The Nerd Series

Now Streaming!

Stream with subscription! If you have wanted to attend The Nerd Series but have not had the opportunity in your area, here is your chance to have a virtual classroom experience on your own PC, in your own time. Plus you can watch them again and again.

Many who have attended have gone through the series several times. This is because, as their skills grow, they get a different set of benefits each time. There is no substitute for being there and interacting with the instructor and the other techs but this is the next best thing.

There are over six hours of classroom lecture and demonstration on each module for a total of over 28 hours of virtual training.. And no, Nerd I is not basic just because it has a ‘one’ in the name. Beginners and seasoned scope jockeys have both found this module valuable.

Click on the Nerd 1-4 tabs below to view



Description - Nerd Series

This is no nonsense training, which focuses on getting the job done using proven field-tested techniques.  No longer will you be a slave to printed procedures and trouble charts.  The books will now serve YOU.  Why stay in the diagnostic maze?  Just climb over the wall and get the cheese!

The goal of this series is to provide a solid informational and strategic foundation.  With such a base to work from, any problem on any car can be resolved more efficiently.  This means more production, less un-billable time and less comebacks, not to mention happier customers.  With the tools provided in this series, the technician can face new challenges with confidence and grow far beyond any scope 🙂 of covered material.  The skills developed will serve you the rest of your career.

Employers have jokingly complained that Nerdz are more efficient and so they have to pay them more.  Of course, the employers are making more too.

Nerd 1

The first in the series, Nerd I is composed of three parts.  In the first presentation we will explore some lab scope operating principles.  Techs will be introduced to a concept known as Creative Lab Scope Technique, which provides a three-legged stool as a strategic foundation for the use of the scope in diagnostics.  Along with this, lab scope capabilities and limitations will be discussed and the importance of exploring and understanding your instruments limitations.  Examples of what can be done using the scope will be presented.

 The second presentation will cover injector drive analysis using the lab scope.  We will discuss three types of injector drives and how to gather the most information from them and also how to interpret the waveforms and make a correct diagnosis.

 The third presentation will be on oxygen sensors.  We will discuss different types of oxygen sensors and the differences in their operation and testing.  Also we will touch on fuel control issues and some common misconceptions.

 This is not a class on how to operate your chosen instrument.  That’s what operator’s manuals are for.   This is a class on what to do with your scope, after you have learned how to operate it and how to understand it better.

View Nerd 1 here

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Nerd 2

Nerd II builds on the foundations of Nerd I.  We examine fuel pump analysis covering many aspects of fuel delivery issues.  We also examine a common domestic ignition system (GM DIS) and also Toyota ignition.  Of course you will understand these systems well and be able to test them, but that’s not the point.  We use these particular systems to illustrate certain concepts about scope technique and strategy.

Any system you study will eventually scroll into the past, but the lab scope skills you take from these studies will serve you the rest of your career.  These skills will enable you to tackle unfamiliar systems now and in the future.  As a bonus track, we have also included a presentation done at the 2001 iATN convention in Detroit.

View Nerd 2 here

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Nerd 3

Nerd III continues to build on the concepts and techniques covered in Nerd I and II.  This one is about eight hours of virtual classroom and hands on demonstration.  The bulk of this is a presentation on Primary Failure Analysis based on what was done at the 2004 iATN convention but with added material.  This is a reality check into the physics of primary ignition analysis.

Weak secondary output continues to be a major cause of performance problems.  We go into depth on the causes and explore how and why many popular primary analysis techniques in use today have been unreliable.  Then we boil it all down into some very simple techniques that are founded in the physics and can be used on any inductive discharge ignition system with total reliability.  Our popular article on Analyzing Primary Ignition is included.  Here is a quiz that touches on just some of the concepts covered.

 With that under our belts, we proceed to examine Nissan and Honda ignition with the focus on taking the techniques from this to apply and use the rest of your career.

View Nerd 3 here

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Nerd 4

Nerd IV starts by examining Ford ignition systems from TFI IV through IEDIS focusing on application of creative Lab Scope Techniques.  We also cover in depth CKP/CMP synchronization issues and techniques for different models.  Several case studies of Ford problems are presented along with some hands on demo movies.

 The rest of the eight hours of training on this module is ‘Failure Identification’.  This is nothing but case studies collected over many years.  Each one was chosen for a specific lesson it contains which review and expand upon the concepts and techniques presented throughout the series.

 System requirements:  Windows 95, 98, NT 4, Me, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 8.1 that also has Internet Explorer 4 or later installed.  A minimum of 1024×768 screen resolution is required for best viewing.  The movies are 800×600 but the window with the pause, play and stop buttons, etc. makes them a little larger.  Each module requires an activation code.  Pentium III equivalent or higher with 256K RAM recommended. Adobe Flash Player and Java are required.

View Nerd 4 here

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Student Comments

“Great information that’s actually useable!”

“I had to travel four hours to attend the two day class, spend the nights in a motel, and have my shop shut down for two and a half days to attend.  This is such a good class that I will do it again.”

“Practical application”

“Real world focused approach”

“Very well organized and stayed on track”

“Good job answering questions”

“Talks at tech level..easy to understand”

“Captures the students interest”

“Good feedback and good answers”

“Very well put together class even though amount of material is sometimes overwhelming”

“Being forced to think”

“All the problems we looked at were real”

“We used the techniques we learned last night today”

“The whole series overall is the best and most interesting I have ever been to”

“The class has really inspired me”

“Very effective..good information”

“My scope has become my best diagnostic friend”

“Great resource materials”

“The basics were not as basic as I thought they might be but I caught on pretty quick”

“Now I’ve got some techniques and knowledge I can use daily”

“Overall, one of the best seminars I have been to (out of maybe 30 or 40); not a bunch of schematics but the right mix of theory with needed info.  A simple but effective approach”

“The depth on injectors was very good; could not find the info given anywhere else”

“Enjoyed theory and practical application”

“Excellent explanation of technology and terms”

“Very informative on lab scopes and waveforms”

“Very thorough”

“Good visuals”

“Tom is in the trenches with us and not a stuffed shirt”

“Got an understanding of how systems work and how simple they really are”

“Makes life easier”

“Good technical training and systems operation well explained”

“Good style and interaction; cool teaching aids and visual effects”

“Thinking outside the box”

“Ideas and hints to make me more productive”

“Good instruction and material”

“Very valuable”

“Above expectations”

“Explains things clearly and makes them easy to understand”

“Keep up the good work”

“Everyone in the industry would benefit”

“Always informative”

“Enjoyed class very much, will be back to other classes”



 Comments from those who have purchased The Nerd Series:

“I just began the 4th-dvd and I must say, I’m in love with these things. I feel very comfortable and confident that I can now handle any kind of ignition failure without overlooking any vital clues. This is one amazing training tool, one of the best Ive ever INVESTED in and I’m looking forward to what you have planned ahead in the future for AUTONERDZ.”

Brandon H. Steckler

 “I am very please with the entire Nerd series. I am currently going through it a second time and my only regret is that I did not purchase these CDs four years ago when I first saw them. I have gain a much better understanding of the topics and am seeing much improvement in my diagnostic techniques using your approach. So I want to thank you very much for this very comprehensive compilation of information on these CDs.”

 Erwin Bruce

“Hey Tom, I know your a busy guy and prob get sick of all the emails but I would just like to tell ya.. In the past few months since buying the Picoscope (best thing i have ever done) I have purchased 13 training videos. Yep 13! from autonerdz, aeswave, lindertech and avi. By far your video set is the most informative and educational of anything I have watched AND the best value for money. (not pissin in your pocket – it’s the truth ruth) Thank you very much. The knowledge I have gained from YOU is WELL worth the money. DO MORE VIDEOS!!! lol Thank you again. ”

“Thank you for the for sending the Nerdz series.  I’ve watched it numerous times now and have gained more information than I have through other series.  I’m a little embarrassed of my lack of knowledge of lab scope diagnostics.  Having one for 5 years and not knowing how to use it properly has cost me some time and money.  I was using the scope out of its range trying to capture intermittents.  With the knowledge I have gained just from the Nerdz one has answered a lot of questions I’ve lost sleep over.  (too much time base)  The community forums have good information that I’ve been researching.  Just wanted to thank you for your dedication to the technician.  In due time I will be purchasing the PICO enhanced kit from you.  Have to recover from expenses.  I know that the PICO will be an investment along with purchasing the key for the other Nerdz.  I hope as I learn from the Nerdz series and forums I’ll be able to contribute something.  Could not believe how in depth the community is.”

“The Nerd series is GREAT and well worth the investment. I’m going thru the series for the second time and some sections I’ve reviewed several times. So much info. Thanks!”

“Tom Roberts has a DVD on scopes (Nerdz 1)
that illustrates what to look for when comparing scopes.
Tom does it in a very professional way, easy to understand,
and with no sales bias. The DVD is worth every penny if you
are in the market for a new scope.”

“Anyone who wants to use a scope in automotive diagnostics NEEDS The Nerd Series on CD.  I have never gotten more out of a training investment.”

“Before you purchase another scope of any type, I
highly recommend you purchase Tom Robert’s training CD
called Nerds 1. Tom explains in layman’s language why some
scopes will not perform as you might have expected them to
perform. His CD is a very inexpensive item compared to the
purchase of any scope.”

“Tom Roberts has an excellent training DVD that covers fuel
system diagnosis and current ramping. I guarantee you will
be impressed with Tom’s presentation and you will learn
a lot, check out and
ask for CD #2.”

“Yeah, I have the Nerd 1 CD. I especially like Toms O2
sensor’s presentation. He doesn’t just teach by the book,
he has and shows you real world stuff! Well worth the doe.”

“I have a copy and was very impressed with it.
Tom does an outstanding job.”

“The Nerdz 1 CD explains it all. The CD is the
cheapest investment anyone can make before spending
thousands of dollars to find out their scope has
limitations. Maybe some guys are too busy to learn and can
afford to waste money?”

“If you are really considering purchasing a lab scope,
purchase Tom Robert’s “Nerd 1” on CD first.  His training CD will give you great
insight on lab scopes and how you can compare them, and not
be tricked by manufacturers specifications. I highly
recommend the CD training to everyone.”

“You would not be disappointed with Tom Roberts’ Nerdz 1 CD. I think
it is almost impossible to describe the sampling rate &
buffer with words. Tom’s CD illustrates the sampling rate
and buffer size and shows you what happens, you would think
the vehicle had a problem, but the scope is at fault. Tom’s
CD is not about selling you a scope, he just informs you of
what to be aware.  I just can not say enough about how informative
and educational the Nerdz 1 CD is.  The CD is 6 hours long and only
costs 150 yoyos, if you did not learn from it I would be
shocked. I promise you this is not a beginners or an
elementary scope training CD.”

“From what I have sneaked a peek at it is fantastic or better put

“I can’t get enough of these. Hope to see more in the future.”

“Nerd 1 was GREAT!!”

“I watched the disc last night and thought it to be very informative. I really appreciate your work in this subject. Your explainations are excellent and easy to understand.”

“I watched your nerd 1 CD very good and worth the money when

will nerd 2 be out and what will be covered ? I am excited

to see what tricks you have up your sleeve. I like the way

you think out side of the box. Keep the CD’s coming.”

“I always run out of popcorn when I watch one of your

movies. 🙂   Good stuff, keep ’em coming.”

“I made back my investment on The Nerd Series CD set this week with just part of what I learned from Nerd I.  Unlike other class investments I have made,  know this training investment will pay for itself countless times over.”

“I just wanted to add that I am working on nerd 1
as I write this.Awesome training material.And also being a
member of autonerdz is a blessing like being a member of

“I have watched them all and they are the way to go if you
want to learn scopes Tom Roberts is the man.
His Tech support on is well worth the

“I finally finished Nerd1 to my satisfaction(3 times).I learned more than I thought possible. I will begin Nerd 2 shortly and look forward to it. Thank you for your contribution to my career and to this industry.”

I own the 4 part nerd series and if you want to learn scopes this is it.Tom is a very gifted teacher and his brilliance shines in this training. This training is about scopes and uses examples of other scopes as well as Pico. And though the new Pico is awesome this training is not outdated or will be in our lifetime. I could go on and on but if you want to master your chosen instrument this will help you get there.

I just finished watching the Nerdz CD series. Wow. I think I absorbed enough to be dangerous, which makes life interesting. Thanks. Have you ever seen the Calvin and Hobbes “friends don’t let friends beergoggle” T-shirt? That’s about how my brain feels now. Do you ever do seminars on the east coast? Thanks again, I’m off to start watching the series from the beginning again.

Demo Video


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