Author Topic: peak atlas products. general consensus?  (Read 8774 times)

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Offline deth502

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peak atlas products. general consensus?
« on: February 07, 2013, 02:20:46 am »
ive had the dca55/75 on my wish list for a while now. looks pretty nice for sorting out the odd parts laying around.

more recently, im looking to pick up an esr, and i just noticed that they (peak atlas) also have a ers meter, and an lcr (another wish list item) in the same form. they are not too cheap, imo, but id rather spend a little more to keep from the cheap chineese crap, but i really dont have too much to spare.

so whats the general consensus on these meters? worth buying, or should i just pass them by?

i did a search, and there was a short "tear down" where they took the unit out of the case, but not much in the way of an actual review.
 

Offline dda

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 04:17:19 am »
There is a review of a peak atlas esr meter on the mjlorton youtube channel about a week ago
 

Offline ModemHead

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2013, 12:39:15 pm »
I picked up a DCA55 at a good discount a couple years ago when several eBay sellers were having a price war. I have found it to be very useful for out-of-circuit go/no-go tests on transistors.  And it's brilliant for sorting junkbox parts and quickly identifying the leads on transistors.

It reports several parameters, but the only one I've found of any practical use is hFE.  It's good for getting an idea of small-signal gain or finding a dud.

I'm not real fond of the form factor. It's too small and light for my tastes, and the clips are fiddly.  But it's usefulness overcomes that.

It uses an odd little battery, but mine is still on it's original one, so battery life does not appear to be a problem.
 

Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2013, 12:50:35 pm »
ive had the dca55/75 on my wish list for a while now. looks pretty nice for sorting out the odd parts laying around.

more recently, im looking to pick up an esr, and i just noticed that they (peak atlas) also have a ers meter, and an lcr (another wish list item) in the same form. they are not too cheap, imo, but id rather spend a little more to keep from the cheap chineese crap, but i really dont have too much to spare.

so whats the general consensus on these meters? worth buying, or should i just pass them by?

i did a search, and there was a short "tear down" where they took the unit out of the case, but not much in the way of an actual review.

Well,
       Maybe I Could Help.What stuff are you interested now to buy and what country you are from  ?
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Amarbir Singh Dhillon [ Lynx-India ] , Chandigarh [ India ] - > www.lynxdealerstore.com , www.lynx-india.com
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Offline lewis

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2013, 12:57:18 pm »
I have the DCA55 and ESR60 and have found them both to be incredibly useful indeed. They are in almost daily use on the repair bench and are invaluable for easily determining transistor parameters, especially useful to determine the pinout. It's quicker to use the Atlas than to google the datasheet. The ESR60 is very good for determining whether an electrolytic is knackered, Dave did a video about this a while back and it's extremely useful. All in all, very good stuff.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2013, 03:56:14 pm »
I have the Peak LCR meter, and while it is very useful to identify those mystery components as well as give you series resistance of unknown inductors along with inductance ( and with wirewound resistors the inductance as well, which can be quite high on some) as well as sorting capacitors apart.

I have ordered a better  ( more fully featured) LCR meter from Frankie though, as the peak is great but for sorting good from bad, but is just not enough resolution for my liking. A great unit, very easy to use and pretty nice, just limited.
 

Offline Salas

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2013, 07:27:48 pm »
DCA55 is very handy. The battery consumption is rather high for much use. I don't mind the fact that it runs the base bias hard when sorting out small BJTs, thus the reported VBE is high, good for matching but not as in circuit level with small packages. As for JFETs its just too basic. The new DCA Pro has the curve tracing to PC function (limited to 12V VCE) and measures more for JFETs. Rather expensively priced though.
 

Offline StuUK

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2013, 07:50:04 pm »
I have both the LCR and DCA which i bought as a kit http://www.peakelec.co.uk/acatalog/jz_special_offers.html

I've been happy with both products and the company (based in the UK) gave me excellent support.

I use it mainly for sorting out unidentified components and also saving me time with SMD components via the pair of SMD tweezers you can buy with it.

Whilst not as sophisticated as some products its still worth the price paid.
 

Online kripton2035

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2013, 08:26:00 pm »
some years ago I bought a dca55 and was very happy with it
but then appeared on the net some open sources replacements that are way cheaper
and today I think the dca instruments are overpriced, but still do the job.
2 years ago I made a repository with all the free diy instruments schematics I could find on the web
you can see here diy replacements for the dca55 : http://kripton2035.free.fr/semiconductorsre.html
and here for the lcr meter : http://kripton2035.free.fr/lcr-repository.html
regards,

Offline Tube_Dude

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2013, 08:26:19 pm »
I have the Peak DCA55, the ESR60 and and the LCR. Just can say I love them, and they are always around in my workshop...  8)
Jorge
 

Offline deth502

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2013, 09:58:24 pm »
ok, let me try to ermember all the points i read that i want to address....

did a search on youtube and found the vid:


i will check it out when im done replying here, thanks!

basically, it looks like a go. no real "no!!! run away!!!" replies. there was a complaint about the form factor, something about it being to small. i hadnt really thought about the size, i did watch the first few sec of the above video, to make sure i had the right one, and with a reference in the frame, it does look much smaller than i was imagining it.

besides that, only real negative ive heard was price. im seeing around $130 us (i am in the us) this is a hobby for me, so it will prob be next month till i have the spare cash to actually order it, but id rather wait and pay a little more to get something decent (not top of the line, but decent) instead of paying just as much to buy a pos 3 times.

someone mentioned daves video from a while back, and i believe that that is what brought me here to ask this.it wasnt about the peak meter in specific, but esr measuring in general.  ive found 4 out of 5 times i repair something, its a blown electrolytic cap, and there are many times that i cannot find a problem, and the item get tosses (or cannibalized) untill then, i had no idea about this whole esr thing, and im thikning that this may be one of the problems im constantly overlooking, caps that are not physically bulged to show fault, but are still internally bad.

thanks for all the replies and advice  :-+
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 10:00:00 pm by deth502 »
 

Online kripton2035

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 10:15:35 pm »
some answers to your esr quest ?
http://kripton2035.free.fr/esr-repository.html

Offline deth502

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2013, 11:21:14 pm »
some answers to your esr quest ?
http://kripton2035.free.fr/esr-repository.html

 :-+ already have that site bookmarked from the "diy esr" post above. going to check it out later.
 

Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2013, 12:23:21 am »
some years ago I bought a dca55 and was very happy with it
but then appeared on the net some open sources replacements that are way cheaper
and today I think the dca instruments are overpriced, but still do the job.
2 years ago I made a repository with all the free diy instruments schematics I could find on the web
you can see here diy replacements for the dca55 : http://kripton2035.free.fr/semiconductorsre.html
and here for the lcr meter : http://kripton2035.free.fr/lcr-repository.html
regards,

Overpriced ? ,
       Would There Be No Difference between a clean finish product and a DIY product .For a DIY product to have the look and feel of DCA55  possible would be far more expensive
Regards

Amarbir Singh Dhillon [ Lynx-India ] , Chandigarh [ India ] - > www.lynxdealerstore.com , www.lynx-india.com
Indian Distributor For  [ Autoelectric , Sofitech , IDEOfy ,Peak Electronic Design [UK ] , Anatek And Creatronica ]
My Electronics Blog - > www.lynxchandigarh.com
 

Offline Psi

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2013, 12:58:42 am »
I also bought the kit (LCR and DCA) http://www.peakelec.co.uk/acatalog/jz_special_offers.html

I've had no problems with it at all and i'll probably buy their ESR meter sooner or later.
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline casinada

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2013, 03:33:17 am »
I Have the ESR70 and has been very useful to find faulty capacitors. It discharges capacitors before testing them, that separates this unit from other units including LCR meters with ESR capability. Like any other tool you have to know how to use and its limitations. Not all the capacitors can be tested in circuit but that is not a limitation of the instrument. I wish the accessories were not that expensive, the needle probes cost $35 a pair :( ouch.
 

Offline Huluvu

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2013, 07:23:36 pm »
Hey Folks - I Have the older ESR60 Model and use them also quite often to figure out which cap should be replaced or not. IMHO this device gives much more confidence whats up with the cap.  :-+

Greetings from snowing cold Germany
Arne
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Offline MagicSmoker

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2013, 11:42:53 pm »
I have both the DCA55 and the ESR60 and they are quite handy little tools, though the ESR60 is the more useful of the two. Whatever I paid for them I feel I got good value for the money.
 

Offline PA4TIM

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Re: peak atlas products. general consensus?
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2013, 12:15:38 am »

It reports several parameters, but the only one I've found of any practical use is hFE.  It's good for getting an idea of small-signal gain or finding a dud.


One thing it is not measuring well is hFE, this is the DC bias amplification, and it only tells the ratio between Ib and Ic but ib is not adjustable or selectable. But it is good for a quick test or more or less matching transistors.
Small signal gain is hfe and this is the change Ic caused by the change in Ib. The Peak does not give that value.
I compared mine against two curvetracers and 4 transistor testers. If i used the Data the peak gives to set the CTs, the hFE the results are not the same, it can be from 100 % off to about ight depending on the type transistor.

Batterys are odd, mine were all empty ( got 3 peaks I got from a friend who had not used them for 2 years) and I was not amused by the bad leads, clips and odd cabinet.
So i builded them in a mains powered cabinet using good connecors and an ectra transistor test socket.
Do not trust it 100 %, i have seen strange hings, like thinking a transistor was a FET, thinking a pnp was a npn ect but 95% of the time it is right and a handy tool.

The ESR60 is rather good over 0.1 Ohm, under this it loses some accuracy. ESR performance degrades under 10 uF.  C measurenent is most times 5-10 % off but that is no poblem.

The LCR meter is nice if you have not a better one and to quickly test some components f.i. While sorting, or cleaning up the junkbox. It is not very accurate and i do not like the fact you have to wait before it starts to measure or press the button again.  I rather like a meter that keeps reading as long as the DUT is connected and until I switch it off.

If you look what is inside and the performnce I think they are a bit over priced.
www.pa4tim.nl my collection measurement gear and experiments Also lots of info about network analyse
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