PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Ask any questions about using PicoScope Automotive software here.

Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:28 pm

Often when reviewing waveforms the valuable detail is hidden until we zoom, measure and filter etc.

Zooming is an invaluable tool but can add confusion when trying to keep track of the general perspective of the whole waveform. (The zoom overview can help here)

However using the scaling feature of PicoScope you can adjust the individual "scales" of each waveform, revealing additional detail of each waveform whilst maintaining the original overall capture.

The image below shows channel A secondary ignition waveform as captured with very little detail visible.

SCALING AS NORMAL.jpg


The image below shows the same channel A secondary ignition waveform after the scale has been increased 6 times (x6.0) whilst the overall waveform view (screen size) remains unchanged.

INCREASED SCALLING.jpg


Note: As you increase the scale you may have to adjust the "offset" to maintain your waveform on screen.
Here you can use the "offset" adjustment adjacent to the scaling adjustment, or click on the scale of the relevant waveform and drag to a suitable place on screen.
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:05 am

Moving on from a feature already posted here, "Keyboard short cuts", I have been chatting with one of the software engineers who mentioned not only can you customise keyboard settings, but you can save these settings and export them to other PC's.

Please download, unzip and save the attached file "DEMO KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS.pskeys" file

DEMO KEYBOARD SHORT CUTS.zip
(483 Bytes) Downloaded 428 times


To explain, as mentioned previously, open PicoScope (demo mode is fine) select TOOLS-PREFERENCES-KEYBOARDS and click on the arrow adjacent to "User" inside the "Select keyboard map" text box.

Click on "import", locate and double click the file you have downloaded and saved above. (.pskeys file)

Click on "Apply" and then "OK".

The Keyboard "Shortcuts" screen will now close and you will be returned to the scope screen.

KEYBOARD CUSTOMISATION.jpg


Now for the magic, run your scope and note by pressing keys Q, W, E,and R, will activate Channels A,B,C and D respectfully

Pressing keys 1,2,3,and 4 will increase the voltage ranges for Channels A,B,C and D

Pressing keys A,S,D, and F will decrease the voltage range for Channels A,B,C and D

Pressing keys "O" will increase the time divisions and key "P" will decrease the time divisions.

The above settings have now been configured from the pskeys file you downloaded and imported above.

By dragging your finger across keys Q,W,E, and R you can now switch on all channels with just a stroke and there is a clever hidden function when pressing keys 1,2,3, or 4 when your channels are inactive. (Remember your scope needs to be running)

Of course you do not need to keep the settings as you can customize your own.

For access to all the customization options ensure you "tick" the check box "Show Full Key List" on the "Keyboard short Cut" screen when you customise each key to a particular scope function.

Once you have customised your keyboard remember to click on "Apply" and then "Export"

Once you click on "Export" you can give your customisation a name and save as a .pskeys file. Now you can share this file between PC's using the "import" function or even share amongst other users.
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:33 am

The signal and time rulers are a feature you cannot do without when analysing and measuring waveforms.

Precise positioning of the rulers can be tricky when using the mouse in a workshop environment, often with one hand at full stretch covered in you know what.

Drag the signal and time rulers on the screen as normal and then type the value into the ruler legend box rather than dragging to the area of interest.

Press "enter" and the rulers will now automaticaly move to the values typed into the ruler legend.

This feature becomes invaluable when looking for the true zero point of a waveform (Voltage) or a specific about of
advance /retard degrees when looking at engine timing within a compression waveform.
Attachments
RULER LEGEND.jpg
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:19 pm

Having used maths channels for numerous tasks I would like to add a couple of match channel files you may find of real use when looking at compressions, RPM, Misfire detection, Duty and frequency etc.

Whilst the phrase “maths channels” conjures up this notion of complexity and strikes fear into most, they really are incredibly helpful and easy to apply.

Below is an article that will help with the theory of maths channels and how we can apply them.

MATHS CHANNEL ARTICLE-AMENDED 23-11-16.docx
Math Channel Article-Amended
(5.48 MiB) Downloaded 6 times


Down load the files below and save to a known location on your PC.

Digital frequency measurement-Channel A.psmaths
(279 Bytes) Downloaded 428 times

Duty Cylce (Negative)-Channel A.psmaths
(266 Bytes) Downloaded 364 times

Inductive frequency measurement-Channel A.psmaths
(267 Bytes) Downloaded 339 times






Open PicoScope and select TOOLS-MATHS CHANNELS-IMPORT and locate the files you have downloaded and saved to your PC.

Click on the relevant match channel and select OPEN. The maths channel will now be imported into your LIBRARY of maths channels to apply to channel A inputs.

You may choose to edit these maths channels to suit your measurement.

E.g. The RPM maths channels are set to read from 0-7000 RPM however, using the EDIT function in the maths channel measurement you may opt to read only 0-1000 rpm for improved resolution at low engine speeds

Typical maths channel formulas for various engine speed configurations are:

60/36*freq(A-2.5) Digital 36 teeth pick up on channel A
60/36*freq(A) Inductive 36 teeth pick up on channel A
60/60*freq(A-2.5) Digital 60 teeth pick up on channel A
60/60*freq(A) Inductive 60 teeth pick up on channel 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 in the formula 60/2*freq(A) to obtain RPM (Engine speed)

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.

Take care…….Steve
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby s4c » Mon May 04, 2015 9:55 pm

Hi Steve

Many thanks for those. I have been playing with Math channels for a while with great frustration.

If you have any more examples it would be great.

The 'how to' in maths channels is writen for people who speak the lingo and i dont, its the same with advanced triggers.

Regards

Simon
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Liteace » Tue May 05, 2015 11:30 pm

steve smith wrote:
This feature becomes invaluable when looking for the true zero point of a waveform (Voltage) or a specific about of
advance /retard degrees when looking at engine timing within a compression waveform.



How do we fine true tdc for checking timing, is there a snap to peak for the 0° and 720° markers ?


Image
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Fri May 08, 2015 8:24 am

Hello Liteace and thank you for the feedback.

This is most certainly one for the ideas funnel here at Pico.

Dragging the phase markers into position on a waveform does not open the ruler legend as degrees are not pre defined along the axis.

The phase markers indicate the degrees of rotation as defined by the user and I can see how this can be tricky when looking for the precise TDC position.

Zooming as you have in your image remains the most accurate way to position your 0-720 phase markers, but it would be fantastic if the software could detect the peak of the channel you request and move these markers into position.

I will add this into the ideas funnel ASAP.

Thank you again, take care.......Steve
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Steve Smith » Fri May 08, 2015 12:45 pm

Here are two great tips from our Test and measurement colleagues at Pico.

They too release a newsletter every month which contains information in which we can all benefit

Test and Measurement are the other side of Pico, manufacturing numerous scopes for all professions from Avionics to Medical and everything in between.

We share a similar scope software and the tips below come thanks to Jeff here at Pico HQ.

Did you know that your mouse wheel can save you time in PicoScope software? As well as the keyboard short cuts for adjusting the time base and other controls, the mouse wheel operates on whichever scrollable control is in focus. For example, click twice on the arrow next to the time base control so that the time base setting is in focus (a dotted rectangle will appear around it). You can now change time base by turning the mouse wheel.

Time base.png
Time base.png (1.92 KiB) Viewed 8021 times


Did you also know that the triggering tool bar (initially at the bottom of the PicoScope software window) can be switched to the top of the window? This is useful when your Windows (or other) task bar keeps popping up over the top of your PicoScope window, hiding the trigger controls. To move the triggering tool bar, go to Tools > Preferences > Options and check Move Trigger tool bar to top.
Attachments
Trigger.png
Trigger.png (2.91 KiB) Viewed 8021 times
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Autonerdz » Fri May 08, 2015 1:41 pm

Liteace wrote:
How do we fine true tdc for checking timing, is there a snap to peak for the 0° and 720° markers ?


Remember that there are many factors that can cause peak pressure to occur at a point other than TDC and also 'appear' to occur at a point other than TDC.

Tom Roberts,
Autonerdz.com
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Re: PicoScope Automotive Top Tips

Postby Liteace » Sat May 09, 2015 12:31 am

Autonerdz wrote:
Liteace wrote:
How do we fine true tdc for checking timing, is there a snap to peak for the 0° and 720° markers ?


Remember that there are many factors that can cause peak pressure to occur at a point other than TDC and also 'appear' to occur at a point other than TDC.

Tom Roberts,
Autonerdz.com


So its down to old school method of dial gauge, oh well, its a lot easier to set up
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