In the past, the oscilloscope was a specialized device for a small group of electronics. There were times when the only electronic device in a car was the radio. Today, electronics are used in virtually every part of the car. This makes the oscilloscope a more and more needed tool in every workshop.
WHAT IS AN OSCILLOSCOPE?
The oscilloscope allows you to measure the voltage, and the measured values are presented in the form of graphs (waveforms), usually in real time. It can measure much faster than multimeters – thousands or even millions of times per second. The oscilloscope does not allow you to measure the resistance or measure the capacitance of capacitors, it will not even measure the current (without the current clamp). Other devices are suited for this (an oscilloscope with a multimeter is frequently referred as scopemeter).
USE OF THE OSCILLOSCOPE BY MECHANICS
Is the oscilloscope really as difficult to use as it seems? Does it require any significant knowledge of general electronics? It turns out that the mechanics have nothing to be afraid of. Diagnostics with an oscilloscope appear more difficult than reading fault codes with a tester connected to the diagnostic socket, but the measurement provides valuable guidance that will speed up repair.
DIAGNOSTIC TESTER IS NOT EVERYTHING
Skilled technicians know that reading an error code with an incorrect signal from a sensor does not guarantee that it is faulty. If you want to check the continuity of the circuit with a multimeter, you need to know the connection diagram. By connecting the oscilloscope to the sensor circuit, we observe what is happening – we can confirm the presence of the signal, and verify the sensor power supply. Of course, it will depend on our experience how much information we get.
WHICH OSCILLOSCOPE TO CHOOSE?
This is one of the most common questions of customers who, while browsing the device offers, wonder what functions they should look for in an oscilloscope for the automotive industry. It turns out that the measurement capabilities of virtually every oscilloscope available on the market will allow it to be used in automotive diagnostics. However, certain features of the product will depend on what measurements it will be suitable for and how it will affect the speed of work.
SAMPLING AND BANDWIDTH
The main parameters are bandwidth and sampling rate. Workshop measurements do not require high end parameters, the signals that are usually of interest to us in the automotive industry are much slower than those that we meet in computer circuits. The same is true of other oscilloscope functions or parameters, many of them are helpful for electronics, but they will not be useful in a typical car repair shop.
INDEPENDENT OR WITH A PC
The available product offers include those that work with a computer or display the waveforms on their own display. The former usually connect to the laptop via a USB cable, the latter can work on their own, and no additional hardware is needed.
NUMBER OF INPUTS
One channel is enough for many measurements, but it is worth investing in a device with at least two input channels, as this will extend the range of applications. Two channels are necessary, for example, when measuring the synchronization of camshaft and crankshaft sensors.
When choosing a multi-channel oscilloscope, pay attention to the inputs – a typical oscilloscope has BNC connectors grounded together. By connecting another oscilloscope probe, we can inadvertently short a circuit through the ground of the probe. The best are isolated or differential inputs, but these are usually offered by high-end oscilloscopes.
SCOPE DT – AUTOMOTIVE OSCILLOSCOPE
The device was designed specifically for use in the workshop. Equipped with four channels and a large 7-inch screen, it will allow you to carry out advanced measurements. On the other hand, its operation is not complicated. A clear layout of functions and a simple menu make its use intuitive.
The model comes from a Polish manufacturer, its design and manufacturing represent European quality. The combination of two isolated and two differential channels protects the oscilloscope, its user and the tested electronics against the possibility of a short circuit when connecting the instrument.
STEP BY STEP
Usually, beginners do not know how to properly configure scope to see the waveform on the screen. In the diagnoscope mode, you do not need to enter the time base or channel gain – after selecting an item from the list of components, the device will load appropriate settings. The measurement is preceded by connection instructions – connect indicated channels by attaching the probe to a given cable.
HELP AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
Each diagnoscope menu item also includes several pages of content related to component operation and testing, along with sample waveforms. The oscilloscope instruction manual is also built in the device.
The device is ready for operation within a few seconds of switching on. Large memory will save thousands of waveforms. Scope DT works independently, but enables simple data exchange with a computer or smartphone. Instead of a USB cable, connectivity is provided by a WiFi network. The web interface allows you to read data from the oscilloscope on any device connected to the same wireless network, regardless of the operating system. Thanks to remote update, the software is downloaded automatically from the manufacturer.
GAIN AN ADVANTAGE
A good oscilloscope is one that works for the workshop. Even the most advanced device will not help to repair the car if it is lying on a shelf. Scope DT can be used by an average mechanic, and is ready for operate at any time. Start the adventure with an oscilloscope today to meet challenges of car electronics. Take advantage of the DTE offer to make your workshop more competitive.