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Can bus sniffer

Discussion in 'Tools of the Trade' started by Midnightmoon, Feb 13, 2021.

  1. nowing75

    nowing75 Senior Member

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    i recently got a scope as i have noticed most automotive guys use them. Lots you can use it for like relative compression and using a pulse sensor to see if you have head gasket leaks.
     
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  2. JLarson

    JLarson Senior Member

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    Owner- civil and heavy repair/fab company
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    I have a fluke 125 scopemeter that has a bus health mode for checking various protocols including CAN. We can hook it up and it'll show us how the bus is doing compared to the standard and we can toggle to the waveform too, good way to check of something is dragging the bus down.
     
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  3. Twister

    Twister Member

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    Pico scope seams to be the Cadillac for the hardcore automotive troubleshooting guys. Check them out on autonerdz.com
     
  4. mg2361

    mg2361 Senior Member

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    I bought the $130 Pico 2204A (instead of the $900 auto version) and it has been working out well. Just make sure to use attenuators because it has voltage limitations. I have added better leads and amp clamps to it, so my overall cost has still been an affordable $400 total. Here is an example of a CAN trace with serial decoding I worked on recently. Below that I found a loose tone wheel on an engine that ran rough. The third one was a defective park brake solenoid that would intermittently drop out applying the park brake, which wouldn't do it while I was test driving it. But found it with the scope. The last one is a known good capture of a rail relief during acceleration. You can see the plunger operation of the HPCR pump. A drop in any plunger action could lead to a bad injector or defective HPCR pump. While I have had it for 5 years now I'm still learning how to use it. I have a long way to go:eek:. My mind wants to explode:D

    CAN Trace.png

    Tone Wheel.png

    PB Sol.png

    Rail relief.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  5. Twister

    Twister Member

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    Mg2361,, that’s great stuff. Thanks for sharing your experience with this particular scope. I’ve been thinking long & hard about one, but never have made the jump. Lots of utube videos out there with guys using this scope. There are just those special times, where you have that suspicion about the integrity of a signal of a sensor, or whatever for that matter, and a good scope will be the only way to see it.
     
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  6. MarshallPowerGen

    MarshallPowerGen Senior Member

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    Generator & Equipment Mechanic
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    Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
    Well, I guess I know what my next tool purchase is going to be.
     
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  7. mg2361

    mg2361 Senior Member

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    Mechanic Mindset and Justin Miller on YouTube give some great information on how to use a Pico 2204A for automotive use. There are others that do a good job but these guys hit the basics the best.

    I have added (2) Hantek HT30A long automotive leads, (2) Hantek 20:1 attentuators, Dual Banana Female Jack splitters for my set of 3 Electronic Specialties Amp Clamps (#'s 695, 697 and 698).
     
  8. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Just gets more complicated and not much better function, does it really justify?
     
  9. Midnightmoon

    Midnightmoon Senior Member

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    Can you read and filter in hex code with the pico? That's what's nice about saleae and the ccs. CCS is much better being able to use wire shark and the other open source software.
     
  10. mg2361

    mg2361 Senior Member

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    I think it does. With the complexity of the systems today a DVOM just doesn't cut it anymore. Not just for "CAN" or "LIN" bus systems, but just as a voltmeter is has its value. Remember, a scope is nothing more than an extremely fast voltmeter. Yes most diagnostics can be performed with DVOM (I use my Fluke most of the time myself) but then there are the situations where a DVOM is too slow. Example. The refresh rate on a DVOM might be as high as 4 times a second (maybe a little faster in a good Fluke). So let's say you are looking for an intermittent short or open. Your DVOM is connected and you perform a wiggle test on the harness. You might have hit the spot but it happened so fast your meter missed it. With the scope refresh a million times a second the chances of seeing that issue greatly increases. I know I have found many a wire issue alone with the scope that my Fluke missed. And that alone has been worth every penny I spent. The total cost of the scope was less than a high end DVOM. Yes it is a lot more work to set up, huge learning curve on using it, but it has paid dividends for me in saving diagnostic time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  11. mg2361

    mg2361 Senior Member

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    I am in the learning stage of using this for CAN so I don't have many answers. The screen shot below I think answers your question. I have never seen or used the logic analyzer so I'll have to look into that.

    Hex Code.png
     
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  12. MarshallPowerGen

    MarshallPowerGen Senior Member

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    Thanks for listing all that, was going to ask what you added on and were using. I'm getting handed all the CANbus, Tier 4 and engine sensor problems the old timers don't want to try and figure out, and need something a little deeper than my meter. The graph you put up of the cam & crank sensor readings sold me instantly.
     
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  13. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    Keep us appraised of what you get and where you get it from, I am watching as well.
     
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  14. mg2361

    mg2361 Senior Member

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    I bought everything including the PICO 2204A hardware from Amazon. I think the Pico hardware on Amazon is now $140. The software is free. Just download it from Pico.
     
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  15. Twister

    Twister Member

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    This is my thoughts, all this computerized configurized mess started in the automotive industry. Now it's infiltrated into our heavy equipment that we own & work on today. So I feel that the automotive guys are a step ahead of us on this technology. Looking on the net myself as to what they are doing to combat these electrical gremlins, they are using scopes heavily. At least the ones that don't want to shot gun parts at a problem. I'm sure most people on this forum, doesn't want to just throw parts at a problem. So I have a feeling these scopes are going to be a major player in the future. Thank God for me, as well as others on here we've been able to have a fault code to point us at a circuit at fault, you check all the basic things you should check, and make a educated guess on what to replace. Just my two cents worth. I might add, even after my test & educated guess , I've been wrong! LOL!
     
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  16. JD955SC

    JD955SC Senior Member

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    What I need is a scope in a rugged format like a Fluke 123 but fast enough to be applicable to our issues and cheap enough to be reasonable. I can’t shell out 2 grand for a scopemeter and I feel that picos and bench scopes while being much more affordable, won’t survive in my work environment.
     
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  17. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    Maybe the bench scope with really long cables is the answer so the laptop can sit somewhere safe. That is already how we do it for all the diagnostic software we have to run. The laptop is already in the truck, may as well put it to good use. Plus I am sure the computer screen and mouse gives much better resolution to exploring the wave forms than a Fluke hand held or whatever could ever give.
     
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  18. Dbrg68

    Dbrg68 New Member

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    The Pico auto scope does a good job at filtering hex code. The problem with CAN is it is a broad term. Without a database of the CAN network you are working with it is of little value; unless you feel like backwards engineering the information.

    I do have a CSS CL2000 as well as the J1939 database. Oddly enough I bought for the same reason as you. I was looking for Def tank messages and NOX values. Fortunately most of those values fall under the generic J1939 standard. Unfortunately there is a large section of J1939 that is set aside for Oem proprietary use; which can sometimes hinder your ability to decode the signals.
     
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