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Stefanoo 9th April 2010 02:35 PM

Curve Tracer
Hi everybody,

I am looking so bad for a curve tracer.
I was really impressed from the device "made" by circuit-ed and I was going to buy it.
The only limitation that I didn't like was the current capability that was limited to some I think 100mA while for output power device people like me want to go as high as 1A or something like that.

Unfortunately Circuit-ed doesn't make that anymore.
Too bad.

I saw the project that is going on in the forum and the handsome curve tracer, but reading throughout the thread it seems to be still working in progress and nobody knows when it will be ready IF it will be made available.

Now my question is:

do you guys know where I can purchase a curve tracer that does a good job with a computer interface that will work on high current matching too?
Of course something that is not super expensive I would say no more than $150 or something like that.

thank you very much.

bear 9th April 2010 03:28 PM



also B&K made one in the USA market that needed an external 'scope...

Stefanoo 9th April 2010 03:42 PM

I do know ebay ;)

my question was, what is a good curve tracer? I was looking at Tektronix's curve tracer but they are expensive.
I don't have experience with plug ins and stuff.

In case I would like to put together a tek curve tracer, what do I need? Just the mainframe and the curve tracer's plug in? or I need a specific storage oscilloscope?

For example if I would buy an empty 7633 main frame and put inside the curve traces 's plug in, would that work? or would I need other plug ins?

bear 9th April 2010 03:52 PM

that's IF you buy a Tek that is that style.

The older units are standalone.
I use an old 575, which is all tubes! :D

search around you'll find examples of different brands and models...


PS. you don't usually need a storage scope for a curve tracer

Stefanoo 9th April 2010 04:05 PM

i understand.
So Basically buying a 7000's style main frame and the 7CT1N plug in would make up a good curve tracer?
I like the mainframe idea, because you can always throw other options if needed, as for example I would love to have the spectrum analyzer 7L5 next and with the mainframe I can just stuff it in.

But now my concern is on the curve tracer and my questions are:

a main frame goes around for $100 and the curve tracer plug in for $150.
A total of $350.
Is there any better system around at that price point?
moreover by reading at the description for the curve tracer's plug in it looks like the maximum current is 240mA which would still have limited current capabilities.
Do you guys have any advice in this regard on what is a good curve tracer I could look into?

error401 9th April 2010 07:41 PM

Being that this is DIYaudio, have you seen this project? I don't think it would be too difficult to increase the current capacity. No built-in computer interface, but if you have a DSO already...

Curve Tracer (advanced)

bear 9th April 2010 08:10 PM

I seem to recall that Erno Borbely published a curve tracer design some years back in Audio Amateur - fwiw.

ZZZDave 9th April 2010 08:34 PM

curve tracer
The article was in Elektor Electronics and it is an excellent design. The cost seemed high, at the time, but I saved the issue....somewhere. I will look for it or you might find it from the Elektor website. Some of the parts had to be purchased from Mr. Borbely I think.

I was expecting to get a used curve tracer from a friend about 1,800 miles away but when he had unexpected gall bladder surgery he had a heart attack then a stroke about a week later. Bottom line: no curve tracer. And, I just had a request for a repair on a Threshold S500 which has 32 mosfets in the output stage of each channel, I think(going from memory), but I can come up with other ways to check and/or match components.

Stefanoo 10th April 2010 12:46 AM

All in all, what is a good buck curve tracer, without having to build anything (I do not need to add projects to my pile).
I mean there's gotta be something that does a good job as the Circuit-ed's curve tracer that unfortunately is not any longer in production.

I was thinking about the 7000 mainframe like 7633 and the 7CT1N plug in.

The only thing is that this plug in won't allow more than 250mA I think or 0.5W.
That won't be much of a hel for power devices that will likely going to have a bias higher than 250mA.

jackinnj 10th April 2010 01:11 AM

Tek tracers like the 576 go for $300 to $3k for a calibrated unit. Will probably cost as much to ship to EUR from the US. 570's are now scarce and a fellow is trying to unload one for $5,000. The CRT in the for the 576 is specialty for this purpose.

Every month or so I get asked for PCB's for the curve tracer which I wrote up for AX -- this project would now have to be done via USB.

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