Pico

Samuel Technician Somers Point, New Jersey Posted   Latest   Edited  

Why PICO??? Why not Snap On (which most of us, including myself, have been using since the Brick and Vantage. Why not ATS...is it too complex? What is the sudden rush in our market and pull towards PICO? I would love to read responses form all, particularly those who use multiple scopes.

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Andrew Owner/Technician
Capitol Heights, Maryland
Andrew Default
   

Aside from the software and hardware being incredible, one of the best things going for Pico is the snowballing size of the (very active) user base. Most classes you attend will be using a Pico. Most known goods overlays will come from a Pico. I may be wrong but it appears the Pico community, forums and support groups are some of the most active and responsive when assistance is needed or when…

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Hans Diagnostician
Salt Lake City, Utah
Hans Default
 

Ease of use and ability to share files is what does it for me. It seems very intuitive to use, and the guided setups were helpful when I was first learning. We also have a ATS 8channel, but personally, it was clunky and complicated to use. I love just having the entire screen to look at the waveforms. My first personal scope was a Vantage Pro, and it was great to learn on. I still have it…

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Dmitriy Analyst
Toronto, Ontario
Dmitriy Default
 

The Automotive Picoscopes grew out of Test&Measurement versions used by Electrical Engineers and use basically the same user interface. So one might expect they would lose to any automotive-specific scope that is integrated with a scantool and specialized calculators such as volumetric efficiency, etc... but this is not what seems to be happening. One big reason is the ability to create and…

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Richard Technician
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Richard Default
 

Go to the Pico website and download it , you will be able to use it in demo mode . Once you play with the software, you will be hooked also. It has it's own signal generators in this mode. You can also download the files from here and play with them. Once you buy one , you will love the size of the buffer and how it works. The time base that you capture events is the opposite as you zoom in…

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Thanks
Steven Mechanic
Spokane, Washington
Steven Default
 

I've used all 3 of the scopes you mentioned. Basically, the Picoscope is the best overall when it comes to specs, features, and user interface. Snap-on's user interface is not as quick and easy and they don't have as many options and features. The ATS scope user interface is like they tried to fit as many possible buttons on the screen at once. You don't need all the buttons and options…

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Edwin Mobile Technician
Charleston, South Carolina
Edwin Default
   

I've never found the need to get a Pico scope I have used a Snap-On scope for 20 years and haven't been able to not fix the car because of it I also have an escope​. There is really nothing I feel pico is offering that I can't do with my other two scopes I'm not saying Pico is a bad scope I'm just saying for my personal experience I don't have a need for a Pico scope that's just my two cents…

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Randy Curriculum Developer
Raleigh, North Carolina
Randy Default
 

2 features make PICO my go to. Math channels and masks. That being said, buy the scope you will actually use to 100% of it's capability.

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Andrew Owner/Technician
Capitol Heights, Maryland
Andrew Default
 

Wise words. A scope you will use beats a scope you won't every time and one you will use is better than no scope! On of my guys loves his hand held snap-on. I'd rather see that then head scratching and Google searching. It is pretty handy to have an all-in-one self contained scope for quick checks.

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Agree
Edwin Mobile Technician
Charleston, South Carolina
Edwin Default
 

I use both my scopes to 100% and still fix any car i have...i need justification on spending that kind of money when im getting it done now.

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James Diagnostician
Bishop, Georgia
James Default
 

Truth

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Dan Owner/Technician
Westborough, Massachusetts
Dan Default
 

Agree

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Rick Diagnostician
The Woodlands, Texas
Rick Default
 

I have numerous scopes including the Escope. All of my technicians have Escopes in their vehicles. I have yet to find anything I can't do with it and have never encountered an aliasing problem but I suspect that is because I have used scopes since before I was in automotive full time and back in those days aliasing was a big issue due to setup. Some people say that it is hard to setup but I…

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Edwin Mobile Technician
Charleston, South Carolina
Edwin Default
 

Rick that is exactly how I feel ATS Bar None has the best tech support you find when it comes to using the scope Bernie is the man and I like you like the dual screens at the deep record

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Rick Technician
Dracut, Massachusetts
Rick Default
 

I have a Snap-On scope and an ATS scope. I prefer the ATS scope, it is very easy to use and the deep record feature makes finding intermittent problem quick. The dual time base helps see two different signals that are at to different time bases at the same time. So I can check the ignition coils and fuel injector at the same time I am checking the MAF sensor and O2 sensors. And the software for…

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Phillip Diagnostician
Anchorage, Alaska
Phillip Default
 

I said the same thing. Then I got a pico and snap on is trash compared to pico after comparing the 2. Yes my snap on gets used a lot as a fancy volt meter and to see if a signal is there. Other than that it doesn't do anything else. Ignition, cylinder pressure, wave form syncs and more are all done with the pico now.

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Edwin Mobile Technician
Charleston, South Carolina
Edwin Default
 

If my snapon won't do it which happens very rarely then my escope will. Can't see justification on a pico when my other two do the job. the escope has the deep record function which is the bomb!

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Phillip Diagnostician
Anchorage, Alaska
Phillip Default
 

I cant speak on that scope since I don't own an escope. But my snap on does stuff too. It just doesn't do a lot of stuff and/or do them well enough for me. I don't think the discussion is you should buy pico if you have all the scopes you say you need, I think the discussion was why pico is more popular then snap on and the ats one. And the simple answer is that it is better compared to snap on…

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Hans Diagnostician
Salt Lake City, Utah
Hans Default
 

FYI, Pico (at least my 4425) also does deep measure with an extremely easy tool to find the odd man out. Dual time bases don't really matter much to me because I rarely try to look at anything while I'm actively scoping. With Pico, I can gather all the data, then sit down in AC and review it. This car had a camshaft sensor fault during some accelerations. I've used a math channel to convert the…

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Edwin Mobile Technician
Charleston, South Carolina
Edwin Default
 

I like I like to sit down in AC and look at my dual screens😉

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Hans Diagnostician
Salt Lake City, Utah
Hans Default
 

I have two screens too :D Same capture as before, RPM over the entire capture, then zoomed in to the issue. diag​.​net/file/f3ghym7fq… ​ And can have 9 different views of the same capture if I'd like!

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Edwin Mobile Technician
Charleston, South Carolina
Edwin Default
 

Thats pretty....still can't justify the need for a pico. Like i stated earlier...im gettin it done with snapon and the ATS. When both of those scopes let me down then i will look at the pico. Until then......nada...

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Phillip Diagnostician
Anchorage, Alaska
Phillip Default
 

I've come to learn if someone is interest in change they will hear all. If not, It doesn't matter what they say or do how right or wrong you are they will not change.

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Rick Diagnostician
The Woodlands, Texas
Rick Default
 

I think scopes are like cars. you buy one to fit your personality, skill and experiences. I Would rather see a shop using any brand scope instead of guessing at diagnostics.

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Rick Diagnostician
The Woodlands, Texas
Rick Default
 

Hans, Out of curiosity can you do that on a live trace? As far as math channels go, I prefer the ATS because it can do a lot of the calculations automatically. Here is an example. diag​.​net/file/f6uttkag4… ​

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Dmitriy Analyst
Toronto, Ontario
Dmitriy Default
 

Pico 4425 has a hardware-implemented frequency channel: picoauto​.​com/library/automo… P.S. Have all of your other traces suddenly shrunk to zero with the frequency plot? Any way to prevent that from happening?

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Rick Diagnostician
The Woodlands, Texas
Rick Default
   

Good question. I did it in three seconds and put it up so let me go back and look. It's probably something I did wrong.

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Elias Owner/Technician
Poway, California
Elias Default
 

I may sound a little shallow but I keep seeing it on some of the YouTube channels i follow like New level and south main auto. And I just want it lol. With that said i do have a snap on and ats escope. Never use the span on. It’s always the ats as i have it on a roll around...sorry i know i didn’t add much to the conversation :)))

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Maurice Business Development Manager
Geebung, Australia
Maurice Default
 

Samuel great question, my answer is any scope is better then no scope, I would much rather see a technician use a non pico scope then only have a multi-meter or worse a test lamp to carry out their diagnostics. As a person who started out with a early snap on modis scope and later a pico, let me assure you there is no better scope for the automotive industry then the Pico. Sure a snap on will…

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Sean Technician
Cincinnati, Ohio
Sean Default
 

Me personally. Think they all have their place. My first was the verus about 4 years ago. I love it. Second I got a trade in vantage pro. Now I have my pico. Verus is awesome for quick cmp, ckp correlations. Amp draws. I struggle with viewing good pressure transducer signals and clear secondary ignition through the primary. I can see them but as to knowing what's happening in the spark line…

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Caleb Technician
Mishawaka, Indiana
Caleb Default
 

Hey Samuel. This would be my answer. I think we use the tool that's right for the job. I used a Modis Ultra scope weekly for 5 years before getting a PICO. Just got it a month ago. Example. This morning I had no comm with the Wiper Motor on an 2005 Audi A6. Only 3 wires. The first 2 are power an ground which I quickly verified with a 4 amp bulb. Then I just grabbed the Modis to verify the LIN…

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

I really do appreciate all the replies....I sat back and kept quiet to get everyone's input. I am in deep debate with myself deciding on a purchase. I really enjoyed the explanations of how some of you use each scope throughout your day and how you use what works for your situation. I do wish Snap on would have some of the pc effects, such as touchscreen 2 finger zoom or a larger screen. Those…

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Sean Technician
Cincinnati, Ohio
Sean Default
 

I also love being able to use a scope while my scanner is tied up and in a spot of I don't want to move it

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John Educator
Toronto, Ontario
John Default
 

I have access to both at the college. We have Snap on Verus, Vantage Pro, Modis, Autel Maxi scopes and Pico's. After using all of them I can honestly say I prefer the Pico over all of them. I find it much easier to dissect and analyse a waveform with the Pico. It's also much quicker and easier to set up. I do like the snap on scopes, I just find the pico is better on all levels. The Maxi Scope…

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Brandon Diagnostician
Reading , Pennsylvania
Brandon Default
 

Hi Sam, although I still own handhelds like Snap-On, the move to deviate towards a PC-Based scope is for multiple reasons. For one, having The ability to store data on a huge PC-Harddrive makes gathering a ton of data/over a long period of time, possible. Two, PC based scopes tend to have better capture-capabilities. This is from two different aspects. Horizontal and vertical resolution. If…

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

I will read the articles and I do appreciate your input. You are very respected in our industry and I will definitely take heed to the input given!!!

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Dmitriy Analyst
Toronto, Ontario
Dmitriy Default
 

Sam, firstly, thanks for jumpstarting the discussion and encouraging to keep it civil in the other parts of the thread. Secondly, I have the following question: after reading Brandon's post, did it make you feel like Pico does not have a circular buffer mode?

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Brandon Diagnostician
Reading , Pennsylvania
Brandon Default
 

Thanks Sam, i would never try to pursuade one to choose a scope over another. As others have stated, “the scope you WILL USE” is the one that will serve your needs. I’m simply trying to show you what to look for when you are shopping. There are a few great scopes out there and the support you will find from scopes like PICO and ATS are top-notch. Let me know if I can help you further👍

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Phillip Diagnostician
Anchorage, Alaska
Phillip Default
 

Snap-on is trash if you compare it to a pico. Both have their uses. but if you like me and have gone to scop for fuel pressur compression stuff. You'll want a pico. The snap on scope is definitely a good voltmeter though.

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David Technical Support Specialist
Albuquerque, New Mexico
David Default
 

Grandpa duties have me coming to this discussion a little late. We have a 13 bay full service shop and own Snap-On Verus, Pico 4425, and 2 eight channel ATS Pros and 2 ATS 4 channel Elites. It's true that the best scope is the one used and in our shop it's almost always one of the ATS units that's grabbed. Simplicity of use, ease of capture, vertical resolution allowing additional events like…

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Phillip Diagnostician
Anchorage, Alaska
Phillip Default
 

Well the best I can say is if its better, then show me. the ATS is better then pico.

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Edwin Mobile Technician
Charleston, South Carolina
Edwin Default
 

Nobody said one scope is better than the other...what the op said is why pico? Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Kinda what makes the world go round. Its obvious to me that you don't like snapon. Thats your opinion...i like snapon...thats my opinion. Your not going to convince me to get a pico any more than I m going to convince you to keep using a snapon. So as far as this post is…

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Phillip Diagnostician
Anchorage, Alaska
Phillip Default
 

Cause snap on is shit compared to Pico.... and apparently to ATS. its not opinion if the Pico is better then snap on. It is just fact. I never told you you have to get a Pico. You have something that works for you. Well a couple things that work for you. Doesn't mean that one of those things is not inferior to another product. Possibly two of them. But again I can only talk about one of them…

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Edwin Mobile Technician
Charleston, South Carolina
Edwin Default
 

it's called a conversation Philip it's called a matter of opinion Philip as I've already tried to explain to you everybody has an opinion so let's just agree to disagree you think that might work for you?

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Phillip Diagnostician
Anchorage, Alaska
Phillip Default
   

I really hate "it's your opinion card." It's an easy way out or a easy but flawed way to justify a statement. We are having a conversation. And I have stated opinions can be wrong when truthful facts are present. Of course you can disagree with me. I'm still going to stand behind what I say till i'm proven wrong. But sure We can agree to disagree.

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Edwin Mobile Technician
Charleston, South Carolina
Edwin Default
 

Phewww!! Im glad thats over with....😉

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

Sorry to see this post take the swerve that it did.....I sincerely wanted to read everyone's experience and opinions of the equipment out there. My whole point was to set aside my own experiences and see what all the "hype" is and how/can the other pieces out there help me in my duties. This was more homework on learning about the equipment available without having to pay thousands to learn and…

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Edwin Mobile Technician
Charleston, South Carolina
Edwin Default
 

Samual its all good. The point i was trying to make was what works for me and my justification for not going the pico route. The people who are associated with pico are some of the best people in our industry. From what I have seen in many automotive posts in alot of the forums, trade articles and even in conversation, the use and results of using the pico are phenomenal. The most important…

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Edwin Mobile Technician
Charleston, South Carolina
Edwin Default
 

Well said David and absolutely spot on.

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

David, thank you for your explanation. The actual use and detailed abilities is the input I was looking for. The fact that you have and USE each scope in this thread lets me know your opinion is not strictly bias. Thank you again for sharing!

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Hans Diagnostician
Salt Lake City, Utah
Hans Default
 

The Pico 4425 also has connect detection. I know there are a lot of features that the ATS and Pico share, but aren’t often talked about on the Pico side.

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G Educator
Mahopac, New York
G Default
 

Samuel Snap On and PICO are good scopes, I own both but the one my techs and I pick up is the EScope. It is fast, easy and does more than the others. Take a look at the two YouTube videos that we did for … and you judge for yourself what scope is the winner. Part 1 of the … Labscope shootout …. youtube​.​com/watch?v=KcQdQn… Part 2…

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Gary Owner/Technician
Owings, Maryland
Gary Default
 

Hi Samuel, For me, the answer to your question (Of "why the sudden rush to Pico") is simply that Pico has a broader reach in distribution, advertising and exposure. Beyond that, I can only speak for myself and my support network on a working level, 95+ % of which uses the ATS scope. In my own experience, actually having all 3 scopes, is that the ATS is simply a "Flat Rate Friendly" easy scope…

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Steven Mechanic
Spokane, Washington
Steven Default
 

You received many many responses. I think you should be aware (and probably already are aware) that some of the responses are from sales and support people, so obviously they will try to persuade you that their scope is the best. If a response seems too much like "sales" talk, or they are over-hyping their choice of scope, I recommend you Google and research if they are involved with that…

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Matt Technician
De Soto, Missouri
Matt Default
 

I was hoping to read some great responses, but it appears it turned into a giant pissing match, and then a giant sales pitch from others. Just the facts folks, that is what he was asking for.

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

Hello.....it did sway a bit at times...but that is the nature when so many different walks of life are responding.....I am impressed with the quantity an quality of responses and experiences shared. I have learned from this thread, not just about the scopes but about people. If one product is your favorite great....if multiple products work for you, even better. I am glad we are communicating…

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Matt Technician
De Soto, Missouri
Matt Default
 

FWIW, I've owned several Snap on scanners and GMM over the year. Currently own a Verus Edge in a diagnostic center. Recently purchased a PICO and have not even begun to tap into all it can do. But it's now my Grab and go scope. And the Verus Edge is becoming a glorified digital multimeter.

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Tim Technician
Reading, Pennsylvania
Tim Default
 

I cut my teeth on a Snapon modis for a lab scope. You will pry my modis out of my cold dead hands. I love it for quick checks/tests. It is fast, handheld so no computer to take around, and built for a shop environment. That said, I own a Pico as well and like it for a number of things as well. The ability to analyze recorded data is so far superior to what Snapon offers. It is easier to share…

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Ben Mechanic
Chesnee, South Carolina
Ben Default
 

I'm always interested in discussions of scope comparisons. I've seen again and again that for some reason a minority of proponents of the Pico respond with an almost religious fervor, which is rather off-putting. What I am looking at is a piece business equipment. My primary criteria for wanting one is value for my dollar. Tempered with some personal preference. Even with the slight derailment…

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Hans Diagnostician
Salt Lake City, Utah
Hans Default
 

I agree, zooming in is a must! A good example I recently had was a 2002 VW Jetta with a vehicle speed sensor fault. Data was reporting correctly but I scoped the speed sensor anyway. I had a funny spike when it shifted gears but I just thought it was a poor connection. Start to zoom in and it gets clearer and clearer! The speedo isn't effected by this sensor, this one only gives a signal to the…

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Agree
Dmitriy Analyst
Toronto, Ontario
Dmitriy Default
 

Hans, no doubt about importance of the horizontal zoom, but do you happen to know about the vertical zoom on SnapOn scopes? One can move the scale up or down, or change voltage scale and re-capture, but is it possible, say, to collect injector voltage waveform at +/-100V scale and then zoom into the ON-time period to see the details of the voltage drop? Example for ATS scope…

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Hans Diagnostician
Salt Lake City, Utah
Hans Default
   

Sure, but I don't think it does it quite the same, and there are kind of two ways to do it I guess. First is just zooming in as shown here. diag​.​net/file/f12fc7zoc… ​ I don't have any of my own injector captures on hand, so I grabbed the one from Justin's post yesterday. Here I zoomed in all the way to the bottom, similar to what you have. BUT depending on the capture rate (looks like his is…

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Dmitriy Analyst
Toronto, Ontario
Dmitriy Default
 

Hans, good presentation on how to do this in Pico, probably will be helpful for someone considering a Pico. My question was specifically about Snap On scopes, though. At this point I think it is not possible for them.

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Cliff Diagnostician
Santa Maria, California
Cliff Default
 

I own a Snap-on , Uscope , and a Pico. I have only played with the ATS but not enough to form an opinion. I do know the Escope and the Pico have their individual strengths. I always suggest if your thinking of purchasing a top tier scope that you download both Picoscope and the Escope software and use both of them in Demo mode. This will give you an idea of what you would prefer to use... I hate…

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