Go Back   Home > Forums > >
Home Forums Rules Articles diyAudio Store Blogs Gallery Wiki Register Donations FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Equipment & Tools From test equipment to hand tools

Convenient USB based transistor tester
Convenient USB based transistor tester
Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 20th January 2014, 06:22 PM   #11
spookydd is offline spookydd  France
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Florida & France
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krisfr View Post
The "secret Sauce " will be the SOFT ware. NO hard ware is good with out the Software. There are ways to lock the firmware up. Be reasonable and you will win.
As much as possible software based was the main goal from the start. This makes for simpler hardware and a much more flexible and easily update-able device. More features may even be added later with software.

And making it modular also allows adding even more features without changing everything.

There should be no need for extensive firmware, as most of the software can run on the computer, but I think there might be a need to have some mechanism to have the main software send some type of "macros' to the device, that would be run locally and send resulting data back. It seems there may be some usb delays in communication that could prevent the main software on the computer to manipulate in real time all the features on the device. I'm not certain about this, but I think our friend locky_z ran into such limitations.

This is a rather extensive project, and I think the more collaborators work on it, the better. The tester designed by locky_z has found a serious audience and this project goes beyond the features his tester has. I am really looking forward to getting this put together. I need this for my amp projects.
  Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2014, 09:23 AM   #12
spookydd is offline spookydd  France
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Florida & France
Working on several projects, plus my regular work, doesn't leave much time to make fast progress on all projects.

I will want to use something like this described here for my amps projects, so I wish this could move forward at the same time.

I was thinking about this: Why not make it an open source project, just like many others, mostly software, but there are also hardware open source projects out there.

I have no experience in open source and coordinating such things. But I will do whatever I can.

Has anyone any interest in this project? With any experience managing/coordinating? And/or contributions to make?

This could end up as something to put on the diyaudio store, so it should be universal, well made and for anyone to use.
  Reply With Quote
Old 13th October 2016, 04:48 PM   #13
spookydd is offline spookydd  France
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Florida & France
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krisfr View Post
And it runs on a 9 volt battery...

That schematic looks like a great place to start, I will help in any way I can...
Hi, it's been a while, and I've been kept away from the hobby for too long. I'm thinking again about this thing.

I was wondering if you had that schematic, since you mentioned it. I'd be curious to see it, and perhaps get some inspiration from it.

Maybe this could be used as a base and other features could be added, if feasible. Otherwise it can still be an inspiration to get one started with something else.

One thing that I really want to get is a second breakdown tester, as much as one to match up parts. Grabbing data from measurements, send it all to a computer for analysis, trace some curves, run comparisons by software, superimpose curves from multiple parts to see visually how they match...

Loads of software to write I'm sure. But first, if we could get the hardware put together, that'd be great.
__________________
"You're old enough to MOW better!"
  Reply With Quote
Old 13th October 2016, 04:57 PM   #14
spookydd is offline spookydd  France
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Florida & France
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmpliFire View Post
Good to hear you want to start something like that, you can count on me for crowd funding . I have Locky's curve tracer, and couldn't live without anymore. It is USB by the way.

Not including FETS would be a BIG miss. Matching is a key use/objective of such devices for us audio folks, and FETs are as much used and matched as BJTs, think of differential input stages for example. So please don't discard that.

What I would be looking for in any case is a real high voltage / high current tester to really test power output devices, say up to 100 volts and 10 amps. Yep, that will be a very hefty transformer.

Mounting and measuring multiple DUTS at the same time needs some thinking about the casing touching the heatsinks (TO-3); and I agree with you that comparison (matching) should be done under strictly same body temperature, hence solid heat sinking and fixation. Lucky's curve tracer is missing this and I have considered several times to install sort of quick-clamp heatsink, as the DUTs heat up during test. Though, why measure the temperature if all devices are then measured on the same heat sink (same temperature), if you cannot change the heatsink temperature anyway?
Are you still giving any thoughts to this idea?

I was thinking about the power DUTs, which could be put in pairs on the same heatsink, with some kind of socket installed on the heatsink so those big TO3s could just plug in and get tested. Of course they should really be bolted as well, or the heatsink contact wouldn't be that good, and to avoid putting messy grease under the cases to make sure they exchange their heat, although it would still insert some resistance, there are those flexible TO3 insulator shims that could work well.
Maybe there is a way to design the pair testing so they have their collectors in common (we'd have to see about that), so as to not worry about their cases being in contact through the heatsink. Although making the use of those flexible shim insulators would probably permit to avoid that, as long as the screws wouldn't be the ones making the contact.
__________________
"You're old enough to MOW better!"
  Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2016, 06:26 AM   #15
1audio is offline 1audio  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SF Bay Area
Convenient USB based transistor tester
You could pull this together with several source-measure units from Keithley Keithley Source Measure Units | Tektronix or a Tek 370. Those are seriously expensive solutions. Essentially you need programmable power supplies and meters. The high voltage/high current stuff will be challenging as will testing high power. Are you going to mount the parts to heat sinks? I remember using a gadget that would heat a transistor to a target temperature while on a curve tracer to see/plot the temperature characteristic.
FET's and bipolars just need different polarity on the control element. It should require very little overhead to support.
Matching in a population is easier if you can store the key properties and use the computer to find the best matches.
It would be useful and not difficult to add noise testing while your at it.
__________________
Demian Martin
Product Design Services
  Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2016, 08:01 AM   #16
spookydd is offline spookydd  France
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Florida & France
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1audio View Post
You could pull this together with several source-measure units from Keithley Keithley Source Measure Units | Tektronix or a Tek 370. Those are seriously expensive solutions.
Not in the cards for most diyers, especially not for me, and not a real "integrated" solutions, simple enough in a single tool, with the software that handles it all in one without having to do loads of manipulations and calculations or processing.

Quote:
Essentially you need programmable power supplies and meters. The high voltage/high current stuff will be challenging as will testing high power.
That's most of the needed stuff, but not all.

Quote:
Are you going to mount the parts to heat sinks?
For the power transistors testing option, that's a must. Although the use of pulses can help minimize the needed heatsinking, and with a temperature sensor on the sink, the software can keep an eye on that and use a duty cycle that prevents overheating. Plus the sensor also provides a means to test all devices within the same range, which can make for much better matching.

Quote:
I remember using a gadget that would heat a transistor to a target temperature while on a curve tracer to see/plot the temperature characteristic.
Doing the test by software allows choosing a settled temperature on the sink, so all parts are tested the same. Early measured data can just be discarded, although perhaps temporarily displayed on the screen, until the right temperature is reached and settles, then those data points can be recorded.

Quote:
FET's and bipolars just need different polarity on the control element. It should require very little overhead to support.
Yes, and that's why I've been thinking about the "module" feature, for testing the different types of parts, as they can't all be tested using the same jig, especially with the very large disparities in device cases and their size difference, not to mention the ranges of voltages and currents...

Quote:
Matching in a population is easier if you can store the key properties and use the computer to find the best matches.
My point exactly!

What I'm seeking is a comprehensive one tool system that is specifically made for that purpose and automating as much as possible, and also being able to save the data.

Some manipulations would be needed to keep the tested parts identified once they are tested, perhaps a numbering system managed by the software, that would have to be replicated manually on the parts, so each tested part can readily be identified.

Using software to go through all of the tested parts data is a must, to make the best matching, keep the data and work on a large enough crowd of parts to find the best match combinations.
And when doing small signal transistors for example for dual diff amps, which require 4 matched parts for best results, this can be much easier, especially for the matching of npn to pnp, which can be a very difficult task with those large disparities.

Fortunately, with the small signal parts, they are so much cheaper than power transistors, that it is much more feasible to obtain a much larger samples.
I've been getting such parts in batches of 100 minimum, even if only 4 are needed, so I can increase the chances to land good matches.

Quote:
It would be useful and not difficult to add noise testing while your at it.
Yes, that's a great idea! Probably not too much more hardware to add, and the software can handle the rest.
__________________
"You're old enough to MOW better!"
  Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2016, 09:32 AM   #17
spookydd is offline spookydd  France
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Florida & France
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krisfr View Post
And just think, I bought one of these for 24 dollars...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Transistor-Tester-Capacitor-ESR-Inductance-Resistor-LCR-Meter-NPN-PNP-MOSFET-/251334183807?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a84af 4b7f

And it runs on a 9 volt battery...

That schematic looks like a great place to start, I will help in any way I can...
I think a look at that thing's schematic would be likely to give some ideas.

One thing is for sure, something like this running off a 9V battery won't be able to handle any power transistors.

If we want to test SOA on power transistors, a sufficiently high voltage AND current are needed. This would make for a very beefy power source, and that is where some limits have to be placed, otherwise that thing can get expensive and big real quick.
Perhaps there is no real need to be testing beyond some 10A on power transistors, and if we want to be able to test the second breakdown on parts with max vce at some 140V or more, that is definitely a difficult power supply to make.
However, when testing for SOA, when the current is high, voltage is low, and vice versa, so in reality the power may not be always that huge, but still significant if we want to be able to test several points on the SOA limits.
For second breakdown testing, only a very tiny current needs to be supplied, and for a very short time, so that's not too big of a deal, and perhaps that should be its own separate power supply, to keep it safe for those DUT.
Some power transistors have really large SOA nowadays, and I don't think we can make something economical enough that would be able to test the whole range of the SOA. Perhaps there is no real need for full SOA testing anyway, as besides the second breakdown testing, the really needed tests are for part comparisons/matching.
__________________
"You're old enough to MOW better!"
  Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2016, 09:50 AM   #18
spookydd is offline spookydd  France
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Florida & France
I think in the existing other tools available out there, it's locky_z's curve tracer that is the closest one with the needed features.
It's likely that some of the missing features and options in his tracer probably could be added by just software, without doing anything to his hardware.
But it is missing some features that do require more hardware and perhaps a different approach for some aspects.
And as far as I'm concerned, one huge feature missing, for me personally, is the lack of a mac native version of the software.
It would be nice to be able to compare parts for matching without doing the whole shebang on the curve tracing. Only a few points here and there, properly chosen, would suffice for matching parts, and some way of keeping an eye on temperature would also be a big help.
__________________
"You're old enough to MOW better!"
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th October 2016, 12:09 PM   #19
alayn91 is offline alayn91  France
diyAudio Member
 
alayn91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Near Orly airport
Hello,
This one:
CTR-101
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th October 2016, 12:26 PM   #20
spookydd is offline spookydd  France
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Florida & France
Quote:
Originally Posted by alayn91 View Post
Hello,
This one:
CTR-101
Going in the right direction, but not quite sufficient.
Can't handle the power transistors with their higher currents and voltage is limited to 30V.
Not an easy and fool proof method to match parts, just by plotting curves and visually match, not very accurate.
No way to keep and catalog measurements on parts, to run through comparison software and make the best matches.
Nothing to test second breakdown.
And a bit pricy for the lacking features really needed for the purpose of matching.
Plotting curves looks spiffy, but then when do you do with them if your goal is to match parts the best way?
Some of the features are what's needed, but many are missing.
__________________
"You're old enough to MOW better!"
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Convenient USB based transistor testerHide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hickok 1890M transistor tester trobbins Equipment & Tools 0 23rd June 2013 02:20 PM
useful transistor tester siliconray Equipment & Tools 0 25th November 2011 01:48 AM
Transistor tester wgpet74 Swap Meet 1 6th October 2011 10:24 AM
Transistor Tester Current Levels Stocker Parts 87 22nd December 2010 03:30 AM
transistor tester janey Solid State 0 4th January 2002 02:44 PM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:28 PM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 15.00%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2017 diyAudio
Wiki