The Tech 1 consists of the following elements (figure 6-14):
• A display screen where information and instructions can be read. The display area is 16 characters wide and accommodates a maximum 4 lines of text.
• A keypad where information is entered. There are 16 keys
• Slots for master and auxiliary cartridges
• A power-source connector
• A power plug
• A Data Link Connector (DLC) connector
MASTER AND AUXILIARY CARTRIDGES
Two slots in the Tech 1 base accommodate software cartridges. The lower slot is for the master cartridge; the upper slot is for auxiliary cartridges.
A vehicle may be equipped with several on-board microprocessors, in addition to the PCM. These could include an ABS module, a body control module, or a diagnostic energy reserve module for air bag systems. The Tech 1 can work with these different control modules by using software cartridges specific to the system in question.
Prior to 1993, master cartridges were issued that covered several model years of each separate system. In 1993, the Mass Storage Cartridge (MSC) was introduced. The MSC covers numerous systems and model years. It is also more versatile. Its information can be updated by being erased and/or written over. This is accomplishable on-site at the dealership with the proper equipment.
Auxiliary cartridges are also available. These extend the functions of the Tech 1. Special function cartridges allow you to take measurements from sources other than the DLC. Or, they allow you to connect the Tech 1 to a printer or monitor.
Tech 1 Strategy and Organization
When its use is called for by the various trouble trees in the Service Manual, the Tech 1 follows a logical, step-by-step strategy for diagnostics. Once preliminary information is entered, the Tech 1 offers a variety of options, depending on the kind of information is required. Understanding where you are within the Tech 1’s hierarchy is important for understanding what kind of related testing can be done as well as what kind of information is being produced. The reference section of this book contains tree-type charts of Tech 1 screen displays.