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    Help to choose ESR meter

    I'm a new student (53) taking electronics repair again to refresh from 20 years ago. Things have changed a lot since then. 6 of us had decided to build our own equipment. I have successfully built a Capacitance meter, Diode, Transistor tester, Blue Ring tester with my own project pcb not kit purchased.

    But I have been having a tough time to build an ESR meter to work when finished. Either because of needed parts not available in US are very costly, or minimums making a $30 project cost $118 or not having a pic programmer and so on. With two failures and deciding not to investing any more kit's or DIY projects for the ESR meter, I have to ask what one of the following or other recommended in the same price range would be a good choice and will be able to advance with me as I pursue this new career.

    I'm looking for someone that has either used one of the following or the one they recommend to answer. chuckey/Frank please don't respond. Your not helping the question.

    I'm not at a level to design my own circuits, just learning to repair them. Can read schematics enough to be totally dangerous and find my way around the board. The Blue ESR is $30 more than the Canada one and they are both + shipping but seem to be the same. But since I'm not sure I'm hoping for help and guidence here.

    I've seen this one on eBay

    h**p://cgi.ebay.com/In-Circuit-Capacitor-ESR-Meter-Digital-ESR-Tester-/280605758923?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_2&hash=item415568 15cb

    Or the Blue ESR

    h**p://www.anatekcorp.com/blueesr.htm

    Thank you so much.
    Bob
    Last edited by brosskgm; 26th December 2010 at 23:07.

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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    hi,
    I just think you'd better buy a cheap pic programmer (search for pickit2 on ebay they start $30)
    and then build a pic based esr meter, they are the best today
    like this russian open source one :



    source here :
    Измеритель C и ESR
    (google translator is a good help ...)

    full package :
    http://www.pro-radio.ru/user/uploads/67842.rar



    •   Alt27th December 2010, 10:48

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  3. #3
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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    I looked at that one, but didn't what know .spl, .lay, .a16 files were. Windows wouldn't open them.

    In the states the pickit2 is $40 and up. Then the parts for the ESR $40 - $118 (That I have already priced, tried) some of the parts needed were not available here with out costing more or taking three weeks to get here. Some times you can find the one piece you need but there is $15 - $20 just to ship one part. mouser (Local supplier in CA) doesn't have everything but is always $20 to ship. I even ordered an esr kit for $60 from over seas, took three weeks to get here but never really worked as it should. With the PIC programmer just for the ESR meter, I might never use it again or very little.
    Last edited by brosskgm; 27th December 2010 at 13:47.



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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    .spl is for SPlan, .lay is for Sprint Layout
    they are both available free as reader here :
    Demo versions
    you then only need the .hex file to program the pic
    you can make a much cheaper pic programmer : a jdm programmer.
    IC-Prog Prototype Programmer, programs : PIC16F818, 16F819, 16F630, 16F676, 12C508, 16C84, 16F84, PIC 16F877, 24C16, 24C32, 93C46, 90S1200, 59C11, 89C2051, 89S53, 250x0, PIC, AVR , 80C51 etc.

    by the way I think today having a pic programmer and an avr programmer available is not a waste of money ...
    there are so many projects made with them...

    you can also ask in a local components store there are surely in california, if someone can program the pic for you for some bucks...

    ---------- Post added at 10:46 ---------- Previous post was at 10:40 ----------

    just had a search on ebay : pickit2 are aven cheaper than ever ...

    Clone Microchip Programmer PICkit2 - eBay (item 230556856839 end time Dec-28-10 23:31:05 PST)

    ---------- Post added at 10:55 ---------- Previous post was at 10:46 ----------

    another way is to build an analog esr meter.
    I successfully build this one a long time ago, and it still works with "drawers components" ...


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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    I'll look at Sprint, SPlan software again. When it said demo software it usally means 30 days.

    ---------- Post added at 05:59 ---------- Previous post was at 05:24 ----------

    At the ic-prog web site they had the ID multi Ziff programmer. It uses a LPT port?, if 25pin serial, I don't have serial on my system. It just mentiones Type "D"
    I could not find the jdm you mentioned.

    ---------- Post added at 06:03 ---------- Previous post was at 05:59 ----------

    Never mind. The Ziff one is not going to work. It doesn't program any of the 16F87's



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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    SPrint Layout only disables saving after 30 days. it let's you print other's files indefinitely.
    -------
    the pic can use ISCP in circuit serial programming.
    you need 4 wires: v- gnd pgc pgd
    you will with that program almost any pic
    the program you use will do the work, not the interface.
    I can assure you I programmed 16f87x with a jdm ...
    the jdm cannot program certain pics that have a precise timing for MCLR (very recent ones)
    and of course you need a serial interface... if you only have a parallel interface, I can't help you I didn't use it for pic programming I don't know the best...



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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    I can't find JDM programmer on their site. Only the ID Ziff programmer.


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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    this is jdm (or ludipipo)


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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    OK Thanks. Another to build. Does the pic have to be programmed? or it that just showing where the pic goes?

    Thanks



    •   Alt28th December 2010, 18:43

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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    it is to show where the pic (or the 24xx eeprom) goes.

    another with-no-pic esr meter, still a digital one, from the german elv:


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    •   Alt28th December 2010, 19:31

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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    this is another "with-no-pic" esr meter
    this one is connected to a standard multimeter to display the result


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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    I saw that one, and actually liked it but it used a lot of SMD that I have not tried yet and not having anything to translate. I've seen the other showing.

    ---------- Post added at 11:13 ---------- Previous post was at 11:09 ----------

    That has a pic on it that would need to be programmed right?



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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    there is no pic in the elv esr meter. the circuit is a standard 7106 display circuit... may be more difficult (and more expensive) to find nowadays than a basic pic ...



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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    ICL7106 is between $3 - $5 ea + $4 - $12 shipping here in the states. I would hope I could find someone that already built it or if someone knows how to read it and answer a few questions.

    1.) why 4 +9v points, 2 +5v points and 2 +2.5v points.
    2.) Then not understanding schematics enough there are a lot of areas where they just end. Is that ground?
    3.) How long are the test leads? This seemed to be a problem in one. When they were longer than 30 cm it was hard to zero it with out error. That's a bit short 11 inches.

    ---------- Post added at 12:11 ---------- Previous post was at 12:10 ----------

    But I have to not think about this one for now. It's double sided. and a bunch of SMD on the bottom and would have to have the PCB made.



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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    mistake I made
    the free viewer-printer for sprint layout is here :
    http://www.abacom-online.de/uk/html/...ewlayout50.exe



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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    Here is one I'm taking a look at if I decide on the pic programmer.



    •   Alt28th December 2010, 23:14

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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    Here is the write up and how to calibrate information.
    Silicon Chip Online - Circuit Notebook

    Basically, the circuit generates a low-voltage 100kHz test signal, which is applied to the capacitor via a pair of probes. An op amp then amplifies the voltage dropped across the capacitor’s series resistance and this can be displayed on a standard multimeter.

    In more detail, inverter IC1d is configured as a 200kHz oscillator. Its output drives a 4027 J-K flipflop, which divides the oscillator signal in half to ensure an equal mark/space ratio.

    Two elements of a 4066 quad bilateral switch (IC3c & IC3d) are alternately switched on by the complementary outputs of the J-K flipflop. One switch input (pin 11) is connected to +5V, whereas the other (pin 8) is connected to -5V. The outputs (pins 9 & 10) of these two switches are connected together, with the result being a 5V 100kHz square wave.

    Series resistance is included to current-limit the signal before it is applied to the capacitor under test via a pair of test probes. Diodes D1 and D2 limit the signal swing and protect the 4066 outputs in case the capacitor is charged.

    A second pair of leads sense the signal developed across the probe tips. Once again, the signal is limited by diodes (D3 & D4) before begin applied to the remaining two inputs of the 4066 switch (pins 2 & 3 of IC3a & IC3b). These switches direct alternate half cycles to two 1μF capacitors, removing most of the AC component of the signal and providing a simple "sample and hold" mechanism.

    The 1μF capacitors charge to a DC level that is proportional to the test capacitor’s ESR. This is differentially amplified by op amp IC4 so that it can be displayed on a digital multimeter – 10Ω will be represented by 100mV, 1Ω by 10mV, etc.

    To calibrate the circuit, first adjust VR1 to obtain 100kHz at TP3. Next, momentarily short the test probes together and adjust VR4 for 0mV at pin 6 of IC4.

    That done, set your meter to read milliamps and connect it between TP4 and the negative (-) DMM output. Apply -5V to TP2 and note the current flow, which should be around 2.1mA. Transfer the -5V from TP2 to TP1 and adjust VR2 until the same current (ignore sign) is obtained. Remove the -5V from TP1.

    Again, set to your meter to read volts and connect it to the DMM outputs. Apply the probes to a 10W resistor and adjust VR3 for a reading of 100mV.

    Finally, ensure that all capacitors to be tested are always fully discharged before connecting the probes.

    Len Cox,

    Forest Hill, Vic.



    Quote Originally Posted by Kripton2035 View Post
    this is another "with-no-pic" esr meter
    this one is connected to a standard multimeter to display the result


    ---------- Post added at 19:06 ---------- Previous post was at 19:00 ----------

    I almost forgot. They only list the voltage for one Cap 100uf 16v, does that mean the rest are also 16v and the rest non polarized that are not labled?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kripton2035 View Post
    this is another "with-no-pic" esr meter
    this one is connected to a standard multimeter to display the result



  18. #18
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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    I've just started an ESR repository...
    take a look !
    ESR-Repository



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    Re: Help to choose ESR meter

    This is great! the second one link is not working. (view result on a multimeter or a vu-meter) Is there any layouts for these or .sch files that can be imported to eagle to make a layout? Most the houses that can do boards need the eagle, Gerber, cad files to work from.

    Thaks so much.



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