Pico Automotive Feature Requests

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Pico Automotive Feature Requests

Postby Dave Hill » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:21 pm

Good evening group.

It is hard to criticise PicoScope on the whole, as their products & the company ethos are exceptional & quite unique in this day & age, however if I was to raise a niggle, then it would be this.

The implementation of seemingly obvious features that are kind of basic & necessary within the automotive sector, appear have been missing for a long time & even though the omissions have been raised on numerous occasions, still the gaps remain.

I noticed the other day that duty cycle measurement still does not cover the more common "duty cycle low = on" that we see almost without exception in our testing environment. For sure, it is easy to do the maths & figure that a displayed 75% duty cycle, translates to the 25% that we are seeing via serial data on the scan tool, but really? should this most basic measurement not be made available for us within the software, without the fuss of having to create a maths channel, or mental arithmetic.

It occured to me also that there used to be a nice feature within the long forgotten Pico 5 software, that enabled us to view a measured value in numerical form (like we see on a regular DVOM). This was actually a useful feature in my opinion, as it can be quite difficult sometimes to view & judge the voltage as seen in the regular waveform layout, when viewed through the windscreen from the drivers seat. Currently (no pun honest :D ) there is the facility to display a measurement in a large font, but this only displays an average which only updates as the screen capture is completed (or between rulers or cycling at rulers, but all options equally miss the point). What we really need is a numerical display which displays a "live" value in real time.

These are two features from my immediate wish list, but I wonder what other users might think? Is there something that niggles you, but you put up with & work around it without a thought?

I remember years ago, having a regular moan about the fact that Pico lagged behind Snap-on scopes, in terms of its ability to graph frequency & plot it live on screen. Snap-on had this covered years in advance & it worked well, yet it took Pico an age to wake up & realise the need. Inverted secondary is another one, but I have said enough. :)

A lot of these features would be a walk in the park to implement (I think) & I suspect that the only reason we don't have them, is because Pico development, don't think that we really need them. We see this a lot with diag tool developers too. They decide what is good for us, instead of listening to what the guys at the sharp end want.

Like I said from the outset, Pico is a phenomenal company & I have great respect for what they do for us, but hey, I am greedy & I want more! :wink:

Politely of course.
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Re: Pico Automotive Feature Requests

Postby STC » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:15 pm

that duty cycle measurement still does not cover the more common "duty cycle low = on" that we see almost without exception in our testing environment. For sure, it is easy to do the maths & figure that a displayed 75% duty cycle, translates to the 25% that we are seeing via serial data on the scan tool


That would be a good addition. Indeed most actuators, nowadays are "Ground Side Switched" As a side note, in my experience quite a lot of scan tools get that the wrong way round.
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Re: Pico Automotive Feature Requests

Postby EAAD » Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:43 am

I am newish to the pico but this is a very good thread imvho with really good issues well presented & I look forward to the company's response.
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Re: Pico Automotive Feature Requests

Postby Alan » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:23 am

Hi Dave & others,

Thanks for this - we do spend a lot of time listening to customers and collecting feedback. We make 100s of improvements every year to the software but we also get 1000s of suggestions so can not get them all done.

We do read, discuss and consider all requests. We also try to get the improvements that will help improve the product for the biggest number of people done first, but at times have also worked on features essential to small groups of user - for example making sure older products work on the latest operating systems.

At the moment we are working on two areas, improvements to the user interface (controls) and measurements. It will be a while before you see these improvements but on the other hand now is a great time to make suggestions on these areas. Certainly the negative duty cycle measurement will be addressed in this work but one of the reasons this has not been done already is that there is a work around (invert the channel first) or as you say do some mental arithmetic (sorry, no one likes maths). I may be mistaken but I think some time ago we had to choose between 2 different improvements here - giving the ability to graph changing duty cycle or adding in the inverted measurement. At the time the ability to graph was deemed to be more useful to more customers but I accept not everyone will agree with that choice.

To comment on a few of the other points, we do address inverted secondary: there is a guided test to set that up but if you have other ideas on how to make that easier please let me know.

A meter mode is a common request and I agree using large fonts in measurements is not a 100% solution. I would add however that in the old PicoScope 5 the meter mode did do the same thing you described - grab a waveform then display the average of it. That's the way a meter works to avoid the values jumping around so much you can not read it.

Please keep the feedback coming but also please bear with us if your request does not get to the top of the list. One way you can help is spread the word that we are recruiting more software engineers so if you have any friends / relatives who might want to work for a (to use your nice words) a phenomenal company then send them our way (or point them at https://jobs.picotech.com/).

Regards
Alan
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Re: Pico Automotive Feature Requests

Postby Steve Smith » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:38 pm

Hello and thank you for the posts, suggestions and new feature requests.

Just reading this one through regarding negative duty cycle.

The link below will assist with the creation of such a math channel with regards to negative duty measurements.

post31053.html#p31053

This will help whilst the suggestions made are discussed and implemented according

Take care.......Steve
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Re: Pico Automotive Feature Requests

Postby Dave Hill » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:22 pm

Thanks all for the responses.

I have to ask myself though, can it really be so hard, to introduce a proper measurement for ground switch duty cycle?

Surely we shouldn't have to create a maths channel though, to allow us to use a function that needs to be there by default. It feels a little bit like we are having to fix Pico software, so that it is fit for purpose. (maybe a bit strong perhaps, but a valid point nonetheless)

I wouldn't be happy if I bought a BMW & I was told that I couldn't use it on a motorway, unless I created a simple code, that allowed the feature to work.

Come on Pico (please :D )
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Re: Pico Automotive Feature Requests

Postby Steve Smith » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:24 am

Thank you for the feedback Dave and I agree, perhaps the whole process of Math Channel creation is long-winded.

Rest assured Dave, all new feature requests are considered and often implemented.
I too would like to see a simpler approach to graphing duty and I am sure it will happen.

In the meantime I have created 4 x Duty Math channels below which can be imported into PicoScope so removing the need for creation.

Neg Duty A.psmaths
Duty A
(203 Bytes) Downloaded 8 times


Neg Duty B.psmaths
Duty B
(202 Bytes) Downloaded 6 times


Neg Duty C.psmaths
Duty C
(204 Bytes) Downloaded 6 times


Neg Duty D.psmaths
Duty D
(205 Bytes) Downloaded 8 times


Please download and save the above files to a location on your PC.

Open PicoScope and click on Tools > Math Channels > Import

Select the location on your PC where you have downloaded the above files

Click on the file required and click on Open

The Duty Math Channel will now be loaded into the Math Channel Library where it will remain for selection when required.

This will now remove the need for math channel creation and provide the negative duty graphing feature when required (Four Clicks away)

Select Tools > Math Channels > tick the box adjacent to the Duty Math Channel you require (in the Library section) followed by OK

A brief video of the process can be viewed below

MATHS CHANNEL IMPORT.mp4
Math Channel Import
(3.21 MiB) Downloaded 5 times


Once again, thank you for the feedback from all, take care…….Steve
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Re: Pico Automotive Feature Requests

Postby Dave Hill » Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:13 pm

Hi Steve

Thanks for that very helpful response.

I shall have a play with those maths channels that you included.

:D
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