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The World's first Automotive Test Lead Kit for handheld labscopes?

In the early 1990’s, Jorge Menchu helped launch the automotive lab scope revolution from Fresno, California with a kit of homemade test leads, he called it the AES# c-286 Test Lead Kit.  We believe this is the first automotive-specific test lead kit designed for use with 'personal' laboratory oscilloscopes, such as the: Hitachi, LG Precision, BK and others.

Prior to the AES# c-286 Test Lead Kit, there were few alternatives when it came to automotive diagnostics, the big box units (Bear, Sun, Allen, etc.) which cost thousands and thousands of dollars dominated the market, but with the AES# c-286, any low-cost analog scope could be used to perform many of the same tests at a fraction of the cost.

What made the AES# c-286 Test Lead Kit automotive specific? This is the same question the engineers and developers at Snap-on, OTC, Vetronix, KalEquip, BK, Fluke finally learned from Jorge a few years later.

It included many items that are now included with lab scopes today: Shielded leads, igntion lead, trigger lead, 10x probe.

Jorge figured out how to build these things so they were compatible with off-the-shelf and inexpensive laboratory oscilloscopes, tough enough to withstand the harsh engine environment, and long enough to reach from the scope to the far side of the engine.

This was high tech!

Over the next few years, as smaller digital scopes entered the market, the AES# c-286 Test Lead Kit was expanded and customized to work with industrial scopes such as the Fluke 97, and the first scope offerings from Snap-on (LS-2000), OTC (Vision), Mac Tools (ET-2020), and Kal Equip (565/575) and Pico (ADC-212).  Many of these 'automotive' scopes did not include shielded leads nor secondary leads!

That was then, and here is how it looked....


To the right, a Hitachi v212 analog scope with Fender Mount surrounded by an assortment of accessories included in an AES# c-486 Test Lead Kit:

- Pouch with pockets to hold all the leads, clips, and probes
- 1:1 shielded test leads
- secondary lead
- synch probe
- 10x probe switchable to 1:1
- HEI adapters
- Manuals
- Power inverter
- Fender Mount for Analog Scopes
- Jorge’s first video (VHS) and software

These items were built in Jorge’s home garage in between tech support calls. And yes, he sewed all the pouches too.

After getting some help in the garage, Jorge finally had enough time to create a series of training manuals and videos covering waveform analysis, lab scope controls, and diagnostic strategy.

Here’s Jorge's first video, how to setup an analog scope for secondary ignition on a 1987 Toyota Camry.

The video has a long and silent introduction of 47 seconds.

NOTE: The test equipment has changed but all the strategies and techniques remain the same.