Tool Review: Pico Technology PicoScope 7

May 6, 2022
Reviewed by Pete Meier, director of training, Vehicle Repair Group, Endeavor Business Media.

Content brought to you by PTEN. To subscribe, click here

Q: How did the tool function as far as saving you time? 

A: The use of a digital storage oscilloscope (DSO) mated with the correct accessory probe, is a diagnostic time-saver no matter the brand. Conventional testing techniques can be done in less time using a scope and many systems cannot be tested in any other way. 

I had the opportunity to use the latest PicoScope 4425A by Pico Technology running on their latest software, PicoScope 7. I’ve been a PicoScope user for many years, and would call this combination a true “smart” scope in that the leads and probes designed for the PicoScope 4425A are powered by, and instantly recognized by, the software. The PicoScope 7 automatically sets up the channel to match the probe assigned.  

The new screen layout, designed for touchscreen PCs and tablets, is very user-friendly with the scope controls more intuitive — great for first time scope users. 

Q: How would this tool impact a shop's profitability? 

A: The savings in diagnostic time the PicoScope 4425A and PicoScope 7 software combination provides is a no-brainer. If I can gauge an engine’s mechanical condition in minutes, instead of hours, that reduces my labor time. And I can share the test results with my customer to explain the need for the repairs I’m recommending as well as validate the repair once completed. 

Q: What kind of setup was involved before using the product? 

ASet-up of the tool is minimal. Anyone can visit the Pico Technology website, download the PicoScope 7 software, and try it out in demo mode prior to purchasing the hardware. Current PicoScope owners, of course, can use the new software on their existing modules. As far as getting started, once the software is downloaded, it is a simple matter of following the prompts and setting up the tool. You can be up and running in minutes. 

Q: How easy was it to use? 

A: If mated with the PicoScope 4425A, it doesn’t get any easier. Probes are instantly recognized; channels are set up automatically, and the interface is user-friendly. I will add one caveat: Any diagnostic tool, scope or scan tool, needs some training in order to get the most effective use out of it. 

Q: How was its packaging? Did it come with any accessories? 

A: The PicoScope 4425A comes in a hard case, with molded foam protecting the probes and scope module. The package made available to me included a complete accessory list of probes and leads including a low- and high- amperage probe, COP ignition paddle probe, and other essentials. 

Q: What features did you like? 

A: One exceptional feature is the guided test option, which allows new users to select a system or component test they want to make and then be guided in what probes or leads to use, how to connect the scope and the option to let the software set up the scope for the test. Additionally, reference waveforms are included that the user can use as a comparison, with more in their waveform library, also included in the software. 

Q: What types of jobs/repairs did you use this tool for? 

A: I commonly use the scope to test vehicle battery and charging systems, relative compression testing to help assess engine mechanical condition, and to inspect the signal integrity of nearly any sensor or electrical component on the vehicle. There are many systems on the car that you can’t use a scope to test. 

Q: Have you used a previous version of this tool? If so, how does this tool compare?

 A: I started use PicoScope over 20 years ago, starting with the 3000 series scope modules. Then, the scope was a powerhouse diagnostic tool but it did take some prior scope experience to fully appreciate. Today, the PicoScope 4425A and the PicoScope 7 software has made the tool as user-friendly as it can get with the intuitive menu, informational resources, and online support. 

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this tool overall?  

 A: I would rate the combination of the PicoScope 4425A and PicoScope 7 software a “10”. It’s a powerhouse diagnostic scope that will make any tech’s diagnostic efforts easier and more efficient.  

 This product was given to the reviewer free of charge from the manufacturer.

Sponsored Recommendations

Buying Your Next Diagnostic Tablet

When you last invested in a diagnostic tablet for your shop, did you consider it a potential gateway to increased revenue? Probably not. It’s likely you viewed it as a necessary...

Access Carside OEM Repair Data with MOTOR TruSpeed

Now available on all Autel MaxiSYS Ultra Series tools, MOTOR TruSpeed Repair delivers expanded OEM service and repair data within days of being published by

ADAS Case Study: From 10 Calibrations a Month to Over 10 A Day

Originally published by Vehicle Service Pros, March 26, 2024

Autel Sucess Story: Precision Diagnostics

Precision Diagnostics owners Dave Zielke and Tom McGuire at one of their three calibration centers.

Voice Your Opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Vehicle Service Pros, create an account today!