Author Topic: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?  (Read 18712 times)

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Offline shotgun25

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[UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« on: February 28, 2015, 03:31:09 pm »
Hi,

I am interested in repairing flat screen TVs + monitors, mostly SMPS and want to amass a small collection of useful troubleshooting tools to go with my overpriced (from Maplin) crappy DMM (Uni-T UT58C).
My meter includes some capacitor function, but out of circuit, I want in-circuit ESR measurement.

Could someone advise if this is suitable, or if there are better options for a similar or smaller price in the UK.

This is approximately £40 (GBP) and has two sets of probes. Anybody used one and can share their experience of using it, is it accurate enough?
Quote
MESR-100 V2 ESR / Low Ohm In Circuit Capacitor Meter  0.001 to 100R

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Auto-Range-In-Circuit-ESR-Capacitor-Meter-Tester-Up-to-0-001-to-100R-MESR100-UK-/311001050791

I have seen this item from the US which also includes a Ring Tester which I would also like for my collection, but the price increases a lot because of international shipping and import taxes.

Quote
AnaTek "ESR" and "Blue Ring Q" Component Testers - 2 Fully Assembled Testers

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AnaTek-ESR-and-Blue-Ring-Q-Component-Testers-2-Fully-Assembled-Testers/181434237241

If someone sells AnaTek products in the UK/EU I would be interested to know as eBay has nothing located in the EU.

Please could someone advise.
 

Offline gdewitte

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2015, 04:14:13 pm »
Have you looked at this ESR Tester http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Transistor-Tester-Diode-Triode-Capacitance-ESR-resistance-Meter-MOS-PNP-NPN-/141296318232? I have not done extensive testing on mine, but so far it seems to be a well-constructed and accurate tester.
 

Offline shotgun25

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2015, 06:28:49 pm »
Hi,

Thanks for the response.

I have seen some like that, but it doesn't mention if it has the ability to test in circuit, have you tried that functionality?

I just have to find one in the UK now, shouldn't be too hard...
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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Offline Totalsolutions

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2015, 07:02:10 pm »
Hi, Try http://www.peakelec.co.uk

I have four units from them and very happy. Very good team to talk to as well.

"Anatek Corporation in the USA and Peak Electronic Design Ltd have had a long partnership and it was an honour for us to welcome Anatek Corporation"
Paul
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2015, 07:10:44 pm »
They might be good but I would prefer a true LCR bridge meter. The CEM DT-9935 is based on good Cyrustek ICs. But yes, the whole instrument is rather bulky. Peak products are more compact.
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Offline Smith

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2015, 07:34:50 pm »
I just love the peak meter. Perfect for testing caps, even in circuit measurements work fine. One verry big plus on these units is they auto discharge caps before measuring. Most units dont have this function, and the user has to check every cap before testing. I used more of their meters, and they are all fast and reliable.
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Offline Mr Simpleton

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2015, 07:35:59 pm »
I have the MESR-100 V2 which is supposed to be a slightly improved model. Very handy and works OK. Not a precision instrument but will show if cap is OK or bad. Verson 2 seems to have a cheat sheet on front telleing what to expect from different caps and ESR.
 

Offline Mr Simpleton

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2015, 07:37:30 pm »
Peak do have excellent meters but at a cost! Almost 3x the price of a MESR-100... still quaity comes at a price :D


I just love the peak meter. Perfect for testing caps, even in circuit measurements work fine. One verry big plus on these units is they auto discharge caps before measuring. Most units dont have this function, and the user has to check every cap before testing. I used more of their meters, and they are all fast and reliable.
 

Online kripton2035

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2015, 08:22:21 pm »
Have you looked at this ESR Tester http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Transistor-Tester-Diode-Triode-Capacitance-ESR-resistance-Meter-MOS-PNP-NPN-/141296318232? I have not done extensive testing on mine, but so far it seems to be a well-constructed and accurate tester.
it does not test in circuit - it's more a transistor tester than an esr meter althought it also can measure it out of the circuit

Online kripton2035

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2015, 08:25:12 pm »
the mesr-100 is a good choice, an esr meter does not have to be precise, it must show you good and bad caps
if you need precision better use an lcr meter like the der-ee 5000 (details here : http://kripton2035.free.fr/LCR%20meters/lcr-deree5000-cl.html
it's some $80 shipped from japan and works very good
it's a precise instrument but it is not protected against charged caps, so use in circuit with caution.

Offline Pasky

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2015, 08:46:47 pm »
Is there any way to add some functionality to the DER EE so that it can also automatically drain caps before testing?  Unsure what's involved in a feature like that.
 

Online madires

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2015, 08:53:30 pm »
Have you looked at this ESR Tester http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Transistor-Tester-Diode-Triode-Capacitance-ESR-resistance-Meter-MOS-PNP-NPN-/141296318232? I have not done extensive testing on mine, but so far it seems to be a well-constructed and accurate tester.
it does not test in circuit - it's more a transistor tester than an esr meter althought it also can measure it out of the circuit

Both firmwares (k & m) for the transistor tester support in-circuit ESR measurement. Please see https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/$20-lcr-esr-transistor-checker-project/ for more information.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 08:55:25 pm by madires »
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2015, 09:08:48 pm »
Yes, CEM DT-9935 has rather poor input protection.
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Online kripton2035

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2015, 09:34:48 pm »
Is there any way to add some functionality to the DER EE so that it can also automatically drain caps before testing?  Unsure what's involved in a feature like that.
not really thinkable... better use the peak atlas esr meter if you want a feature like that.

Offline shotgun25

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2015, 09:22:37 am »
Hi,

Thanks for all the useful replies, lots of options.

I definitely want the in-circuit measurement ability, it's supposed to help speed up testing, I don't want to buy something where I have to remove the component from the board when I've seen Dave's video where he tests those capacitors on his dumpster diving monitor in a very short time without removing parts unnecessarily.

I'd prefer to stick to the cheap mesr-100 with no discharge ability or the expensive Peak Atlas ESR range of meters with discharge ability, apples and oranges I know, but that "NEW Transistor Tester Diode Triode Capacitance ESR resistance Meter MOS PNP NPN" tool has been tested on a video on YouTube and it doesn't do all the types of components it is supposed to test, improperly recognising certain components.

If I have to spend more on the Peak Atlas ESR meter because it has cap discharge function, will it do all caps? I suspect it won't do the big 250V+ mains cap will it? There is no mention of any limit on their website, just says controlled discharge. If I was to stay with the cheaper meter(s) with no discharge ability, what method would allow discharging the big dangerous capacitors found on domestic SMPS? Would a variation on the method shown in this video be possible, he does mention "NOT be suitable for High-Voltage/High-Energy capacitors" but doesn't specify limits.

Also it mentions two models with the following

ESR 0.00 - 20.0 Ohms 
ESR 0.00 - 40.0 Ohms

In flat panel TVs and flat panel Monitors (and desktop/laptop motherboards - as well as any SMPS for that matter) am I likely to need up to 40 Ohm measurements or is that for industrial circumstances?

I don't want to do what I did with the soldering irons and get a decent one after my third try, and three lots of money, but I don't want to buy an over specified piece of equipment with features I will never use. Having said that it's only £12 difference in this case, so might go for it if it's necessary.

I don't fancy ordering from abroad, shipping costs, shipping times and no guarantee that I won't have to pay extra for customs import duty. Also if I had cause to return the item, it would be cost prohibitive. The exception is cheap(usually <£20) Chinese stuff, not had issues with import duty or high costs on Chinese/Hong Kong shipping so far. Had the odd 2-5week wait but it usually arrives or they send out another.

EDIT: Also - anybody used one of these and can they be bought in UK? http://www.prc68.com/I/ESRmicro.shtml
EDIT 2: http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/atlas-esr60-equivalent-series-resistance-meter-and-capacitor-analyser-n43bj This looks to be a good price and it mentions more about the "abuse voltage" which I assume relates to discharging caps. Abuse voltage (C<10µF)   ±400V | Abuse voltage (C>10µF)   ±40V.
I'm assuming this is no better than the 50Watt resistor method in the video above.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 10:20:09 am by shotgun25 »
 

Offline Smith

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2015, 11:07:53 am »
The Peak discharges up to 50V and warns you if its higher (dont know how much).
There are only small differences between the ESR 60 and 70. I used both, and both handle pretty much the same. 40 ohms range on the ESR 70 is nice, but I never had any caps worse than 20 ohm. I would revommend getting (or making) sharp probes. The crocodile clips are wonderfull for loose caps, but there not that great for  in circuit measurements. Both have 1 or 2 mm plugs, so you can even switch between clips and probes quite easy.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 11:13:00 am by Smith »
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Online wraper

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2015, 11:14:00 am »
You don't need more than 15 ohms of range. Anything above that is crap capacitor, even if only 1uF.
 

Online madires

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2015, 11:53:03 am »
I'd prefer to stick to the cheap mesr-100 with no discharge ability or the expensive Peak Atlas ESR range of meters with discharge ability, apples and oranges I know, but that "NEW Transistor Tester Diode Triode Capacitance ESR resistance Meter MOS PNP NPN" tool has been tested on a video on YouTube and it doesn't do all the types of components it is supposed to test, improperly recognising certain components.

Unfortunately the clones from China lack the official documentation and might run an old firmware version. The TransistorTester can't check components which require more than 5V or 7mA to turn on or to conduct (like high power SCRs and TRIACs). There's a boost converter option to check zener diodes up to 50V. Meanwhile there are a lot of videos about the TransistorTester on YouTube. Have you watched those too or just the one you've written about? The Tester works really great. It even detects protection diodes and base-emitter resistors in BJTs and some special stuff more. It also generates PWM and squarewave signals. Or you could add several hardware options like frequeny counter or rotary encoder.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 12:00:27 pm by madires »
 

Online kripton2035

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2015, 01:47:41 pm »
for discharginf capacitors, I use this inexpensive and very handy tool that comes with really handy sharp probes.
http://www.dx.com/p/repair-tools-sparkpen-capacitor-discharge-pen-for-camera-mobile-phone-home-appliances-129179?Utm_rid=36311942&Utm_source=affiliate
then I have an esr meter I build years ago that has a small protection, but not for big and mains charged caps.
and also a deree 5000 for precise lcr measurments.

Offline shotgun25

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2015, 06:04:23 pm »
Hi all,

I'm thinking of buying the ESR60 now after all the response.

I've found it at the recommended distributor http://www.jprelec.co.uk/store.asp/c=1057/Atlas-ESR-analyser for £79.20 with free shipping which beats Maplin at £84.99.

Is there anywhere cheaper that anyone knows of or is anyone on this board selling a working new or used one cheaper (including shipping) than £79.20?
 

Offline Totalsolutions

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2015, 08:00:23 pm »
Give Peak a call and say Paul / Dave / EEVblog sent you. Might give you a discount. Anyway you will have good buying experience and the latest firmware installed. PS Ask for a spare battery and say you will be back for more. They also do discount for two products and have a very nice storage box you can purchase.
Paul
 

Offline shotgun25

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2015, 11:24:56 pm »
Thanks for the advice, I'll give calling Peak a go tomorrow and will let you know when I have more news.

I'm guessing that my DMM probes will not fit this, so I'm going to see if I can get the ESR60 meter, ESR Gold Needle Probes (2mm sockets), a spare battery and shipping for less than £100, lets see if they will do me a deal.

Are the croc clips that it comes with useful if I get some needle probes? Just wondering if they not interested in getting me a discount whether I could drop the price a few £££s by not including the croc clips, I have full use of my hands so don't need to help with the clips, unless of course they give a better reading than holding probes to the legs.
 

Offline shotgun25

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2015, 10:48:37 pm »
I didn't get a chance to call Peak today, busy at work and break times are for food :)

On a side note - has anyone tried this http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=80357.0 ??
 

Online Shock

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Re: [UK] ESR Meter - is this ok or is there better?
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2015, 12:49:45 am »
The clips are for testing caps out of circuit, probing sucks a little that way. Tweezers are easiest for in-circuit testing unless it's some of the larger package through hole or surface mount.

Any specific reason your getting the ESR60 over the ESR70?

Take a look at the Cap Analyzer.
http://eds-inc.com/product/capanalyzer-88a-series-ii/

If your considering making an Arduino based ESR tester why not again look at the $10-$20 Chinese ESR meters (AVR transistor testers) for their price they are unbeatable and you can make or modify one from scratch for not much more and update the firmware when new features/tests come out. They do much more than just measure caps and ESR.
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