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electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico (Read 21,299 times)
Sam1
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electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico
Jan 20th, 2009 at 9:13pm
 
Hi
I would like to get some facts so that I can make a choice between the 2 systems in the title. preferably from Aussi users. I know the electraX have colored wire diagrams and component locater actual colored photos plus its user friendly GUI.
I know pico enjoys more support than the earlier brand. any comments are appreciated.

thanks
Sam
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Tom Roberts
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Re: electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico
Reply #1 - Jan 20th, 2009 at 9:56pm
 

Sam,

Good to see you are doing your homework first.   Wink

I looked at the web site for Electrajet.  It appears to be a four channel PC based scope but there were no specs there I could find.  It also appears that the web site has not been updated in about four years.

You would at least have to know the max ADC speed and the record length (buffer size) to make any meaningful comparison.

If the manufacturer can provide you with these specs then you can use this tool:

http://www.autonerdz.com/java/SampleRateCalculator.html

to gage it's performance capabilities.  If they cannot, then they either don't know the specs or are ashamed of them.  Neither is good and you then know what to do.

You will also find a performance chart I prepared for the Pico 3000 series automotive scopes in this s thread:

http://www.autonerdz.com/cgi/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1213458091
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Sam1
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Re: electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico
Reply #2 - Jan 21st, 2009 at 5:17pm
 
here is more info about the electraXXX scope
please note the file attached first then read the notes below;

Note:

1. Has a startup peak of 8 Amps
3. If multi Channels are used this figure encompases multi Channels
4. Per Channel
5. Dependent on the PC and Screen used.
6. Also free Runs without a trigger
7. Limited by the number of channels selected. 1 Ch only below 500us, 2 ch only below 1 ms.
8. Option currently not available
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Re: electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico
Reply #3 - Jan 21st, 2009 at 5:32pm
 
Sam,

Did you read thru this: http://www.autonerdz.com/picoquad.htm

Cheers
Joe
Wink
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Sam1
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Re: electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico
Reply #4 - Jan 21st, 2009 at 5:36pm
 
from the info above it appears that electrXXX is better than pico 3223 but worse than 3423 when comparing the important points as stated by the Calculator. one may ask, how ofter one could need the "resolution" offered by the 3423?
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Re: electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico
Reply #5 - Jan 21st, 2009 at 6:34pm
 
Sam,

Quote:
it appears that electrXXX is better than pico 3223 but worse than 3423 when comparing the important points as stated by the Calculator.


Not sure how you are arriving at that conclusion.  The Electajet would just be a small dot in the rear view mirror up against any PicoScope, even the now obsolete 212/3 parallel port models with a 32K sample buffer (16K per channel) and 3MHz ADC.

Comparing to the 3000 series...using the 2048 sample buffer and 2MHz max ADC speed listed for the Elecrajet with a one second capture time, the Pico 3223 or 3423 would be 683 times faster  Shocked

IMHO, the Electajet would not be up to the task with today's vehicles.  Just look at the com port.  It uses a parallel port like the old Pico 212 series.  Good luck even finding a PC that has a parallel port anymore.  Parallel port speed is so slow too compared to USB 2.0.  This is old technology.

As for whether you need the kind of power offered by Pico, these forums are full of examples.

http://www.autonerdz.com/cgi/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1193262243

In automotive use, it is best to use long time bases to capture a lot of seamless data.  Pico enables you to do this like no other scope, maintaining robust sample rates so that no detail is lost.
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Randy Acevedo
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Re: electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico
Reply #6 - Jan 21st, 2009 at 7:02pm
 
Sam, I had a lot of questions too. With all due respect Sir, get some duct tape and tape the lips. Then watch Autonerdz #1 CD.  I feel the same way. This is the best support system and information on Planet Earth.  If in doubt watch it again. Tom is unbelievable.  PS: pull the tape off fast and it will only hurt a little.

Randy Acevedo

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Re: electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico
Reply #7 - Jan 21st, 2009 at 7:17pm
 
Tom Roberts wrote on Jan 21st, 2009 at 6:34pm:
Sam,

Quote:
it appears that electrXXX is better than pico 3223 but worse than 3423 when comparing the important points as stated by the Calculator.


Not sure how you are arriving at that conclusion.  ...


I used the online java Calculator and entered the data as indicated by the demo.
Samples "buffer size" 128K
the next number is left at 500 as indicated by the demo
the next number is set to 2MHz
hit calculate,
Actual Sample Rate: 250KHZ
Time between samples: 4us
Samples on Screen: 125000
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Re: electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico
Reply #8 - Jan 21st, 2009 at 7:32pm
 
Randy Acevedo wrote on Jan 21st, 2009 at 7:02pm:
Sam, I had a lot of questions too. With all due respect Sir, get some duct tape and tape the lips. Then watch Autonerdz #1 CD.  I feel the same way. This is the best support system and information on Planet Earth.  If in doubt watch it again. Tom is unbelievable.  PS: pull the tape off fast and it will only hurt a little.

Randy Acevedo


Dear Mr. Acevedo
Does #1 CD present a compression between the items listed in the title of this thread?
if so and you watched many times, please inform us.

No one here questioned the superiority of support system nor the integrity of neither the information or Tom’s believability, this thread is not meant to be a religious war. Your rights to make it so is respected but your decision not to is most appreciated.

As to YOUR duct tape solution, we here at down under avoid tapping things, instead, we use permanent plugs, thus issues are considered more than once before a solution is offered Wink
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Re: electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico
Reply #9 - Jan 21st, 2009 at 9:03pm
 
Sam, Sorry you did not understand me. Have a good day.

Randy
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Re: electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico
Reply #10 - Jan 21st, 2009 at 9:59pm
 
I am not favoring electraspec/jet over pico, I am only examining the facts, and so far pico does have an advantage in some things and electraSpec/Jet has advantage in other areas.
Picoscope appears to be superior in capture and display.
Electraspec/Jet appears to include colored wiring diagrams, actual color pictures of component “locator” and isolated component circuit in an easy to access way. "Hybrid solution".

So my take on this is to stick with the picoScope for its dedication to being a scope and get an extra package “ALLDATA as suggested” to cover some of the technical information.
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Re: electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico
Reply #11 - Jan 21st, 2009 at 10:16pm
 

Sam,

Quote:
Samples "buffer size" 128K


I see 2048

Quote:
the next number is left at 500 as indicated by the demo


500 what? 

You would not leave that at anything.  You would enter the desired capture time in there to compare performance at different capture times.

Quote:
the next number is set to 2MHz


Correct.

So, Place 2048 in the buffer size and 2MHz in max sample rate.

Then enter various capture times and compare with the Pico performance chart one channel use column.  This is because the Electajet results are most likely for one channel use.  It does not say there in an ADC for each channel so the 2MHz would be divided by the number of channels in use.

Randy was just joking around.  On second thought maybe he actually did put tape on his face.   Smiley

I'm certain he meant no offense. 

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jarvissamuel
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Re: electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico
Reply #12 - Jan 22nd, 2009 at 6:52am
 
Hello Sam1 and welcome if it has not been said before.  I just browsed through this post and noticed the Electra scope is using a parralel port connection and requires an external power supply.  A more comparable pico technology scope would be the 212 series.  They also use parrallel port and extenal power supply.  The self powered usb version is much more convenient.  I have 212-3 and a 3223 so I know  Smiley

A couple of other thoughts beyond just sampling there are two versions of pico software available.  Pico 5 and pico 6 each is very capable with pico 6 having some very impressive abilities.  Pico recently added advanced triggers as well to pico scope 6.  They did take away the merge feature (a favorite of mine) but I feel the other abilities make it worthwile.

Here is a couple of videos showing the pico scope 6 in use





Also here is  video clip I made illustrating sample rate.  The pico is adjustable and some of the presets are on the low side.  So it is something to be aware of.



One other not an information database is nice to have in the US we have Snap On platforms that have good databases but like anything there can be errors there.  An excellent combination here is a pico and a heritage vantage.  I am not sure if you have similar there but it could be a good addtion.

If you have any other questions feel free.  I am no expert on the specs but I have used the pico scopes for a few years now.

Sam
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Re: electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico
Reply #13 - Jan 22nd, 2009 at 11:21am
 
Sam1,

Some comments (my own $0.02 based on my personal experience):

- I'm not sure how much the Electrajet costs... but the Pico Quad kit from Autonerdz comes with everything you need to immediately get waveforms from any part of your vehicle or most other electronics... you pretty much don't need to buy anything else... the Autonerdz version of this kit contains extras over the Pico company's version of the kit... even if the Pico Quad kit costs more (which I don't know if it does), it is well worth it.

- Autonerdz provides the best support I have seen anyway... Autonerdz even supports me (a hobbyist car wannabe)... Tom has helped me with a few issues with one of my laptops, and the forum members have guided me on interpreting some of my ignition waveforms... if car repair is your career, then support is vital, and the quality of support is even more vital... the Electrajet site and software pictures look outdated, like nothing has been updated in a long while.

- Keep your scope, scantool, data/info systems separate and independent... if one of them breaks down the others can still be used... and they can be upgraded separately as required... if you're professional then this will save you downtime... if you're a hobbyist it will save you downtime also (you have a limited time each nite to "play" before going to bed so you can go to your daytime job the next day)... a tool should do its function and do it well (as opposed to doing many functions half-arsedly).

- the Pico 3423/3223 have a pretty deep buffer, deeper than I have seen on many scopes... you can use a long time base to see the general repetition of a signal and then zoom in on any portion (this is a very important feature to have for automotive use... big picture and small picture).

- if you can afford 4 channels, then get 4 channels... you won't regret it at all.

I am an EE by career and I have used the Fluke 199C and other portable and non-portable Tektronics and Agilent scopes... I like the Pico way better anytime, no doubt about it.

(This must be the most I have ever written...)

Cheers and Regards
Joe
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Re: electraspec/electrajet vs. Pico
Reply #14 - Jan 22nd, 2009 at 1:04pm
 

Sam,

If you don't mind me taking the lazy way here, let me just copy and paste somehting here that I have posted elswhere....

PicoScope isn't for everyone......

I do often get asked about what scope to choose. I don't
have an answer. You see, all scopes have their own set of
limitations. Some have more limitations than others :-p The
scope is only half the picture though. The tech is the
other half. You have to match the tech with the scope. The
most capable scope, not well matched to the user, is less
useful than a somewhat less capable unit that the tech
feels comfortable with. Almost any scope is better than
none.

That being said, sample rate performance is very important.
All the cool features don't mean much if the unit can't
perform. So, I tell techs to first narrow the field by
evaluating the DSO sample rate performance of the units
considered. Then choose based on features from that group.
I have a web based DSO Sample Rate Calculator available to
perform this comparison based on the specs and the math,
not the manufacturer's hype. It enables you to objectively
compare DSO raw performance.

When it comes to the analog variety of scope, sample rate
is meaningless. They are live. Problem is, you can't
freeze, store, print, share, manipulate, or many other
things you can do with the digital storage type. They make
good trainers, but students are not very likely to
encounter them in the field. Many of the skills are easily
transferable to the DSO though. Things like trigger, time
base, voltage scaling, etc.

That calculator allows you to compare the sample rate
performance of digital scopes. All you need is two specs.
The max ADC speed and the sample buffer size. This empowers
you to determine the raw performance of DSOs you may be
considering so you can narrow the field of choices and then
focus on features on the short list. The features don't
mean much if a scope can't perform when it comes to sample
rate. You can ignore the manufacturer's hype, and make an
objective comparison using the math. This can help avoid
getting something that can't perform.

The calculator is designed to calculate samples using one
channel. Different scopes handle the use of multiple
channels differently. Is the sample buffer shared? Is the
ADC shared? Etc. But it will be at it's best sample rate on
one channel. So, you can compare apples to apples.

Vertical resolution is another consideration. It is a
separate issue from actual sample rate (horizontal
resolution) and indicates how small a voltage change can be
detected. If you can imagine horizontal grid lines on the
screen, an 8bit scope will have 256 of them. Voltage
changes between the grid lines cannot be detected or
displayed. The voltage must rise or fall to the next grid
line to be detected. A 12bit scope has 4096 grid lines so
smaller voltage changes can be shown. This results in a
waveform with more vertical detail or resolution. A scope
with lower vertical resolution will have more of a stair
step effect on voltage changes when examined closely. A
scope with higher vertical resolution will have a smoother
more finely defined waveform.
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