Automotive oscilloscopes are crucial gadgets that are often used for troubleshooting communication data stream, sensors, solenoids, actuators, secondary and primary ignitions among others. Furthermore, automotive oscilloscopes are useful in tracking typical electrical waves after the break down of a gadget, with this helpful in the fields of medicine, automotive engineering, telecommunication, and sciences industry.
There are also all-purpose oscilloscopes used in the maintenance of electronic equipment and laboratory work. Consequently, owning one ensures you always get accurate results either if you’re a plotting the course through an electrical distortion or trying to fix a weak frequency
Therefore, if you are a professional electrician or love tinkering with your gadgets, you will almost certainly need to own the best automotive oscilloscope. However, making this decision is not easy especially because there are many different types of automotive oscilloscopes. So, in this article, we are going to take you some of the top-rated oscilloscopes and subsequently help you make an informed decision.
- 1 5 Best Automotive Oscilloscope Review 2019 [Updated List]
- 2 1. Siglent SDS1104X-E 100Mhz Digital Oscilloscope
- 3 Pros
- 4 Cons
- 5 2. Autel MaxiCOM MK808 Automotive OBD2 Scanner
- 6 Pros:
- 7 Cons:
- 8 3. Launch X431 PROS Mini B-Directional Diagnostic Scan Tool
- 9 Pros:
- 10 4. LAUNCH X431 V+ (Upgraded Version of LAUNCH X431 V/Pro) OBD Scanner
- 11 Pros
- 12 Cons
- 13 5. MaxiCOM MK808 IBD2 Scanner Diagnostic Scan Tool with All System
- 14 Pros
- 15 Factors to Consider When Looking for the Best Automotive Oscilloscope
- 16 Number of Channels
- 17 The Probes and Input Ranges
- 18 Ease of Use
- 19 Bandwidth
- 20 Digital Storage versus Analogue Oscilloscopes
- 21 Select Functional Triggering
- 22 How to Use Automotive Oscilloscope
- 23 Turn Power On
- 24 Wait for appearance of the oscilloscope’s display
- 25 Set the timebase speed
- 26 Apply the signal
- 27 Fine-tune the trigger
- 28 Final Verdict
- 29 Share this:
- 30 Related
5 Best Automotive Oscilloscope Review 2019 [Updated List]
The primary feature in this diagnostic machine is a 100 MHz bandwidth models with four-channel series with two 1 GSA/s ADCs. Additional features include the latest generation of SPO technology intelligent trigger with Slope, Edge, Runt, Window, Time out(Dropout), Width, Pulse, Interval, Pattern, and 1 Mpts FFT. The record length of up to 14 Mpts (Pair/Single channel mode) and 7 Mpts/CH (two channels/ pair mode) enabling you to oversample to capture for extended durations at higher resolution and makes use of the zoom feature to see within each signal more details.
Furthermore, this diagnostic tool allows you to acquire and trigger on the waveforms using these 16 Digital Channels/MSO with the waveform capture rate being up to 400,000 WFM/s. The segmented acquisition and history waveforms mode stores all trigger events into numerous memory segments up to 80,000, with every segment storing triggered waveforms and timestamp every frame.
Lastly, there is a USB WIFI adapter, USB AWG module all with the option of a four channel series only plus standard decoder.
- It is affordable but still incorporates many exceptional features
- Integrates a big and bright screen which allows you to read whatever is being displayed effortlessly
- Its user interface is clean and responsive thus ensuring you navigate through its user interface with ease
- Comes with an excellent instruction manual and calibrating this oscilloscope is very easy
- The noise produced can quite loud
This automotive oscilloscope can be conveniently used for more than 89 Asian, US and European vehicle models manufactured after 1996 and have Smart AutoVIN technology for easy vehicle identification. Furthermore, it supports basic TPMS (Tires Pressures Monitoring System) Service such as registration of sensors to vehicles, inputting TPSM sensor replacement IDs, and showing sensor IDs from the car’s ECU. Its seven-inch touch screen LED offers you with an exceptional experience allowing you to quickly access whatever is it you want through its intuitive navigation.
Also, having an Android OS improves the performance and efficiency of this device plus the 32GB memory ensures the slow response is minimized. The in-built battery lasts up to 4.5 hours thus allowing you to make use of most of the tools in this machine like the remote desk, data manager and shop manager.
Upon purchase, you are given a 12-month free online update as well as a 12-month warranty; therefore, it allows software updates and automatic system with real-time push message notifications via Wi-Fi.
- Integrated into this diagnostic tool are many features that are usually absent in other gadgets
- It works remarkably well
- Understanding how to use this diagnostic tool is straightforward
- Ideal to use to for many vehicle manufacturers making it a convenient device to own
- The battery of this gadget stopped working rendering this diagnostic tool to be useless Autel
Moreover, based on the Android OS which delivers a new UI interface, it consequently allows you to access all the testing components effortlessly. Therefore, it generates more accurate readings quicker since the response and booting time is much shorter.
Presence of the Wireless Bluetooth Diagnoses allows you to connect this diagnostic even when your vehicle is located within a particular distance. Thus, you can diagnose your car when on sitting aside on below it. Unlike the large diagnostic gadgets, the Launch X431 PROS Mini is portable and more compact. And because of its lightweight feature, you can conveniently carry this device for all the on-site services. The ECU coding is present in this diagnostic tool which is compatible with a majority of the car makes. Other features incorporated in this diagnostic machine are tooth learning, Anti-theft matching, technology backup, Electronic Parking Brake Reset and Battery Maintenance.
- It is very affordable therefore giving excellent value for money while still offering remarkable performance.
- There are numerous useful features integrated into this diagnostic tool.
- Works perfectly well with vehicles from different manufacturers.
- Using, updating, and registering this diagnostic tool is straightforward
- Does not effectively work some smartphone brands.
- Offers average performance as it is not very fast
This diagnostic tool comes with a 10.1-inches display that ensures different data in wavelike form can be shown simultaneously, so you can quickly identify failed parts and promptly resolve the issue. Moreover, having the Android 5.1 OS enables an exceptionally smooth diagnosis experience. The Bluetooth feature offers you with plenty of conveniences as you can now feely diagnose your vehicle from either under the hood or at your worktable.
Additionally, a durable design features incorporated in this device include drop resistant, greaseproof, dustproof and water-resistant for the screen ensuring it still works effectively even after exposure to these elements. Having a battery capacity of 7000mAh guarantees you a continuous use of this gadget for approximately 4-6 hours before recharging it depending on what you are doing.
The ECU Coding function in this machine works effectively on most car brands such as Ford, Benz and many more. Likewise, via the one-button VIN scanning, it supports a quick diagnosis. Finally, Full eleven special functions and all systems’ diagnoses are present.
- It has a remarkable battery life that lasts all day without needing to be recharged
- Very practical because it works on nearly every vehicle model making it dependable
- Provides you with incredible value as its performance is comparable to the higher priced diagnostic scanners
- Often keeps losing communication with the car, is very slow and lacks adequate internal storage
This seven-inch touchscreen oscilloscope features a responsive quad-core processor to guarantee a fast and stable speed of the diagnosis despite having a design that does not pair with VCI. Additionally, it works flawlessly with most 2000 EU-based, 1996 US-based and newer cars to carry out a full diagnosis. It does the clearing or reading codes and checking live data to recognize the health status of the vehicle parts. Once you access this machine’s diagnostic interface, you will get access to various features like basic TPMS service, oil reset and BMS/EFB/DPF/SAS usually used for efficient maintenance and safety of the car’s systems.
Furthermore, there are numerous unique features which guarantee that system diagnosis is always available. Consequently, this diagnostic tool provides you with a full detection for all its systems, for instance, Fuel system, Brake system among others. Technology support is available, and it includes Data Manager, Shop Manager as well as MaxiFix Platform. Lastly, with this diagnostic tool, you get 12-month free software updates plus a 1-year guarantee.
- Using this diagnostic tool is very easy, and you need to connect it via the 16pin port.
- It has a responsive touchscreen with Android OS and wireless internet connectivity allowing you fast access to quick links for online repair manuals
- There are many features integrated into this diagnostic tool
- It works ineffectively thus giving you incorrect results
Factors to Consider When Looking for the Best Automotive Oscilloscope
Before purchasing an automotive oscilloscope, you need to look at how you intend to use it as well as where you will use it, that is, beneath the hood of your car, at the customer site or the bench. Furthermore, many brands come with different specifications and costs thus making this decision even harder. Therefore, below are some of the factors you should consider when looking for the top rated automotive oscilloscope.
Number of Channels
Usually, automotive oscilloscopes feature a channel, two, four and up to ten channels. Therefore, you need to think about the number of signals that will be displayed, but often a single-channel oscilloscope works fine. It is especially the case if you want to perform a quick diagnosis to establish the presence of a signal and if it is within the standard range.
Two-channel oscilloscopes are ideal for reading signals from camshaft/crankshaft correlation, sensors, looking at thermistor voltage outputs, viewing thermistor voltage outputs, inspecting throttle position sensor outputs and many others.
However, when dealing with the usual crank no start condition or immediate view of the ignition circuit, a four-channel automotive oscilloscope is perfect.
The Probes and Input Ranges
When shopping for the best automotive oscilloscope, look for on that the manufacturer offers a whole set of accessories which you use to increase the input ranges and application gadget. So, if you wish to perform high voltage or current signals measurements such as primary and secondary ignitions, injectors and others, you must extend your oscilloscope’s input range using a suitable input probe.
Current lamps, inductive and capacitive pick-up clamps, 20:1 and 10:1 attenuator, AC coupling adapters, and many others are available.
It is vital you confirm that the input probes are either equivalent or surpass the bandwidth of the scope.
Ease of Use
Some of the automotive oscilloscopes offer single-touch automatic setup or some memorized setup configurations to ensure using this gadget is easy. Other oscilloscopes include help systems which save you the hassle of always having to refer to the manual, whereas some have replaced the user-friendly rotary knobs with cheaper buttons typically found on adjustments such as time-base speed, trigger level, vertical sensitivity, and trace position.
Also, downloading the user manual of these devices will considerably assist you in understanding how sensitive these gadgets can get. Therefore, having an oscilloscope that is easy to use will eventually save you plenty of frustration.
It refers to the maximum frequency of a signal which can pass through front-end amplifiers. So, your scope’s analog bandwidth must be superior to the maximum frequency which you wish to measure.
Furthermore, when shopping for an automotive oscilloscope, ensure that you comprehend the bandwidth specifications you desire. It is because the bandwidth requires to be five times higher in comparison to the signal’s maximum frequency which needs to be measured. Subsequently, this generates an accurate waveform representation.
Digital Storage versus Analogue Oscilloscopes
Currently, digital storage oscilloscopes constitute a significant proportion of the new oscilloscopes purchased since buyers see it as the best choice. Nevertheless, if you want an analog scope, you will have to choose from a limited choice.
Select Functional Triggering
You should go for an automotive oscilloscope which has a functional triggering as it assists in managing the signal which can be seen with the naked eye. Subsequently, it ensures it is precise and snug for viewing. Moreover, when shopping for a specific oscilloscope, you should opt for one which has exceptional visibility as well as broader boundary guaranteeing a better triggering response.
How to Use Automotive Oscilloscope
After you become conversant with the controls present in an oscilloscope, using it becomes relatively easy. So below is a step by guide on how you should use an automotive oscilloscope to generate useful results consequently.
Turn Power On
This is the first step despite it looking obvious, and the switch is typically labeled “Line” or” Power.” And once the power is on, the line or power indicator light will come on indicating that the power has been applied.
Wait for appearance of the oscilloscope’s display
Nowadays, most oscilloscopes come with semiconductor-based displays whereas the older types use cathode ray tubes, and this usually takes a shorter time to warm up before the display surfaces. Moreover, the modern semiconductor oscilloscopes require time for the electronics to boot-up. Therefore, frequently, you will have to wait for about a minute before you can use the oscilloscope.
- Locate the Trace
Finding the trace is essential once the oscilloscope is ready. It is the first stage and will frequently be visible before you detect any other waveform. Furthermore, the trigger usually is set to the center, and the hold-off is completely rotated counter-clockwise. The vertical and horizontal positions control need to be centered too in case they are there already. Often, the trace will be detectable, if it is not, press the “beamfinder” button to find the trace.
Set the timebase speed
Setting the timebase speed on the oscilloscope is essential, and the actual setting varies depending on what requires to be seen. For instance, if the screen has a width of 12 centimeters and the waveform has a period of 10 ms, the timebase speed of 1 ms centimeter or division should be ideal.
Apply the signal
Having set the controls approximately correct, the signal can be applied, and consequently, the image should be detected.
Fine-tune the trigger
Adjusting the trigger level is necessary at this stage irrespective of whether the trigger is negative or positive going edge. Moreover, the trigger level allows where on the waveform the timebase is triggered consequently starting the trace on the waveform. The option that it triggers on the negative or positive edge is also vital, and this requires adjustment to generate the needed image. For the best image, adjust the controls – Having a stable waveform in place, timebase controls, and a vertical gain allows the adjustment of this device to produce the necessary image.
Therefore, if you are looking for the best automotive oscilloscope, we have reviewed some oscilloscopes which you need to consider and will correctly address your needs. However, before deciding on one, you need to ensure that the oscilloscope falls within your budget. Likewise, we have discussed some of the crucial factors which you must take into consideration when out looking for an automotive oscilloscope. With these factors in mind, your decision-making process will be simplified as you will have a clear understanding of what it is you need to meet your needs adequately. Consequently, you will be able to make a prudent decision on which of these oscilloscopes will best suit your needs.