PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:25 pm

CHANNEL SELECTING ON-OFF.jpg
A simple tip here when viewing multiple waveforms on screen. There are times when not all the waveforms on screen are relevant to your diagnosis at the same time. Right click anywhere on your scope screen, this will reveal a drop down box, select channels, then select or de-select which channel you would like on or off the screen
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:47 pm

CAN SPEED-BAUD RATE CALCULATION.jpg
When capturing a CAN data frame, the speed of the CAN network can be determined by measuring the time interval of the smallest “bit” of the message within the frame. Calculate the network speed using the example attached. (This can be useful when working with CAN networks of different speeds). The end of a CAN frame can be identified by the increase in amplitude of the final message bit.
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:15 am

NON INTRUSIVE COP PROBE CHECK.jpg
Non intrusive testing becomes invaluable during the initial "golden hour" of diagnosis. Often brief assessments of engine condition and areas of concern enable the technician to present customers with a quotation based on hard evidence obtained through non intrusive techniques. This allows the workshop to load the work according to test results and informs the customer of the additional work required whilst protecting all parties involved. Pico Diagnostics is a typical example allowing you to test battery-starting-charging-compression and cylinder balance rapidly and effectively. Moving on from these initial tests, the Coil on Plug probe is an excellent accessory allowing you to make a brief assessment of injector or igniter. Placing the COP probe on-top of the igniter or injector with the engine running will provide you with some evidence that you have H.T or Fuel delivery of some fashion. By no means is it 100% conclusive of what is happening inside the cylinder but during your initial assessment it will provide some direction and invaluable evidence. Above are 2 images of an igniter and direct injector taken from a vehicle during the initial inspection so allowing the technician to move forward without intruding too deep until the customer allows.
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:29 pm

ADDING ANOTHER SCOPE VIEW-14-01-2014 14-47-17.jpg
Working with waveforms after capture can be as challenging as a good capture itself. Zooming and measuring can consume your screen with rulers and tables but it's easy to make sense when you can see the big picture. You can "ADD VIEW" to see the whole waveform on a duplicate view of the original capture. Now you have another set of rulers on the same waveform to make even more measurements.
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:08 pm

AUTO SET UP ICON 2014-02-28_12-13-44.jpg
Coming right back to the beginning of this post and referring to the 20/20 rule, adding to this initial setting for your scope when looking for unknown signals, remember the following. Voltage-Time-Trigger-and Probe.

Voltage: +- 20 volt scale covers most automotive signals assuming we are looking at sensors or actuators

Time: 20 ms/div gives you 200 ms across the screen to capture the full 4 stroke cycle event on one screen at idle speed

Trigger: Setting your trigger initially to "Auto" will at least allow you to see a signal if the trigger you set to stabilise your signal is not met. Once you have a signal you can manoeuvre your trigger to the relevant point on your signal

Probe: The correct probe setting is vital to capturing the relevant signal. Looking for actuator current flow when your probe is set to "x 1 probe" will only add to the confusion.

Remember you also have the "Auto Set-up" Icon that will enable the scope to automatically select the best settings to display the current signal applied to your probe.
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:59 pm

KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS.jpg
PicoScope automotive software allows you to customise numerous features by clicking on the TOOLS tab at the top of the scope screen and selecting PREFERENCES. One of the many features you can customise are “Keyboard short cuts”. Knowing how difficult it can be making adjustments to the scope screen when you are working away from the PC/laptop, utilising a wireless key board and the “Keyboard short cuts” feature you can simply select which keys will operate a specific function you use on a regular basis. In the image attached I have customised the keyboard “arrows” left and right (< >) to scroll through my buffer, and the ESC key to select the Auto set up feature of the scope.
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:41 pm

ALIGNMENT OF REFERENCE WAVEFORM.mp4
(1.22 MiB) Downloaded 386 times
Adding onto the value of "Reference Waveforms" posted earlier in this thread, aligning the reference waveform to your captured waveform for analysis is vitally important and very simple to action.

With both your captured waveform and reference waveform on screen, click on the "scale and off-set" button at the base of the reference waveform scale, then select the amount of "Delay" from the "Scale-Off-set-Delay Box".

To delay your reference waveform by a pre-set value select the "up or down" arrows adjacent to the "Delay" value box.

For fine adjust of your reference waveform and to ensure accurate alignment to your captured waveform, type in the specific value into the "Delay" value box.

See the attached video.
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:53 am

The trigger feature in PicoScope will enable you to stabilise your waveform on screen at precisely the right time during the signal capture.
Using the “Auto” trigger mode will allow the scope to wait for the “trigger conditions” to be met before displaying the waveform on screen. However, if the conditions are not met within a set time, PicoScope will display the waveform regardless. This is a great feature when using triggers for the first time as it will allow the scope to display a waveform even if you have set your trigger conditions outside the values for the signal being measured.
Attachments
AUTO TRIGGER MODE.mp4
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:04 pm

COUPLING OPTIONS 2014-04-25_15-59-36.jpg
Coupling
You may have seen the AC DC coupling option when using your scope, located next to the voltage range control? The DC coupling feature informs the scope to display all aspects of the input signal regardless, including both DC and AC. This of course is the default settings 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). Channel A will display the DC voltage across the battery you would expect of around 14 V and Channel B will display the AC present across the battery to reveal the alternator AC ripple. We are measuring the same voltage but gaining the value of 2 relevant properties of this same voltage. (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.
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:32 pm

Moving on from a “Top Tip” mentioned earlier “ADD VIEW”, a further option found when you “right click” anywhere on your scope screen is “Grid Layout”.

Here you can arrange your PC screen into a specific number of grids where you can choose to display various aspects of your scope capture.

The example below uses the 4 preloaded demonstration waveforms that are available when opening your PicoScope software without the scope connected. Scope Screen 1 displays the waveform as manually arranged by the user (altering the scale etc.), Screen 2 displays the “Auto arrange axis” feature, and Scope Screens 3 to 6 display one of each of the four waveforms.

TOP TIP MULTISCREEN.jpg


Remember all of these screens can run live, you can use the time/signal rulers, and zoom feature on each of the screens, independent of each other.

This feature can prove invaluable for customers in the form of a printout whereby the technician can explain the individual area of concern with a particular waveform, rather than trying to pick out the detail hidden within layers of waveforms, or to assist technical instructors and trainers alike to include in study literature or technical reports.

6 GRID DISPLAY OF 4 CHANNELS.psdata
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