Important Scope functional Characteristics

Brandon Diagnostician Reading , Pennsylvania Posted   Latest   Edited  

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Im frequently asked: “Brandon, which scope should I buy, PICO or ATS, which is better?” I understand where they are coming from and I can tell you “better” is not the appropriate word for this conversation. Scopes are not all designed to function the same. The way they gather and store data varies. Applying the scope properly is what is important. Placing a novice driver behind the wheel of a top-fuel dragster, they will likely lose to the veteran driver behind the wheel of a less capable vehicle. Check out this article . It offers much insight to the methods behind the design of ATS EScopePRO and EScopeELITE4. I have PICO, I have both of the ATS scopes and all are highly capable pieces of equipment . Here’s another applicable article. Again, just food for thought. 

automotivetestsolutions​.​com/automotive-osc…

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Dmitriy Analyst
Toronto, Ontario
Dmitriy Default
 

Brandon, I'm going to go against the grain here, but I would like to say a few words that have to be said. I agree with all your points, but the article you reference, in my opinion, is not very convincing, especially in the context of comparison to Pico 4425. It has quite a few claims that are debatable, or that became debatable over time. For example, here is a CAN bus waveform collected by…

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Brandon Diagnostician
Reading , Pennsylvania
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All excellent points, Dmitry. I agree with your statement on comm signals. Does the fact that a glitch was present in the CAN waveform you referenced “Pinpoint“ the fault? What I’m saying is, if you DIDNT see that glitch, couldn’t you still eleiminate “wiring” as the fault? Does the “wiggle” point to a specific faulted node? although impressive that it is visible, it wouldn’t aid me in my…

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Dmitriy Analyst
Toronto, Ontario
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Brandon, indeed, the wiring is good in this case. But, if you can't see the "wiggle", what is your next step in the diagnosis? This bus is separated from the DLC, there are mysterious U-codes in modules. Even if one conjectures that some module is causing the issue, disconnecting modules one by one will just result in more U-codes without providing any direction. Am I missing anything? In…

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Brandon Diagnostician
Reading , Pennsylvania
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Exactly, Dimitri. I never argued your point as it is an excellent one and certainly aids in diagnosis.

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Matt Technician
De Soto, Missouri
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Is this just an advertisement disguised as a "Discussion" seems like that to me.

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Brandon Diagnostician
Reading , Pennsylvania
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Matt, I don’t advertise for ATS, Why wouldn’t one inquire about these characteristics when making a scope purchase? This info applies to every scope out there. THIS is what makes a scope capable or not-capable. If we don’t understand the limitations of our tools, how can we know if we are seeing a fault or it’s simply an acquisition error? It may have come from ATS however I haven’t run into…

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Ralph Technician
Alpharetta, Georgia
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I found the information helpful I'm in the market to upgrade from my Zues and have been weighing the difference in Pico or the ATS the most common thing I hear seems to be most own both so im now thinking it's like there's no scanner out there that does it all so the same thing could be said about scopes

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Brandon Diagnostician
Reading , Pennsylvania
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Hi Ralph, The key to the information is to understand the limitations of the tool you have so you don’t have misdiagnoses

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John Owner
Medford, New York
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Brandon, I think the real issue here is to use your tooling to its potential and understanding the limitations of your tooling to be successful. I am in 40-50 shops a week and see the same scenario played out all the time. The shop will have a $15K scan tool that they are using like a $200.00 code reader. Then they ask me about scopes. Meanwhile, they have a more than adequate scope right…

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Brandon Diagnostician
Reading , Pennsylvania
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I couldn’t agree more. So many purchase the “GOOD” tool because they feel (for the money) it should jump up and point to the faulty component. I think we both share similar frustrations, John.

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Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
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Brandon, I do have one question on the ATS dual scope and it regards the separate time bases. What do you find most useful about the ability to set different time bases? I like seeing everything occuring in the same time base, perhaps because I've never had an option to do otherwise. I've been bouncing around some ideas of use cases in my head but I figured I'd rather ask someone who…

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Brandon Diagnostician
Reading , Pennsylvania
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Hi Chris, For instance, I will watch ignitiion coil ramps over a long time base to watch for drop-outs on scope B. I will watch the same ignition coil ramps in scope A, bit in a triggered setting to see the pattern repeat itself in a stabilized environment like we tend to do when looking for detail. It allows for both views (trend/detail) simultaneously. Another example would be to view an HO2…

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Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
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Brandon, Excellent. I do have to agree with those use cases and have a few more in mind. Big picture/small picture all at once. I definitely see the validity there. I appreciate the response. More research is order now.

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Brandon Diagnostician
Reading , Pennsylvania
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My pleasure, Chris. Let me know if I could be or assistance. You can down load the software for free and use it in a DEMO mode if you’d like at : automotivetestsolutions​.​com/software-updat…

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Eric Owner/Technician
Edgerton, Wisconsin
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One of the concerns I have when looking at a new electronic tool like a scope is compatibility. It isn't something that would be very important if I worked alone and never shared my collected date with anyone, however that isn't the case. I regularly upload/download data for others to view/comment on. Is the ATS EScope able to save the data in a format that PICO software is able to open and…

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Brandon Diagnostician
Reading , Pennsylvania
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You bring about an excellent point. I too, enjoy assisting others in analysis. It’s my form of “giving back”. Both ATS and PICO have the ability to do this. both are free software and do not require the hardware. However, the format is different and not interchangeable between the two. With that said, I have both PICO and ATS on my PCs and no issues with either 👍

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Eric Owner/Technician
Edgerton, Wisconsin
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That's too bad, it would be nice it they were compatible. I have enough trouble dealing with techs using different settings from one capture to the next on the same problem on the same vehicle and then wanting help by comparing the wave forms without having to move between software formats too. I've looked at miss matched wave forms and seen the obvious problem the tech missed just because he…

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Brandon Diagnostician
Reading , Pennsylvania
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Yes, I frequently have the techs recapture so I can analyze appropriately. I don’t know of any scope platforms that use the same format. Honestly, it’s no big-deal. I just open/load whichever software they’re utilizing

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