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Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget

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08 Jan 2018 10:42 #16571 by arbez
Replied by arbez on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget

What about some of the discontinued Pico models:

www.picotech.com/discontinued

Can a decent discontinued 4ch usb scope be picked up cheap?


Used PicoScopes come up for sale from time to time. Automotive scopes usually go for a premium or are overpriced to begin with. Watch out for Manufacture specific scopes that were sold to dealerships. They only run on the software that is supplied to the dealer & will not run on the generic PicoScope software that is available for public download.

There is a guy on Ebay that keeps trying to sell the same bare 2 channel automotive PicoScope. He has "sold" it several times in the last year & ends up relisting it several weeks later. I suspect that the scope is being returned when the buyer finds out that it wont work with the newer software. He is vague in the description & very selective with the pictures. He doesn't show it in the pictures, but by the model number, the scope is from a Toyota dealer. I contacted PicoScope about this & this is the response that I received:

"Hello Arbez,

All the Toyota branded TIS Techstream 4223-12 and 4423-12 Picoscope's are sold to the dealerships only, not the techs. Therefore I wouldn't suggest purchasing it, as it should not be for sale and is likely stolen.

Also, the Toyota PicoScope's came with Toyota specific PicoScope software which is downloaded through a subscription to Toyota's Dealer Technical Information System.

Regards,

Richard Boyd"

~~~

Non automotive Picoscopes are available, but don't work with the special automotive software. If you do chose a non automotive scope, make sure the spec's of the scope will do what you need. Some of them have low voltage ranges (maximum of 5V) & many other limitations. You have to know what you are looking at. The automotive scope is built for automotive use, so the ranges are exactly what you need them to be.

If you are just starting out the Hantek scopes are a good choice. When I bought my Hantek scope, 5+years ago, I thought I would outgrow it & move up to a PicoScope. Here we are 5 years later & I still use it all the time. Yea, the software stinks, compared to the Pico, but is still very usable. If you are up for a little more of a learning curve, the Hantek is a reasonable choice at 1/10th of the price.

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08 Jan 2018 12:48 - 08 Jan 2018 12:50 #16575 by SailorBob
Replied by SailorBob on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
trying to delete this post because I realized I was asking questions that were already answered
Last edit: 08 Jan 2018 12:50 by SailorBob.

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08 Jan 2018 17:21 - 08 Jan 2018 17:32 #16581 by Andy.MacFadyen
Replied by Andy.MacFadyen on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
I would look at what Auto Ditex are offering proper automotive scopes
Link to Auto Ditex Youtube Channel Link to Auto Ditex Youtube

shop.autoscopeology.com USA Agent
www.scantool-direct.co.uk/ditex-shop.html UK Agent

" We're trying to plug a hole in the universe, what are you doing ?. "
(Walter Bishop Fringe TV show)



Last edit: 08 Jan 2018 17:32 by Andy.MacFadyen.

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08 Jan 2018 18:20 #16586 by arbez
Replied by arbez on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget

I would look at what Auto Ditex are offering proper automotive scopes
Link to Auto Ditex Youtube Channel Link to Auto Ditex Youtube

shop.autoscopeology.com USA Agent
www.scantool-direct.co.uk/ditex-shop.html UK Agent


They don't really list many of the spec's. A lot of the cables look like Hantek parts. Software looks different, but it wouldn't be the first time someone had rebadged a Hantek scope. Can you find anyone that has actually used it?

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08 Jan 2018 18:55 #16587 by Tutti57
Replied by Tutti57 on topic Re:RE: Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
No eBay APP ID défined in Kunena configuration

A really low cost option for an oscilloscope if you have a soldering iron is this kit from ebay. It is less than $30 and is surprisingly good. I bought mine several months ago and am amazed at its features including storing the trace and calculating max, min, avg voltage in the trace as well as duty cycle, frequency etc. I have not had an occasion to use it on my cars yet but did diagnose and fix problems on a powered loudspeaker and a signal generator. You can find several listings on ebay but here is one:

I just picked up with of these and will start building it soon. Straightforward instructions. I'm not so good with small component soldering, so we'll see if it works when I'm done.

Sent from my Moto G Play using Tapatalk

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09 Jan 2018 02:06 - 09 Jan 2018 02:09 #16596 by Andy.MacFadyen
Replied by Andy.MacFadyen on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget

I would look at what Auto Ditex are offering proper automotive scopes
Link to Auto Ditex Youtube Channel Link to Auto Ditex Youtube

shop.autoscopeology.com USA Agent
www.scantool-direct.co.uk/ditex-shop.html UK Agent


They don't really list many of the spec's. A lot of the cables look like Hantek parts. Software looks different, but it wouldn't be the first time someone had rebadged a Hantek scope. Can you find anyone that has actually used it?


Actually look at the scopes. what I do know of Auto Ditex is unlike Hantek Auto Ditex are actively developing their scopes and automotive software. The scopes themselves are nothing like Hantek and the specialist probes they make such as the pressure pulse probe and COP are very different from other ones on the market --- I haven't tried their scopes but I have both of these specialist probes and I am pretty impressed with the quality and value for money. Ditex are an Eastern European company demo software and demos Full specs and demo software can be found on the Ditex ( autoditex.com/ ) or Scantool Direct sites

" We're trying to plug a hole in the universe, what are you doing ?. "
(Walter Bishop Fringe TV show)



Last edit: 09 Jan 2018 02:09 by Andy.MacFadyen.

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09 Jan 2018 04:27 #16599 by SailorBob
Replied by SailorBob on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
There is a long and fairly recent discussion here of Hantek vs. everything ( all of which I haven't read ) on IATN for those with access.

Allot of people are recommending a used Vantage Pro as an option. I see one on ebay for $300 .

No one on IATN seems to have heard of the carscope lan.

I'm starting to think the best way to go for people on a budget is to get two scopes. Counter intuitive? A 2 chan Pico 2204A looks to be good enough for just about anything you'll do on a daily basis and is $139 on amazon. Then you can pick up a Hantek 6074BE 4 chan ( about $175-$235 ) for the rare times you'll need more than 2 channels. Both the above will come with some decent probes. The cheapest 4 chan automotive Pico is about $1200 for the bare scope.

Of course a used vantage pro also seems like a very good option.

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09 Jan 2018 08:38 #16606 by Andy.MacFadyen
Replied by Andy.MacFadyen on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
Two entry level scopes don't equal one good one, the exception to this would to buy a palm sized or hand held scope for working where a virtual DSO either won't go or would just be pain to set up , my liitle DSO 201 Nano (almost the same as uScope) is the go to tool for looking at non-starts or checking speed sensors.

Velleman is also worth looking at they make decent quality entry level non-autmotive scopes with good software. I tried theier wifi scope the WFS210 a really nice scope but because of harware limitations if lacked pre-trigger capture which made it not a contender of automotive work.

" We're trying to plug a hole in the universe, what are you doing ?. "
(Walter Bishop Fringe TV show)



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09 Jan 2018 10:49 #16609 by arbez
Replied by arbez on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
$300.00 is a steal for a Vantage Pro. What software version? Regardless, buy It. It's a great place to start.

There are a lot of Hantek haters out there. It seems like, at least here in the states, if it isn't a Pico or a Snap On, it's garbage. I use a Hantek DSO-3064 every day & it works just fine. It does everything I need it to do & has been doing so for more than 5 years. The software could be improved, but the scope itself is great. It was a kit that came with everything but amp clamps. I believe it was in the $400-$500 range when I bought it. The cables & accessories are of good quality & have held up well over the years. One of the best tool investments that I have ever made.

The Vantage Pro really isn't that great of a scope, but it is better than nothing. I only use mine when I have to go out on the road & I'm quick to bring things back to the shop. The guided tests are what will help you get started. That's where the Vantage Pro shines. Points you in the right direction (most of the time), tells you where & how to test & what to expect. When you are just getting started, this information is priceless.

The dedicated automotive scopes have special software that has presets for many common tests. This feature is key to help you get your scope setup & get you testing faster. Some non-automotive scopes can be used, but you are on your own getting it going. I see a lot of people get frustrated quickly with a new scope because they don't have a basic understanding of it's operation. A little guided help goes a long way.

Most DSO's will allow you to save custom configurations. So when you find a setup that works for you, you can save it & have it as a preset next time you need it.

Those little pocket scopes seem like toys. I can't see them being very useful. If I can hook up a pocket scope, then I can hook up the Vantage Pro. I almost always have at least 2 channels running. Always like to compare readings.

Still, it really doesn't seam fair to compare a handheld scope & a DSO. Two different beasts, used in different environments. The DSO is great in the shop, but not practical to use on the road. You need to decide what is right for you. If your mobile, a handheld unit will probably be better. In the shop, a DSO will shine.

The Hantek DSO-6074BE scope is an dedicated automotive scope that is in the $220.00 range. For the price, it is a great place to start.

www.hantek.com/en/ProductDetail_13_10163.html

www.amazon.com/Hantek-Automotive-Diagnos...ywords=Hantek+6074BE

Buying from Amazon gets you a US seller & a liberal return policy.

It is a pretty bare kit, only 1 channel of the good test lead & secondary ignition cable. Good news, cables are cheap, on Ebay. You need at least 1 more test lead & secondary cable. Don't forget attenuator's for testing primary ignition coils & injectors.

They offer different "kits".The kit 3 has all the cables & accessories, less the amp clamps. The Hantek amp clamps are rumored to not be very good. I couldn't find any US sellers selling the "kit 3".

Just my long winded opinion. Take from it what you will.

You have to jump in somewhere. Don't be afraid to get a little wet.

GG - arbez.
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09 Jan 2018 13:26 #16614 by SailorBob
Replied by SailorBob on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
Thanks, arbez!

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10 Jan 2018 16:13 #16648 by arbez
Replied by arbez on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget

Thanks, arbez!


SailorBob,

I messaged the guy on Ebay with that Vantage Pro. The software version is 12.4, so that puts it updated to 2011/2012. Updates for it are either $400 or $440, I can't remember. Still very usable with the 12.4 software. It is currently at $315 + $20 shipping.

That's a great place to get started. Looks like it has the good cables, but missing the clamps & probe ends. You can easily purchase those separately on Ebay. Let me know if you want some recommendations.

I also looked at spec's on the Hantek 6074 scope & had some concerns. Mainly the buffer memory appears to be only 64k & it didn't specify anything about A/C coupling. These are two concerns that I have & I would recommend that you talk to someone who has used it before purchasing. Still, good spec's otherwise.

It really depends what you are going to be doing with it. My recommendation, if you just starting out & have nothing, start with a Vantage Pro. Learn how to use it & any accessories that you buy can be used with a DSO later on, with the help of an adapter.

The Vantage Pro should continue to hold it's value, so you can recoup some or all your money, if you decide to sell it later.

Think hard. That VP ends tomorrow, just before lunch EST.

Good luck - arbez

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11 Jan 2018 04:30 #16662 by SailorBob
Replied by SailorBob on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
Thanks! I think I'm going to just keep playing with my 1008C for a while and just keep my eyes open for sometime in the future. I think my wife'll be pissed if I spend any more money on tools just now :-)

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11 Jan 2018 09:40 - 11 Jan 2018 09:41 #16671 by arbez
Replied by arbez on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget

Thanks! I think I'm going to just keep playing with my 1008C for a while and just keep my eyes open for sometime in the future. I think my wife'll be pissed if I spend any more money on tools just now :-)


Understandable.

I didn't realize that you already had a scope. Keep using that scope & hook it up to everything. Even if it is just to look at battery voltage & alternator ripple. Hook it up to your own car. Look at any sensor that is easily accessible. Look at everything. Become comfortable hooking it up & getting a signal. The more you use it, the easier it get's.

That Vantage Pro on Ebay is still a good deal, with less than 2 hours left.

GG - arbez
Last edit: 11 Jan 2018 09:41 by arbez. Reason: Couldn't get the HTML to work correctly

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08 Feb 2018 11:01 #17660 by eric_generic
Replied by eric_generic on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
I found two DSO from the East that anyone here might look into. Haven't tried them but they look solid and nice. Their forums has a lot of information but you have to use google translate. If only language is not a barrier.

USB Autoscope


USB Autoscope forum


Diamag

Diamag forum

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14 Feb 2018 15:29 #17900 by chisel
Replied by chisel on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
" launch is a hantek."

Is this true? Where can one verify this? I've been scanning info on Launch products for a couple of years now and have never come across any connection to Hantek so this is good to know.
The Launch x-431 is the only auto diagnostic scanner that I've ever seen and the only scanner that I can confirm works on the models imported to my tiny corner.

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06 Nov 2018 00:18 #24477 by wnrwade
Replied by wnrwade on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
Thank you for this input. I just order a 2204a and am like a kid on Christmas waiting for it. I may get really lucky as I am a Case construction tech and they use Pico for their preferred scope and I should be able to use their presets with this scope. I am hoping it kind of shows me the ropes then I can use the base software and set myself

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07 Nov 2018 09:02 #24521 by toyota1990s
Replied by toyota1990s on topic Guide to Choosing a Scope on a Budget
I was thinking about getting the Pico 2205 non automotive oscilloscope but then I noticed the Rigol DS1054z which I really like (but would have to save up for). I noticed that these scopes use "passive probes" and not the type of probes I am used to on my little Uscope.


Are passive probes ok to use for automotive testing? I'm assuming that the additional lead coming out of the passive probe is the ground wire which would take the place of the Uscope conventional black lead to ground?

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