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Comments From Autonerdz Picogroup Members

How do you tell the difference between a good tool and a bad tool?  It’s very simple; the good tool makes you money.

How do you choose a good tool?  Ask those who are using one if it makes them money.

The following are comments from Picoscope users.

Email list of users willing to correspond with potential new users available upon request.

Tom Roberts
(The Picotologist)


I cannot think of a more foolish thing than for an auto tech or auto repair facility to buy a PicoScope from anywhere else other than Autonerdz....and if they do, not purchasing Tom's support package.  Nothing beats talking, or emailing to a guy who not only knows the software and scope inside and out, but also applies it everyday in the same industry as we are in.

Matt Fanslow


I just wanted to take a moment to express how much I appreciate you guys.  When I bought the 4223 kit I assumed that when the package was delivered, all the crucial components of the kit would be contained in that cardboard box.  Little did I l know that the most valuable component (the support) was to be delivered on a daily basis on the forum and over the phone.

Dan Decker


I just wanted to say thanks for giving me the opportunity to own such a great diagnostic tool. You were very helpful in guiding my decision - there are many scopes out there - but I feel I would have wasted money by buying anything other than a PICO. The sample rates, help screens, easy to use interface, and your tutorial cds can't be beat.

Randy


‘I feel that I have made the best choice in purchasing my kit from your organization. I have learned more in the last 6 months than I have in the last five years being part of the Picogroup.

Pedro Sanchez


Last night I went to an Autotech training class titled Your Lab Scope Live. I will never claim to know everything about DSO diagnostics, but it was sure nice to be well ahead of the curve. So much so, that the instructor asked me to give some instruction to the only other guy that had a Pico. I just wanted to say thank you for what you do, and thank you for what you have done for myself as well as all the other Autonerdz out there. The service you provide is top notch, keep it up. Thanks again.

Edward Deiro


I just wanted to let everyone know my excellent experience I had purchasing my new Pico Scope from Autonerdz!!  Tom Roberts is right on top of things and a wealth of information. If anyone is even thinking about purchasing a scope this is the only place to purchase one, period!!  They have on line training classes called therapy and in this business we all know how that is.  I am very excited to learn all of the many new doors this will open for the future.  The way the cars are changing we just have to have equipment and support like no other. Autonerdz is second to none!!

Bret Berglund
Import Car Center


My wife was impressed, that after one email you called to solve the problem.  If only all customer service was that in touch!

Thanks again,
Jeff Doughman


This is why I purchased this unit from you. I had researched your company before purchasing and found out how customer service oriented you are and how you have went over and above the call of duty to help anyone who buys from you. Keep up the great work Tom!

Gary


I want to thank you for the great product and awesome service that you have given me. The update CD and video that you sent with the PicoScope has been extremely helpful.  It is an excellent program and allowed me to do things with my scope that would otherwise have taken me many weeks to learn.  I have been in the auto repair business for 40 years, I have purchased and used many over priced machines and gadgets, none of which compare with the PicoScope. The PicoScope can replace most of the testers that I have.  No one in the industry can come close to the support that I have observed from Autonerdz.

Thank you,
Frank Cox


Your support and knowledge of the Pico product is unmatched by any other supplier I have purchased from.  Yes, the additional support you offer has been worth it and I do recommend it to others.  More importantly, it would be great for other vendors to set the bar as high for there products and services.   I can only imagine going it alone with Picoscope as a lifelong learning curve.  Your videos and prompt response to questions is a great asset to my PicoScope purchase.  Keep up the outstanding work,

Thanks again,
Dave


As another opinion anyone in the market for a Pico should seriously consider Tom Roberts (Autonerdz.com). His support is great, his training videos are very very good, and his forums answer a lot of questions. He also has online training once a month. You have no idea how nice it is after spending so many years sitting in folding metal chairs in the back of someone's garage for training what it is like to be home in my comfortable chair, while my wife makes dinner, and to be getting great training.


If you are interested in a PC based scope, the person you should contact is Tom Roberts at Autonerdz. The Pico scope he sells and supports is by far the best tool investment I have made. His support and knowledge of this product has been unmatched in my experience with tools and equptment. The 
Pico scope is in a class by itslef{the top!} but, is less money than scopes that pale in comparison to it.


To be honest, you won't find better training on the PicoScope than the one provided by Tom Roberts from Autonerdz.


I think that Tom Roberts offers the best "value". Tom's knows that scope better than anyone, and has done more to bring it to the attention of the automotive world than anyone else. His support for the product is second to none. Personally, I think it would be foolish to purchase it anywhere else.


I have a Pico 3423 and I absolutely love it. The software keeps getting better and the updates are free to this point. I have not seen anything comparable yet. The Tom 
Roberts support is easily worth as much as the scope.


If you purchase PICO from autonerdz then you will have the Master Tom Roberts as part of the package.  I also purchased the Nerd series to enhance my 
experience.  Take a test drive of the software free.  Contact Tom Roberts through www.autonerdz.com and talk to him about your particular needs and wants and he will help you in the pursuit of PICO or give you enough information to make a good decision about any scope.


As long as you are comfortable with a laptop you will not be disappointed with a PICO scope. I have used a few different scopes in the last several years, but none of them impressed me as much as the PICO.  If you decide to purchase one do yourself a favor and check out Autonerdz. Their tech support is by far the best I have ever seen (and I have dealt with a lot of tool companies).


I came upon you (Autonerdz) after browsing the net for info on Low Amp Probes. I had just purchased first one and back then I had a few basic issues with correctly configuring the probe and my Fluke 98 to read a decent trace.

I emailed I think about four contacts from different Automotive web sites with the same question. Two never replied, one replied with a very short sentence, and you Tom replied with several ideas to make the capture better - and with a "let me know" at the end. That was the first contact I had with you. The mere fact that time at your end was spent explaining Probe basics to somebody unknown was enough to win my respect. As you know I've stayed with you and have since purchased the PicoScope Master Kit. The point here being that it’s the little things that make big differences.

Through Autonerdz forums I've been introduced to other like-minded Techs, it’s really beneficial to get an exchange of ideas around a particular problem. A good learning resource. I haven't yet contributed to the Pico Technology forums because simply I haven't felt the need. Autonerdz has supplied every area of support I've needed - is that good or bad? The forums are well moderated with discussions moved around slightly to fall under their best-suited heading. I'm glad to say that the forums aren't infected with posts like "Got a car, P0304 DTC logged, fitted new plugs, no different, want help!!"....yet.

I know that you also provide a live web discussion, which is an excellent idea, but as you know our time zones are quite different so am unable to attend.

The small flash movies are another great idea bringing a learning archive to using the Pico. Can I suggest a progression from this, maybe demonstrate the Pico in real-world applications i.e. perhaps demonstrate the External trigger on a vehicle (a function I personally have never but would certainly find interesting). Having the movies online for referral, I don't think I'm alone when I say that a visual representation of a new concept gets taken on board much easier than just reading.

I can honestly say that without that first impression, I don't think I would be at the level I am now with Scope Waveform Analysis. My experiences with
Autonerdz have been very good and have advertised the fact when opportunity arises.

Keep up the good work.


When I first bought my PicoScope I had several problems. These were answered via email almost with in the hour of sending my help request. The replies that I got back were very informative and resulted in me resolving the problem. I used you as the point of contact because you sold me the scope and advertised the help support.  I have read over the Autonerdz forum and gotten many helpful tidbits of information from there as well. The scope was highly recommended by another acquaintance on iATN (Carl Grotti). Carl has also been very helpful with information that he has learned the hard way.

I have never used the Picotech direct support. So far I have not had to go that far. The Autonerdz support has been very valuable and I would not recommend anyone buying the scope without it.  Tom is doing a wonderful job of supporting the PicoScope.  I wish more of the tool manufactures would follow his lead.  He has made the PicoScope easy to use because of his dedication to the support of his clients.  I greatly appreciate the help that Tom has been able to give to his clients and feel that the support would be beneficial to all concerned.  Most electronics tools I have purchased in the past did not do half as much of what they claimed they would do.  In the instance of the PicoScope, I wish I could do half as much as the scope is capable of.  Unfortunately I don't have the need of the scope as often as the bigger shops do.  Consequently I have not gotten as competent with the scope as I would like.

George D'Amico


I think you and Autonerdz have the best support for the PicoScope. I have nothing but admiration of how fast my questions got answered and how they received your personal attention.

I highly recommend Pico and have done it so on a couple of occasions I had...like the one IL-ASA event in Naperville (Chicago) a couple of weekends ago.  By what I see is available...Pico is the best value...period!


The support you offer with the purchase of a PicoScope is invaluable and has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion.  Sure, there is the majority of the time when most technicians (myself included) can get through most situations that arise while learning this scope, but is extremely reassuring (especially early on in the learning curve) to be able to hear that local voice on the other end of the phone that has seen it, been there and done that and can talk me (or any other technician) through a particular diagnostic problem or problem that may arise with the Pico itself!  Your customer-oriented service is and has been second to none!

To purchase a Pico Scope without this support option personally would not have been an option for me.  I am no expert when it comes to using a scope but I got a great deal better because of not only the time I have spent in your classes, but also the time spent in "support sessions" on the phone.  Your support for the Pico Scope is top notch and I am sure that wouldn't be the case if the Pico Scope didn't virtually sell itself with the quality that has been built in to it!


The PicoScope is almost to the point of incredible.  I have used it at home for about 4 hours and watched partial CD that was included.  I might add that this CD alone is worth its weight in gold.  I say this because I have never had formal training in the use of a DSO and this information that you provided makes it possible for a novice like myself to actually use this equipment.  I like onboard instructions as well but after viewing CD I will customize my settings for future use when I become more comfortable with this equipment.  As far as the site is concerned I haven't used it much due to time constraints.  Thank you for support and future help as I become more able to fully understand this equipment.

 Ronald D. Leverett


I bought the Pico because it had so much going for it you get waveforms it shows you how to connect it up and then there is Tom Roberts with a whole bunch of tuition and 
support what more could you ask for.


I was skeptical about going from a fluke 98 to a Pico. Boy was I wrong! Everything else stated here is simple fact, including the fact that Tom is probably the world's best vendor/supplier/friend. 

But you can SEE stuff on a laptop. I can see stuff on the Pico that was probably there on the Fluke, but I never saw. That huge high definition color screen is the cat's (butt). I can be working in the engine compartment with the scope nearby on the cart, and I can clearly see what is happening. Truly amazing. I can hit the space bar and show the service manager what I found and why I am selling what I recommend. Meanwhile all my expensive equipment is safely out of the engine compartment. 

It's like the difference between watching NASCAR on a 5" grainy black and white TV, then going in the living room and turning on your 36" Sony! 

The potential portability problems are far offset by the great view. It does take a bit of time to set yourself up with a combination that works well for you, but once done you have the very best.


I had owned a scope for years before I got Pico and just now am I using all of my scopes to potential.I have read about people contacting Tom a couple of times(laugh),I have contacted Tom 50 times with help in e-mails,two and three times in one day and never once has he brushed me off.He has always answered my questions with usable and brilliant direction.Don,t get me wrong I know my limitations and doubt that I will ever learn as much as he has to offer but with a Teacher like Tom Roberts I will get as close as I am capable and look back and say I did my best.Everytime I get to use Pico I get excited at the possiblities I am about to encounter using it and what it 
will show me,none of my other scopes do this.


If you are looking for a PC based scope it is hard to go wrong with the PICO. Do yourself a favor and buy it from Tom Roberts at www.autonerdz.com. You 
will get support from him you simply can't get anywhere else. Anything Tom says you can just about take to the bank.  Tom Robert's kit and support that comes with it is the best deal around as far as I am concerned. That is where I bought mine. His automotive kit IS what you really need to capture auto sensor signals and use the scope to its potential. 

If a PC based scope is what you want, Tom Roberts is the man to contact.


The Autonerdz support has been helpful in many ways.  The kit I purchased had a tip brochure to help first time user of the 212-3.  This information reduced initial setup and made using this powerful scope an easier transition.  I like how the support has expanded now including the forums where problems, solutions, tips and techniques are shared online. The tutorial movies are excellent each one helping understand the tool and learn the limit of its ability.  The response time of questions is very prompt via email a response can be expected the same day and there is also the phone option.  My experience with the autonerdz support has been excellent.

Samuel Jarvis


Time permitting, I like to browse technical forums, ask questions and offer a suggestion here and there, hoping to be of some help, and learning some in the process.

The support available from yourself and Carl has got to be a great asset, as I discovered, for anyone contemplating on using a PC based scope such as the PICO product.

I especially like the flash movie tutorials as a great way to teach the use of the scope.

Romain D’Hont


So far, I have been very impressed.  I have not been a member for very long, but I have used the tech line a couple of times and the help has been exceptional.  Each time I have learned quite a bit about what I am really looking at on different traces.


I think your support is great since you are specific to automotive trade, the same with the other poeple that you use to teach about scopes. I think the added benefit of your support group makes Pico much more attractive, in fact I don't think I would have ever bought my Pico if I did not think that you would be there to help me out. I might sell my Pico but it has nothing to do with your support and has more to do with the fact that I think Pico is not designed for outdoor use (I work outside). I will still want to be able to contact you since I would like to learn more about scopes in general.



”Thanks for sending us such a good product. I appreciate your running the PICO program for the US and doing such a good job with it.

I've run half a dozen aftermarket companies and can really appreciate the amount of time and effort it takes to do what you are doing. Great job!”

Norman Garrett


I have been using the Picoscope for over six months now, am I a nerd yet? I love the Picoscope. I have it set up on a cart at the shop with a laptop computer and it gets used daily. The presets are wonderful and the bright, clear screen is better than any scope could ever be. This tool gets five stars from me. Every repair shop that is serious about what they do should have at least one.  The product is all it is claimed to be and more.

Howard Pitkow
vwhoward@wagenwerks.com


The PicoScope is the best tool purchase I have ever made. My diagnostic time has decreased by using it. Some of my favorite features would be save on trigger, zoom, large buffer, chart recorder to trend slowly changing signals, fast and endless waveform storage, and a crystal clear high resolution signal on a PC screen.

Autonerdz support has been outstanding. I credit much of my learning of the PicoScope and computer skills to Tom Roberts. He has always replied to every question I had. In addition to that, the technical support team at Pico Technology Ltd. has been very helpful as well.

If you are considering purchasing a new oscilloscope, take a test drive with this one by downloading the free demo software. It very well could be the right scope for you also.

Sincerely,
Carl Grotti

(Carl is the most experienced Picoscope user in the Autonerdz group)


Because the PICO is PC based, it is not only a great diagnostic tool but an extremely versatile training aid in the classroom.  I now use the Pico exclusively when showing waveforms to a class full of students.

Dan Beeson


In my opinion, it's the greatest bang for the buck setup you can get your hands on when your ready to step up to using a true DSO.

Positives:

It comes with just about everything you could want to get started doing current ramping, secondary ignition work, back-probing, etc...

You can use just about any computer you've got, or get a laptop with a big screen and get some serious viewing area.  I'm using a 14.3" laptop that was under $1000 and is now $650 or so at Costco.

No special cables needed... they come with it.

No special expensive software needed... it comes with it.  You don't need a waveform capture/storage program, the scope software is one. 

No expensive updates... software upgrades are FREE downloads.

Also the software has a massive help file, along with pop-up setup screens while using the automotive menu. If you pick a sample waveform off the automotive menu it automatically leaves the scope configured for that type of waveform, and pulls up an HTML document on how to hook up along with actual pictures of a hookup and some generic testing information.  Very useful for the new scope jockey, but it can get a bit annoying having to close the window if you didn't want to see it in the first place, but again, it only comes up if you pull up an example off the automotive menu.

Simple setup... drop-down menus, no dials and buttons, just point and click on what you want to change and the settings are there.

Incredible resolution... 12 bit instead of 8 bit vertical resolution gives something less than 1% error, way way better than most automotive scopes.

Amazing max sample... up to 32,000 samples per trace compared to 512 on a fluke 97 or 98.  This is why those of us with a Pico can zoom in on a saved waveform taken at slow timebases like an ignition parade and still pick out the rotor gap or a broken wire in a single cylinder firing KV section... I can zoom in 50x and still be looking at more data-points than a saved waveform from a fluke 97 or 98 (I'm NOT picking on the Fluke, I just used to use them and know specs).

Not so positives (gotta be fair)

Longer setup time than a handheld if your not setting it up on a cart.

Why? Because...

No batteries (hmm... with my experience with handheld scope batteries maybe that should be in positive section).  This means getting out the extension cords, one for scope one, for computer.

Need to hook up the cable between scope and computer and boot computer (unless again like myself or others, you setup a scope cart and leave it mounted)

The case the scope comes in is well laid out but there are a lot of cables in there and it takes a while to unwrap and rewrap all the cables for power, PC, and whatever test leads your going to use.  Not as fast as grabbing a Vantage or DVOM with the leads wrapped around it already in it's case hitting a power button and testing.

There are some software issues, mainly with XP I think at this point.  As they add more features some errors crept in that are being worked on, but they fixed the only one I have encountered that left me wanting to 'tap test' it with a BFH.  There is so much more you can do with the scope through it's software I'm amazed it works as well as it does.

If you are looking for the fastest scope, it's not.  It also doesn't need to be, watch out for scopes with giga sample rates that don't have enough memory to look at the slow signals we deal with.

I just know the Pico is well matched to automotive signals both down to the 2microsecond/division level and up to as much as 50 seconds/division. 
    
I am still really happy with my Pico and learning how to try and take advantage of more of it's capabilities after having it since last summer.  I have found it extremely useful for learning more about ignition, easy to use, wonderful for documentation and even fixed some problems on cars I didn't know were even there until I stumbled onto them while training myself on the scope.

Scott McElhiney