Today Pico Technology launches the new PicoScope 4425A Electric Vehicle (EV) kit. Designed to cover all vehicle types and powertrains, it provides workshops with a future proof system that handles vehicles incorporating high-voltage batteries and motor systems.
This latest version of the PicoScope 7 beta has many new features, including PicoDiagnostics, 30 languages and Full graph mode. Steve has written more about all the individual features and how to use them in this forum post.
Continuing with our mission to make vehicle diagnostics easier and faster…the new CAN Test Box gives you easy access to the 16 pins of the diagnostic connector that is fitted to all modern vehicles. Depending on the configuration of the vehicle, this may allow you to check power, ground and CAN Bus signal quality. With the test leads supplied you can connect your PicoScope lab scope to the CAN Test Box to monitor signals such as the CAN High and Low. More.....
The 4823 is the world’s first high-speed, high-resolution, 8-channel automotive oscilloscope, and is fast enough for CAN, CAN FD, and FlexRay including serial data decoding. It is ready-configured for automotive probes and includes more than 150 Guided tests, plus access to thousands of comparisons in the Pico waveform library which now supports 8 channels.
Full support in PicoScope Automotive software and waveform library
Comprehensive range of filters and triggers
SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface
2, 4 or 8 channel PicoScope?
The two and four channel PicoScope 4225 and 4425 are our recommended products for general workshop use. The floating ground design, ConnectDetect™ and 200V inputs makes for a very robust and easy to use product.
For experienced oscilloscope users involved in training, vehicle design and complex diagnostics the 8 channel PicoScope 4823 may be a suitable choice. Rather than floating grounds which require a ground connection per channel the 4823 has common grounds which are protected by self resetting fuses. This means that you do not need one ground per channel which can be a real time saver when connecting up lots of channels. The common ground design limits the maximum input range of the 4823 to 50V (protected to 100V) so attenuators will be required when measuring voltage signals from inductive components such as injectors and primary ignition.
PicoScope is used and trusted by more authorised and independent repairers than any other measurement system because it gives them the capability, confidence and support to quickly find and prove the fix for most vehicle faults. When you buy a PicoScope, you benefit from more than 25 years investment in the world’s best diagnostic oscilloscopes.
The PicoScope 4823 is simply the best 8-channel diagnostic oscilloscope for vehicle and equipment technicians, offering unrivalled performance for the same amount as equipment that leaves you stuck or frustrated by the limitations. The Pico community and resources are there for you every step of the way with a PicoScope diagnostic oscilloscope.
The PicoScope 4823 is a low-cost, portable solution for multi-input applications. With 8 high-resolution, high-speed analog channels you have a perfect solution for a range of diagnostic needs such as:
V6/V8 Cam timing (4/6 cams plus crank, and sometimes a WPS), and VVT timing systems.
Trucks, construction and agriculture equipment that typically requires a mix of electrical and hydraulic measurements on multiple valves simultaneously to diagnose problems with system interaction.
Full system diagnosis on components (including power, ground, signals, current)
Diagnosing faults on multiple serial busses (CAN, CAN FD, LIN, FlexRay)
The 256 MS deep memory allows several seconds of capture at the full sampling rate (ideal for long captures of serial data or looking for glitches). Managing all this data calls for some powerful tools, so zoom factors of several million are possible. Other tools such as the waveform buffer, mask limit test, serial decode and hardware acceleration work with the deep memory making the PicoScope 4823 one of the most powerful diagnostic oscilloscopes on the market.
The compact size and USB power makes the PicoScope 4823 ideal for those on the move. For the first time you can carry an 8 channel oscilloscope in your bag!
8-channel Professional kit
The new PicoScope 4823 is available as a scope-only option if you already have an automotive PicoScope and want to add the 8-channel capability to your toolset.
We have given you the opportunity to freely configure your own kit, or you can select the Professional kit that we have already put together for you.
Whatever your application and requirement, we have a range of Pico accessories and applications that will empower you to tackle diagnostic issues including electrical, pressure, hydraulic, timing, communications, noise, vibrations and many more.
The Professional kit contains a 4823 scope, 2000A, 30A and 60A current clamps, secondary ignition leads, Coil-On-Plug probe, a full set of fuse extension leads, eight test leads and a comprehensive set of adaptors.
PicoScope 4823 Hardware
The PicoScope 4823 can capture high-speed signals that are too fast for many other automotive oscilloscopes. With sampling rates of up to 80 million samples per second, there is nothing that can escape the scrutiny of PicoScope.
CAN and FlexRay are now common on vehicles, and new protocols such as SENT for digital sensors and CAN FD (up to 5x faster than the current CAN standard) now present in some vehicles. The fast sampling rate ensures that the PicoScope 4823 has the speed to handle future needs as vehicle technology changes.[Ignition waveform]Ignition waveform captured at 8 bits (black) and 12 bits (blue)
Crisp, clear high-resolution display
A deep waveform memory gives you a high time resolution, but a high vertical resolution is equally important. It allows you to see small changes in signal such as ignition coil oscillations and the small dip in current when an injector opens.
Many oscilloscopes only offer 8-bit resolution which allows 256 vertical steps. As most PC monitors have vertical resolutions of over 1000 pixels, this results in a low-resolution "blocky" display. The PicoScope 4823 has 12-bit resolution (4096 steps), and when not using the full sampling rate of the scope this can be enhanced to 16 bits (65 536 steps).
The image shows the same ignition signal captured at both 8 bits and 12 bits. With the 8-bit oscilloscope the coil oscillations are distorted while at 12 bits they are in clear high definition.
The best way to diagnose an intermittent fault is often to set up the scope to measure from several components and wait for the fault to occur. For an intermittent misfire, you might want to capture several minutes of cam, crank, ignition and injector waveforms. These types of tests require an oscilloscope with a "deep" memory buffer, so that you can capture for long periods of time and then zoom in without any gaps or loss of detail.
With PicoScope you can collect 250 MILLION samples, more than any other automotive oscilloscope. Our advanced "always on" memory technology uses hardware acceleration to make sure that the processing of large amounts of data does not slow the oscilloscope down even when you are using a slower or older PC.
Deep memory allows long recordings at high speed – you capture a complete test drive whilst looking for intermittent faults. When not using the full memory for a single waveform, PicoScope automatically stores up to the last 10,000 waveforms in the buffer, so you can stop the scope and “wind back time” to see every capture.
Most new users start by using the guided tests to configure all the settings automatically. As your experience grows there are many advanced features to explore. These include:
Advanced digital triggers. Unique among automotive oscilloscopes, these trigger modes allow you to trigger when there is too long a time gap (such as when an injector fails to fire). They can also be set to trigger and sound an alarm when a sensor signal goes out of range. Filters. Some signals are noisy as wires in the loom pick up noise from other wires. The ECU filters this noise out. The PicoScope 4823 has selectable hardware filters to remove this noise, so you see what the ECU sees. Ffrequency measurement. Flow sensors and some airflow sensors output a digital frequency signal. Most oscilloscopes can't extract usable diagnostic information from this, but your PicoScope can convert it to a conventional analog waveform (as shown in this MAF sensor example).
Every aspect of your PicoScope has been designed for a long working life, and it has the performance to ensure it will not be obsoleted by the changing technology in new vehicles. The hardware is robust and reliable with no moving parts or batteries to fail. Combine this with free support and free software updates for the life of the product and its easy to see why a PicoScope is the choice for professional diagnostics.
USB 3.0 for power, speed and simplicity
As with all our automotive PicoScope oscilloscopes, no external power supply is required and there are no batteries to go flat, just a simple reliable connection to the USB port.
The PicoScope 4823 has the latest SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port to interface to your PC. Don't worry if your PC only has USB 2.0 ports – the PicoScopes are fully compatible with these too. If you have USB 3.0 on your PC you will notice slightly faster screen update rates, faster file saving and USB streaming. As more of our customers move to PCs with USB 3.0, free software updates will ensure that you get the full benefits available from the new standard.
Our unique fast USB streaming allows continuous gap-free data to be collected straight to PC memory. This makes features like our cylinder balance, battery test and (optional) NVH tests possible. It also allows the oscilloscope to display live, real-time data without waiting for the screen to refresh.
Common ground vs Floating inputs
The 2 and 4 channel automotive PicoScopes feature floating input channels - a unique technology that allows safe, low-noise measurements even in situations where none of the inputs are grounded.
In contrast, the 4823 features a common ground connection where grounding any one input also grounds all the others.
On the 4823, the USB ground of the PC connection is also linked to the ground on the BNC outer connectors. In order to minimise the risks to scan tools and other equipment connected to the PC, the 4823 includes special (self-resetting) protection fuses on the inputs limiting any unwanted current flow on the ground in the event that the ground is incorrectly connected.
Arbitrary waveform and function generator
The PicoScope 4823 has a built-in low-voltage function generator (sine, square, triangle, DC level and others) and arbitrary waveform generator. The output voltage range is ±2 V, and so an external amplifier will be required for most workshop applications.
As well as basic controls to set level, offset and frequency, more advanced controls allow you to sweep over a range of frequencies.
The 14-bit 80 MS/s arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) can be used to emulate low-voltage signals. AWG waveforms can be created or edited using the built-in AWG editor, imported from oscilloscope traces, or loaded from a spreadsheet.
PicoScope Automotive is the powerful software package that turns your PC into a diagnostic oscilloscope when used with a PicoScope device. PicoScope has been designed to make it easy for you to diagnose vehicle faults. Packed with features such as automated measurements, reference waveforms and the ability to save and print waveforms, PicoScope Automotive is the ultimate tool for your diagnostic toolbox.
Also included is PicoDiagnostics software to quickly test batteries, alternators, starter motors, compression and cylinder balance. Professional reports allow you to show your customer what you have checked and any problems you have found.
Download the software today, which will run in demo mode without a scope attached, allowing you to explore the capability and see how PicoScope can benefit your business and customers.
PicoScope guided tests
There are over 150 guided tests, ranging from simple injector tests through to more complex topics such as CAN bus testing, integrated into the software.
When you select a guided test all settings are configured for you, and an example waveform is loaded. Diagrams and photos then show you the leads and accessories you need, how to connect to the vehicle, and how to perform the test.
Once the test has been completed you will find guidance on understanding the waveform, how the component works, and typical faults/fixes.
As vehicle technology changes we continue to add more tests through the free software updates.
The library enables you to share and back up your waveforms online and also search a global database of waveforms uploaded by PicoScope users from around the world.
The powerful search options let you find “known good” waveforms from vehicles identical to the one you are working on. Not sure if you have a slipped timing belt? There are hundreds of cam vs crank waveforms to compare against. Not sure if the cranking current is too high? Download a waveform to compare.
We have been upgrading and improving PicoScope software for over 20 years. This allows us to make the maximum use of the latest technology both in the oscilloscope hardware and the PC itself.
The modern user interface is uncluttered and easy to use. There are no old-fashioned knobs and dials. We leave most of the space free for what matters: your waveforms.
Recent new features include:
720 degree rotation rulers: ideal for looking at engine timing (see waveform showing crankshaft, camshaft and in cylinder pressure).
Channel labels: it's important when saving a file to identify what each channel is measuring but it can be time-consuming. With channel labels you just type in a few letters and a time-saving list of names is presented.
Vehicle database: a list of makes and models is included with the ability to store customer details too. The last few vehicles worked on are stored in a list for quick recall.
Software upgrades are free for the life of the product and download in the background while you are working.
Alongside our PicoScope 6 software, you also have our highly powerful PicoDiagnostics software. Included free of charge, this software turns your PicoScope into a highly powerful diagnostic device. See the tests listed below for a glimpse into how PicoDiagnostics can turbocharge your performance.
Check for mechanical issues in seconds: Simply clip the test leads to the battery and crank the engine. The relative compression of each cylinder is shown in an easy-to-understand bar graph format.
To show absolute compression, add an optional pressure transducer to one cylinder, and the software will calculate the pressure for all cylinders in bar or PSI.
Battery, starter and alternator test
Did you know that your PicoScope also can operate as a highly accurate and efficient battery and charging circuit tester? This allows you to test your customers' vehicles without the need for dedicated, expensive test tools.
Using PicoDiagnostics, you can check the battery, starter, alternator, and wiring, all in one quick test. Easy-to-understand reports with red, amber or green indicators can be printed for customers, either to show the electrical system is in good condition, or to explain why a component needs replacing.
The battery test checks the state of charge, the voltage drop during starting, and compares the cold cranking amps (CCA) with the rating for the battery.
The charging test checks the alternator is correctly charging the battery and spots problems, such as overcharging or excessive ripple due to a blown diode.
The starter test helps identify a failing starter motor by measuring its coil resistance.
The drop test measures the voltage drop (and resistance) of the cables running from the battery to the starter motor. This will discover starting issues caused by corroded or damaged battery cables, or poor connections to the chassis ground.
Once your test is completed, you can print out a copy of the report for your customer. This report is fully customizable with your own company details and logo to give a professional appearance.
The PicoDiagnostics NVH software can analyze vibrations and help to diagnose NVH problems. All you need is a PicoScope Automotive oscilloscope, the PicoDiagnostics NVH kit and a software license key (available from Pico Technology support).
This table lists the specifications that are most important to the average customer using the PicoScope for automotive diagnostics. If you have a more specific use for the product (or are just curious), detailed specifications are below this table.
Some of our customers use our automotive oscilloscopes for vehicle design and development and other non-diagnostic purposes. For these customers we have provided detailed technical specifications.
8 channel 4823A Oscilloscope only [PQ185]:
8 channel Professional Kit [PQ184]:
PLEASE CALL US TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR OWN KIT
Address: 1480 Gulf Road, Suite 837,
PO Box 1280
Point Roberts, WA 98281
Western Canada - Vancouver BC
Tel:1.800.663.6001 or 1.604.925.6150
Address: 2454 Haywood Ave
West Vancouver, BC V7V 1Y1
Eastern Canada - Markham, Ontario