Author Topic: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter  (Read 63032 times)

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Offline Shock

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$20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« on: January 21, 2013, 01:21:06 am »
This thread is for discussion of the Chinese ESR meter clone and the open source German project AVR TransistorTester by Karl-Heinz Kubbeler and associated firmware. Some Chinese clones can be cheaply modified or updated and are suitable for those who wish to avoid creating a PCB or just want a cheap ESR meter.

The original style Chinese clones (pictured below) can be purchased on ebay for as little as $10 including shipping. These are likely to be compatible with the project but there are many different designs being sold (see FAQ below).

also read the other chinese esr meter clone thread 

Project:
http://www.mikrocontroller.net/articles/AVR_Transistortester
Project site (translated to English)
Manual (English) Version 1.12k (2017-01-20) But please check the project site for all current documentation and pdfs.



Some FAQs:
There are two versions of firmware being developed for the open source project.
Both versions are available at http://www.mikrocontroller.net/svnbrowser/transistortester/Software/
trunk = k-firmware under development
tags = releases of k-firmware
Markus = m-firmware (madires on eevblog)

The main difference between the k and m firmwares is that the k-firmware includes support for ESR measurement and the m-firmware has a simple menu system and a PWM tool.

Karl-Heinz' documentation is always up-to-date find it here:
http://www.mikrocontroller.net/svnbrowser/transistortester/Doku/trunk/pdftex/english/

Both firmwares (k & m) for the transistor tester support in-circuit ESR measurement. Please see http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/$20-lcr-esr-transistor-checker-project/ for more information.

A convenient test lead setup is 4mm banana sockets and short crocodile clips or probing test leads, for SMD testing SMD probing tweezers.

The voltage reference in the circuit is optional and if you put one in it will be detected by the software.

The circuit may run at 3.3V but you will you will lose most FETs, SCRs & TRIACs and some measurement ranges will be also reduced.

There are two standard headers for ISP, either 6 pin or 10 pin. You'll find the original circuit with the 6 pin ISP at  http://www.mikrocontroller.net/svnbrowser/transistortester/Doku/tags/english/ (click "Download GNU tarball").
With some goggling you will find reference to the 10 pin header then simply trace Vcc or Gnd to figure out the orientation.

If the LCD display is ST7565 compatible the k-firmware should work on the Chinese clones. You may be limited to the Chinese firmware otherwise.

There is numerous different clones being manufactured now. The main differences are the package and memory of Atmega microcontroller used, ISP header or socket support, LCD screen, backlight, rechargeable battery, DC socket and if the voltage reference or crystal is present.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 03:10:54 am by Shock »
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM
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Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 01:43:31 am »
Has anyone checked these out or own one?  If they work $20 seems a bargain.
Be interested to know their exact specs such as ESR voltage and frequency range for the DUT.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/170971859171



Well,
     This is The newer Version of Markus Firmware That Has ESR Measurement .It Misses The Case and also the finish quality of a pro product .But i am sure if we peeps can find out a good casing for the same and someone can make a pcb design and learns if and buts of the same its a damn good bargain lol
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Offline firewalker

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 01:52:37 am »
Why even bother to hide the mcu?



Alexander.
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Offline Spawn

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013, 01:55:07 am »
I have seen them before, the thing is there is no information about accuracy, on the pictures most capacitors seems to read well till you see the 1000uF one, it shows 673uF on one and 872 on other, lower values are looking good strange enough.

Since I don’t use a LCR that much and still want one in my lab, I ordered UNI-T UT603 just to check out, UNI-T meters give me some confident, but I can imagine the quality is not same every time with UNI-T.

Offline SeanB

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2013, 01:59:14 am »
So it takes 40 seconds longer to realise it is a common MCU............
 

Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2013, 02:20:36 am »
So it takes 40 seconds longer to realise it is a common MCU............

SeanB ,
      Boss earlier i used to see they have a dip type mcu.now they have a smd type .I am sure its the same as before only ,Can someone confirm  .This AVR has some brilliant code in there .I am sure the accuracy can be improved by talking into consideration the code and some tweaks  .
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Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 02:58:53 am »
Has anyone checked these out or own one?  If they work $20 seems a bargain.
Be interested to know their exact specs such as ESR voltage and frequency range for the DUT.

You can find all details (docs, source code) at http://www.mikrocontroller.net/svnbrowser/transistortester/. The original version was done by Markus F. and Karl-Heinz started to improve the design and the firmware. Last year I joined in too with an alternative firmware. Karl-Heinz' current version supports the measurement of inductance and ESR in a very limited way (it's not done the classic way). Since the circuit isn't designed for those measurements it's suprising how much can be achieved with some clever programming. All other tests and measurements work well. The latest changes are about reducing the battery usage by the MCUs sleep mode (sleeping instead of NOPing for larger delays).

Regarding accuracy you'll find some nice graphs in the documentation. Karl-Heinz did a lot of measurements with the tester and a LCR meter. I did too and tried to improve the measurement methods (that's what my alternative firmware is for :-). Capacitors are darn close now with the LCR meter and the tester. BTW, there's a self calibration function in both firmwares. It's strongly recommended since the MCUs and the PCBs may differ a lot.

PS: The MCU of the tester from ebay is an ATmega168. And it seems that the PCB layout could be improved for higher accuracy.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 03:07:49 am by madires »
 

Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2013, 04:37:43 am »
Has anyone checked these out or own one?  If they work $20 seems a bargain.
Be interested to know their exact specs such as ESR voltage and frequency range for the DUT.

You can find all details (docs, source code) at http://www.mikrocontroller.net/svnbrowser/transistortester/. The original version was done by Markus F. and Karl-Heinz started to improve the design and the firmware. Last year I joined in too with an alternative firmware. Karl-Heinz' current version supports the measurement of inductance and ESR in a very limited way (it's not done the classic way). Since the circuit isn't designed for those measurements it's suprising how much can be achieved with some clever programming. All other tests and measurements work well. The latest changes are about reducing the battery usage by the MCUs sleep mode (sleeping instead of NOPing for larger delays).

Regarding accuracy you'll find some nice graphs in the documentation. Karl-Heinz did a lot of measurements with the tester and a LCR meter. I did too and tried to improve the measurement methods (that's what my alternative firmware is for :-). Capacitors are darn close now with the LCR meter and the tester. BTW, there's a self calibration function in both firmwares. It's strongly recommended since the MCUs and the PCBs may differ a lot.

PS: The MCU of the tester from ebay is an ATmega168. And it seems that the PCB layout could be improved for higher accuracy.

Excellent ,
    can we have some more details about your project with a link or something
Regards

Amarbir Singh Dhillon [ Lynx-India ] , Chandigarh [ India ] - > www.lynxdealerstore.com , www.lynx-india.com
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Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2013, 11:40:31 pm »
Excellent ,
    can we have some more details about your project with a link or something

Same link as above (cd Software/Markus). I've also done a modified circuit with a current limiting PWM driver for the LCD backlight (benchtop instead of handheld), which is fully compatible with both firmwares but not uploaded yet.
 

Offline Jay_Diddy_B

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2013, 11:56:35 pm »
Hi,

It seems we have some people on the forum who know this device well  :D

Can the device measure the ESR of capacitor in circuit or do they have to have to be removed from the circuit for testing?

Many thanks !!

Jay_Diddy_B

 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2013, 12:54:36 am »
It seems we have some people on the forum who know this device well  :D

I guess so :-)

Quote
Can the device measure the ESR of capacitor in circuit or do they have to have to be removed from the circuit for testing?

The Transistor Tester doesn't support in-circuit testing/measurements.
 

Offline Stonent

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2013, 07:30:56 am »
Probably wouldn't be too hard to build an arduino version of this.
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Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2013, 08:19:09 am »
Probably wouldn't be too hard to build an arduino version of this.

Someone already did but it's got some drawbacks.
 

Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2013, 09:50:42 pm »
It seems we have some people on the forum who know this device well  :D

I guess so :-)

Quote
Can the device measure the ESR of capacitor in circuit or do they have to have to be removed from the circuit for testing?

The Transistor Tester doesn't support in-circuit testing/measurements.

Hello ,
      Are You Called Mark With firmware Rev 1.05m ? .How Many Different people are making alternative firmware and releasing it in open source  .Also i read the esr accuracy is now 0.01 resolution . Whats the difference between your and that other developer code  ?
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Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2013, 01:46:00 am »
Are You Called Mark With firmware Rev 1.05m ? .How Many Different people are making alternative firmware and releasing it in open source  .Also i read the esr accuracy is now 0.01 resolution . Whats the difference between your and that other developer code  ?

Yep, Markus with the m-version. The original author is a Markus too :-) The original firmware was written by Markus Frejek and is obsolete by now. Karl-Heinz improved and extended the original firmware and still does. And I joined in by cleaning up source code and adding/changing some stuff. So we got two current firmware forks.

The main differences between both forks is that Karl-Heinz' firmware supports more AVRmega models (with smaller flash size), inductance and ESR measurements (in a limited way). My version has a changed user interface, a milli-ohm measurement and some measurements are done in a little different (better?) way. For example I wasn't happy with Vf (Vbe) of BJTs, it was much to high. So I tried something else and Karl-Heinz improved his solution too. The nice thing is that Karl-Heinz and I learn a lot from each other.
 

Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2013, 06:01:06 am »

Quote
Yep, Markus with the m-version. The original author is a Markus too :-) The original firmware was written by Markus Frejek and is obsolete by now. Karl-Heinz improved and extended the original firmware and still does. And I joined in by cleaning up source code and adding/changing some stuff. So we got two current firmware forks.

The main differences between both forks is that Karl-Heinz' firmware supports more AVRmega models (with smaller flash size), inductance and ESR measurements (in a limited way). My version has a changed user interface, a milli-ohm measurement and some measurements are done in a little different (better?) way. For example I wasn't happy with Vf (Vbe) of BJTs, it was much to high. So I tried something else and Karl-Heinz improved his solution too. The nice thing is that Karl-Heinz and I learn a lot from each other.



Well,
     Whats the point then if each other take suggestions from each other and improve the code .Then why have two different tracks  .I did read the code and the project in the afternoon today and i would say that you should not stick to the hardware frejek made  .Might be its time for a little redesign and then taking the project to a higher level  .Frejeks initial eye of attraction was a project my jeremy from peak electronics uk .Whom i am proud in representing as national distributor in india .They have taken DCA55 to a Higher Level ,They Have the DCA75 now and this is with computer interface  .Even Dangerous Prototypes has a project just like this .Hence shake up your leg and take it to a higher level .Sign i still do not know about microcontrollers yet .I am learning the veteran 8051 right now and it will take a while IMHO  .Then migration to other platforms etc would be easy .
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Offline sonnytiger

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2013, 02:02:43 pm »
I got one of these months ago from some guy in china, about the same price, it did not work very well, it measured inductance at a quite low value and capacitors were lower then they should be as well. I tested multiple 680uH inductors for example and all tested much more than 10% below their rated value.
 

Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2013, 04:59:50 pm »
I got one of these months ago from some guy in china, about the same price, it did not work very well, it measured inductance at a quite low value and capacitors were lower then they should be as well. I tested multiple 680uH inductors for example and all tested much more than 10% below their rated value.

Well,
      Could You Compare it with a LCR Meter As Inductance Is Not This tools forte
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Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2013, 01:41:03 am »
Whats the point then if each other take suggestions from each other and improve the code .Then why have two different tracks .

If you read my readme file you'll find the answer :-) Or just call it evolution or improvement by competition. 

Quote
I did read the code and the project in the afternoon today and i would say that you should not stick to the hardware frejek made  .Might be its time for a little redesign and then taking the project to a higher level  .Frejeks initial eye of attraction was a project my jeremy from peak electronics uk .Whom i am proud in representing as national distributor in india .They have taken DCA55 to a Higher Level ,They Have the DCA75 now and this is with computer interface  .Even Dangerous Prototypes has a project just like this .Hence shake up your leg and take it to a higher level .

The firmware should stay compatible with the old circuit design. If we would change the hardware design every six months for new features we would make a lot of users unhappy. This is a open hardware and software project, not a commercial venture. There are some ideas about a Tester+ with improved hardware but it would be much more complex (a lot of external components) and SMT-only. Since there are a lot of starters in the userbase I'm unsure if a Tester+ would be a great idea for them.

Quote
Sign i still do not know about microcontrollers yet .I am learning the veteran 8051 right now and it will take a while IMHO  .Then migration to other platforms etc would be easy .

Not as easy as you think. The AVRmega runs nicely at 5V which is a good compromise for testing a lot of components. More powerful MCUs run at 3V which is too low and requires a lot of external components to drive 5V or even higher voltages with a decent current. Some measurements done with the AVRmega exceed the maximum I/O current. You have also to deal with MCU specific details like the internal resistance of I/O pins and so on. That's just the hardware. Optimizations for higher accuracy are based on the MCU. Another MCU family causes a complete rework of those optimizations.
 

Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2013, 02:48:56 am »
Well,
    Any links for that tester+ concept you are referring to markus .Have you seen some other component tester design and projects .i know a few

1 : This project
2 : Dangerous prototypes - i think its going to be done with now IMHO
3 : semtest - one hell of a project @ silicon chip and this months epe uk also has this project its three part project  .
Regards

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Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2013, 03:45:54 am »
Well,
    Any links for that tester+ concept you are referring to markus .

That's just an internal/private discussion at the moment.

Quote
Have you seen some other component tester design and projects .i know a few

1 : This project
2 : Dangerous prototypes - i think its going to be done with now IMHO
3 : semtest - one hell of a project @ silicon chip and this months epe uk also has this project its three part project  .

Yes, DPs project is based on a PIC. But I didn't know about semtest (got no subscription). Let's see. It provides quite high voltages but only 1mA drive current. That's much too low for power devices, like a 2N3055.
 

Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2013, 04:03:05 am »
Markus ,
    i got a iphone and i when to store and i could download one version of EPE free .The Feb issue has part 1 of semtest all free

Ps :  Everyone a little thank you for this info is appreciated hee hee  >:D
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Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2013, 01:17:32 am »
There's a firmware fork and a shield for the Arduino now at http://www.pighixxx.com/lavori/ardutester/. Alberto used my code and is adding the ESR and inductance measurement functions from Karl-Heinz.
 

Offline triac

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2013, 05:03:23 pm »
I purchased this tester and found it to be quite accurate.Latest version. Certainly worth $20.
With the exception on large capacitors which i could not verify as my HP tester is down. but large capacitors drift and vary a fair amount so a close call is probably OK.
It is quite impressive that so many functions are packed in to a small unit.
I note some are available in a box with a Zif connector I can make this modification my self even some strip board for the surface mount components.
The board has some connections for USB and a battery charging circuit, any body have info on this?
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2013, 09:56:30 pm »
I purchased this tester and found it to be quite accurate.Latest version. Certainly worth $20.
With the exception on large capacitors which i could not verify as my HP tester is down. but large capacitors drift and vary a fair amount so a close call is probably OK.
It is quite impressive that so many functions are packed in to a small unit.

And it's not finished yet :-) Currently I'm working on an improved diode detection.

Quote
I note some are available in a box with a Zif connector I can make this modification my self even some strip board for the surface mount components.
The board has some connections for USB and a battery charging circuit, any body have info on this?

Unfortunately not, since that part is added by the PCB designer, it's not an "official" feature.
 

Offline ScottJ

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2013, 01:45:08 pm »
I purchased one of the chinese boards that says "Booster edition ver 2.2 2012/11/26 Transistor - L/C ESR Tester" on ebay.
Signature bits confirms it is ATMega168.

On this unit, the fuse bits were not locked, so I was able to read flash and eeprom info and existing fuse settings.

I flashed Markus/ComponentTester-106m/  that was compiled for m168 but the LCD display seems scrambled.

Has anybody else successfully flashed this device with the Markus fork of firmware? 

I read an older PDF description of this project that is very detailed and helpful.
It suggested the Chinese clone boards need a 0.1uF capacitor on the ATMega168 for power decoupling across Vcc/Gnd.
I'll probably try that next.

EDIT:  I forgot to program new fuse bits "make fuses; sudo avrdude ...."  -- so now it's working.
   It's in continuous mode now, but I'll fix that.


thanks,
Scott

« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 01:57:33 pm by ScottJ »
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2013, 10:35:28 pm »
I read an older PDF description of this project that is very detailed and helpful.
It suggested the Chinese clone boards need a 0.1uF capacitor on the ATMega168 for power decoupling across Vcc/Gnd.
I'll probably try that next.

Karl-Heinz' documentaion is always up-to-date (http://www.mikrocontroller.net/svnbrowser/transistortester/Doku/trunk/pdftex/english/). In the German forum several chaps reported success with modifying (I should say improving :-) the Chinese testers and flashing new firmware.

Quote
EDIT:  I forgot to program new fuse bits "make fuses; sudo avrdude ...."  -- so now it's working.
   It's in continuous mode now, but I'll fix that.

Simply press the test button a tad longer when powering on.

PS: The new "m" version will have an improved UI and a new diode detection logic.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 10:37:15 pm by madires »
 

Offline ScottJ

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2013, 11:33:44 pm »

Thanks for the link to the current documentation.  I checked out the SVN repository, but didn't look under Doku for the current docs.
I discovered the continuous mode and internal menu from the documentation in your branch -- I really like it!

I'm using usbtiny from adafruit.com on ubuntu so I needed to change the makefile a bit to accomodate my environment.

I like Karl-Heinz's use of serial output using PC3 (usart pin?) for output.  Do you have plans to use this?

Also - my Chinese clone board has a 2v zener for voltage reference, but I can't find any place in your code where to read the PC4 (ADC4) voltage reference.
I measured my voltage as 1.955 volts, and wanted to specify somewhere in the code for precision.  but I can't find it.
Am I missing something?

My only problem now is during the self test or Adjustment modes, when I'm told "Create Short Circuit" and then connect all three test pins together, it does not proceed.
I see in the code that it loops waiting to confirm all 3 points are shorted, but in my case it does not proceed.
I confirmed resistance from TP1,2,3 back to input pins on TQFP32 ATMega168 - all traces are connected with expected resistance.
Any ideas?

I was next going to add a debug mode during Create Short Circuit to display shorted pins.
I'll just write to line 1 LCD something like "12" if pins 1,2 are shorted. eventually it should write "1231" to show all are shorted.

The serial output mode would be useful, to write debug messages to a terminal.

Thanks again for our contribution on this project, I'm really excited to play around with this.
If I make any significant changes, I'll post my code to my github account to share.

thanks,
Scott
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2013, 12:16:50 am »
Thanks for the link to the current documentation.  I checked out the SVN repository, but didn't look under Doku for the current docs.
I discovered the continuous mode and internal menu from the documentation in your branch -- I really like it!

Thanks!

Quote
I like Karl-Heinz's use of serial output using PC3 (usart pin?) for output.  Do you have plans to use this?

No, but it's just a short and simple piece of code.

Quote
Also - my Chinese clone board has a 2v zener for voltage reference, but I can't find any place in your code where to read the PC4 (ADC4) voltage reference.
I measured my voltage as 1.955 volts, and wanted to specify somewhere in the code for precision.  but I can't find it.
Am I missing something?

No :-) The external reference is supported by Karl-Heinz' k-version. I decided to skip that feature because the external reference barely improves the accuracy for the 168 and 328. It would be much better to have a reference switchable between 1V and 5V for the ADC. But that would break the orginal design.

Quote
My only problem now is during the self test or Adjustment modes, when I'm told "Create Short Circuit" and then connect all three test pins together, it does not proceed.
I see in the code that it loops waiting to confirm all 3 points are shorted, but in my case it does not proceed.
I confirmed resistance from TP1,2,3 back to input pins on TQFP32 ATMega168 - all traces are connected with expected resistance.
Any ideas?

The short circuit test sets up a voltage divider for two probes and expects the voltage at both probes being Vcc/2 +/- 30mV. That's done for all 3 probe combinations. You could check if Vcc is stable. Which voltage regulator is used? If you measure resistors or capacitors are the values ok or somewhat off? If you run the PWM tool and check the output with a scope does the frequency match?

Quote
I was next going to add a debug mode during Create Short Circuit to display shorted pins.
I'll just write to line 1 LCD something like "12" if pins 1,2 are shorted. eventually it should write "1231" to show all are shorted.

Add also the output of the measured voltages to give you a hint.

Quote
The serial output mode would be useful, to write debug messages to a terminal.

Please have a look at Karl-Heinz' code and add the software UART :-)
 

Offline raresvintea

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2013, 07:23:38 am »
A bought a ebay kit, and it's excelent! But i want to modify to measure ESR cap in circuit! I saw some esr-meters on net that uses 2 diodes, what is the best solution and the safest. I can eventualy use a swich when i need to take esr measurements in circuits. Please help me :)
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #30 on: July 06, 2013, 07:46:05 am »
A bought a ebay kit, and it's excelent! But i want to modify to measure ESR cap in circuit! I saw some esr-meters on net that uses 2 diodes, what is the best solution and the safest. I can eventualy use a swich when i need to take esr measurements in circuits. Please help me :)

The in-circuit ESR meters use a low voltage which is below the typical silicon threshold. That requires an opamp to amplify the low voltage at the cap and also high test currents which the TransistorTester doesn't provide. So the answer is: sorry, it won't work.
 

Offline raresvintea

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2013, 07:47:28 am »
Thanks!  :bullshit:
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2013, 03:38:25 pm »
Usually isn't all that hard to pull the cap from the circuit for testing... though once you've gone that far they are usually cheap enough that you might as well just drop in a brand new one no matter how far gone the ESR measures just to be sure... meh...
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #33 on: July 06, 2013, 10:16:34 pm »
BTW, 1.08m is released:
- leackage current (helpful for germanium diodes and transistors)
- inductance measurement
- several minor improvements

http://www.mikrocontroller.net/svnbrowser/transistortester/Software/Markus/
 

Offline Winston

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2013, 01:33:55 am »
Any suggestions for better component test sockets than the 0.1" female header used in the Chinese clones, sockets that will more easily allow insertion of a wider range of lead diameters?
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2013, 01:59:24 am »
Any suggestions for better component test sockets than the 0.1" female header used in the Chinese clones, sockets that will more easily allow insertion of a wider range of lead diameters?

I've added 4mm banana sockets and use short test leads with crocodile clips or probing clips. For SMD stuff I use one of those SMD probing tweezers.

PS: 1.09m is released (fixed pin assignment bug for MOSFETs, added IGBT detection and hFE considers leak current now).
 

Offline Winston

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2013, 01:46:02 am »
I just thought of using a 18-pin DIP ZIF socket, paralleling the connections between each 5-pin cluster in the socket to reproduce the 5-pin header pinout on the PCB.  The remaining 4-pin socket pins would be grouped in adjacent pairs as T1 and T3 and paralleled:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2Pcs-New-Universal-18-Pin-DIP-Test-ZIF-IC-Socket-/170578063963?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27b73eb25b

My clone is marked Ver. 2.4 2013/06/05 and has a zener diode in the D1 position.  In the docs, this is said:

"One error is the assembly of the part "D1", which should be a precision 2.5V voltage reference. Assembled is only a zener diode. This part should be removed. You can mount a LM4040AIZ2.5 or LT1004CZ-2.5 precision voltage reference at this place. A missing voltage reference is noticed by the software, so that you must not install the voltage reference."

I don't understand the meaning of the highlighted portion.  It says that a missing voltage reference is detected by the software, so don't install one.  That doesn't make sense.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 03:01:13 am by Winston »
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2013, 03:49:09 am »
My clone is marked Ver. 2.4 2013/06/05 and has a zener diode in the D1 position.  In the docs, this is said:

"One error is the assembly of the part "D1", which should be a precision 2.5V voltage reference. Assembled is only a zener diode. This part should be removed. You can mount a LM4040AIZ2.5 or LT1004CZ-2.5 precision voltage reference at this place. A missing voltage reference is noticed by the software, so that you must not install the voltage reference."

I don't understand the meaning of the highlighted portion.  It says that a missing voltage reference is detected by the software, so don't install one.  That doesn't make sense.

The voltage reference is optional and if you put one in it will be detected by the software. But you should remove the cheap zener because it might cause problems if the software thinks that it's a voltage reference. Or the brief version: Cheap zener != voltage reference :-)
 

Offline edavid

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #38 on: July 23, 2013, 04:41:30 am »
Has anyone found a suitable case?

Something like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/140957444342
 

Offline Winston

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #39 on: July 23, 2013, 08:33:02 am »
Has anyone found a suitable case?

Something like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/140957444342
Wow!  Looks like someone else thought of the zif socket idea.

I plan to use this case:

http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en?WT.z_header=search_go&lang=en&site=us&keywords=sr251-ib-nd&x=-1057&y=-51
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2014, 12:56:34 pm »
Any suggestions for better component test sockets than the 0.1" female header used in the Chinese clones, sockets that will more easily allow insertion of a wider range of lead diameters?

I've added 4mm banana sockets and use short test leads with crocodile clips or probing clips. For SMD stuff I use one of those SMD probing tweezers.

PS: 1.09m is released (fixed pin assignment bug for MOSFETs, added IGBT detection and hFE considers leak current now).

I was intrigued by this transistor tester and fancied making one myself, then found this chinese complete kit posted. It comes in a rather naff case, but with hook probe leads and a ZIF socket, seemed a bargain to me. I've got it, but no instructions. I shorted all the leads and reset it and it goes through an intruiging cycle of self tests then reports "Test End. Version 1.07k"

I notice all your firmware versions are 1.0xm - Can I flash your latest stuff?

The great thing is the chinese box shifter actually sent me 2 of these by accident and so I don't mind fecking one up. (Hasn't asked for it back, and we do not have the luxury of free or even reasonably cheap international return delivery in the UK, so seller can whistle for it even if he finally works out his stock is -1). I will end up giving it away for free, as in gimme P&P and someone gets it for free.
 

Offline Stonent

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2014, 01:34:22 pm »
Where did the rest of this thread go? I could have swore it was more than 3 pages.
The larger the government, the smaller the citizen.
 

Offline KD0CAC John

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2014, 01:52:19 pm »
Macbeth ,
What would P&P be , I have followed this thread from the beginning and waiting for a consensus and forgot about till you post
John

I thought this thread was longer also , or maybe another parallel ;) 
 

Offline JoeO

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #43 on: January 07, 2014, 01:58:03 pm »
Where did the rest of this thread go? I could have swore it was more than 3 pages.
There are a few threads that discuss these boards.
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Today, only 26,000 remain.
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #44 on: January 08, 2014, 12:37:12 am »
I was intrigued by this transistor tester and fancied making one myself, then found this chinese complete kit posted. It comes in a rather naff case, but with hook probe leads and a ZIF socket, seemed a bargain to me. I've got it, but no instructions. I shorted all the leads and reset it and it goes through an intruiging cycle of self tests then reports "Test End. Version 1.07k"

I notice all your firmware versions are 1.0xm - Can I flash your latest stuff?

Sure, compile the latest version and flash the ATmega. The current versions are:
- 1.09k  Karl-Heinz' official release
- 1.10k  under development (trunk)
- 1.10m Markus' (my ;-) firmware

All versions are available at http://www.mikrocontroller.net/svnbrowser/transistortester/Software/ (trunk = k-firmware under development, tags = releases of k-firmware, Markus = m-firmware). The main difference between the k and m firmwares is that the k-firmware includes support for ESR measurement and the m-firmware has a simple menu system and a PWM tool.
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2014, 12:38:07 am »
Where did the rest of this thread go? I could have swore it was more than 3 pages.

This one?
 

Offline tdsnet

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #46 on: February 09, 2014, 04:20:41 am »
Hi,
i have downloaded new software 1.10m but i can't find schematic with all hardware option for this release
Where i can find it?

Thanks a lots
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #47 on: February 09, 2014, 05:40:25 am »
i have downloaded new software 1.10m but i can't find schematic with all hardware option for this release
Where i can find it?

Please see http://www.mikrocontroller.net/svnbrowser/transistortester/Doku/trunk/pdftex/english/, click "Download GNU tarball" and extract ttester.pdf. The m-firmware supports the standard schematic, 2.5V voltage reference, protection relay and external "high" voltage for zeners.
 

Offline NikWing

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #48 on: March 10, 2014, 06:58:31 am »
though it says 1.10k in the pdf :)

the pdf is very complex. it's a transistor tester that can also be used to measure coils and capacitors?

@madires: I was on the hunt for a LC-Meter that also can measure crystals, ESR etc
on eBay I found different devices, some (the ones that look kinda neat) only have Chinese text on the LCD
so I found this thread and read that they copied it from the project you're working on :)

what I want to do: make a portable device with a color gLCD that also shows the symbols and info like this one:


right now I'm just collecting informations for my next arduino project (I plan to put an FT232, mega328 and everything else on a PCB)

since I'm an arduino beginner: would it be possible to get some help to implement the code for the gLCD?
do you see any problems using a gLCD? (as in connection problems, not enough free space on the mega328) etc
will a step up converter be troublesome for measurement accuracy?

I'm a bit  puzzled at this point hehe :)
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #49 on: March 10, 2014, 09:37:42 am »
the pdf is very complex. it's a transistor tester that can also be used to measure coils and capacitors?

Yes, but inductance is quite limited and the range for capacitance is 5/30pF up to 20mF (based on the firmware version). The Transistor Tester isn't actually designed for that purpose, it's more a "let's see what we can achieve" feature.

Quote
@madires: I was on the hunt for a LC-Meter that also can measure crystals, ESR etc
on eBay I found different devices, some (the ones that look kinda neat) only have Chinese text on the LCD
so I found this thread and read that they copied it from the project you're working on :)

For a LCR meter I'd use a completely different measurement method.

Quote
what I want to do: make a portable device with a color gLCD that also shows the symbols and info like this one:


right now I'm just collecting informations for my next arduino project (I plan to put an FT232, mega328 and everything else on a PCB)

The display shouldn't be any problem but it could require more I/O pins. I don't know if it would match the standard Tester circuit or if some design modifications are needed.

Quote
since I'm an arduino beginner: would it be possible to get some help to implement the code for the gLCD?
do you see any problems using a gLCD? (as in connection problems, not enough free space on the mega328) etc
will a step up converter be troublesome for measurement accuracy?

The gLCD requires more code than a standard LCD module and you might need to store a font in the flash. There are some libs for such displays. The first step is to read the datasheet :-) A boost converter works fine (there's a HAM version of the Tester running with a lithium coin battery and a boost converter).
 

Offline NikWing

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #50 on: March 12, 2014, 05:41:37 am »
hmm I see :o
I'm googling around and find a lot of circuits but can't tell which are best (as in most accurate, with correct working self-calibration, what parts to use exactly, etc)

I know this thread is about the transistor tester, though I look for a perfect way to measure coils, caps, ESR, very small resistors and crystals ^^
 

Offline neslekkim

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #51 on: March 12, 2014, 07:13:35 am »
Why color?, why not have goon connectivity to an computer?

Recreating an curvetracer (faster than DCA75) would have been something..
 

Offline uwezi

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #52 on: March 12, 2014, 08:31:37 am »
Recreating an curvetracer (faster than DCA75) would have been something..

...still thinking about that...
 

Offline NikWing

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #53 on: March 14, 2014, 05:24:37 am »
color is not needed but looks niiiiiiice ;)
you know, making these things has to do with having fun, so why not making it look a little more interesting ;)

pc should already be possible with the ft232 :)
 

Offline caladeira

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #54 on: April 08, 2014, 05:16:19 am »
Hi all.

I've recently discovered this circuit and I'm planing to make one.
I have it already working on a breadboard!

On Post 18 of this thread, I read that 3V is too low for testing most of the components.
However, in the /Software/trunk, I found one make file in a folder "mega328_3.3V".
Is there any version with the atmega running at 3.3v?

I might be interested in this version because I'm thinking in using a 3.3v graphical LCD like the very popular found in the Nokia 3310.
This LCD is cheap, has 6 lines and can do graphics more easily.

Thanks in advance.
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #55 on: April 08, 2014, 06:15:20 am »
The firmware only supports text based LCD modules at the moment. If you like to use a graphics display you would have to rewrite the display functions and adapt the component output, menus and self-adjustment.
 

Offline caladeira

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #56 on: April 08, 2014, 08:31:13 am »
Hi Markus, thank you for the prompt reply.

What about the possibility of the tester work at 3.3V?
Is it possible without reduced functionality?

I've been looking into the code and the most difficult part of adapting a different sized display is the fact that it was written mainly to the 16x2 or 16x4 format.

With the display I have mentioned (based on the PCD8544), it's very easy to get 14x6 characters.
Of course it will take some extra program space, but with atmega 328, I don't think it will be a problem.

What if we create some middle level functions that will be between the main program code and the low level display functions.
Depending of the display type defined in the makefile, this set of functions will adapt the output accordingly.

As long as the display need only 6 data pins, the hardware could continue to be the same.
You only have to choose which type of display at compile time, all the rest should be automatic.

What do you think about it?
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #57 on: April 08, 2014, 08:49:20 am »
What about the possibility of the tester work at 3.3V?
Is it possible without reduced functionality?

I think, with 3.3V you will lose most FETs, SCRs & TRIACs and some measurement ranges will be also reduced.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 07:59:27 am by madires »
 

Offline caladeira

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #58 on: April 09, 2014, 07:34:18 am »
Thank you for your replies, Markus.
 

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« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 12:13:44 am by yack33 »
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #60 on: June 12, 2014, 12:19:41 am »
A new circuit just released the 28/03/14, he seems to have the latest features.

It's just the basic circuit without hardware options. To get the latest firmware please download it at http://www.mikrocontroller.net/svnbrowser/transistortester/Software/ ('trunk' for Karl-Heinz' current version under development or 'Markus' for my version) and update your tester.
 

Offline LektroiD

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #61 on: October 13, 2014, 01:02:37 am »
Do any of these testers measure Vbe of transistors?

I have a DCA55, which does it, but the resolution isn't high enough to make matched pairs
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #62 on: October 14, 2014, 05:50:34 am »
Do any of these testers measure Vbe of transistors?

Both firmwares (k & m) measure Vbe.
 

Offline con-f-use

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #63 on: October 14, 2014, 05:30:15 pm »
Why are there two threads with almost the exact same same? I am con-f-used.
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #64 on: October 14, 2014, 10:04:42 pm »
Why are there two threads with almost the exact same same? I am con-f-used.

It's a popular topic  ;)

BTW, v1.16m was released two weeks days ago. Got some minor improvements and a check for rotary encoders incl. pinout detection.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 10:08:56 pm by madires »
 

Offline LektroiD

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #65 on: October 31, 2014, 02:33:37 am »
Do any of these testers measure Vbe of transistors?

Both firmwares (k & m) measure Vbe.

Cool, I bought a couple of these meters, one with the large LCD and the standard 2 line model.

I can't see any measurement for Vbe though, only Hfe.

How do I flash the firmware on these machines, there seems to be no way to send data to them?
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #66 on: October 31, 2014, 04:12:17 am »
Cool, I bought a couple of these meters, one with the large LCD and the standard 2 line model.
I can't see any measurement for Vbe though, only Hfe.

Must be a quite old firmware version.

Quote
How do I flash the firmware on these machines, there seems to be no way to send data to them?

Download the current k firmware at http://www.mikrocontroller.net/svnbrowser/transistortester/Software/trunk/ (click "
Download GNU tarball"), edit the Makefile (take a sample one from one of the subdirs) and "make". Get an ISP programmer and flash the ATmega. Your testers might need an ISP header.
 

Offline LektroiD

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #67 on: November 02, 2014, 01:03:07 pm »
Cool, I bought a couple of these meters, one with the large LCD and the standard 2 line model.
I can't see any measurement for Vbe though, only Hfe.

Must be a quite old firmware version.

Quote
How do I flash the firmware on these machines, there seems to be no way to send data to them?

Download the current k firmware at http://www.mikrocontroller.net/svnbrowser/transistortester/Software/trunk/ (click "
Download GNU tarball"), edit the Makefile (take a sample one from one of the subdirs) and "make". Get an ISP programmer and flash the ATmega. Your testers might need an ISP header.

None of the meters have headers, although it appears I can solder in a header myself. One of the meters has a space for a 2x3 0.1 header, and the other a standard 2x5 0.1 header. Only problem is I have no idea which orientation they should be, or which side of the board I should solder the headers. I notice there are 4 pins at one side of the 2x5 header which all go to ground though, so that should help if I can get a pin out diagram.

Also, would this interface work ok:
www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271475220093
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #68 on: November 03, 2014, 02:23:54 am »
None of the meters have headers, although it appears I can solder in a header myself. One of the meters has a space for a 2x3 0.1 header, and the other a standard 2x5 0.1 header. Only problem is I have no idea which orientation they should be, or which side of the board I should solder the headers. I notice there are 4 pins at one side of the 2x5 header which all go to ground though, so that should help if I can get a pin out diagram.

There are two standard headers for ISP, either 6 pin or 10 pin. You'll find the originial circuit with the 6 pin ISP at  http://www.mikrocontroller.net/svnbrowser/transistortester/Doku/tags/english/ (click "Download GNU tarball"). And with some google-foo you'll also find the pinout for the 10 pin header, e.g. http://www.batsocks.co.uk/readme/isp_headers.htm  ;) Simply trace Vcc or Gnd to figure out the orientation.

Also, would this interface work ok:
www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271475220093

If that one works with avrdude or another software, it should be fine. Just needs also an adapter cable for the 6 pin ISP header.
 

Offline panoss

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #69 on: March 25, 2018, 12:06:02 am »
Hi guys.
I 'm trying to compile the ComponentTester-trendy-1.26m at Atmel Studio 7.
(code is downloaded from here)
I created a new Solution (I think a 'Solution' is a container of projects) based on ATMega328P.
I replaced the atomatically created code at main.c with the code of main.c at ComponentTester-trendy-1.26m.
I copied all the files (except for the main.c (as I had copied the code)) from ComponentTester-trendy-1.26m folder to my project's folder.
I tried Build->Build Solution, but I get errors (33 of them), the first of which is:
Quote
Error      'R_MCU_HIGH' undeclared (first use in this function)   GccApplication2   c:\Users\Panagiotis\Documents\Atmel Studio\7.0\GccApplication2\GccApplication2\adjust.c   45

I didn't want to change the code, So I left everything as is.
Why do I get errors?

(I 've read the README file, but didn't help me)


« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 12:12:42 am by panoss »
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #70 on: March 25, 2018, 01:47:11 am »
IDE quirks. IIRC, there's a checkbox for using an external Makefile. BTW, the current m-firmware is 1.32m.
 

Offline panoss

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #71 on: March 25, 2018, 02:15:13 am »
So, you 're saying I should use an external makefile?
I should make it by my self?
(as you understand, I 'm almost totally new to mcu programming)
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #72 on: March 25, 2018, 02:30:28 am »
The source includes a Makefile which should be used.
 
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Offline panoss

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #73 on: March 25, 2018, 04:27:04 am »
I used the makefile included in the source code and it compiled!
(I had tried this before but it had failed, I don't know why)
Thanks.

But now I have another problem related to the hardware.
I downloaded from here (I clicked on 'Download GNU tarball').
So, which is the hardware that suits to the software? (ComponentTester-trendy-1.26m)
Is it the '...\transistortester-Hardware\Hardware\Markus\ComponentTester-HW-1.00m\ComponentTester-HW-1.00m'?

(I see in the schematic the ATMega8/88/168 is being used and not the ATMega328P!!!! (REV 1.00, DATE: 3/11/13 3:56PM))
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 04:47:33 am by panoss »
 

Offline panoss

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #74 on: March 25, 2018, 08:27:13 pm »
I suppose it also works for ATMega328P (according to this pdf), right?
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 08:29:45 pm by panoss »
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #75 on: March 25, 2018, 10:36:54 pm »
The current m-firmware supports ATmega328, 324, 644 and 1284. The file you've downloaded is an old circuit. You can configure the m-firmware to run on most tester models.
 

Offline panoss

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #76 on: March 26, 2018, 12:25:37 am »
The file you've downloaded is an old circuit.
Could you please post a link to the latest hardware (and it's frimware)?
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 01:34:11 am by panoss »
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 ESR LCR Transistor NPN PNP Mosfet Meter
« Reply #77 on: March 26, 2018, 03:50:26 am »
The basic circuit hasn't changed much and you'll find the current circuits in Karl-Heinz's documentation (ttester.pdf). The latest m-firmware is 1.32m. Please see https://github.com/svn2github/transistortester for the files.
 


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