Author Topic: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester  (Read 16438 times)

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Offline csheldon

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Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« on: March 07, 2015, 07:03:12 pm »
Hello ,
Did anyone here maybe bought those xtal frequency counters from ebay that chinese sell as a DIY kit .
Because I did , and it looks like they've sent me an empty microcontroller , I have soldered all of the components and turned it on , but nothing. After that
I've checked the microcontroller with PICKIT (I've read it) and it loads the empty 3FFFF buffer.
Did anyone else had the same problem ? Where can i find hex file for the device , I have searched the web with no luck whatsoever.
I'am not sure if i can psot links here , but here it goes , it's about this item : http://www.ebay.com/itm/1Hz-50MHz-Digital-LED-Crystal-Oscillator-Frequency-Counter-Tester-Meter-Kits-/171636882305?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item27f65afb81
 

Offline picandmix

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2015, 08:45:24 pm »
You want to contact the seller and ask them to send you the hex file.

If they do not respond , tell them you are going to report it to ebay/paypal etc

 

Offline Lunasix

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2015, 09:48:03 pm »
I think the processor is protected, so it possible appears as if it was blank (don't remember exact result in that case).
 

Offline paulie

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2015, 09:51:07 pm »
Lunasix beat me to the punch....

Source code for commercial products is rarely made available to end users. Protection fuses are almost certainly active and unlikely it can be read. Possibly failure to assemble the kit correctly or a part was abused and damaged. It's worth checking out that possibility before filing a claim.

Besides me two other fellow ham club members purchased the same kit and one didn't work. He opened a case and got a refund but then when I examined his board found a solder bridge on one of the crystals. Fixed and works OK. He did not send the money again which would be the honest thing to do.

It's unfortunate that  many if not most of the claims filed on Ebay are unjustified. There is a certain amount of fraud from sellers. I've opened more than a few "item not as described cases". But a lot of the crookedness comes from buyers. I think anti-chinese prejudice leads many to think they have no obligations there.
 

Offline 22swg

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2015, 10:15:42 pm »
It looks very much like http://www.qsl.net/dl4yhf/freq_counter/freq_counter.html   Whats the betting the hex file works.... 
Check your tongue, your belly and your lust. Better to enjoy someone else’s madness.
 

Offline paulie

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2015, 10:22:26 pm »
I would say no. The circuits do not even vaguely match.

And anyone who suspects it's a blank chip does not sound very experienced in this area. Like "fakes" it does happen but statistically very rare. More likely a meteor lands in your neighborhood.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2015, 10:40:15 pm »
At least you didn't get it from:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1Hz-50MHz-Crystal-Oscillator-Frequency-Counter-Meter-Digital-LED-PIC-DIY-Kits-/301458239346

Quote
Condition:   
For parts or not working: An item that does not function as intended and is not fully operational. This includes items that are defective in ways that render them difficult to use, items that require service or repair, or items missing essential components. See the seller’s listing for full details
:-DD
 

Offline paulie

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2015, 01:00:32 am »
Those who are inexperienced with Ebay (or have a bone to pick) might not appreciate most of those kits are categorized as "For parts or not working" to protect sellers from incompetent builders.  Basically exactly the syndrome I described above (incompetence and/or sino-phobia) . Obviously this many dealers would not sell products guaranteed to be DOA:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1Hz-50MHz-Crystal-Oscillator-Frequency-Counter-Meter-Digital-LED-PIC-DIY-Kits-/301458239346?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item46304faf72

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1Hz-50MHz-Digital-LED-Crystal-Oscillator-Frequency-Counter-Tester-Meter-Kits-/400832061253?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d5373df45

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1Hz-50MHz-Crystal-Oscillator-Frequency-Counter-Meter-Digital-LED-DIY-Kits-/291337088086?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43d50b2c56

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1Hz-50MHz-Crystal-Oscillator-Frequency-Counter-Meter-Digital-LED-Program-Kits-/181625017203?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a49b1d373

So "For parts or not working" really means "it's a kit, so if you screw up don't come crying". Unfortunately most of the time after bricking the parts a case is usually decided in favor of the buyer or the seller refunds anyway to avoid negative feedback. I pity those poor bastards who have to tolerate ignorant or dishonest buyers.
 

Offline mentaldemise

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2015, 12:27:02 am »
Paulie, mine actually came blank. I flashed the hex in this thread to it and it works. Assembly wasn't the issue.
 

Offline paulie

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2015, 01:00:36 am »
Thanks for letting us know. Too bad more guys don't bother to do that. I am surprised though because that is very rare.

So the hex was from 22swg link? Also a little surprising because the circuits are so different.

 

Offline mentaldemise

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2015, 01:32:07 am »
Yeah, Counter2.hex worked for it. It's not perfect, but it reads the crystals and all fine. I've asked the seller to get me the hex(though I called it ROM) so if he does, I'll post it for others.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2015, 01:39:13 pm »
I bought one of these kits for the fun of it to see how well it worked.

When it arrived this morning I could see that the seller knows how to package ESD sensitive components  :-DD

Take a look at the pictures. Likely the chip is OK but this poor thing was surrounded by polystyrene foam, a polythene bag and then polythene bubble wrap. If the chip was very ESD sensitive it wouldn't stand much of a chance  ;D  Very different to the days of early FET's that had shorting rings on their leads and blew if you so much as breathed on them  ;D

I will get round to building this kit sometime but thanks for the info on the data file needed for the chip. Odd that it is not mentioned in the listing. Anyone without a suitable programmer will be well and truly stuffed.

Aurora
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2015, 08:53:01 pm »
I bought one of these kits for the fun of it to see how well it worked.

When it arrived this morning I could see that the seller knows how to package ESD sensitive components  :-DD

Take a look at the pictures. Likely the chip is OK but this poor thing was surrounded by polystyrene foam, a polythene bag and then polythene bubble wrap. If the chip was very ESD sensitive it wouldn't stand much of a chance  ;D  Very different to the days of early FET's that had shorting rings on their leads and blew if you so much as breathed on them  ;D

I will get round to building this kit sometime but thanks for the info on the data file needed for the chip. Odd that it is not mentioned in the listing. Anyone without a suitable programmer will be well and truly stuffed.

Aurora
At least now you have more of a reason to return it, if it doesn't work.

I've returned some RAM in the past and used the fact it was packaged in polystyrene foam as a reason for returning it, when in reality is was my mistake as I'd ordered the wrong sort of RAM.
 
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Offline dannyf

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2015, 09:33:44 pm »
-I've returned some RAM in the past and used the fact it was packaged in polystyrene foam as a reason for returning it, when in reality is was my mistake as I'd ordered the wrong sort of RAM-

Wow. I'm speechless.
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https://dannyelectronics.wordpress.com/
 

Offline paulie

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2015, 12:30:13 am »
Many file a claim and demand a refund with no intention of returning anything. Then like REAL turds brag about it on the net. Like I said before it's a pity sellers have to put up with this kind of dishonesty. But in most cases just Chinese so not really dishonest. Yeah... right!

BTW I'm convinced virtually all common modern ICs are immune to ESD. A romantic notion but no more than urban myth.

And again would be amazed they are shipping blank chips. Out of dozens of similar kits I've never seen that happen even once. If this is really happening (which I doubt) then it should be clearly stated in the listing or at least a programmer shipped along with parts.
 

Offline woodgeek

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2016, 09:20:10 pm »
Did you get your kit assembled? Did you have any problem getting it to work? I assembled one that looks like yours. I can enter setup and it seems to work but it won't count the sine output from my function generator.
I bought one of these kits for the fun of it to see how well it worked.

When it arrived this morning I could see that the seller knows how to package ESD sensitive components  :-DD

Take a look at the pictures. Likely the chip is OK but this poor thing was surrounded by polystyrene foam, a polythene bag and then polythene bubble wrap. If the chip was very ESD sensitive it wouldn't stand much of a chance  ;D  Very different to the days of early FET's that had shorting rings on their leads and blew if you so much as breathed on them  ;D

I will get round to building this kit sometime but thanks for the info on the data file needed for the chip. Odd that it is not mentioned in the listing. Anyone without a suitable programmer will be well and truly stuffed.

Aurora
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2016, 07:20:03 pm »
No, mine is still in its bag in the 'unbuilt projects' box. I will get round to it one day but no hurry in my case.

Fraser
 

Offline woodgeek

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2016, 04:28:58 pm »
Other versions of this counter have a jumper to switch between measuring a crystal's frequency and measuring the frequency of an input signal. This implementation is missing the jumper. I don't know if I can hack this version to get it to measure an input signal or not.
 

Offline DBoulanger

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2016, 04:17:53 am »
I think that a mod would be possible for that jumper.  I think that the output of the 1nF (102) is routed to pin 3 of the PIC, so is the IN pad on the front of the board.

By cutting the trace at the output of the capacitor an placing a jumper there, it would be possible to measure frequencies from a generator.

You might need a pull up resistor to bias your signal and some sort of protection to prevent overloading the PIC's input pin.

This is something that need to be experimented on, along with the possibility of adding a preamp for low amplitude signals.

Few mods could be applied I guess, it is simply a matter of need and time.

Have fun.
 

Offline KennethLavrsen

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2017, 01:09:02 am »
I just built the Crystal Tester from Ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/DIY-Kits-1Hz-50MHz-Crystal-Oscillator-tester-Frequency-Counter-TESTER-Meter-case-/221951149054?hash=item33ad51c3fe:g:gZAAAOSwnipWVjsT#rwid

I need to use it just for crystal testing. I could not make the oscillator work at all. I started looking at the schematic and the BOM. And then when I checked the datasheet of the S8550 transistor I found that it is a PNP. The fools have replaced the original S8050 which is a general purpose NPN transistor by a PNP. That never ever work!! Total incompetance.

After replacing the two transistors with BC547 it works just fine. All the crystals I tried works. The frequency displayed is not super accurate, probably because the capacitors in the Colpitt oscillator rarely match what the crystal is cut for. But that is OK. All I wanted was a small unit that can oscillate and give a quick indication if a crystal is working.

Note that if you use BC547, the transistor must be rotated 180 deg compared to the image on the silkscreen.

I can recommend the kit with the right NPN transistors. As a frequency counter you will need to add a proper amplifier front end. I would find something different for that purpose.

Kenneth
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 01:11:47 am by KennethLavrsen »
 

Offline christurnerchris

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2017, 01:17:52 pm »
The original is here   http://www.qsl.net/dl4yhf/winpicpr.html
I bought one, no diodes sent with it!   what do you want for £3.74 from China!
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2017, 06:25:06 pm »
I thought one of the most important reasons for buying a kit, rather than just getting it pre-made was educational value? If no source code is provided then how is the person building it going to learn anything other than soldering practise?

If the designer of the kit still wants to retain their IP then that's what copyright and patents (if applicable) are for.
 

Offline mrguen

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2017, 10:58:34 am »
Last summer I bought the ebay kit since it was so cheap and I didn't want to design a frequencymeter to go with my AD9951 frequency generator board + home made amplifier. I found the PCB is very nice and soldering is easy. Then I used it and at first it was working. Then I discovered that frequency changes with signal amplitude! It must count at a certain voltage level so the duty cycle at this level is of importance. Then I made some experiment with it and it ended not working. I believe I fed over 5 volts signals and destroyed the PIC pin. It is written in the documentation that I found over internet not to use signal above 5 volts in big characters at the last line of the doc!

So finally I realized that most cheap frequencymeters do not treat the signal at all and will all depend on the signal amplitude, and so that I had to design mine. Then I wanted to dig into this project as much as possible and make it something really versatile. As I was thinking about how to industrialize it, by chance I discovered kickarter and I found interesting to try and build such a project. It is presented there http://pandauino.com/wp/en/home/ . I am now prototyping the first fully functionnal board. Please tell me if you are interested by this project. The 3D animation will be updated since I added a menu button.     
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 11:08:28 am by mrguen »
 

Offline mino-fm

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2017, 04:44:31 pm »
It is presented there http://pandauino.com/wp/en/home/ . I am now prototyping the first fully functionnal board. Please tell me if you are interested by this project. 

You wrote: "Has frequency accuracy better than 2% from 10 Hz to 10 Mhz."
I'm sorry, but this is awfully bad. Use a simple over voltage protected comparator at the input stage an everything will be fine.
Take a lock at this: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/frequency-counter-project-61274/
 

Offline mrguen

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Re: Crystal Oscillator Frequency Counter Tester
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2017, 07:05:52 pm »
@mino-fm

I tried to do a little more than snap my fingers! I am sorry the information was wrong. More precisely I didn't want to engage myself too much before testing. I runned tests on may 30th. Error is about 100 ppm (0.01%) over most of the domain of utilisation (10 Hz - 70 Mhz, 500mV - 10V) .

It is not intended to beat the FC-510 but to be a very versatile Arduino compatible board with overall good performance.

You can have more details here https://pandauino.com/en/arduino-compatible-frequency-counter/

« Last Edit: June 08, 2017, 05:39:22 pm by mrguen »
 


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