Author Topic: Bench LCR Options?  (Read 18486 times)

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Offline dr.diesel

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Bench LCR Options?
« on: June 17, 2013, 11:09:17 am »
I'm in need of a 100khz LCR, I really prefer bench equipment, even though the Agilent U1733C fits my needs for $450. 

I'm considering these two and open to other suggestions, prefer to buy new, unless it's being sold by qualified calibrator.

BK Precision 889B LCR/ESR 200khz for $1300

or

Instek LCR-816, 100Khz for $1700

There are basically no reviews of bench models that I can find, and unfortunately Dave has yet to tear one down!

Offline quarks

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2013, 11:28:21 am »
I do not know price/availablity of HAMEG HM8118 in your country, but maybe it is worth to have a look

http://www.hameg.com/503.0.html?&L=0
 

Offline dr.diesel

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2013, 11:44:04 am »
They look to be in stock at Test Equipment Depot, ~$2300.  My opinion of Hameg is good, probably a better piece than BK and GW, although that model is a notch up from the others it looks like.

Thanks for the suggestion, do you have one personally?

Offline quarks

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2013, 12:40:43 pm »
yes, I have one with all available (original) Options, but I would suggest to look/buy 3rd Party Options, because of the crazy Prices

http://en.sourcetronic.com/shop/LCR-Meter/Accessories?XTCsid=8fdbc8837c96996a28aa905dc295409e

here are some details with my HM8118
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/help-wanted-low-and-high-ohm-measuremet/msg173254/#msg173254
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 01:04:28 pm by quarks »
 


Offline PA4TIM

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2013, 04:59:13 pm »
The Hameg is real good, a friend has one and I have tested it on my LCR standards. Very impressive results.
www.pa4tim.nl my collection measurement gear and experiments Also lots of info about network analyse
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Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2013, 05:43:22 pm »
We have the GW Instek LCR-800 Series at school. It's a large instrument, but with 80% air inside! The year in the firmware says year 1999. Hey, this instrument is quite old now.
BK Precision Model 889B is rebadged Motech MT4090
http://www.motechsolar.com
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 05:45:30 pm by Hydrawerk »
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Offline PA4TIM

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2013, 05:50:58 pm »
Bought this one for 50 euro, the best bench LCR meter I have. As accurate as when it was made
But it gives a true new meaning to the word compact


www.pa4tim.nl my collection measurement gear and experiments Also lots of info about network analyse
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2013, 05:57:55 pm »
Bought this one for 50 euro, the best bench LCR meter I have. As accurate as when it was made
But it gives a true new meaning to the word compact

Compact, light weight, simple to use.

This one has the " none of the above" box checked for sure.

But for sure with a little TLC and fair storage it will be working as the next century rolls in.
 

Offline PA4TIM

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2013, 06:05:21 pm »

Compared to my GR-1620 the GR-1608 I showed before is compact and light an for most easy to use.
( also have a 1650, a boonton 63H and a HP4260 bridge, on its way a very rare Esi C bridge from the 60's and a GR1603 ZY bridge)
www.pa4tim.nl my collection measurement gear and experiments Also lots of info about network analyse
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2013, 06:13:59 pm »
To be fair none of those qualify as hand held, even if you are Hulk Hogan.

I know of some amplifiers that come with handles for a reason, as you need 4 people to pick them up. Thus 4 handles. Panasonic had a 100 inch CRT TV with handles as well, it weighs over 100kg, just the CRT alone was 80kG.
 

Offline ddavidebor

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Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2013, 06:26:23 pm »
Hameg is one of the best company for quality in the world.

I use their power suppy, their funcgen, their multimeter, frequency meter and scopes every day at school.

So solid and so reliable!

Davide Bortolami,
Fermium LTD
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2013, 07:06:58 pm »
Hameg is one of the best company for quality in the world.
Yes, if you mean long life of their instruments... But they are not as modern as Agilent...
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Offline eevblogfan

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2013, 07:19:36 pm »
Hey

You may want to Pm me if you will , I may be able to sell you one Hp or fluke LCR ( bench) meter , I am pretty sure calibration will not be a problem to throw in ,

I firstly have to ask my boss But I am sure if you can handle 800$ plus shipping , you'll earn 2000$+ LCR to your heands soon , :)
 

Offline plesa

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2013, 07:20:20 pm »
I can recomned Agilent E4890A, I you do not need high speed measurement is much more cheaper.
But it can be far away your needs. I'm using it mainly for semiconductor characterization - photodiodes.
I can post some internal pics if you want.

 

Offline plesa

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2013, 07:23:47 pm »
Hey

You may want to Pm me if you will , I may be able to sell you one Hp or fluke LCR ( bench) meter , I am pretty sure calibration will not be a problem to throw in ,

I firstly have to ask my boss But I am sure if you can handle 800$ plus shipping , you'll earn 2000$+ LCR to your heands soon , :)

Fluke are the old one Phillips LCR meters. It seems to be Wayne Kerr nowadays.
http://www.waynekerrtest.com/global/html/products/LCR/4265%204270.htm
 

Offline dr.diesel

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2013, 09:45:51 pm »
Thanks for all the suggestions.  This is something I'll have on my bench for the next 30 years, if possible I'd sure like to have something that's not already obsolete!

The BK is available everywhere here in the States and I've inquired about the Hameg on availability, waiting to hear back from Test Equipment Depot.

Offline ddavidebor

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Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2013, 10:36:54 pm »
Hameg is one of the best company for quality in the world.
Yes, if you mean long life of their instruments... But they are not as modern as Agilent...

Yes, they follow "simple and solid" principle
Davide Bortolami,
Fermium LTD
 

Offline ddavidebor

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Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2013, 10:37:28 pm »
If it do 100khz and ESR ia not obsolete
Davide Bortolami,
Fermium LTD
 

Offline dr.diesel

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2013, 10:04:54 pm »
Hameg it is, Test Equipment Depot can have me one in 1-2 weeks.  Thanks for all of the suggestions, Hameg is a solid company and their LCR just looks nicer as well!

A bit more than I wanted to spend, but oh well!

Offline Circuitous

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2013, 11:20:17 pm »
Congrats on getting a Hameg.  I'm considering a new LCR of similar style, but lower price.
Dave provided a link to Applent, has anyone used their bench LCRs?

The AT2817 looks about right for me, but I'm wondering about the quality and accuracy.
http://www.applent.com/products/detail.aspx?familyid=lcr&model=AT2817

Mike did a review of the handheld AT825, and it seemed reasonable for the price.


Offline ddavidebor

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Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2013, 07:07:12 am »
Hameg it is, Test Equipment Depot can have me one in 1-2 weeks.  Thanks for all of the suggestions, Hameg is a solid company and their LCR just looks nicer as well!

A bit more than I wanted to spend, but oh well!


I'm sure it will be good spent to the last cent!
Davide Bortolami,
Fermium LTD
 

Offline PA4TIM

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2013, 08:05:21 am »
Good choise. I never had much with Hameg, they build decent analog scopes but that's it, but a friend of mine has a lot, the old plugin modules and the new plugins and omr seperte gears as scope, SA, LCR meter, 6,5 digit meter, generators, and I tested most of them and I must say  today they make great equipment. I have the 350MHz DSO and i love it. I was in doubt about buying the Hameg LCR meter myself. Not becuse the specs or so, it was great, but I needed a handheld ( got a bench full of GR bridges) but a good one, so I bought the IET DE-5000.
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Offline Uup

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2013, 10:55:26 am »
The AT2817 looks about right for me, but I'm wondering about the quality and accuracy.
http://www.applent.com/products/detail.aspx?familyid=lcr&model=AT2817

I have an AT2817A, which is about the same as the AT2817 but with a 6 digit resolution instead of 5 digits.

I don't have another LCR meter to compare with however the resistence measurements compare to my Fluke 289 and 45. I like the display, as it can show a great deal of information at the same time, with the two primary values in a larger font. Or you can quickly change it to display just the relevent two parameters, and the current mode, in a much larger font. It is also very fast in taking measurements, even at the slowest (most accurate) acquisition speed. Eg. a Fluke 289 takes about 1 second to measure a 100ohm resistor, Fluke 45 almost twice as long. The AT2817A is just about instant. Although, I realise that they employ different methods of measuring.

What I don't like with it is how it can display nonsense values, like a negative resistance value with no DUT. Otherwise I am happy with it and it has served me well.  :-+
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 11:00:16 am by Uup »
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Offline ddavidebor

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Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2013, 01:19:05 pm »
Negative resistance has a meaning, wich is "you're measurement is wrong".

Very important, it tell you that something is putting external voltages on your test leads.
Davide Bortolami,
Fermium LTD
 

Offline PA4TIM

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2013, 04:36:05 pm »
Negative resistance can be caused by open/short calibration with longer wires or an other fixture or the use of something like a relative or zero function. Mayby some former owner has changes standard start up setting so it keeps relative on ( i do not know the meter so it is just a suggestion)
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Offline branadic

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2013, 07:46:24 pm »
What about buying a vector network analyzer? It includes LCR meter as well and comes with a few other measurement possibilities. I recommend the VNWA by DG8SAQ:

http://www.sdr-kits.net/Webshop/index.php?cPath=5&osCsid=bbpke74flue2i4ush8gotsv0a4

I have the VNWA2.6 and developed a 36MHz tcxo upgrade so it's also possible to measure crystals and crystal filters. With such a device you are able to evaluate the equivalent circuit parameters for nearly every device, active or passive.
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Offline PA4TIM

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2013, 08:11:25 pm »
I agree, i have build one ( a 2.6 with one of the first with a USB options and builded a testset)  and I have a full features 3 version with RF-IV head that I have builded to in an RF tight enclusure with its own powersupply.  ( and an ancient  HP VNA from 1968) beside that I have a whole bunch of GR bridges, some ESR meters and LCR meters. I can measure capacitance with aF resolution , selfinductance with 200 pH resolution en Resistance from < 1 mOhm upto 10E15 Ohm ( that is peta Ohm if I have it right ?)

For those interested in VNAs: I have written a serie turorials about using a vna. They are on my website.
( also a page about using capacitance bridged and a page with explnations about LCR meters.
www.pa4tim.nl my collection measurement gear and experiments Also lots of info about network analyse
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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2013, 09:28:00 pm »
Is it really practical to use a VNA as a glorified LCR meter? I know you can measure L/C/R, including frequency dependency and other fancy stuff, but how long would it take to say measure C and D for a cap, something that would take a few seconds on your average LCR meter?
 

Offline dr.diesel

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2013, 09:30:12 pm »
VNA does add a few nice features, but then also requires a computer to operate.  I much prefer a dedicated instrument.  But thanks for the suggestion!

Offline PA4TIM

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2013, 10:13:53 pm »
No, a VNA is not a replacement for a good LCR meter. It can not measusre a broad range without the right technics and fixtures. It need to be calibrated and it takes time. Result is as good as your calibration and calibration it self is close to voodo  ;)

But it is a good addition. When you want to know the selfinductance or capacitance vs frequency and paracitic parameters. I measured things like fF and very low  ESR values but that are not standard measurement. I use special made fixtures, and use things like de-embedding and customtraces. Using a vna realy the right way will cost you a few years and a lot of a study. And you need good fixtures, perfect cables, calibration kits etc. But they are great.

This is a capacitor over a 100 MHz sweep using an old HP vna. You see it does not stay a capacitor


I use it for instance as LCR meter when I make RF filters. I calculate values, build a dummy filterbox like the final filter and then measure and tune the parts at the working frequency on the right location. i then build the filter and 9 out of 10 times it is perfect and build without adjustable parts.
www.pa4tim.nl my collection measurement gear and experiments Also lots of info about network analyse
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Offline Conrad Hoffman

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2013, 08:05:33 pm »
I love all my old GR equipment but there's a huge hole in the frequency range that starts at 10 kHz for most bridges. If I could have only one bridge it would be the 1608, but it's best at 1kHz. A used better model of the Digibridge will do various frequencies. Another idea is to use something like the free Visual Analyser- http://www.sillanumsoft.org/

It has an LCR meter built in and some sound cards will go 100 kHz and higher.
 

Offline branadic

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2013, 08:40:50 pm »
Quote
No, a VNA is not a replacement for a good LCR meter. It can not measusre a broad range without the right technics and fixtures.

Can't agree tha. It's the same with dedicated LCR meters too, as long as you are not able to understand what you want to measure and as long as you don't have the right cables/fixtures you measure everthing but not the dut, but stray capacitance and stray inductance off your cable.
The advantage of a vna is that you can see the behavior over frequency and in most cases this is the important thing as you want a cap to act as a cap in your application and an inductor as an inductor. LCR meters often measure only at a single frequency, for example at 1kHz, 100kHz or 1MHz. Some more expensive meters allow to vary the measurement frequency. But my guess is an Agilent 4284A Precision LCR Meter (measures also Re & Im or |Z| & phase angle form 75kHz up to 30MHz) is not within the budget.

Calibrating a vna is no voodoo, 'cause in most cases you don't want to measure the hole frequency range up to a few GHz, 1kHz up to 100MHz is more than enough in normal cases. And you can save cal data for several test fixture setups and frequency ranges. Using a vna is not that difficult and you don't need special background, as long as you don't want to develope your own complex equivalent circuits by measuring the S-parameters.

On the other hand an impedance analyzer (have the good old HP 9194A at work, 100Hz up to a few MHz) is also good choise. Gives you nearly the same results like the vna does (|Z| and phase angle), but the working principle is different, which explains the frequency range.

There is this USB device called miniVNA, it's much easier to calibrate but not off the same reolution and accuracy in frequency and magnitude, but it's a good point to start from and can be used as a simple LCR meter with a free excel tool too, as far as I know.
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Offline PA4TIM

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2013, 10:03:33 pm »
Brainadict, just picture, you are repairing a TV or audio amp and want to know the capacitance and D or ESR of the 10.000 uF electrolitic filter cap at 100 Hz. Do you think a VNA will be helpfull ? Or a 1000 uF with a ESR of 0.05 Ohm in a switcher at 15 kHz, that is Z=(0.05-j0,0106) Not the area a vna is very good. It gives impressive values with lots of digits but the accuracy in that area is very bad unless you use special measure techniques. Probably you will manage to measure this with a vna, and I can do to, but people who need advise about a LCR meter will not become happy with a VNA. And one mistake with a bit of charge and you kill your vna.
Besides that,  I do not see my self power up the laptop, vna, calibrate it, solder a cap to the fixture and make a sweep. If you have it always powered on, why not, but it is like dragging a caravan behind a ferrari, or drivinf a defender over a circuit....  In that time I have measured 10 caps with my GR1608 and then I'm sure the value is correct. Even my 1620 is quicker, but like Conrad, I love my bridges but for quick results during building or repairing I use a IET DE-5000. For radiowork, filters, component research I use the vna.

(@conrad,  the GR-1608 is also one of my favorites in use (but the 1620 is my pride), but a beautifull GR-1603A and an original manual  is now on it journey to Holland)

For me and a lot of experienced users calibration is no voodoo, but for many users it is. And your results will be as good as the calibration.

You developed the Xtal option so you can measure Xtals ? I do not have that option, not in my 2.6 and my 3 is production number 1, Toms proto, as far as I remember it has a tcxo or something like that, not the normal Xtal but I never really looked )  both are able to measure Xtals with the Xtal tool in Toms software. If you install the Xtal, do you need extra software ? But my 2.6 performs slighty better as my 3. My 3 will not go over 1300, the 2.6 I have used it over 1500 but that was more indication then measurement)
www.pa4tim.nl my collection measurement gear and experiments Also lots of info about network analyse
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Offline dr.diesel

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2013, 06:11:25 pm »
Took it long enough to get here!

Online The Electrician

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2013, 03:32:09 am »
What accessories did you get with it?  I see cables; are those cables from Hameg, perhaps the HZ33 or HZ34?  Did you get a test fixture, such as the HZ181?

Now that you have a meter with the standard 4 BNC interface you can use one of the standard fixtures, such as this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Agilent-HP-16047A-Test-Fixture-Axial-and-Radial-Warranty-/230851509277?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35bfd27c1d

It's a little pricey, however.  There is a fairly good one available from China:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TH26001A-4-terminal-test-fixture-for-LCR-meter-TH2811D-/130715715329?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e6f438701

I bought one of them, and it works fine up to 200 kHz.

Do the cables you show on the instrument terminate in Kelvin clips?  There are inexpensive Kelvin clips available on eBay for this interface.

Edit:  I think I see the answer to my question about accessories you got with it.  The data sheet says you get the HZ184 with Kelvin test cable and the HZ188 SMD test fixture.  Is that what you got?
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 03:38:59 am by The Electrician »
 

Offline Vgkid

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2013, 05:25:52 am »
Is there a standard spacing for the bnc adapters?
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Online The Electrician

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #37 on: July 21, 2013, 07:52:57 am »
For modern instruments, yes, although I've seen a couple of much older units with oddball spacing.
 

Offline dr.diesel

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #38 on: July 21, 2013, 01:43:07 pm »
Edit:  I think I see the answer to my question about accessories you got with it.  The data sheet says you get the HZ184 with Kelvin test cable and the HZ188 SMD test fixture.  Is that what you got?

Yup.  I might at some point spring for a through hole stab in fixture, but the probes are nice.

I'm quite surprised how much the value changes depending on how I clip the kelvin probes on small toroids.  I'll have to figure out what foot to stand on to get it right!


Online The Electrician

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #39 on: July 21, 2013, 03:56:25 pm »
I'm quite surprised how much the value changes depending on how I clip the kelvin probes on small toroids.  I'll have to figure out what foot to stand on to get it right!

I'm surprised by that.  Please tell us more, with details; perhaps in a new thread.
 

Offline dr.diesel

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2013, 04:02:52 pm »
I'm surprised by that.  Please tell us more, with details; perhaps in a new thread.

I think I might, currently rearranging my lab, then I'll get back to it!

Offline KJDS

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #41 on: July 22, 2013, 11:16:09 am »
Whilst VNAs are wonderful pieces of equipment, and I do love my HP8753C, they are not very accurate at measuring impedances that are a long way from 50 ohms.

If you want to measure LCR, then an LCR meter is far more useful.

Offline dr.diesel

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Re: Bench LCR Options?
« Reply #42 on: July 22, 2013, 11:22:16 am »
If you want to measure LCR, then an LCR meter is far more useful.

I am really happy with it, pissed off that I waited as long as I did to order one.

This has me really pondering about my next purchase.  I had planned to by one of the new MSO4000s from Rigol, but their support guys have been irritating me.  I'm going to give Hameg a more serious look before I go any further.


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