Author Topic: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project  (Read 1409042 times)

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Offline noidea

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #100 on: September 18, 2013, 04:22:56 pm »
Hi All
I had just started researching about how to create an electronic component tester using a microcontroller, and found the link to these devices as well as the original which suggest that somebody has already invented the wheel for me.
I was wondering if there was much difference between the various ones available on fleabay at the moment, can anyone make any recommendations as to which ones/sellers are the most up to date?
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #101 on: September 19, 2013, 12:06:11 am »
I had just started researching about how to create an electronic component tester using a microcontroller, and found the link to these devices as well as the original which suggest that somebody has already invented the wheel for me.
I was wondering if there was much difference between the various ones available on fleabay at the moment, can anyone make any recommendations as to which ones/sellers are the most up to date?

Actually you can buy any clone since they are all based on the same circuit. But most need a little fix as described in the official documentation. AFAIK there is no clone at ebay that includes all hardware extensions. Please see http://www.mikrocontroller.net/svnbrowser/transistortester/ for the documentation (English and German) and firmware updates.
 

Offline bench2013

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #102 on: September 19, 2013, 12:42:02 pm »
Hi,

this thread looks awesome. I build one of these based on Markus F. (2009) very early design (ATMEGA8/48). It serves me well. I think time has move on, may be I should upgrade. Just wonder which controller does this Chinese clone comes with? Cheapo AMEGA8 or they put in more expensive 128/328? Always a dilemma, to build or to buy?

 :-+

Keep up the good work.

Ben
 

Online toli

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #103 on: September 19, 2013, 03:42:26 pm »
I got mine a couple of days ago, ver 2.4. The fw is 1.05, and the IC is the ATMEGA168. They didn't even scrub that off:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/37472979/IMG_0137.JPG

I just did the bare minimum by removing the zener (which measured 2.03V instead of 2.5V), and adding 2 decoupling caps on the ATMEGA, I didn't do any other mods, I'm less concerned with battery life as with my amount of use the battery with lose most of its charge by self-discharge anyway :)
 

Offline noidea

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #104 on: September 19, 2013, 04:13:24 pm »
I got mine a couple of days ago, ver 2.4. The fw is 1.05, and the IC is the ATMEGA168. They didn't even scrub that off:

Thanks I have just spotted one that looks exactly the same as that based on the pcb markings.
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #105 on: September 19, 2013, 09:24:11 pm »
this thread looks awesome. I build one of these based on Markus F. (2009) very early design (ATMEGA8/48). It serves me well. I think time has move on, may be I should upgrade. Just wonder which controller does this Chinese clone comes with? Cheapo AMEGA8 or they put in more expensive 128/328? Always a dilemma, to build or to buy?

The clones we know about all got an ATmega168 but the 16k flash memory isn't enough to support all current firmware features. So I recommend to go for the ATmega328 (either replace the clone's 168 or build the tester yourself).
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #106 on: September 19, 2013, 09:30:14 pm »
I got mine a couple of days ago, ver 2.4. The fw is 1.05, and the IC is the ATMEGA168. They didn't even scrub that off:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/37472979/IMG_0137.JPG

Yep, that's one of the common clones. But the firmware is a tad old by now. Karl-Heinz' current version is 1.08k and mine is 1.09m (no ESR, no hardware extensions, but a PWM tool).
 

Offline jav

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #107 on: September 19, 2013, 10:43:03 pm »
I got mine a couple of days ago, ver 2.4. The fw is 1.05, and the IC is the ATMEGA168. They didn't even scrub that off:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/37472979/IMG_0137.JPG

Yep, that's one of the common clones. But the firmware is a tad old by now. Karl-Heinz' current version is 1.08k and mine is 1.09m (no ESR, no hardware extensions, but a PWM tool).
That's the one I've also bought, but I made some changes to it: Apart from the decoupling capacitors, I changed the voltage regulator and the CPU (ATmega328), added a voltage reference (instead of the zener) and a 8 MHz crystal. Then I changed to the 1.08k version and works great.

The software is awesome! Thanks!
 

Offline noidea

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #108 on: September 19, 2013, 10:50:00 pm »
Yep, that's one of the common clones. But the firmware is a tad old by now. Karl-Heinz' current version is 1.08k and mine is 1.09m (no ESR, no hardware extensions, but a PWM tool).
[/quote]
I guess asking the seller to tell you what the version is the only way to find out.
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #109 on: September 20, 2013, 02:17:20 am »
I guess asking the seller to tell you what the version is the only way to find out.

It's not that important ;-) Add an ISP header and flash the current firmware.
 

Offline krivx

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #110 on: September 20, 2013, 03:20:50 am »
Could someone provide a link to to the auction? I can only find the older DIP clone on ebay.
 

Offline jav

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #111 on: September 20, 2013, 08:15:09 am »
Could someone provide a link to to the auction? I can only find the older DIP clone on ebay.
This is the one I bought. Even if in the pictures comes with the crystal installed, the ones I got don't have it.

www.ebay.com/itm/330917635775
 

Offline casinada

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #112 on: September 20, 2013, 09:06:58 am »
Do a search on ebay for "transistor tester esr" and you'll find lots of sellers. I would chose one with back-lit LCD. There also many revisions of the board I think that there are revisions 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4 on the SMD version. I don't know what the difference between the revisions are. I'm sure that it is discussed on the forum:
http://www.mikrocontroller.net/topic/248078.

 
« Last Edit: September 20, 2013, 09:30:29 am by casinada »
 

Offline noidea

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #113 on: September 20, 2013, 11:42:39 am »
Could someone provide a link to to the auction? I can only find the older DIP clone on ebay.
I'm in Australia and are looking at this one
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/290949358387

They also have a DIP version as well that's cheaper
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/300937438443
 

Offline Dark Prognosis

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #114 on: September 20, 2013, 11:52:33 am »
Do a search on ebay for "transistor tester esr" and you'll find lots of sellers. I would chose one with back-lit LCD. There also many revisions of the board I think that there are revisions 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4 on the SMD version. I don't know what the difference between the revisions are. I'm sure that it is discussed on the forum:
http://www.mikrocontroller.net/topic/248078.
Problem with the url it has a period at the end so returns a 404 error.

The issue with all of these on fleabay is that they do not say what version they are for the ones I quickly scanned over.
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #115 on: September 20, 2013, 09:19:17 pm »
Problem with the url it has a period at the end so returns a 404 error.

Please try http://www.mikrocontroller.net/topic/248078 :-)

That trailing dot is special (annoying) feature of this forum's software.
 

Offline Dark Prognosis

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #116 on: September 21, 2013, 02:23:06 am »
Problem with the url it has a period at the end so returns a 404 error.

Please try http://www.mikrocontroller.net/topic/248078 :-)

That trailing dot is special (annoying) feature of this forum's software.
Aye.

I did not read every page of this thread so please forgive me if this has been answered already but if I own an Arduino Mega can I use it to do what these do by simply connecting the appropriate pins and loading up the proper software?
 

Online toli

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #117 on: September 21, 2013, 02:47:22 am »
I also got a little lost with the different revision of the fw. What was added/removed in each revision? Is the HW exactly the same in all revisions?

I guess its all somewhere in the documentation, but a quick look only gave me partial answers. Never mind, I'm very happy with it, and fact I ordered one from eBay and spent no time in building it myself is even better as I don't have the time right now :)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 02:52:33 am by toli »
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #118 on: September 21, 2013, 05:33:04 am »
I did not read every page of this thread so please forgive me if this has been answered already but if I own an Arduino Mega can I use it to do what these do by simply connecting the appropriate pins and loading up the proper software?

You'll find a modified firmware for the Arduino at http://www.pighixxx.com/lavori/ardutester/ (includes also a shield).
 

Offline Dark Prognosis

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #119 on: September 21, 2013, 05:45:07 am »
I did not read every page of this thread so please forgive me if this has been answered already but if I own an Arduino Mega can I use it to do what these do by simply connecting the appropriate pins and loading up the proper software?

You'll find a modified firmware for the Arduino at http://www.pighixxx.com/lavori/ardutester/ (includes also a shield).
So, best to buy one of those off of ebay then?  Seems less costly but lacks freedom too I think.
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #120 on: September 21, 2013, 06:06:14 am »
I also got a little lost with the different revision of the fw. What was added/removed in each revision? Is the HW exactly the same in all revisions?

The firmware got additional features (can't remember them all :-) and tons of improvements. We keep everything compatible with the basic design, i.e. all hardware extensions are optional. If you got a very old hardware (Markus F.'s original design) you might need to apply some changes.
 

Online toli

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #121 on: September 21, 2013, 06:12:12 am »
The need to go and check is exactly why I don't do that, who's got the time?!  :(

Anyway, I'm happy with my unit. fw 1.05 might be a bit old, but it does what I need it to do. Resistors and capacitors are measured quite well with results no too far from my U1253A (actually very close to identical). Diodes Vf also about the same as I got at 6mA measurement in a test rig I once built (it had a temp chamber for temp-co measurement, and 6mA was used as this was the expected in circuit operation). I've measured some JFET's, BJT's, MOSFET's, everything seems to be good. Inductors are the only thing I can't confirm as I don't have an inductance meter (and the old time-constant measurement with the scope is too time consuming at the moment), but the values seem to be close to what's printed on the part so I guess its good as well.

I really only need it for ESR (to know if a cap is good or bad,  the exact value is of no interest to me), for inductance (again, precision isn't very important for my current needs), and for transistor matching - it can do all this so its well worth the price.
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #122 on: September 21, 2013, 06:26:31 am »
So, best to buy one of those off of ebay then?  Seems less costly but lacks freedom too I think.

The Transistor Tester isn't a development platform, it's a tool designed for a specific purpose. The Arduino lacks the complete power management which the Transistor Tester got (optimized for battery usage).
 

Offline madires

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #123 on: September 21, 2013, 06:39:06 am »
I really only need it for ESR (to know if a cap is good or bad,  the exact value is of no interest to me), for inductance (again, precision isn't very important for my current needs), and for transistor matching - it can do all this so its well worth the price.

1.07k got an improved ESR measurement and 1.08k considers the leakage current of a BJT for hFE and fixes a problem with Germanium BJTs.
 

Online toli

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Re: $20 LCR ESR Transistor checker project
« Reply #124 on: September 21, 2013, 06:40:40 am »
Damn! Now I should probably install 1.08k :)

 


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