Picoscope + Verus: adding scantool data to the waveform screen

Dmitriy Analyst Toronto, Ontario Posted   Latest  

If you've been wondering whether it is possible to show scantool data such as RPM, MAF, TPS, VVT parameters, etc. right on a waveform screen, here is an example of doing just that.

While diagnosing an intermittent or complicated issue you may be 

  • capturing waveforms (possibly using a long timebase) with an oscilloscope such as Pico4425, and also
  • recording what the car computers see with a scantool such as Verus or Zeus.

However, there is no standard way to combine these data streams, even though comparing them alongside each other may reveal the issue faster. (ATS eScan mentions integration with other ATS tools, but I have not been able to find any screenshots or demos of the feature. Will be grateful if anyone can showcase it.)

Here I will show a way to add scantool data to the oscilloscope screen. The scantool data is going to be the PIDS file collected by Leon K. (link at the bottom of the post):


I devised a way to convert selected pids into psreference files, which can then be added to the Picoscope screen. Here is an example:


Of course, the granularity of scantool data is limited by the time interval in the PIDS file (1 sec for this example). But, as you can see, cursors can be used as usual, and the scantool data is shown fine even when zoomed in:


Now, this is just a demonstration of what is possible, and a few more steps are necessary to make the feature available to diagnosticians. The technique provides some sort of integration of Picoscope with scantools, so it enhances scope's capabilities. However, even then the Picoscope team may be uncomfortable with psreference files being created by third parties. May be they will be willing to grant permission for this particular instance if there is enough enthusiasm about this feature among diagnosticians. So, what do you think, is this a feature that would be great to have? If yes, would you be more likely to use it during test drives or in the classroom?

Leon's scantool data used in this example: diag​.​net/msg/m5pwxketf0…

Phillip Diagnostician
Anchorage, Alaska
Phillip Default

I'm a say yes. Example. When a car misfires or even cuts injectors during a misfire It would be knida of nice to see that during review of data. Yes most of the time we can feel the misfire during recording but I do end up recording and then reviewing data a bit. Another good example is recording variable valve events. It be nice to know when the computer is commanding something while looking at…

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Niall Owner/Technician
Stirling, United Kingdom
Niall Default

Absolutely the more we can integrate these tools the better, and if PICO is watching how about built-in overlays.

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Jeff Technical Support Specialist
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jeff Default

He is a screen shot of the ATS eSCAN and eSCOPE live showing active PIDs simultaneously with an injector capture. The middle picture is of the eSCAN displaying selected PIDs that are selectable in the eSCOPE.

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Edwin Mobile Technician
Charleston, South Carolina
Edwin Default

Thats one of the great features and ATS tool can do!

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Dmitriy Analyst
Toronto, Ontario
Dmitriy Default

Thank you very much for the screenshots, Jeff! Does it work the same way for the Deep Record mode, and can all data be reviewed/saved after the capture?

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Doug Diagnostician
Petersburg, West Virginia
Doug Default

You just making my desire for the escan worse lol . Thanks for sharing .

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Jim Educator
Apple Valley, California
Jim Default

To make this useful, I see a couple issues to overcome. You need to add SCM files. Without them you just lost a giant chunk of the SO users. Good luck with that, it is a difficult job. Other scan tools, the popular ones, are going to be an issue. Autel, for example, shows little interest in saving data in any serious way. You will need to sync the two input streams. I'm thinking this would be…

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Dmitriy Analyst
Toronto, Ontario
Dmitriy Default

Hi Jim, I took a look at SCM files, it is a binary format, but not a complicated one. It can be supported no problem. But if a scantool is not able to save the data, there is not much to be done... Syncing would require some preparation on the technician's part, this is true. Either starting/stopping both captures at the same time, or turning the key off to have a clear moment of both streams…

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Jim Educator
Apple Valley, California
Jim Default

Hi Dmitriy Interesting, I found the binary file to have a number of "gotchas". Various versions, not all data types stored the same way within versions, compression here, but not there... Etc. Stuff that doesn't surface until you start using files from multiple sources. I think the core software was written a long time ago. Back when data storage structuring was more "roll your own" and storage…

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Alex Technician
Denver, Colorado
Alex Default

I've been thinking about this for months now. Being able to view the scan tool data on the waveform screen would be amazing. But, even if I could just sync my scan data capture to my 4425 scope capture, that would be extremely helpful in a lot of cases.

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