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Electrical diagnostics


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GC
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Nov 5, 2013, 1:35 PM

Post #1 of 14 (1842 views)
Electrical diagnostics Sign In

Trying to figure out what tools i should get for general auto electrical diagnostics. I plan to buy a decent digital multimeter (was eyeing the fluke 88va). Also need to look at lab scopes. Thoughts/suggestions?


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Willing to help, willing to learn... Rob


Hammer Time
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Nov 5, 2013, 1:46 PM

Post #2 of 14 (1838 views)
Re: Electrical diagnostics Sign In

The main tools would be a Power Probe, self ranging DVOM, High end scan tool and a scope at least 2 channel but you already spent about $10,000 on those alone so i hope you know what you're getting into.



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Nov 5, 2013, 1:50 PM

Post #3 of 14 (1831 views)
Re: Electrical diagnostics Sign In

Trying to figure out exactly what I'm getting into... I have a decent scan tool (Snap-On Solus Pro) and was looking at the Fluke 88va (right now just have a cheap analog) Why the power probe? What features does it have? What scope would you recommend?


____________________________________________________
Willing to help, willing to learn... Rob


Hammer Time
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Nov 5, 2013, 2:14 PM

Post #4 of 14 (1829 views)
Re: Electrical diagnostics Sign In

The Power Probe is used daily for basic circuit testing. It can apply power or ground to test any component but If you don't know what you're doing with one, you can easily fry a module.
As far as the scope, it depends how serious you are. You can get a Vantage Pro for about $3K but a serious scope like a Pico can go as high as $10k.

You need to really understand electrical circuits and ohms law calculations to get into this stuff.



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Nov 5, 2013, 2:51 PM

Post #5 of 14 (1825 views)
Re: Electrical diagnostics Sign In

Thanks for the help. I have a decent understanding of electricity and electronics. Just want to hear from experience what tools to look at. You ever use a tone generator or just use the power probe for continuity testing?


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Willing to help, willing to learn... Rob


Hammer Time
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Nov 5, 2013, 3:33 PM

Post #6 of 14 (1820 views)
Re: Electrical diagnostics Sign In

No, I never used a tone generator. The Power Probe just reads power and ground with a voltmeter built in. For continuity I would just either use an ohmeter or voltage drop if it's as current carrying circuit



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



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Nov 5, 2013, 5:33 PM

Post #7 of 14 (1815 views)
Re: Electrical diagnostics Sign In

Ok thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I did some more research, and I ordered a power probe 3. Reasonably priced and will save me tons of time with jumpers and multimeters. I will have to save up for a scope. I believe i might look at getting a modis, but could be a bit to save up that kind of cash. Still some other things that I need first.


____________________________________________________
Willing to help, willing to learn... Rob


Hammer Time
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Nov 5, 2013, 5:39 PM

Post #8 of 14 (1814 views)
Re: Electrical diagnostics Sign In

My personal opinion is that is a bad idea. The Modis is pretty much obsolete now anyway with the Verus out. The problem with something like the Modis is that you can't use both functions at the same time and it's a real pain to switch from the scope to the scanner and back again. I like the idea of using the Solus Pro with a freestanding scope. There are times when you would want to use both simultaneously.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



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Nov 5, 2013, 5:47 PM

Post #9 of 14 (1811 views)
Re: Electrical diagnostics Sign In

I saw a few others that mentioned that too. Wanting to be able to watch the sensor in datastream and also the waveform on the scope simultaneously. Lots to think about. Automotive tools work great for emptying your wallet.


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Willing to help, willing to learn... Rob


Discretesignals
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Nov 8, 2013, 5:41 PM

Post #10 of 14 (1788 views)
Re: Electrical diagnostics Sign In

What kind of things are you wanting to troubleshoot? What make of vehicles are you working on?





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Nov 8, 2013, 5:42 PM)


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Nov 8, 2013, 7:10 PM

Post #11 of 14 (1783 views)
Re: Electrical diagnostics Sign In

Ideally I'd like to be able to tackle all problems thrown at me. More realistically I'd like to be able to handle most body electrical issues and most engine performance issues. I work on mostly domestic late 90s to late 2000s but want to get more up to date as well.


____________________________________________________
Willing to help, willing to learn... Rob


nickwarner
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Nov 9, 2013, 2:26 AM

Post #12 of 14 (1778 views)
Re: Electrical diagnostics Sign In

Keeping your Solus Pro for a scanner and getting a Vantage Pro scope would probably be the ticket for you. You can find them used for under $2000, and they are updatable. As pointed out, the Verus is a sweet tool but comes with quite a price tag too. I have a Modis, but the boot-up time sucks, battery charge life is abysmal and you can't use the scope and read live data at the same time. I got a good price on it, but I do wish I had gone a different path after using it a bit.


Hammer Time
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Nov 9, 2013, 3:26 AM

Post #13 of 14 (1776 views)
Re: Electrical diagnostics Sign In

Live data isn't the only thing you could want to use from the scanner side. You may want to activate components like the fans, fuel pump, solenoids, etc while monitoring the scope and like Nick pointed out, the boot up time of the Modis is a real pain.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Discretesignals
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Nov 9, 2013, 8:09 AM

Post #14 of 14 (1769 views)
Re: Electrical diagnostics Sign In

One of the most important tools you'll need is information and an analytical mind. You have to understand how the system is designed that you are troubleshooting. Without good service information sources, you'll have a difficult time, especially with drive-ability. You may get a vehicle with a drive-ability issue that doesn't have any trouble codes in it. What do you do now? You could have all the best tools in the world, but they are only as good as the operator and how he uses them.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.






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