of Pico Technology you’ll feel valued and appreciated. What’s more you’ll be able to see directly how your efforts make a difference to our customers.

So if you want your efforts recognised, and your inspirations rewarded… why not face Monday mornings with Pico Technology? As part of our team you will benefit from:

  • Designing, developing and supporting exciting new and existing products
  • Being part of constant technical innovation
  • Opportunities to shine in test and measurement, and prestigious automotive markets
  • Working for a company that frequently wins awards
  • Working flexible hours
  • Seeing your projects through from early design to release
  • Being recognised, and rewarded for your hard work and commitment
  • Being part of a profit share scheme
  • …plus many more benefits!

We are continuously looking to expand our talented team of C++ and C# software engineers to work on the next generation of high performance test equipment and automotive diagnostic products. Don't worry if you don’t fit exactly into any of these categories, as we are always looking for design talent.

  • Development Engineer — C++ / C# Software Engineer (including Automotive diagnostics and testing)
  • Development Engineer — Digital Electronics
  • Development Engineer — Graduate opportunities

Pico Technology has grown every year for the last 20 years. Our ongoing recruitment is required to help in the continued growth and expansion of our company.

Find details of the above positions, and an online application form at pico.jobs. You will also find our C# / C++ Software Engineers Technical Test online: it could be your first step to an inspiring software design career… so why not have a go? Once you have completed the test simply send us your source code together with your CV when you apply.

You can also send enquiries by email to jobs@picotech.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Case Study: Hyundai Porter 2

Many diesel vehicles manufactured after the year 2000 are equipped with a common rail diesel system. Using the wrong fuel, mistaken maintenance, and engine overheating can force a diesel car into a garage for investigation and repair. This Hyundai Porter 2 had a cold start problem, where the engine ran poorly and white smoke was apparent. The previous engineer had changed injectors and the actual engine head, but the problem still occurred…

See how the use of a PicoScope and PicoDiagnostics detected and identified the fault where the scan tool could not.

Best of the Web

Here we have another video case study on YouTube with Paul Danner (aka ScannerDanner). In this video Paul investigates a 2003 Ford Expedition 5.4 V8 vehicle. The vehicle has a coil over plug system, and has a misfire and P0356 trouble code. The depth of explanation combined with the use of Paul’s Smartboard enable easy viewing of his videos, so don’t miss out!

View the Ford C.O.P. Ignition Testing (2003 Expedition 5.4) video

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 (June 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.

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

Are You a ‘Happy Engineer’, or is it Time to Inspire Technology?

Do you feel flat and un–motivated on a Monday morning? Do you use technology yet dream of developing it? Do you wish you had the time to investigate and develop your own ideas?
At Pico Technology you can do just that. Our Blue Sky afternoons once a week allow you to flex those brainwaves! If this sounds too good to be true perhaps it’s time you looked to join our award winning company?
As part of Pico Technology you’ll feel valued and appreciated. What’s more you’ll be able to see directly how your efforts make a difference to our customers.

So if you want your efforts recognised, and your inspirations rewarded… why not face Monday mornings with Pico Technology? As part of our team you will benefit from:

  • Designing, developing and supporting exciting new and existing products
  • Being part of constant technical innovation
  • Opportunities to shine in test and measurement, and prestigious automotive markets
  • Working for a company that frequently wins awards
  • Working flexible hours
  • Seeing your projects through from early design to release
  • Being recognised, and rewarded for your hard work and commitment
  • Being part of a profit share scheme
  • …plus many more benefits!

We are continuously looking to expand our talented team of C++ and C# software engineers to work on the next generation of high performance test equipment and automotive diagnostic products. Don't worry if you don’t fit exactly into any of these categories, as we are always looking for design talent.

  • Development Engineer — C++ / C# Software Engineer (including Automotive diagnostics and testing)
  • Development Engineer — Digital Electronics
  • Development Engineer — Graduate opportunities

Pico Technology has grown every year for the last 20 years. Our ongoing recruitment is required to help in the continued growth and expansion of our company.

Find details of the above positions, and an online application form at pico.jobs. You will also find our C# / C++ Software Engineers Technical Test online: it could be your first step to an inspiring software design career… so why not have a go? Once you have completed the test simply send us your source code together with your CV when you apply.

You can also send enquiries by email to jobs@picotech.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Competition Still Running!

Our competition is still running, where you our readers can win up to £200 in 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.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

Mechanex Competition Winner

During the Mechanex show in Manchester we asked visitors to spare a few minutes and complete a short survey based on oscilloscope training. In turn they were entered into a prize draw to win a PicoScope 4223. The winner was chosen at random earlier this week, and congratulations go out to Chris Bee from Soltcoat Motors of Poulton-le-Fylde! A PicoScope 4223 will be on its way to you soon! Keep us posted on your experience with it; who knows, you may even get a feature in a future 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:

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by CES) 
10/11 July 2012
Chester, England

PicoScope Diagnostics Course
17/18 July 2012
Accrington, England

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Weekend)
18/19 August 2012
Bedford, England

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Weekend)
15/16 September 2012
Bedford, England

Places are limited, so please call 07881 555385 to reserve your place, or visit www.prodiag.co.uk 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
13 July 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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie for further information.

Competition Still Running!

Our competition is still running, 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.

Video Case Study

Here we have a two–part video (both parts are around 20 minutes) on YouTube from Paul Danner (aka ScannerDanner) of Engine Performance Diagnostics. In part 1 of this video Paul walks through some of the testing procedures that may be used for any no start condition. This particular vehicle is a 2000 Lexus RX 300. One thing to note, the cam-crank relationship waveform capture in the first picture is wrong, watch the end of the part 1 video for this correction.

View 2000 Lexus No Start

Best of the Web

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 (June 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.

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

Featured Product

Pico’s 6–way Universal Automotive Breakout Leads are designed to work with any vehicle — eliminating the need to own many specific breakout leads for engine diagnostics. The breakout leads are available with 4 different sizes of connectors allowing you to connect to virtually any sensor in the engine compartment — of any vehicle — using just 4 leads. Never again will you need to search your workshop for that expensive vehicle/sensor specific lead. The breakout lead is simply connected into the existing cable loom and enables voltage readings to be taken from the numerous sensors in the engine compartment. The output signal can then be taken from the 4 mm banana plugs into the input of the automotive oscilloscope using the TA000 test lead.

Note: a TA000 will be required to convert the 4 mm banana plug connection on the Pico 6–way breakout lead into a BNC connector suitable for plugging into the PicoScope.

To find detailed connection information, or to order your Universal Breakout Leads, please visit the Universal Breakout Leads page on our website.

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 www.prodiag.co.uk 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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie for further information.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

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 www.prodiag.co.uk 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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie for further information

New Case Study: Chrysler Concord

This month we have a Case Study from Engine Performance Diagnostics. Paul Denner developed ‘Engine Performance Diagnostics’ over a ten year period while employed as an instructor at Rosedale Technical Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Case Study this month is an extract from his eBook, and features a Chrysler Concord misfiring on a specific cylinder.

View the Chrysler Concord case study

Best of the Web

Two videos this month from Matt Malloy of CP Fitters. The first shows an investigation of a coil on plug ignition system using a four–channel PicoScope and a coil–on–plug ignition probe.

View the video

The second is a short video examining petrol fuel injection on a Volkswagen Polo 1.0 litre engine. Along with our 4 channel Automotive scopes, Matt uses an amps clamp around one of the wires going to the injector. This senses the magnetic field around the wire, and gives an indication of how much current is being consumed by the injector. There is also an acupuncture probe measuring the voltage on the line.

View the video

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

Did You Know?

Here we hope to tell you things about us and our software that perhaps you weren’t aware of previously. This month:

Keyboard mapping

Keyboard mapping can be found under the Tools > Preferences drop–down menu and by choosing the Keyboard tab. Here you will find a large list of commands that can be mapped to any keystroke you choose. Simply click on the command you wish to map a keyboard stroke to, click on the empty box at the bottom of the dialog box and press the key you want to use. The following example allows use of the keyboard arrow keys to navigate through the waveform buffer after a test is complete.

  1. Within PicoScope 6 Automotive, choose Tools > Preferences and click on the Keyboard tab.
  2. Highlight Next from the Buffer.Filtered list.
  3. Click within the text box in the lower portion of the dialog box, and press the right arrow on your keyboard.
  4. Click Assign (you will see Right appear in the list box aligned with Next).
  5. Highlight Previous from the Buffer.Filtered list.
  6. Click within the text box in the lower portion of the dialog box, and press the left arrow on your keyboard.
  7. Click Assign (you will see Left appear in the list box aligned with Previous).
  8. Click Apply.
  9. Click OK.

Once the scope is no longer sampling you can cycle through the waveform buffers using the arrows on your keyboard, saving time, and money!

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
14/l5 March 2012
Norfolk, England

Places are limited, so please call 07881 555385 to reserve your place, or visit www.prodiag.co.uk 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
2 March 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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie for further information.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

New Case Study: Mercedes E240

This Mercedes problem was not a difficult one to find…we’ve all had those jobs where sometimes you have to identify the fault, before finding its cause, and ultimately the fix. With this Mercedes, its engine simply would not start… the reason… well that’s when the PicoScope came into play…

Read on to see how Andy Cape (of Cape Auto Diagnostics) solved the problem…

Mercedes E240 Case Study

WPS500X Hose Sizes… What Do YOU Want?

We recently had this post appear on our automotive forum, in relation to our WPS500X pressure transducer:

I have all four of the compression hoses for the WPS, one problem i have come across this week is that the latest BMW’s have 12 mm diameter spark plug… Is it possible to get an adapter for the current hoses so that it adapts down to 12 mm or 12 mm compression hose for the WPS?

Using the “if one person asks, there are 100 more who don’t” rule, this forum post has made it clear there are likely many more of you that have either come across the need for, or know of different size compression hoses than those currently available. So, Pico Technology are asking our customers “What do YOU want?” Is there a compression hose size that you need, or one that you are aware of that we do not supply? We are asking for your feedback, so we may improve our service to you.

In order to do this, please give your size requirements on the following thread.

We make no promises at this stage, but we look forward to reading your replies!

Elektra 2011 New Engineer of the Year Award goes to Pico!

Please join us in congratulating Pico development engineer Adrian Carter, who has just collected the Elektra 2011 Rising Star New Engineer of the Year award. This was given in recognition of his track record of projects culminating in his recent work on the PicoScope oscilloscopes, some of which received a major performance upgrade last year. The project team managed to squeeze faster sampling rates, extra memory and a full arbitrary waveform generator into a USB–powered device no larger than the original.

Recruitment Open Day

We invite you to join us at our Recruitment Open Day:

8am to 8pm on 8th February 2012, St Neots, Cambridgeshire, UK

We are looking for C++ or C# software engineers to join our expanding team. With us you get the security of a 20–year–old company that is growing by 20% a year, a number of varied projects to work on, and even half a day per week to develop your own projects! So, if you’ve got C++ or C# skills, come and join us on the day. If you can’t make it, you can send your CV in confidence to jobs@picotech.com.

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:

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course
23/24 February 2012
Exeter, England

Places are limited, so please call 07881 555385 to reserve your place, or visit www.prodiag.co.uk 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
2 March 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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie for further information.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Best of the Web

This month Autonerdz have put together another superb download package free of charge! This version is for everyone, but especially useful if you are an educator looking into PicoScope for your classroom. Containing documents, videos, and other materials to help you out. Just unzip this into a folder on your hard drive or a CD, or USB stick and enjoy.

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

New Product: WPS500X Transducer Kit

The long awaited WPS500X kit is finally here! The kit is due for release in January 2012, and consists of:

  • 1 x WPS500X Pressure transducer
  • 1 x BNC to BNC insulated Cable (5 m)
  • 1 x Compression hose (14 mm)
  • 1 x Compression hose (10 mm)
  • 1 x Compression hose (Ford Triton)
  • 1 x Fuel hose, large Schraeder
  • 1 x Fuel hose, small Schraeder
  • 1 x Vacuum hose
  • 1 x Bleed hose
  • 1 x Exhaust adaptor
  • 1 x Universal vacuum adaptor
  • 1 x Carry case
  • 1 x USB cable
  • 1 x User’s manual

The price of the kit (PP836) is £655 ($1080/€790). The kit is based on the award winning WPS500X transducer, and comes with all the accessories required to allow you to carry out accurate measurements such as compression tests and fuel pressure (petrol/gasoline) tests, amongst others.

New Case Study: Honda Passport

The customer reported that when driving the vehicle it felt like a ‘kangaroo‘. The vehicle ran unstable and very erratic. There was no EML (Engine Management Light) on, however a scan tool was connected to the vehicle to see if there was any data or pending codes stored to give a quick idea what could be causing the problem. As we guessed by no EML there was nothing. We decided to road test the vehicle and get an idea of the customer complaint. The engine started fine, a quick blip of the throttle revealed that the engine would throttle without restriction…

Read “Honda Passport” to see how Lee and Richard solved the problem.

Forum Question!

Here we have a a question from our forum which we feel is probably out there on many lips. It even received two responses from forum experts Autonerdz (Tom Roberts), and our very own Lee Hearnden…

Q. What are the advantages of a 4 channel scope over a 2 channel one? Just wondering exactly what you can do with a four channel that you can’t do with a two channel?

Answer 1: To be fair it depends on you as a person and how you work. My honest answer based upon my usage is 4 channels is the way to go. If you think of a customer who brings a car in for lack of power, let’s say a Common Rail Diesel engine with no fault codes present, where do you go? Well you could connect the scope as follows:

  • Channel A: Digital MAF
  • Channel B: Fuel Rail Pressure
  • Channel C: Boost Pressure Sensor
  • Channel D: IMV Valve

In one simple wide open throttle (WOT) test you get a picture of the Intake/Fuel system which potentially allows you to see all the parameters which could cause loss of power in one hit. Now we know these may not be the issue all the time, but its a quick way of seeing what’s going on. With 2 channels you would probably want to run a combination of multiple tests which takes longer and potentially making the job last longer then it needs to. In reference to our customers, most customers who purchase a 2–Channel Scope always come back for the 4–Channel model and by doing this costs a lot more long term, so if you can budget the 4423 or one of the 4 Channel kits then this really is the way to go.

Answer 2: Let’s say you wanted to check the sync on a Ford electronic distributorless ignition System (EDIS) cam sensor. Maybe there was recent work done and now there is a hesitation with no codes. You know that this can be a result of the cam sensor being installed 180 degrees out of phase. You also know that the powertrain control module (PCM) will not know there is a problem and the cam and crank relationship will be identical to one installed correctly. So…with a third channel you can simply observe the secondary with the cam and crank to immediately know where the engine is in the cycle. Sure you can get it done with two channels but more steps are needed. Almost without exception, customers that get a two channel later wish they had the four channel when they discover the possibilities.

Feeling convinced? View our available automotive kits

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:

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course
23/24 February 2012
Exeter, England

Places are limited, so please call 07881 555385 to reserve your place, or visit www.prodiag.co.uk 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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie for further information.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

 

Best of the Web

Here we have another video by Motor Age. This video, titled “Scoping Out Drivability: The Trainer video series (Nov 2011)” is presented by Peter Meier. The subject this month is quite simply to show just how much information you can capture, using a digital storage oscilloscope (DSO).

Diagnosing drivability problems on today’s cars presents several challenges to technicians. Many engine designs are unforgiving of even minor flaws, and are quick to let their driver’s know they aren’t happy by displaying various signs of poor running, poor performance, and the turning on of the engine management light. Finding these minor discrepancies takes a trained eye, a little patience, and the right equipment. One such piece of equipment is the DSO. This modern version of the old big–box engine analyzers many of us grew up with is capable of much more than simply tracing secondary ignition patterns. With the addition of a few accessories, it becomes a powerful and time saving tool that can help you find those minor discrepancies when other diagnostic techniques will not. Join technical editor Pete Meier as he shares some of those techniques in this month’s edition of “The Trainer”.

View the video

Omar Trinidad from Southern Illinois University Carbondale put together a great presentation on Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI).

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

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

PicoDiagnostics — New Features

Since late 2006 PicoDiagnostics has been a useful tool for many PicoScope Automotive customers. PicoDiagnostics is a collection of easy to use applications where the power of the PC is used to display the diagnostic results in a clear, easy to understand report. PicoDiagnostics covers basic tests such as Cylinder Balance, Compression Tests, and Battery Tests. There have been some large updates lately to our PicoDiagnostics software. Along with supporting 20 languages, we also wanted to let you know:

  • The cylinder balance test now runs continously so you can observe changes over time. This helps find intermittent misfires / power loss and can also be used as a quick way to identify which cylinder is which. Disconnect an injector for a few seconds and one of the bars in the graph will drop away.
  • A new misfire counter function has been added. Again this runs continously so you can leave the engine running for long periods and it will record the number of misfires against each cylinder.
  • A new Wizard helps setup the test and a “signal strength” meter shows when you are getting reliable data.

The PicoDiagnostics software is paired with the PicoScope Automotive software. Both can be downloaded from our website. .

New Case Study: BMW E46 318i

The vehicle had been driven through a flooded area, and water had entered the block via the air intake. The car cut out with the engine flooded with water. The cold water entered the hot cylinder block, and caused it to crack due to thermal shock. The engine had been replaced, but could not be started. The vehicle was towed to our garage, but we soon discovered that no diagnostic scan could be performed due to no communication to the modules…

Read “BMW E46 318i” by Andy Cape to see how Andy discovered the problem.

Competition Result! Was it you?!

Last month you may recall the PicoScope 4223 competition! We had over 500 entrants to the competition, and one lucky winner has now been chosen at random! Congratulations go out to Craig Van Batenburg. The scope, with its 2 channels, 80 MS/s sampling rate, 20 MHz bandwidth, and voltage ranges from +/-50 mV to +/-100 V, will be on its way to you soon! Congratulations once again!

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:

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

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course
23/24 February 2012
Exeter, England

Places are limited, so please call 07881 555385 to reserve your place, or visit www.prodiag.co.uk 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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie for further information.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Best of the Web

Here we have a real find. This YouTube video “PicoScope: Common Functions Tip Clip” contains lots of helpful advice, hints, and tips on using PicoScope.

Matt Dixon from Southern Illinois University Carbondale has put together a great presentation on the different types of coil on plug ignition (COP).

Brian from Autonerdz has put together this clever Interactive PicoScope Automotive screen. Hover around the image to see explanations, examples and even brief animations of the controls available within PicoScope Automotive. The interactive screen also includes links to tutorial videos, however to access these you will need to be a registered user on the Autonerdz forums, and hold Autonerdz, or Picogroup membership. Autonerdz membership is included with each Autonerdz kit (no renewal required), or an annual subscription is also available.

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

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

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 www.prodiag.co.uk 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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie 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.

New Case Study: 2002 Ford Explorer Misfire

This month Pete Meier, of Motor Age magazine looks at a 4.0 V6 Ford Explorer, and its mysterious intermittent idle misfire! According to the customer, during the idle the engine would surge when first started and would even stutter a bit when put into gear. As the engine warms up, the problem fades and is much less noticeable. Luckily, Pete’s arsenal includes a Pico Technology automotive oscilloscope…so to read on and see the outcome of the investigation, and the reason for the misfire.

Read ‘2002 Ford Explorer Intermittent Misfire

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:

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics *Weekend Course*
15th-16th October 2011
Milton Keynes

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course
18th-19th October 2011
Motherwell, Scotland

Oscilloscope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by CES) 
8th-9th November 2011
Chester

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

Places are limited, so please call 07881 555385 to reserve your place, or visit www.prodiag.co.uk 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
7th October 2011
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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie for further information.

Technical Topics are running a course on ‘Oscilloscope Diagnostics and Advanced Scopes’. Places are strictly limited, so please contact Technical Topics to book your place! The following date is currently available:

Oscilloscope Training Course 24th & 25th October 2011
Swansea, Wales

For further information and to book your place call Technical Topics on 01278 428 699.

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 “Testing Engine Health” video, keep an eye in future newsletters, for other videos Pete has produced!

“This presentation shows how to check relative compression with a digital storage oscilloscope. Using this method can save time over performing a traditional compression test. Two methods are shown…”

Note: This video has no audio, but onscreen notes are shown.

Many of you are aware of Autonerdz, and the great work these guys do, but did you know they now have a free app on the Android market? The app is designed to assist in the easy access to Autonerdz technical articles, and videos.

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

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

Pico Technology Competition Result!

Last month we announced that Pico Technology had reached its 20th year of business. To celebrate this we offered the opportunity to WIN a PICOSCOPE 4423. Our competition winner was… Kevin Robson of Carbar Automotive, Morpeth. We hear that Kevin used to use a PicoScope in a previous role, and has missed it ever since! We hope you enjoy using your latest tool Kevin, and please feel free to keep us up–to–date on what you use it for, and your experiences with it. We could even feature your experiences as one of our Case Studies!

New Case Study: Mitsubishi Shogun

I was asked to look at this 3.0 Mitsubishi Shogun which has its Engine Management Light on. This had already been looked at by another garage, the customer has taken it back to them twice with the same problem and they have failed to fix it despite money already spent. These jobs as we all know can be a problem, the customer’s budget already spent on unnecessary parts and time by the previous garage, and the pressure is on to get the diagnosis right first time.

View the complete case study by Darren Cotton.

Best of the Web

There’s a vast number of PicoScope users. Many of them are only too happy to show you how using an Automotive Diagnostics Kit can make diagnosing faults so much easier. Here’s a video from our library, showing PicoScope 6 in action. This 2004 PT Cruiser had a P0340 DTC (note: this video has no audio, but on–screen notes are shown).

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

Autonerdz

This month Autonerdz have put together a superb download package free of charge! This is an updated version of the download offered as the handout for the recent NACAT sessions, with documents, videos, and other materials to help you out. Just unzip this into a folder on your hard drive or a CD, or USB stick and enjoy.

Training Courses

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
7th October 2011
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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie for further information.

Technical Topics are running a course on ‘Oscilloscope Diagnostics and Advanced Scopes’. Places are strictly limited, so please contact Technical Topics to book your place! The following date is currently available:

Oscilloscope Training Course 24th & 25th October 2011
Swansea, Wales

For further information and to book your place call Technical Topics on 01278 428 699.

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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and the following dates are currently available (now including weekends):

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course
18th/19th October 2011
Motherwell, Scotland

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

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

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

Pico Technology is 20 Years Old!

Pico Technology are celebrating their 20th Anniversary! For 20 years Pico Technology has been manufacturing PC oscilloscopes. Now, in 2011, Pico Technology has been the market leader in automotive oscilloscopes for over 10 years. The PicoScope kit is so versatile that it is supplied to manufacturers all over the world, and widely used as the dealer–level tool by companies ranging from performance marques to heavy–duty commercial manufacturers. In recent years it has become the most popular automotive scope for both the aftermarket and franchised dealer networks.

To commemorate this occasion, Pico are offering you the opportunity to WIN a PICOSCOPE 4423!! PicoScope 4000 oscilloscopes are designed to save you time and money by making it easier and quicker to diagnose faults on today’s vehicles. The PicoScope 4000 Series can capture signals four times faster than any other PicoScope automotive scope. This makes it compatible with the new FlexRay standard and ensures that your PicoScope oscilloscope will continue to be useful for a long time to come.

To enter, all you have to do is answer the questions in our quiz. All entries must be completed by midnight on the 31st July 2011. The lucky winner will be announced in next month’s Pico Automotive newsletter.

New Tutorial: Fusebox Diagnostics

When testing components using an oscilloscope, getting access to connect to the component can often be difficult or time consuming. For some components the best place to make measurements is at the fusebox. This article looks at the advantages and limitations of “fusebox diagnostics”.

Best of the Web

In our online library of videos, Frank Massey tells you all you need to know about the PicoScope automotive oscilloscope and automotive software. In addition to those mentioned last month, two more of the videos available to view online are detailed below. One covers the CAN bus, and Frank demonstrates the power of the PicoScope automotive oscilloscope, including the advanced zoom feature that lets you see every detail of the CAN bus waveform. In the second video, Frank demonstrates how you can quickly test your injectors using a PicoScope automotive oscilloscope. By simulating a faulty injector, Frank shows you how easy it is to tell if there is a problem or not, just by looking at the waveform displayed on your PC.

Watch the CAN Bus video
Watch the Injectors video

This Scope It Out online articlehighlights the advantages of utilising the PicoScope 6 “vertical resolution enhancement” feature. Well worth a read!

This MatrixMultimedia locktronics online data sheet/training guide is for looking at Motors and Generators. It has some really useful Technical Information as well as testing procedures. It also contains some useful information regarding different generator outputs and what to expect. What's even better is they use the PicoScope too!

Training Courses

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
12 August 2011
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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie for further information.

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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and the following dates are currently available (now including weekends):

Oscilloscope Diagnostics Course (Hosted by CES)
9/10 August 2011
Chester, England

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course
18/19 October 2011
Motherwell, Scotland

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 www.prodiag.co.uk for more information.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

New Case Study: Audi S3 Rough Idle

In July of 2010, a 2001 Audi S3 came to us with idling problems. To our disadvantage, a garage had previously worked on the vehicle and cleared the ‘DTC’ (Diagnostic Trouble Code) information from the ECU. The garage had also replaced the exhaust gas temperature sensor because a DTC for the sensor had been found. The other faults were ignored and erased.

To read on and see how this tricky automotive problem was solved, see the full article “Audi S3 Rough Idle”.

The article was submitted by Andy Cape, Cape Auto Diagnostics, Cape Town, South Africa.

Best of the web

In our online library of videos, Frank Massey tells you all you need to know about the PicoScope automotive oscilloscope and automotive software. Below are just two of the videos available to view online. One shows a possible use of our automotive scopes when faced with lambda sensor problems, while in the second video Frank gives his own review of the PicoScope Automotive product.

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

This video from AutoNerdz) an excellent video covering a Volvo 940 which had already been to various garages/shops in order to find the problem, to no avail. With good technique and use of a Automotive PicoScope, Tom Roberts shows how to find the real problem.

Training Courses

Autonerdz, a Pico distributor based in North America, delivers PicoScope Oscilloscope Training both at their headquarters located in Olympia WA, and online.

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 colin@diagnosticsolutions.ie for further information.

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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and the following dates are currently available (now including weekends):

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course
Mexborough (Rotherham Area), UK
25–26 June 2011

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course
Accrington, UK
5–6 July 2011

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

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Fantastic Opportunities to Join an Innovative Company!

Perhaps this is the year you will discover the benefits of working for Pico Technology:

  • Design and development of exciting new products
  • A culture of constant technical innovation
  • Opportunities in test and measurement, and prestigious automotive markets
  • A company that frequently wins awards

We currently have the following vacancies, but don’t worry if you don’t fit exactly into any of these categories. We are always looking for design talent.

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

Find details of these positions, and an online application form, at pico.jobs. You can also send enquiries by email tojobs@picotech.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

New PicoScope Test: Smart Alternator (Ford)

We regularly add new tests into PicoScope software and have just released a test for the ‘Smart Charging Alternator’ system as used on some Ford vehicles. The topic includes connection instructions, example waveforms and technical notes. We have also places a copy of the new test on the forum. If you have any experience working with these smart alternator systems we invite you to review and suggest improvements on the test (the link can be found below). In the forum post is both a PDF file and the .psdata file used in the help topic. If you have any hints, tips or advice that may help others working on these alternators please add these to the forum thread. We also welcome comments and/or suggestions for improvements to the topic.

View the forum thread

Feedback: Capless HT Lead (Motorcycle)

As part of our continuing efforts to expand our range of test accessories, we are thinking of releasing a specially designed HT Lead for use with Motorcycles. This would allow you to remove the ignition coil from the Spark Plug and reattach it to allow the use of the (PP178) Secondary Pick Up Lead. This would be very useful where use of the COP probe is limited therefore requiring the use of the Secondary Pick Up Lead. We would like feedback from Motorcycle Technicians to allow us to see if this would be a valuable accessory for Motorcycle Diagnostics.

Please pass your feedback to us via our Automotive Forum.

View the forum thread

Fantastic Opportunities to Join an Innovative Company!

Perhaps this is the year you will discover the benefits of working for Pico Technology:

  • Design and development of exciting new products
  • A culture of constant technical innovation
  • Opportunities in test and measurement, and prestigious automotive markets
  • A company that frequently wins awards

We currently have the following vacancies, but don’t worry if you don’t fit exactly into any of these categories. We are always looking for design talent.

  • Development Engineer - Windows Desktop Application Software
  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware
  • Technical Specialist - Software

Find details of these positions, and an online application form, at pico.jobs. You can also send enquiries by email tojobs@picotech.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Training Courses

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:

Olympia, Washington, 98501, USA
10th June 2011

Class size is limited, so be sure to register early by calling Autonerdz on877-628-4899 (Toll Free USA and Canada) or via email.

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

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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Taunton, Somerset, UK 
10-11 May 2011 and 14-15 June 2011

Accrington, UK
5-6 July 2011

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

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

New Case Study: Nozzle Turbine Pressure Control

/library/case-studies/variable-nozzle-turbine-pressure-control

Recently I got hold of a WPS500X Pressure Transducer and looked forward to using it right away. It didn’t take long before I found a perfect excuse to switch it on: the Variable Nozzle Turbine (VNT) boost control…

To read on and see how Nick was able to use the WPS500X Pressure Transducer to aid in the detection of overboosting, see the full article “Variable Nozzle Turbine Pressure Control” from Hibtech Auto-Electrical Diagnostics.

New Product: Premium Test Leads

As part of our continuing efforts to expand our range of test accessories, we have now released coloured test leads, BNC to 4 mm (banana), to make it easier to distinguish where your connections are when testing components on the vehicle. The blue lead has a fixed ground cable that works with the common ground system of the scope to provide a reliable ground connection at all times. The remaining coloured leads all have detachable ground cables to give more room when testing. The four leads are available individually or as a set.

Find out more about our premium test leads

Fantastic Opportunities to Join an Innovative Company!

Perhaps this is the year you will discover the benefits of working for Pico Technology:

  • Design and development of exciting new products
  • A culture of constant technical innovation
  • Opportunities in test and measurement, and prestigious automotive markets
  • A company that frequently wins awards

We currently have the following vacancies, but don’t worry if you don’t fit exactly into any of these categories. We are always looking for design talent.

  • Development Engineer - Windows Desktop Application Software
  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware
  • Technical Specialist - Software

Find details of these positions, and an online application form, at pico.jobs. You can also send enquiries by email tojobs@picotech.com. We look forward to hearing from you

Training Courses

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

Autonerdz, a Pico distributor based in North America, delivers PicoScope Oscilloscope Training both at their headquarters located in Olympia WA, and online. Please contact Autonerdz for further information.

Engine Management Diagnostics course

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss our 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Taunton, Somerset, UK 
10-11 May 2011 and 14-15 June 2011

Accrington and Rossendale College, Accrington, UK
5-6 July 2011

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

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

New Case Study: Mercedes S-Class Misfire

The Mercedes W140 S-Class V8 engine had developed an intermittent misfiring fault. The misfiring could be observed during idle speed when the engine was warm – however it was not a serious issue. Within a month it became apparent that as the engine coolant temperature reached 60 °C, the ‘intermittent’ fault became permanent. At this stage the car was still drivable, but had significantly less performance than expected and higher fuel consumption than normal. The engine has a Bosch LH-Jetronic (‘Luftmasse-Hitzdraht’) injection control with hot wire air mass meter, 2 ignition coils and 2 distributors. The ignition is controlled by a separate EZL (‘Elektronische Zündanlage’) i.e. ignition control module. There were no DTCs stored…

To read on and see how this tricky automotive problem was handled, see the full article “Mercedes S-Class Misfire” by Andy Cape, Cape Auto Diagnostics, Cape Town, South Africa.

Automotive Forum Launched!

Our Automotive forum has now been launched! The forum is a place for existing customers, new customers, and even those who simply need help to communicate, all in one place. It's a place for you to announce your findings, for hints and tips, for information on using the latest features, and perhaps hearing of features you may not have realised existed. One area in particular we hope you will find interesting and want to contribute to is our case study section. Here, you can post your findings for others to learn from, and spread the knowledge of faults for all makes and models of the cars you may work on. This information may be invaluable to others on the forum, and you may even get a thank you!

View the case study section

To help launch this new forum, and the case study section in particular, we are running a small competition. If you feel you have something to offer the community, and can present it inline with the guidelines listed, you could be in with a chance of winning a first prize of a WPS500X pressure sensor kit, or a one of two runner up prizes of a set of COP probes!

Visit our forum and make your own contribution to the Pico Automotive community.

Drive towards a new career in 2011!

Perhaps 2011 will be the year in which you discover the benefits of working for Pico Technology:

  • Design and development of exciting new products
  • A culture of constant technical innovation
  • Opportunities in test and measurement, and automotive, markets
  • A company that’s frequently nominated for awards (some of which we win!)

We currently have the following vacancies, but don’t worry if you don’t fit exactly into any of these categories. We are always looking for design talent.

  • Development Engineer - Windows Desktop Application Software
  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware
  • Technical Specialist - Software
  • Creative Coordinator
  • Marketing Assistant

Find details of these positions, and an online application form, at http://pico.jobs. You can also send enquiries by email tojobs@picotech.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Training Courses

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

Autonerdz, a Pico distributor based in North America, delivers PicoScope Oscilloscope Training both at their headquarters located in Olympia WA, and online. Please contact Autonerdz for further information.

Engine Management Diagnostics course

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Motherwell College, Motherwell, UK
5-6 April 2011

Brooklands College, Weybridge, UK
19-20 April 2011

Accrington and Rossendale College, Accrington, UK
5-6 July 2011

Places are limited, so please book online or call us to reserve your place.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

New Case Study: BMW M3 Electrohydraulic Gearbox

Knowing when to say "No!" is something that we learn as we progress through the ranks in the motor repair business, but sometimes we still succumb to the urge to take on an interesting job. We recently had a 2003 BMW M3 drop in on us, with two warning lights displayed and the customer complaining that he kept losing his gears. This car is fitted with an SMG transmission and my knowledge was somewhat limited to be honest. I had read some horror stories, where owners had spent literally thousands of pounds before a fix was found. This really ought to be the job for a BMW dealership or independent specialist, but the masochistic side of me drew me into an interesting diagnostic process…

Read on to see how Dave conquered this automotive headache… “BMW M3 Electrohydraulic Gearbox” by Dave Hill of London Road Garage.

Drive towards a new career in 2011!

Perhaps 2011 will be the year in which you discover the benefits of working for Pico Technology:

  • Design and development of exciting new products
  • A culture of constant technical innovation
  • Opportunities in test and measurement, and automotive, markets
  • A company that’s frequently nominated for awards (some of which we win!)

We currently have the following vacancies, but don’t worry if you don’t fit exactly into any of these categories. We are always looking for design talent.

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

Find details of these positions, and an online application form, at pico.jobs. You can also send enquiries by email tojobs@picotech.com. We look forward to hearing from yo

Training Courses

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

Autonerdz, a Pico distributor based in North America, delivers PicoScope Oscilloscope Training both at their headquarters located in Olympia WA, and online. Please contact Autonerdz for further information.

Engine Management Diagnostics course

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Mexborough (Rotherham area), UK
22-23 March 2011

Motherwell College, Motherwell, UK
5-6 April 2011

Brooklands College, Weybridge, UK
19-20 April 2011

Accrington and Rossendale College, Accrington, UK
5-6 July 2011

Places are limited, so please book online or call us to reserve your place.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

New Case Study: HDi Pressure Control

Intermittent faults are the bane of our lives in the garage and often a fault can happen before your eyes, but might pass without a chance to spot the glitch on your scan-tool or to take a measurement with your multimeter. Recently though we were fortunate to have the scope set up whilst a problematic Peugeot faltered before our eyes, thankfully the scope was gathering data. This Peugeot 406 2.0 HDI was reported to be randomly losing power and bringing on the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp)…

For the full story read “HDi Pressure Control” by Dave Hill.

New Product: TA129 Universal Vacuum Adaptor

As part of our continued efforts to expand our range of pressure sensor accessories, we have now released a brass bi-conical universal vacuum adaptor. This can be used to allow the WPS and FirstLook Sensor hoses to be connected to various sizes of smaller vacuum hoses within an engine bay. The adaptor fits vacuum tubes with internal diameters ranging from approximately 8.5 mm or 5/16", to 2.8 mm or 1/8".

For further information View the product page.

Drive towards a new career in 2011!

Perhaps 2011 will be the year in which you discover the benefits of working for Pico Technology:

  • Design and development of exciting new products
  • A culture of constant technical innovation
  • Opportunities in test and measurement, and automotive, markets
  • A company that’s frequently nominated for awards (some of which we win!)

We currently have the following vacancies, but don’t worry if you don’t fit exactly into any of these categories. We are always looking for design talent.

  • Development Engineer - Windows Desktop Application Software
  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware
  • Find details of these positions, and an online application form, at pico.jobs. You can also send enquiries by email tojobs@picotech.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Mexborough (Rotherham area), UK
22-23 March 2011

Motherwell College, Motherwell, UK
5-6 April 2011

Brooklands College, Weybridge, UK
19-20 April 2011

Accrington and Rossendale College, Accrington, UK
5-6 July 2011

Places are limited, so please book online or call us to reserve your place.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

Christmas and New Year

Pico would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy Christmas and a very successful new year.

Our opening hours during the forthcoming festive season will be as follows.

22 Dec - normal working hours
23 Dec - normal working hours
24 Dec - closed at 2pm

We will reopen at 09:00 am on Tuesday 4th January 2011.

New Case Study: HDi Pressure Control

This Peugeot 406 2.0 HDI (code RHY Bosch system) was reported to be randomly losing power and bringing on the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp). We initially started off by plugging the scan-tool in and we noted the following fault codes…
P0191 Fuel rail pressure signal coherence.
P1138 Fuel pressure control solenoid circuit range/performance.
Hmm… where to start?

For the full story read “HDi Pressure Control” by Dave Hill.

Training Courses

f you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Mexborough (Rotherham area), UK
22-23 February 2011

Motherwell College, Motherwell, UK
5-6 April 2011

Brooklands College, Weybridge, UK
19-20 April 2011

Accrington and Rossendale College, Accrington, UK
5-6 July 2011

Places are limited, so please book online or call us to reserve your place.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

Employment Opportunities

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

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

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.

New Product: Auto-Solve Diagnostic Assistance Ebook (v6.3)

Diagnostic Assistance is an Ebook publication from Auto-Solve to help with the principles of engine management and the associated ’under bonnet‚ technology. Compiled by technicians it is ideally designed for all mechanics, apprentices or technicians in workshops and for performing mobile and roadside diagnostics. With 291 topics and 651 technical illustrations (including 149 waveforms), the Auto-Solve Diagnostic Assistance Ebook provides help on a wide range of topics and vehicle problems.

For further information view the product page.

Stop Press: As a promotional offer this brand new edition of the Ebook will be available via download for the reduced price of GBP 29.95 (approximately USD 49.42 / EUR 36.24) until the end of November.

Purchase and download your copy now!

New Case Study: Audi A8 Injector Fault

A 2003 Audi A8 was having a problem with rough running which in turn was causing the engine management light to illuminate. As this vehicle was fitted with an aftermarket LPG conversion, we didn’t trust the DTCs so we investigated further with the Pico Diagnostic kit.

For the full story read “Audi A8 Injector Fault” by Lee Hearnden and Mike Valentine.

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Brooklands College, London, UK
26-27 October 2010

City of Bristol College, Bristol, UK
30 November & 1 December 2010

Places are limited, so please book online or call us to reserve your place.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

Employment Opportunities

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

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

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.

New Product: Protective Rubber Scope Case

A new, custom-made silicone rubber case to protect your scope is now available. It fits all 3000 and 4000 series automotive models, and allows unimpeded access to the connectors on the front and rear panels. It also includes a carrying loop that can be used to hang the scope from a hook.

For further information view the product page.

Order Code: PP691

Price: 20.00 GBP (approx. 33.00 USD or 24.20 EUR at today’s exchange rates)

Order one from your nearest distributor.

New Case Study: Corsafantastic!

Ordinarily I wouldn’t have given this the time of day had it not been for an unusual trace recorded which I felt would be interesting to share. The eventual cause of the fault was… you’ll have to see it to believe it.

For the full story read “Corsafantastic!” by Nick Hibberd.

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Mexborough, UK
24-25 August 2010

Motherwell College, Motherwell, UK
12-13 October 2010

Brooklands College, London, UK
26-27 October 2010

City of Bristol College, Bristol, UK
30 November & 1 December 2010

Places are limited, so please book online or call us to reserve your place.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

Employment Opportunities

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

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

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.

New Case Study: Skoda Octavia Crankshaft Reluctor

This month we have a new addition to our Everyday Diagnostics series: a relatively simple repair, if you have a scope! This vehicle was recovered from another garage after having its engine rebuilt. It would start and then cut out.

For the full story Read “Skoda Octavia Crankshaft Reluctor” by George Cameron.

Technical Information and Tips

PicoScope can now test components with frequency outputs.

Some modern MAF sensors, for example, contain digital electronics so that the scaling and corrections can be made within the sensor, thus improving accuracy. The output of these sensors is a changing frequency, so we recently added the facility to record this frequency against time. The frequency measurement option is enabled from the AC/DC drop-down menu. This option is only available on the PicoScope 4000 Series of automotive scopes, as it requires hardware resources not available in earlier products.

Read more in the Library section of our website, where you will find further information, videos and articles, all free of charge.

Training Courses

f you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Accrington & Rossendale College, Accrington, UK
6-7 July 2010

Mexborough, UK
24-25 August 2010

Motherwell College, Motherwell, UK
12-13 October 2010

Brooklands College, London, UK
26-27 October 2010

City of Bristol College, Bristol, UK
30 November & 1 December 2010

Places are limited, so please book online or call us to reserve your place.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

Employment Opportunities

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

  • Development Engineer - Windows Desktop Application Software
  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware
  • Software Test Engineer
  • Technical Specialist

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.

New Case Study: HALLmarked Ducato

The vehicle was a Fiat Ducato 2004 2.8 JTD with a repetitive complaint of poor starting. After being passed around the local garage network, the vehicle arrived at one of my trade clients. They understandably didn’t want to take on someone else’s leftovers, so the fault was passed to me one more time for my opinion.

For the full story Read “HALLmarked Ducato” by Nick Hibberd.

Technical Information and Tips

Here is a quick tip for those of you who are using the latest PicoScope 6.

We now have added the facility to hot-swap scopes.

We recently added the facility to disconnect and reconnect your scope with PicoScope running continuously. You can even swap from a 4000 to a 3000 without reloading the software. The main use of this feature is for those occasions where the USB cable is accidentally disconnected or disturbed whist working, but it is also useful if your laptop drops to power-saving at any point, causing an interruption to the scope’s power supply.

Please visit the “library” section of our website for further information, videos and articles, free of charge.

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Birmingham City College, Birmingham, UK
15-16 June 2010

Accrington & Rossendale College, Accrington, UK
6-7 July 2010

Mexborough, UK
24-25 August 2010

Motherwell College, Motherwell, UK
12-13 October 2010

Brooklands College, London, UK
26-27 October 2010

City of Bristol College, Bristol, UK
30 November & 1 December 2010

Places are limited, so please book online or call us to reserve your place.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

Employment Opportunities

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

  • Development Engineer - Windows Desktop Application Software
  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware
  • Software Test Engineer
  • Technical Specialist

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.

Newsletter April 2010

Pico Open Day

Thank you to all that have expressed an interest in the Open Day. We are now fully booked for both sessions, and we look forward to seeing you on the 29th!

We will be hosting presentations on our automotive software, and explaining all the functions and latest features. You will have the opportunity to put your questions in person to our experienced technical specialists, so that you leave the event confident enough to get the most out of your oscilloscope. We will also be displaying our product range along with all the latest releases such as the WPS500X pressure transducer.

If you would prefer to try out our products on real vehicles or engine rigs, please consider one of our Engine Management Diagnostics courses.

New PicoScope software to try

There’s a brand new beta release of PicoScope Automotive for you to try:

Now includes all revised and improved standard tests, motorcycle tests and PicoDiagnostics in a single file
Fixes problems experienced by some PicoScope 4000 Series users
Automatic device reconnection in case your scope is unplugged accidentally
Change channel options just by clicking the channel name

Download PicoScope Automotive R6.4.10 (beta) from the pico website (free of charge, no registration required)

New Case Study: Audi A2 Steering

“I’d visited this 2002 Audi A2 once before with an intermittent problem of the power steering going heavy, but during testing I couldn’t get the car to fail and checking the system with the scan tool found no DTCs logged either. A visual inspection and a level check revealed nothing. With no fault present and no codes to work from, how much time do you invest?”

For the full story Read “Audi A2 Steering” by Nick Hibberd.

Technical Information and Tips

Here is a quick tip for those of you who are using the latest PicoScope 6.

We now have the facility to remove the zoom overview window.

We recently added the facility to have a small window showing the 100% zoom overview. This is very useful when trying to navigate through large amounts of data, especially with the capabilities of the latest 4000 Series. However, we have realised that if you are working with a limited screen size this window can sometimes block what you are trying to view. Therefore you can now disable this feature. To do this, select Tools from the menu across the top and then select Preferences from the drop-down. A new window will appear. Now select the Options tab and then within the Advanced Features group remove the tick from the Zoom Overview option.

Please visit the “library section” of our website for further information, videos and articles, free of charge.

Training Courses

Pico Engine Management Diagnostics course

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

12-13 May 2010 (sold out)
Motherwell College, Motherwell, UK

15-16 June 2010
Birmingham City College, Birmingham, UK

6-7 July 2010
Accrington & Rossendale College, Accrington, UK

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Diagnostics Solutions course

Diagnostics Solutions, a Pico distributor based in Ireland, delivers oscilloscope training courses. Please email Diagnostics Solutions for further information.

10-11 May 2010
Diagnostics Solutions Oscilloscope Training Course
Dublin, Ireland

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

Employment Opportunities

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

  • Assistant Technical Author
  • Development Engineer - Windows Desktop Application Software
  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware
  • Software Test Engineer

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.

Newsletter March 2010

Pico Open Day

We are opening our doors to our automotive customers for a day on the 29th April at our HQ in St Neots, UK. Thanks to a fantastic response so far there are only a few places available for the afternoon session.

We will be hosting presentations on our automotive software, and explaining all the functions and latest features. You will have the opportunity to put your questions in person to our experienced technical specialists, so that you leave the event confident enough to get the most out of your oscilloscope. We will also be displaying our product range along with all the latest releases such as the WPS500X pressure transducer.

If you would prefer to try out our products on real vehicles or engine rigs, please consider one of our Engine Management Diagnostics courses.

New PicoScope software to try

There’s a brand new beta release of PicoScope Automotive for you to try:

Now includes all revised and improved standard tests, motorcycle tests and PicoDiagnostics in a single file
Fixes problems experienced by some PicoScope 4000 Series users
Automatic device reconnection in case your scope is unplugged accidentally
Change channel options just by clicking the channel name

Download PicoScope Automotive R6.4.10 (beta) from our website (free of charge, no registration required)

Tackling the DIY Expert

This was a 2001 Peugeot 406 2.0L petrol with a misfire. It came with one of the most comprehensive shopping lists I’ve seen including: new plugs, new aftermarket coil pack, new genuine coil pack, new CKP sensor, replacement fuel pump, replacement fuel pump relay, replacement O2 sensor… and a partridge in a pear tree.

For the full story Read “Tackling the DIY Expert” by Nick Hibberd.

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Brooklands College, London, UK
13-14 April 2010

Motherwell College, Motherwell, UK
12-13 May 2010

Birmingham City College, Birmingham, UK
15-16 June 2010

Accrington & Rossendale College, Accrington, UK
6-7 July 2010

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

Employment Opportunities

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

  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware
  • Software Test Engineer

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

Newsletter February 2010

Pico Open Day

We are opening our doors to our automotive customers for a day on the 29th April. We will be hosting presentations on our automotive software, and explaining all the functions and latest features. You will have the opportunity to put your questions in person to our experienced technical specialists, so that you leave the event confident enough to get the most out of your oscilloscope. We will also be displaying our product range along with all the latest releases such as the WPS500X pressure transducer.

Places are limited so please register your interest early.

If you would prefer to try out our products on real vehicles or engine rigs, please consider one of our Engine Management Diagnostics courses.

Latest edition of Autoinform

For those of you who haven’t registered for the excellent online interactive magazine Autoinform, now is the time! In the latest edition, Frank Massey explains all there is to know about testing coil-on-plug ignition systems.

New PicoScope software to try

There’s a brand new beta release of PicoScope Automotive for you to try:

Now includes all standard tests, motorcycle tests and PicoDiagnostics in a single file
Fixes problems experienced by some PicoScope 4000 Series users
New FlexRay topic
New language options: Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese (added to the existing French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Hungarian)

Download PicoScope Automotive R6.3.52 (beta) from Pico Labs (free of charge, no registration required)

Are you involved in automotive training or education?

If so please let us know using this form as we are considering hosting a training event specifically for you. We will announce further details in this newsletter if we receive enough responses.

New Case Study: CAT Efficiency

There cannot be many workshops that have not seen the DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) “P0420: Catalyst efficiency below threshold”. Dave Hill explains how to test and prove the condition of the catalyst beyond any doubt.

For the full story Read “CAT Efficiency”.

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Cambridge Regional College, Cambridge, UK
17-18 February 2010

City of Bristol College, Bristol, UK
10-11 March 2010

Brooklands College, London, UK
13-14 April 2010

Motherwell College, Motherwell, UK
12-13 May 2010

Birmingham City College, Birmingham, UK
15-16 June 2010

Accrington & Rossendale College, Accrington, UK
6-7 July 2010

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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

Employment Opportunities

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

  • Automotive Technical Specialist
  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware
  • Software Test Engineer

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.

Newsletter January 2010

New vacancy: Automotive Technical Specialist

We are looking for an automotive expert to advise our customers on PicoScope diagnostics. We don’t expect you to know everything about PicoScope, as we will give you full training on our diagnostic kit and accessories. We just require you to understand automotive technology and be able to communicate your knowledge and enthusiasm to a global audience. The position is based at our office in St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, UK.

See our Careers Website for full details of the position.

New Case Study: ECM Failure

In our latest case study, the car suddenly developed a misfire and never recovered. It was driven to the customer’s own local garage, where they carried out the usual checks, and it was starting to look as if the ECM had failed.

For the full story Read “ECM Failure” by Nick Hibberd.

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss our 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Cambridge Regional College, Cambridge, UK
17-18 February 2010

City of Bristol College, Bristol, UK
10-11 March 2010

Brooklands College, London, UK
13-14 April 2010

Motherwell College, Motherwell, UK
12-13 May 2010

Birmingham City College, Birmingham, UK
15-16 June 2010

Accrington & Rossendale College, Accrington, UK
6-7 July 2010

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

12-14 March 2010
ATE - Automotive Training Expo, Seattle, WA, USA

18-21 March 2010
Auto Maintenance and Repair, China National Convention Center (CNCC), Beijing, China

30-31 March 2010 
Mechanex, Westpoint Arena, Exeter, UK

18-19 May 2010
Mechanex, Doncaster Racecourse, Doncaster, UK

14-19 September 2010
Automechanika, Messe Frankfurt, Germany

21-22 September 2010
Mechanex, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, UK

16-17 November 2010
Mechanex, Sandown Park, Surrey, UK

Employment Opportunities

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

  • Automotive Technical Specialist
  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware

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.

Newsletter November 2009

The WPS500 Pressure Sensor is now on sale

With the uncompromising resolution and accuracy of the WPS500X Automotive Pressure Transducer you can perform quick and accurate pressure analysis of many automotive systems.

It is not unusal to require a different pressure transducer for each diagnostic test you want to run. The WPS500X eliminates this need by giving you one ultra-high resolution transducer that can be used for a multitude of automotive diagnostic applications. With three pressure ranges, a zoom function, pressure relief valve and a rechargeable Li-Po battery all enclosed in a durable housing, the WPS500X is the cost-effective answer to pressure analysis.

New Case Study: The Versatile Scope - Part 2

Here’s another example of the oscilloscope being used as a versatile fault-finding tool. The fault itself is for the most part incidental here, but it demonstrates the level of information held within a recorded trace and how quickly you can be put on the right diagnostic path.

For the full story Read “Smart —The Versatile Scope - Part 2” by Nick Hibberd.

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss our 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we are currently compiling next year’s dates.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

15 January 2010 9am to 3pm
Autonerdz PICOSCOPE HANDS-ON CLASS, Olympia, WA, USA

30-31 March 2010 
Mechanex, Westpoint Arena, Exeter, UK

18-19 May 2010
Mechanex, Doncaster Racecourse, Doncaster, UK

21-22 September 2010
Mechanex, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, UK

16-17 November 2010
Mechanex, Sandown Park, Surrey, UK

Employment Opportunities

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

  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware

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.

Newsletter October 2009

Maserati chooses PicoScope for dealer-level diagnostics

Maserati, the manufacturer of luxury sports cars, is justifiably proud of the high quality and reliability of its products. To help it maintain this reputation, the company has joined the ever-growing list of vehicle manufacturers that equip their dealers worldwide with PicoScope Oscilloscope Diagnostics Kits.

Pico supplied a customised version of its scope to match Maserati’s existing test instrumentation so that a minimum of retraining and retooling was necessary. We also supplied a customised version of the Pico Diagnostics software with battery testing, compression testing using the WPS500 and a new prop-shaft balancing function.

A spokesman for Maserati’s Training Department explained, “Pico adapted their product to our exact requirements, including some completely new tests, in an impressively short time. They worked with us continually to develop the hardware and training materials, which were well received by our engineers. The kit will improve the efficiency of our dealers and keep our training programme relevant to the latest vehicles.”

New Case Study: Smart — Misfire on the Commute

This is a real-life diagnostic article with a slight difference from the norm. The owner of this 2004 54,000 mile Smart Car started to experience a very noticeable misfire. This seemed like an ideal opportunity to prove the capability of the automotive kit and the new WPS500 pressure sensor!

Smart — misfire on the commute: The owner was complaining of a misfire and lack of power. For the full story…

Read “Smart — Misfire on the Commute” by Matt Williams - Pico Technology

Training Courses

We only have a couple of dates left in this year’s calendar and they are filling up fast. We are currently working on next year’s dates and venues, so if you have ever wondered why Pico do not hold a course close to you, now is your chance to put things right! Let us know where you are by email.

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

City College Birmingham, Birmingham
20-21 October 2009

City of Bristol College, Bristol
10-11 November 2009

These courses are popular, so book your course now!

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

3 November 2009
Industry Week Big Bang Event, The Atomic Testing Museum, Las Vegas, NV, USA

13 November 2009 9am to 3pm
Autonerdz BATTLE OF THE SCOPES, Olympia, WA, USA

17-18 November 2009 
Mechanex, Sandown Park, Surrey

15 January 2010 9am to 3pm
Autonerdz PICOSCOPE HANDS-ON CLASS, Olympia, WA, USA

Employment Opportunities

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

Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
Development Engineer - Hardware

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.

New Product - CAN Test Box!

The CAN Test Box gives you easy access to the 16 pins of the diagnostic connector that is fitted to all modern vehicles. Depending on the configuration of the vehicle, this may allow you to check power, ground and CAN bus signal quality.

The CAN Test Box has a 2.5 metre (8 foot) cable so that you can work in a convenient location away from the diagnostic connector, and an additional pass-through connector so that you can hook up your scan tool at the same time as your scope.

Please visit the website for more information and pricing.

New Case Study: Audi TT Quattro CAN Bus Fault

This month we have an interesting case study for you. Hopefully this will give those of you who haven’t tackled CAN signals the confidence to give it a try. To make connections easier why not invest in the CAN Test Box?

Audi TT Quattro CAN Bus Fault. A 2001 Audi TT Quattro arrived in the workshop. The customer was complaining of an intermittent ESP light. For the full story…

Read “Audi TT Quattro CAN Bus Fault” by Mark Banks - Holmer Green Service Centre

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

City College Birmingham, Birmingham
20-21 October 2009

City of Bristol College, Bristol
10-11 November 2009

These courses are popular, so book your course now!

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

6-7 October 2009
Mechanex
SECC, Glasgow

13-18 October 2009
Equip Auto
Parc des expositions Paris-Nord, France

17-18 November 2009 
Mechanex
Sandown Park, Surrey

Employment Opportunities

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

  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware

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.

Newsletter July/August 2009

Training course - Evening Class!

So you know all there is to know about engine management but still perhaps haven’t mastered all of the features of your Picoscope? Well, we may have the answer: we are looking to hold an evening class that explains all. In the first instance this will be held at our premises in St Neots, but it may spread throughout the country if successful!

New Case Study: The Versatile Scope - Part 1

This month we have an interesting case study for you, with a slightly different theme to previous months.

The Versatile Scope - Part 1. It’s not only on engine management within a vehicle where an oscilloscope delivers interesting finds: you can pretty much back-probe any wire and record a usable trace. For the full story…

Read “The Versatile Scope - Part 1”

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss our. 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Motherwell College, Motherwell, Scotland - Places still available! 
4-5 August 2009

Brooklands College, Weybridge
2-3 September 2009

City College Birmingham, Birmingham
20-21 October 2009

City of Bristol College, Bristol
10-11 November 2009

These courses are popular, so book your course now!

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

6-7 October 2009
Mechanex
SECC, Glasgow

13-18 October 2009
Equip Auto
Parc des expositions Paris-Nord, France

17-18 November 2009 
Mechanex
Sandown Park, Surrey

Employment Opportunities

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

Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
Development Engineer - Hardware

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.

Newsetter June 2009

Training course - Scotland

We are currently in negotiation for a training venue in the Glasgow area.

1st Issue of AUTOiNFORM - Out Now!

AUTOiNFORM is a bi-monthly online publication that offers the automotive aftermarket a fresh, exciting new platform using high-quality video and interactive page layouts.

AUTOiNFORM delivers focused, practical guidance on the key area of vehicle diagnostics, enabling workshops and technicians to download details of actual vehicle repairs. These include troubleshooting, diagnostic procedures and advice on what equipment to use.

AUTOiNFORM also offers news on the latest equipment, interviews with industry figures and experienced technicians, and technical tips from experts. This is presented in a high-quality online format and delivered directly to the inbox of automotive professionals.

PicoScope 4000 Product Test in PMM Magazine

In its July/August issue, Professional Motor Mechanic (PMM) magazine reviews the newPicoScope 4000 Diagnostics Kit. Whether you are thinking of upgrading your kit or starting from scratch with a new one, this article will show you why PicoScope kits are so useful and how a PicoScope 4000 can improve your repair rate.

Reviewer Mark points out that the PicoScope kit “can be used to test the voltage or current of any circuit, sensor, actuator, ignition signal or data bus transfer message”. He then moves on to the details of the PicoScope 4000, mentioning the benefits of the deep memory, increased input range, and extended bandwidth and sampling rate.

We can’t do better than to quote the conclusion of the review:

Verdict: It has been hard to do the Pico 4000 kit justice in the space of this review and it must really be seen to be appreciated — the best oscilloscope I have ever used!

If you don’t have a copy of PMM, you can pick one up from the trade counter of your motor factor or request it with your next delivery.

New Case Study: A Quality Control Success Story With The Michigan Army National Guard

This month we have an interesting case study for you, with a slightly different theme to previous months.

A Quality Control Success Story With The Michigan Army National Guard. It is really important that these rebuilt engines be carefully inspected and analyzed to assure that the resulting engine is truly as “good as new” before sending it out for replacement in an active service vehicle. For the full story…

Read “A Quality Control Success Story With The Michigan Army National Guard”

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Accrington and Rossendale College, Accrington
7-8 July 2009

Brooklands College, Weybridge
2-3 September 2009

City College Birmingham, Birmingham
20-21 October 2009

City of Bristol College, Bristol
10-11 November 2009

These courses are popular, so book your course now!

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

6-7 October 2009
Mechanex
SECC, Glasgow

13-18 October 2009
Equip Auto
Parc des expositions Paris-Nord, France

17-18 November 2009 
Mechanex
Sandown Park, Surrey

Employment Opportunities

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

  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware

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.

New Oscilloscope Kit!

Following on from the successful launch of the 4000 Series scope, we have now introduced the advanced kit.

The latest top-of-the-range kit includes all the accessories that we could fit in the box!

The PicoScope Oscilloscope Diagnostics Kits have a great reputation in the automotive industry, but we’ve just thought of a way to make them even better. You now have the choice of building your own collection of accessories, or buying everything you need in one kit. To help busy mechanics and technicians, our diagnostics experts have put together the new Advanced Kit, which contains everything in the previous kit plus a generous selection of the best diagnostic accessories.

The New Advanced Kit – full details

Launch of AUTOiNFORM

AUTOiNFORM is a bi-monthly online publication that offers the automotive aftermarket a fresh, exciting new platform using high-quality video and interactive page layouts.

AUTOiNFORM delivers focused, practical guidance on the key area of vehicle diagnostics, enabling workshops and technicians to download details of actual vehicle repairs. These include troubleshooting, diagnostic procedures and advice on what equipment to use.

AUTOiNFORM also offers news on the latest equipment, interviews with industry figures and experienced technicians, and technical tips from experts. This is presented in a high-quality online format and delivered directly to the inbox of automotive professionals.

New Case Study: You CAN Do It — Corsa No Start

This month we have an interesting case study for you, written by a real PicoScope user who has kindly offered to share his diagnostic knowledge.

You CAN Do It — Corsa No Start. The car had an original complaint of a sudden no-start condition after seemingly faultless running, and the previous diagnosis had condemned the engine ECU. For the full story…

Read “You CAN Do It — Corsa No Start” by Nick Hibberd

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available :

City of Bristol College, Bristol
2-3 June 2009

Accrington and Rossendale College, Accrington
6-7 July 2009

Brooklands College, Weybridge
2-3 September 2009

City College Birmingham, Birmingham
20-21 October 2009

City of Bristol College, Bristol
10-11 November 2009

These courses are popular, so book your course now!

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

6-7 October 2009
Mechanex
SECC, Glasgow

13-18 October 2009
Equip Auto
Parc des expositions Paris-Nord, France

17-18 November 2009 
Mechanex
Sandown Park, Surrey

Employment Opportunities

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

  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware

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.

New 2-Channel Oscilloscope!

Following on from the successful launch of the 4000 Series scope, we have now introduced a 2-channel version for the more budget-conscious user.

The new PicoScope diagnostic oscilloscope has twice the input voltage range, twice the bandwidth, 4 times the sampling rate and 64 times the memory of its predecessor!

The new PicoScope is equipped for the future, with a higher speed that gives you a clearer display of fast signals like CANbus and FlexRay. The new “always on memory”, now 64 times larger, never needs to be adjusted, so now you can concentrate on the job, not on the scope. You’ll never miss a detail, even with hard-to-find intermittent faults. The increased ±100 V input range removes the need for external attenuators for most tests.

New Picoscope 4000 – Full details

New Case Study: Zafira Intermittent Stalling

This month we have an interesting case study for you, written by a real PicoScope user who has kindly offered to share his diagnostic knowledge.

Zafira Intermittent Stalling. The customer complaint was intermittent cutting out. This was eventually narrowed down to only stalling at junctions: how important is correct information?

Read “Zafira Intermittent Stalling” by Nick Hibberd

Training Courses

Engine Management Diagnostics Course with renowned PicoScope expert Frank Massey

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available :

City of Bristol College, Bristol
2-3 June 2009

These courses are popular, so book your course now!

Forthcoming Exhibitions

Autonerdz PICOSCOPE LIVE event

Our distributor based in North America is hosting a live hands-on PicoScope demonstration, available anywhere in the world. All you need is a PC with a high-speed internet connection. We can set up the scope on a live vehicle at our facility and you can run the scope from your PC. This gives you an opportunity to see the capabilities first-hand as well as find out if you are comfortable with the interface. Of course we will be there with you on the phone, available to direct you and answer any questions.

Autonerdz have a live PicoScope 4423 group demo scheduled for April 27th at 1pm Pacific time. Pleasevisit Autonerdz for directions on how to get hooked up with this free online event.

Other events

20-21 May 2009
Mechanex
Reebok Stadium, Bolton, UK

6-7 October 2009
Mechanex
SECC, Glasgow

13-18 October 2009
Equip Auto
Parc des expositions Paris-Nord, France

17-18 November 2009 
Mechanex
Sandown Park, Surrey

Employment Opportunities

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

  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware

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.

IMI announces first SkillMiles awards

The Skillmiles scheme was launched just over a year ago by the IMI as a pioneering way to recognise the support given to aid skills development across the automotive sector.

It enables the IMI, as a Professional Body and the Sector Skills Council, to demonstrate to the industry, employers and Government that many companies and individuals in our sector are making valuable contributions to raising skill levels, much of which had not previously been recognised on a national level.

Pico Technology - Platinum Award

Staff at Pico Technology have given their time for free to assist at colleges and ATA centres and have also discounted their technical equipment provided to colleges and any member of the IMI. They have helped with the Continuing Professional Development of those working in the industry by contributing diagnostic articles to the trade press.

New case study: A Battery Discharge Problem With a Happy Ending!

This month we have an interesting case study for you, written by a real PicoScope user who has kindly offered to share his diagnostic knowledge.

A Battery Discharge Problem With a Happy Ending! Recently I was faced with a customer who had completely given up on the idea of her car ever being fixed. The lady owner of a 2001 Audi A6 1.8 Turbo, explained to me how she has always had problems with the battery discharging.

Read "A Battery Discharge Problem With a Happy Ending!"

News: New PicoScope!

The PicoScope diagnostic scope is already well-known and highly regarded by the automotive industry, but we are not resting on our laurels. This month we are launching a brand-new PicoScope diagnostic scope with higher specifications.

The new PicoScope diagnostic oscilloscope has twice the input voltage range, twice the bandwidth, 4 times the sampling rate and 64 times the memory of its predecessor!

The new PicoScope is equipped for the future, with a higher speed that gives you a clearer display of fast signals like CANbus and FlexRay. The new “always on memory”, now 64 times larger, never needs to be adjusted, so now you can concentrate on the job, not on the scope. You'll never miss a detail, even with hard-to-find intermittent faults. The increased ±100 V input range removes the need for external attenuators for most tests.

New PicoScope 4000 – Full details

Training Courses

Engine Management Diagnostics Course with renowned PicoScope expert Frank Massey

We have managed to convince Frank Massey to host one of our two-day Pico diagnostic courses. This course will be based at Frank Massey’s workshop in Preston on the 18th and 19th March. It includes the basic working principles of Engine Management systems, testing components, and system diagnostics using oscilloscopes. The focus will be on using PicoScope to evaluate engine systems and their components including sensors and actuators such as injectors, lambda sensors and ignition components. The course is split between theory and practical demonstrations in a workshop using the Pico Automotive Diagnostic Kit. Places are limited, so click here to book now!

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine Management Diagnostics course.

The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

Frank Massey Automotive Diagnostic Solutions, Preston
18-19 March 2009

Brooklands College, London
15-16 April 2009

Birmingham City College, Birmingham
12-13 May 2009

City of Bristol College, Bristol
2-3 June 2009

These courses are popular, so book your course now!

Forthcoming Exhibitions

21-22 February 2009
Frank Massey Network - Conference
Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

25-26 February 2009
Mechanex
Donington Park, Derby, UK

20-21 May 2009
Mechanex
Reebok Stadium, Bolton, UK

6-7 October 2009
Mechanex
SECC, Glasgow

17-18 November 2009 
Mechanex
Sandown Park, Surrey

Employment Opportunities

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

Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
Development Engineer - Hardware
Development Engineer - FPGA/VHDL Design
Marketing Copywriter

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

New Case Study: Ford Focus – Hard Starting

This month we have an interesting case study for you, written by a real PicoScope user who has kindly offered to share his diagnostic knowledge.

Ford Focus – Hard Starting. A 2003 Ford Focus 1800 TDCI Duratorq came in with a hard start issue from cold. Follow the story as the problem was examined using a Pico oscilloscope.

Read “Ford Focus – Hard Starting” by Dave Hill

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine 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, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and we currently have the following dates available:

City of Bristol College, Bristol
17-18 February 2009

London area - to be confirmed

North West England - to be confirmed

City of Bristol College, Bristol
2-3 June 2009

These courses are popular, so book your course now!

Forthcoming exhibitions

21-22 February 2009
Frank Massey Network - Conference
Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

25-26 February 2009
Mechanex
Donington Park, Derby, UK

20-21 May 2009
Mechanex
Reebok Stadium, Bolton, UK

6-7 October 2009
Mechanex
SECC, Glasgow

17-18 November 2009 
Mechanex
Sandown Park, Surrey

Employment Opportunities

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

  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware
  • Development Engineer - FPGA/VHDL Design
  • Marketing Copywriter

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.

New Case Study: Toyota Avensis — System Too Lean

This month we have an interesting case study for you, written by a real PicoScope user who has kindly offered to share his diagnostic knowledge.

Toyota Avensis — System Too Lean. A 2002 Toyota Avensis came in with the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light) on and two DTCs present. Follow the story as the problem was examined using a Pico oscilloscope.

Read “Toyota Avensis — System Too Lean” by Dave Hill

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 This Month

Engine Management Diagnostics using PicoScope

Birmingham City College, Birmingham
9-10 December 2008 - Last course of this year!

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 picotech.com 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 - FPGA/VHDL Design
  • Marketing Copywriter

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.

New Case Study: Direct Injection — Poor Performance

This month we have an interesting case study for you, written by a real PicoScope user who has kindly offered to share his diagnostic knowledge.

Direct Injection — Poor Performance. A 2003 Vauxhall Signum (same as a Vectra C) arrived at the workshop with a slight misfire and a more general flatness under acceleration. Follow the story as the problem was solved using a Pico oscilloscope.

Read “Direct Injection — Poor Performance” by Dave Hill

Technical Information and Tips

Here is a quick tip for those of you who are using PicoScope 6.

Manually configuring input ranges

We all know how to use the automotive menus to configure the software. Choosing a preset test from the menu automatically sets the input ranges that are suitable for the particular component that requires testing. In practice this works very well, but what about some of the more advanced tests that use more than one channel, just like those in our tutorial series?

Well, if you click on the black button that appears after each of the individual channel settings, you will be presented with a drop-down menu. At the top of this new menu you should see a white box that as standard displays x1. If you then click on the down arrow button at the right-hand end of the box a further menu appears. At this point you can select one of the custom probes suitable for the component being tested, mainly from the automotive menu. Once selected, the ranges in the usual selection box will change to suit the chosen probe. For example, choosing the 60 A Current Clamp (20 Amp Mode) will then give ranges in amps. Once you are happy with the settings don’t forget to save the waveform, and you can then use it again later as your own preset test!

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
  • 12 Real-Life Diagnostics stories from professional motor mechanic Nick Hibberd
  • 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. Request a free CD

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 This Month

Engine Management Diagnostics using PicoScope

East Surrey College, London
28-29 October 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 picotech.com for full details of upcoming exhibitions and training dates.

New Case Study: BMW 5 Series

This month we have an interesting case study for you, written by a real PicoScope user who has kindly offered to share his diagnostic knowledge.

BMW 5 Series Braking issues. A 2000 model year BMW 5 series was brought to us with the ABS/ESP light illuminated, following unsuccessful diagnosis and repair elsewhere. Follow the story as the problem was solved using a Pico oscilloscope.

Read “BMW 5 series braking issues” by Stuart White

Exhibition News

Pico will be exhibiting at Automechanika this year, where we will have live demos on the stand and previews of some exciting new products. Throughout the exhibition we will be running a competition to win a 4-channel scope kit, so please come and visit us on stand F80 Hall 9.1 for your chance to win!

Technical Information and Tips

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
  • 12 Real-Life Diagnostics stories from professional motor mechanic Nick Hibberd
  • 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. Request a free CD

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 This Month

Engine Management Diagnostics using PicoScope

Birmingham City College, Birmingham 16-17 September 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 picotech.com 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

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.

Newsletter August 2008

This month we have a very interesting case study for you, written by a real PicoScope user who has kindly offered to share his diagnostic knowledge.

VW Golf GTi 1.8 Turbo driveability issues. This Golf was presented with the fault described as a misfire at 2000 rpm. The car had recently been purchased from a local dealership as a trade-in, so the new owner had limited experience of its previous history and performance. A quick road test revealed that the performance was below expectations, and a mild kangarooing was felt under load, but there were no trouble codes. Follow the story as the problem was solved using a Pico oscilloscope.

Read “VW Golf GTi 1.8 Turbo driveability issues” by Dave Hill

IMI Training News

Automotive team representatives Dave Hewson and Vikki Bateman recently supported the new IMI Member Association in West Wales at Coleg Sir Gâr with a presentation at an IMI seminar held there. The presentation included information on the use of oscilloscopes within the field of diagnostics in the motor industry. There is great demand for additional training in this area and this was reflected by the well-attended meeting, with some IMI members travelling over 60 miles to be there. We also attended and presented to the local IMI members at Bridgwater College in Somerset earlier in the year. This was also very well-received and we look forward to working more closely with the IMI and its members in the future.

Visit the IMI website for further information

Technical Information and Tips

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
  • 12 Real-Life Diagnostics stories from professional motor mechanic Nick Hibberd
  • 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. Request a free CD

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 This Month

Engine Management Diagnostics using PicoScope

Preston College, Preston, Lancashire 
19-20 August 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 picotech.com 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

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.

Newsletter July 2008

This month we have a very interesting case study for you, written by a real PicoScope user who has kindly offered to share his diagnostic knowledge.

Audi S2 (B3 Engine) Intermittent and Progressive Failure to Start

The car arrives on the back of a tow truck, with a report from the owner that after running faultlessly for some four months after a new distributor had been fitted, one morning, for no obvious reason, the car would not start. Follow the story of how this case was solved using a Pico oscilloscope, by Arnot Franses.

Read “Audi S2 (B3 Engine) Intermittent and Progressive Failure to Start” by Arnot Franses

Technical Information and Tips

Here is a quick tip for those of you who are using PicoScope 6.

Are you aware that the software can be used in demo mode?

We all know what it’s like: never enough time in the day to learn all the new features of a piece of equipment. Well, good news: with Picoscope 6 you can run the software in demo mode away from the workshop and without a vehicle. If you run the software without a scope connected it will prompt you to run in demo mode. Then you select the four-channel (3423 model) or two-channel (3223 model) scope, and the software will load and appear as normal. The only difference is the button to the far right of all the channel selection controls, which lets you simulate several automotive components. Picoscope defaults to injector voltage on channel A, so if you use the Automotive menu, select “Multi-point injector (Voltage)” and then run the scope as normal, you will see a simulated injector trace. You can then try all the trigger functions mentioned in the previous newsletters.

Resources

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
  • 12 Real-Life Diagnostics stories from professional motor mechanic Nick Hibberd
  • 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. Request a free CD

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 This Month

Engine Management Diagnostics using PicoScope

Kingston College, Kingston upon Thames, London
8-9 July 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 picotech.com for full details of upcoming exhibitions and training dates.

Employment Opportunities