Running a Shop Tools and Equipment Shop Floor

An All-in-One Transducer

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If you ask Matt Fanslow, shop manager at Riverside Automotive in Red Wing, Minn., there’s no other transducer on the market that’s on the same level as Pico’s WPS500X Pressure Transducer.

Fanslow has been a longtime fan of Pico Technology. Back in 2005, Fanslow won a game of Technician Jeopardy at a conference and chose the PicoScope Kit as his prize, even though there were prizes that he knew were worth more money.

Fanslow knew the capabilities of the PicoScope outshined all of the other options.   

“I knew what I was doing. I knew the shortcomings of the other products,” Fanslow says. “Before that, I had a Pico 2-Channel Standard Kit and there was no doubt in my mind—I was playing for the Pico.”  

According to Fanslow, the company has technicians in mind and comes out with products that really help, including the WPS500X Pressure Transducer. Fanslow has owned the product since it first came out in 2008.

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Measure and Analyze Multiple Pressures

The WPS500X is meant to work in tandem with Pico’s oscilloscope. The transducer senses pressure and outputs it as voltage, which can be seen on the oscilloscope.

Fanslow originally purchased the WPS500X because it was a single transducer that would allow him to do many things. Before, Fanslow says it wasn’t uncommon to need several transducers in order to complete different diagnostic tests.

The transducer has three pressure ranges, which allow measurement and analysis of multiple automotive pressures. Fanslow says that with the WPS500X, he’s able to look at intake and exhaust pressures, vacuum, cylinder compression, fuel, EVAP pressures and more.

“We can use this on pretty much anything, short of the brake system,” Fanslow says. “There’s nothing on the market that comes close to it.”


Superior Accuracy

Not only does the WPS500X allow Fanslow to work on a wide range of pressures, it also delivers when it comes to performance.

“It advertises that it can measure in a range from -15 to 500 psi,” Fanslow says. “That is insanely awesome.”

Reggie Samples, a technical support specialist at Pico, says that the WSP500X gives technicians three user-selected pressure ranges designed to test specific systems.

Pico’s transducer has an extremely fast response time, Samples says, at 100 µs. This allows the WSP500X to pick up on any changes to the pressure immediately and capture even minor variations in high-resolution detail.  

Samples explains that Pico’s superior accuracy allows it to make proper diagnosis that other transducers that have a larger error factor would not be able to.


Ease of Use

Before the WPS500X, Samples explains, technicians would have to worry about multiple different pieces of equipment to analyze pressure. Now, technicians can connect the WPS500X within seconds rather than having to set up and take off multiple pieces of equipment for different tests.

Another feature that makes it easy to use is the added Zoom Feature. Fanslow thinks that this is one of the areas that users will get the most obvious help from the WPS500X. Samples explains that the Zoom Feature is a feature within the transducer itself that allows users to change the zoom level when he or she is looking at the signal. This way, when an irregularity is spotted, the user can zoom in on it. The zoom function magnifies fluctuations in the waveform and makes analysis much easier.

Fanslow adds that the WPS500X is also compatible with other scopes—making it even more versatile and user friendly—because the WPS500X outputs voltage over time, which all oscilloscopes measure.


Time Savings

Fanslow says that the WPS500X allows him to quickly determine what’s going on with a vehicle compared to other methods where time would be spent trying to get sensors off or tearing the motor apart.

Fanslow says that with running compression tests, it used to be a difficult test that meant the technician would have to remove the Schrader valve from the compression gauge hose and try to see the pressure changes by watching the needle bounce. Now, with the compatibility to oscilloscopes, the waveform can be viewed on the screen.

“Depending on the vehicle, it might save me four hours,” Fanslow says. “With this, I can find the problem in 15–20 minutes rather than wasting time pulling the vehicle apart.”  


Increased Freedom

Fanslow says the battery life of the WPS500X allows him to use it for 3–4 hours straight. The battery can recharge while he’s using it if needed, Fanslow says, or he can recharge it while he’s at lunch and start right back up again when he comes back.

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