The Trainer #140: Capitalizing on DSO zoom capabilities for efficient diagnostics

Sept. 1, 2023
Selecting the appropriate time base for your DSO's capture is one of the keys to diagnostic success.

Ask any diagnostician, and they’ll tell you that capturing the correct information for analysis is key to making sound diagnostic decisions. But viewing the data appropriately is what it takes to make those decisions efficiently and without oversight.   

Just because the vehicle symptom is present when a capture was acquired, it doesn’t necessarily mean the cause of the symptom will be visible when reviewing the acquisitions. Setting your scope up for success means proper data acquisition.  

Today’s episode will focus on the time base of the digital storage oscilloscope and the role it plays in capturing data appropriately for diagnostic decision-making. Using a multiple-channel scope allows for multiple signals to be acquired simultaneously, and that data should tell a story. However, just like a book, if you are too close or too far away, it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to read that story.

The adjustable time base will allow for either a bird’s-eye view or a zoomed-in view of the captured data. Both of these are necessary in the diagnostic process and will offer either a trend view to see repetitive patterns or a more detailed view to see the nature of the fault occurring. This allows for that story to be told in a clear and concise manner. Stick with Motor Age magazine’s Technical Editor Brandon Steckler as he walks you through the scope time base, how to properly set it up for success, and see what today’s episode of the Trainer is all about.  

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