am I too inexperienced?

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am I too inexperienced?

Postby frankster » Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:44 pm

Hi all. My name is Frank and I am new to the forum and just wanted to introduce myself and ask for some advice from Pico users.
I have been thinking about buying a Pico for around a year or so now but I am unsure if I would be able to use it properly.
I have been in the motor trade for almost 30 years but have never been involved in the electrical or diagnostic side of things. I used a very good and reliable friend for all that side of the work as his fee and time he took was well worth it. It also saved me lost time and uncharged hours.
I have now moved to Australia and now I am at a loss with the diagnostic/electrical repairs, and I cant find anyone here as good and worth the money they charge.
I do want to be able to diagnose and find faults without having to call in someone else like I used to, and I have heard so many good reports about the ease of use of the pico and it's capability's.
I do have knowledge of electrics but it is rather basic, I can find my way round with a diagnostic scanner, but some times its a very long way round, and often involves swapping from donor cars to check for faulty components instead of being able to accurately identify a faulty electrical component. And in todays modern cars we know that not all faults show up first time.

Your thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated guy's.
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Re: am I too inexperienced?

Postby Alan » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:01 am

Hi,

Thanks for posting that - its a really good question.

Firstly are you comfortable using a multimeter for measuring voltage? By this I mean checking not just say battery voltage but also checking components - for example a throttle pot / throttle sensor. With a 3 pin sensor you can usually measure 0V on one pin, 5V supply on another and the output signal on the third. With a meter you can see the output signal go from usually 0.5V when the throttle is closed through to 4.5V when its op

If you use a meter but have not tried that, then give it a go. If that seems OK then you probably are ready to use a scope. In the end a scope like PicoScope measures voltage and plots it as a graph on the screen.

Regardless of whether you do buy a scope I would do the following first
1. Read a couple of books on vehicle electrical / electronic systems. Search on Amazon or similar for
Automobile Electrical and Electronic Systems
and
Advanced Automotive Fault Diagnosis
Both by Tom Denton

2. After doing that, visit the library part of the this web site and read the tutorials and then perhaps some of the case studies.

3. Download PicoScope software and play with it as a demo.

Sorry to set so much "homework" but based on what you say I think doing this will help you learn to become better at your job regardless of whether you do buy a scope or not. Another option of course would be to go on some training courses, but you will need to find out what is available locally - I would still read some books first as you will then get more value out of any training course.

Thats my best advice but it would be interesting to get some more comments from others.

Regards
Alan
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Re: am I too inexperienced?

Postby Fat Freddy » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:36 am

Hi and welcome.

Where about's are you in Australia?

I do want to be able to diagnose and find faults without having to call in someone else like I used to, and I have heard so many good reports about the ease of use of the pico and it's capability's.
I do have knowledge of electrics but it is rather basic,


If you are willing to learn - you're sorted.

It wasn't that long ago (about severn years) I couldn't predict the voltage at a switch open and closed. Now I have a fairly good idea on how to drive the Pico.
It's a great tool and too be honest without a scope you will be doing a lot of guess work.

FF
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Re: am I too inexperienced?

Postby frankster » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:49 am

Hi Freddie.
I am currently living in Perth W.A.
I am really rusty with all electrics as I said in the earlier post, my friend used to do all for me and for that reason I never bothered to learn all the new systems etc. When I served my time I was dealing with plugs points and condensers. Then I left the trade for about ten years and when I came back to it, all had changed and I never had any training on the new systems. Here I am now needing to know how these systems work and how to diagnose the faults that they pick up, I really should have taken more of an interest in what my friend was doing and how he was doing it.
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