Author Topic: Component tester on oscilloscopes  (Read 5289 times)

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Offline Axtman

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Component tester on oscilloscopes
« on: February 14, 2014, 05:27:53 AM »
I see a few oscilloscopes with a component tester feature.  Is this just a gimmick or is it a useful accessory?
 

Offline madires

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2014, 05:46:15 AM »
It's useful for a quick test and to find fishy components. You can also build such a tester yourself (quite simple) if your scope doesn't include one.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2014, 06:30:07 AM »
The component tester in Hameg scopes is most definitely not a gimmick if you know how to use it.

I have several Huntron Trackers and they cost significantly more than a used Hameg scope which offers a respectable alternative.

Look up Octopus testers for the theory of operation. The one in the Hameg is not as simple as some and performs better as a result.
 

Offline kripton2035

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2014, 06:36:12 AM »
yes I compared two boards one working and one non working using the component tester of an hameg scope.
very useful for this job
useless if you want to measure a resistance or a capacitance with it.
what it lacks is the ability to store a trace, and compare it with another to find good/bad pcb
this feature is in the huntron but I wasnt able to pick one at a decent price.

Offline DC5AJ

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2014, 08:05:22 AM »
Alan W2AEW did a great video about component tester / octopus tester. Check it out:   It explains the circuit and shows the resulting patterns of various components, maybe it is interesting for you.
 

Offline mcinque

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2014, 08:53:13 AM »
This is the simply schematic of Alan's video; it's a really useful adapter  :-+

« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 08:56:29 AM by mcinque »
I'm basically still a rookie and because of this, even though the best of intentions, I often say bullshit, so never mind.
 

Offline bsco

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 09:03:55 AM »
That is a very simple ckt...I have a Brunelle 2988  oscilloscope and it has a built in component tester...but mine is not working...tried to get a schematic for it but couldn't find one...if anybody on this site has one that would be great...I must put this circuit together regardless as it is very simple....I have an old Eico scope that I could use it with.......Thanks for posting this....
Cheers,
Bernie
 

Online mos6502

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2014, 05:32:57 PM »
My analog Hameg scope that I had for a few years had a component tester. IMHO: meh. There's not really much that you can test with it. Yeah, you can test pn-junctions like transistors or diodes, but a multimeter will do that better, since it also tells you the voltage drop and it's more handy for repair than a scope. As for testing caps ... maybe, if it's a very large capacitance (remember, the test frequency is only 50Hz), otherwise you just see a line.

So, I used it like maybe once every two years ... and then it didn't really help.

Now, the 99 cent ESR test adapter, that's a really useful thing to use with your scope:

http://archive.is/301HS
for(;;);
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2014, 12:14:28 AM »
I-V curves can tell you more about a semiconductor junction than a multimeter.... that is why the Huntron Tracker was such a success in industry. A Tracker can identifiy unusual situations on PCB mounted components when compared to a known good board...it can be a very efficient diagnostic tool if you use it correctly and understand the displayed images.  For those wanting an auto switching comaprison mode, the Huntron HT1005B just incorporates a SPDT relay that is driven by a simple low frequency oscillator and the relay contacts present one of the two input channels to the Trackers meaurment input. A 555 based oscillator running at 1 Hz or less and connected to a SPDT relay would be an easy implimentation of such  :)

Also these are great for seeing a worn potentiometer.....really nasty display on a poor one or one that is worn/intermittent.

I am not going to so a sales pitch on I-V display devices..... I suppose you like them and find them useful, or you don't   :)
 

Offline zaoka

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2014, 01:45:40 AM »
Component Tester must be a part of any bench. I found defective transistors many times where DMM and analog multimeter could not detect it as bad. I also own Sencore TF46, however, it also missed.

New hameg scopes also have CT built in (not all of them).
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2014, 02:14:43 AM »
Alan W2AEW did a great video about component tester / octopus tester. Check it out:   It explains the circuit and shows the resulting patterns of various components, maybe it is interesting for you.

His video has prompted me to build one and it does work well.  The only cost was the transformer, I had the resistors I needed.  I made a small TH PCB and stuck it in the same enclosure that I had a dual 5VDC PS. :-+
In the past, I tried to have all my ducks in a row.  Now, I'm happy if they are in the same pond.
 

Offline owiecc

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2014, 03:13:49 AM »
I had one case where it was useful. A big component looking like a diode but not behaving like one. One way quite big resistance, the other way smaller. Diode tester did not think it is a diode. When I connected it to CT you can clearly see the diode IV curve. That was 5kV diode. Forward voltage ~3V, big leakage backwards. IMO a nice feature to have but I could live without it. CT on a Hameg HMO724. Maybe more useful in a school environment.
 

Offline bsco

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2014, 04:48:32 AM »
I guess it could prove useful....like you said......not a necessity but I am going to go ahead and make one anyway....just to have it...I also repair control boards for a local company who does printing and this could be a help when I want to compare the signatures on IC chip pins  as I usually get more that one board of the same type...who knows...it may prove useful and if it don't then it didn't break the bank either...
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2014, 05:29:30 AM »
The Huntron Tracker 1005B1S user manual may be of interest and provides a good description of use.

http://www.ko4bb.com/Manuals/11)_Stuff_Not_Sorted/4_Miscelaneous/HUNTRON/HUNTRON-1005B1S-Operator.pdf

The Service Manual provides excellent detail of the design and how the two channel switching works.

http://www.ko4bb.com/Manuals/11)_Stuff_Not_Sorted/4_Miscelaneous/HUNTRON/HUNTRON-1005B1S-Maintenance.pdf


I have bought Hameg HM203 scopes (with built in CT) for GBP20 and that makes a pretty cheap self contained component tester ! Manual, including CT usage is here:

http://www.hameg.com/downloads/man/HM203-6_english.pdf

HM203 Schematics available here:

http://elektrotanya.com/hameg_hm203-5_oscilloscope_sch.pdf/download.html

http://www.eserviceinfo.com/index.php?what=search2&searchstring=203-6

http://www.schematicsunlimited.com/h/hameg
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 05:44:13 AM by Aurora »
 

Online Fraser

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« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 06:05:08 AM by Aurora »
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2014, 04:27:05 PM »
I-V curves can tell you more about a semiconductor junction than a multimeter.... that is why the Huntron Tracker was such a success in industry. A Tracker can identifiy unusual situations on PCB mounted components when compared to a known good board...it can be a very efficient diagnostic tool if you use it correctly and understand the displayed images.  For those wanting an auto switching comaprison mode, the Huntron HT1005B just incorporates a SPDT relay that is driven by a simple low frequency oscillator and the relay contacts present one of the two input channels to the Trackers meaurment input. A 555 based oscillator running at 1 Hz or less and connected to a SPDT relay would be an easy implimentation of such  :)

Also these are great for seeing a worn potentiometer.....really nasty display on a poor one or one that is worn/intermittent.

I am not going to so a sales pitch on I-V display devices..... I suppose you like them and find them useful, or you don't   :)

Indeed!

On another thread,I posted the following:-

"We had a Huntron Tracker at one of the TV Stations I was at.Only one Tech ever used it much,& he swore by it.
As far as I could see,you needed another good board to compare with,& if I had that,I could do the same things with an Oscilloscope & DMM,so I never spent the time needed to learn its use.(probably my loss!)"


I was in the majority,too!
The poor old Huntron languished in the test Equipment cupboard for years at a time.
Every once in a while,someone would take it  out & fiddle for a while,then give up!

We very seldom had "spare" boards,so you had to remove one from another working unit.
(If you had a  good board in another faulty unit,you usually "cannibalised" one or the other to get one working unit.)


With a good & a bad board,& two units,if the "bad" one didn't have a fault which would damage the equipment,we could compare waveforms & DC voltages,either by "board swapping",or with both units powered up.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 04:31:40 PM by vk6zgo »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2014, 11:15:03 PM »
But have you seen the prices they fetch on e*ay  :o  I was lucky to buy mine as ex military kit and at less than $100. The Tracker 2000 sells for a significant sum. I managed to buy a TR210 (sold by Tektronix) for $75...a bargain compared to the sums that they sell for on e*ay. That unit is designed for modern very low voltage digital electronics and can also stimulate components that need such. It is the sort of tool that will only pay for itself if you use it a lot and are one of the people who gets on with the I-V diagnostic process.  I have to admit that I was trained (merchant marine) to diagnose faults on live boards with an oscilloscope and multimeter too. It was only in my work in 'industry' that I used the Huntron. I had built an Octopus tester at the grand age of 7 so its principles were not new to me but the implementation had obviously been adapted to suit industry.  The HTR1005 series are a bit agricultural when compared to the more modern designs like the TR210 etc.

 
 

Offline bsco

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2014, 02:37:24 AM »
For the amount of time that I would use something like that, it would not be cost effective to buy one....The $10 scope add on circuit would do well for me....however, if I did find one at a rock bottom price I probably would buy it just to have it...I am sure that they are very useful and if you used them all the time they would be a great benefit....but I can't see me using something like that to repair guitar amps and pa gear.....for one thing I never have two identical makes and models in for repair at the same time..and every now and then I might get a couple of controls boards from a printing press.......and I have to use the DMM to troubleshoot these as I don't have a 4 million dollar printing press here in my home to test the boards...so I have to rely on my knowledge of electronics...and how to use my test gear...which I will admit can be very difficult and time consuming at times but I also learn a lot from this...we had a device at work for testing boards..very expensive and was not used much at all.....it wasn't a Huntron but it did the same thing....
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2014, 02:54:02 AM »
One use that I have put the Huntrons to is to literally 'fly' around a PCB populated with transistors to check that all junctions are correct. It can get a little complex with some transistor configurations creating unusual responses. I personally find this quicker than a multimeter as you only have to apply the probes once per test as opposed to forward and reverse as in a multimeter test. If \I have a schematic I carry out normal fault tracing strategies like the 'half split' method but when no schematic is available reverse engineering a PCB can take time and the Huntron MAY just save that time by identifying which part of the circuit has been damaged. The reverse engineering can then focus on the circuit around the damaged component and the cause of failure.

I also have the HTR210 and HTR410 IC testing adapters. These enable comparison of IC's in terms of their pin characteristics. I have been able to find a substitute IC for an unmarked one by comparing it to my best guess....it was just an LM324 ! I did the same on another occasion with a Custom IC number...it turned out to be an SL6440 High active Mixer. The sample has to have enough pins still operational though as a totally fried IC will not be any use for this test. Try doing that with an unpowered IC and a multimeter  ;)

The Huntron is no panacea to fault tracing but I would not be without one now. The same applies to my Polar ToneOhm's and thermal imaging cameras. Your approach is very sensible IMHO. You can use the simple octopus tester on transistors without needing to spend a lot of money on a Huntron Tracker.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 03:18:23 AM by Aurora »
 

Offline bsco

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Re: Component tester on oscilloscopes
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2014, 03:03:10 AM »
Thanks for the encouragement Aurora....If I was doing a lot of digital boards I would definately invest in something to help speed things up but  for right now, that is not the case...but in the future and maybe in the near future things could change...if that does happen then I'll look into getting something...
Cheers,
Bernie
 


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