Diagnostics Doc­tor

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Contents -

I am keen to buy an os­cil­lo­scope for gen­eral diagnostics, but the trou­ble is that there are so many dif­fer­ent types to choose from and I was hop­ing you could rec­om­mend a make and model. From my re­search, I see that os­cil­lo­scopes that con­nect to a lap­top via USB or Wifi tend to of­fer the most value as you’re not pay­ing for a screen, so this is the route I’d like to take. I think four channels would be plenty for me and I would like some­thing that would be ca­pa­ble of a wide range of au­to­mo­tive ap­pli­ca­tions, in­clud­ing in­duc­tive amp test­ing.

I’ve looked at makes such as Han­tek as they are rea­son­able value, but I don’t know which to choose or what soft­ware in­ter­faces are re­spected (I’m a lit­tle wary of Chi­nese soft­ware). I don’t mind spend­ing up to around £300 for a de­cent pack­age or around £200 for some­thing more ba­sic. I’m aware that the ma­jor­ity of os­cil­lo­scopes are ana­logue – on the rare oc­ca­sions that I would need to probe a dig­i­tal sig­nal, would one of these be use­ful? Pe­ter Clay­ton An os­cil­lo­scope is a type of ul­tra-sen­si­tive and fast-re­act­ing volt­meter that pro­duces a graph, al­low­ing the cap­ture of volt­age changes which can oc­cur in un­der 1/1000th of a sec­ond. The im­age seen on the screen needs to be pro­cessed at a very high speed to en­able the read­out to be ac­cu­rate. The pro­cesser is nor­mally built into the os­cil­lo­scope, but there are lower cost op­tions that use pro­cess­ing power of the com­puter. There are many vari­ants, so the num­ber of channels, the MHZ band­with and the sam­ple rate, the dis­play and re­fresh rate will vary.

The Han­tek 1008C is an eight-chan­nel ’scope which is avail­able for around £80 on ebay, mak­ing it re­mark­able value. The other op­tion would be some­thing like the Pi­co­scope 2204A, which has two channels and costs around £200. Mov­ing up the scale, one very ca­pa­ble ma­chine is the Pi­co­scope 3000, which is around £380 from this web­site

https://bit.ly/2npp0mk. The Carscope LAN Au­to­mo­tive Os­cil­lo­scope at £295 from this com­pany https://bit.

ly/2npoh50 may suit your needs per­fectly, but hav­ing not com­pleted tests on any of these units, I can only give you sug­ges­tions and not rec­om­men­da­tions. How­ever, the Chi­nese soft­ware should be quite sta­ble and many high-end work­shop scan­ners use Chi­nese soft­ware with­out prob­lems.

This is not a sub­ject Car Me­chan­ics has cov­ered in the past and is not some­thing eas­ily cov­ered in the lim­ited space I have here. Hope­fully it is some­thing we can cover in more de­tail in the near fu­ture.

Carscope LAN Au­to­mo­tive Os­cil­lo­scope at £295 may be a good op­tion for the keen DIY user.

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