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Old 4th March 2012, 11:42 PM   #1
Irakli is offline Irakli  United States
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Default Simple Capacitor ESR meter

Hi all,

Here is the simple capacitor ESR meter which works very well.

My version of the ESR meter is based mainly on the project published by Lawrence P. Glaister at
Capacitor ESR Tester

There are several modifications though which I think are important:

1. I used the impulse step-down transformer to couple the oscillator+driver with the load and to reduce the output impedance. The transformation ratio is about 15:1 but it is not critical (you can use 10:1 for example). What is critical is to adjust gain and bias for Q1 to stay in linear region. I extracted the transformer from old Nokia cell phone SMPS charger.
2. I paid particular attention to Q1 amplifier biasing and gain. The key here is that Q1 should stay in the linear region all the time (no clipping). All the voltages are indicated on the circuit diagram.
3. I used higher oscillation frequency. Fo is around 233Khz.

The layout of the circuit is nothing special: ground plane and "ugly construction" (see photos).
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Old 4th March 2012, 11:53 PM   #2
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Very nice! I have one that is build for fixing Hospital equipments. Take a look of this design.
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Old 4th March 2012, 11:54 PM   #3
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Here it is!
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Old 4th March 2012, 11:55 PM   #4
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again!
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Old 5th March 2012, 12:23 AM   #5
Irakli is offline Irakli  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanchile View Post
Very nice! I have one that is build for fixing Hospital equipments. Take a look of this design.
Great! beautifully done . I believe I saw your design on the net and considered it as one of the prototypes.
Your circuit seems more accurate too, but high accuracy was not my goal here. I was also concerned with the usage of the op-amps for amplification at high frequencies (that's why you need three in series to achieve required gain).

cool!
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Old 5th March 2012, 11:43 AM   #6
Elvee is online now Elvee  Belgium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irakli View Post
Hi all,

Here is the simple capacitor ESR meter which works very well.
Actually, it is not an ESR meter, it is a simple (scalar) impedance meter.
The only case it could display the esr is when the capacitor's self resonance frequency happens to coincide with the measurement frequency.

That said, it is certainly a useful piece of gear anyway.
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Old 5th March 2012, 07:50 PM   #7
Irakli is offline Irakli  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvee View Post
Actually, it is not an ESR meter, it is a simple (scalar) impedance meter.
Agreed.
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Old 13th March 2012, 01:50 PM   #8
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Do you have this in files with pcb or .LAY file?

I've tried to build this one someone modified to use a 9 volt battery and LED, but didn't have a 25K pot, I have Liner 5K, 10K and 15K Pots. or I didn't have the high voltage CAP for voltage protection.

So I'm thinking that might have caused it not to work. With the few I've tried to build, I could have bought two or three of the blues already, but it kind of takes the fun out of trying to DIY.

Thanks
Bob

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Very nice! I have one that is build for fixing Hospital equipments. Take a look of this design.
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Old 13th March 2012, 01:57 PM   #9
Piersma is offline Piersma  Netherlands
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[DIY] LCR meter up to 10khz using AD9833 & dsPIC30F4012
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Old 13th March 2012, 02:35 PM   #10
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When I tried the link http://circuitcellar.com/microchip20...ers/third.html it gave an error "Page Not Found".

I tried the Hung kit. When the unit stopped reading ESR after 6 month's he said it was a solder joint. (After 6 month's.) Even sent photo's of the board to him, even gave it to a Computer Electronics class I was taking until funding was canceled so they could work with it and they all said it was the software. All solder joints were perfect. They put a scope on it and only the PIC was not working for ESR reading. So in order to fix the kit I would have to order the chip again since his program is propitiatory.

I'm not a designer, still trying to learn electronics, building test equipment was one way to try and save money. Trying to build the ESR meters have been the most difficult. All the other test equipment I build has been fine. Transistor/Diode tester, Old Oscilloscope from McGraw Hill, Dual Regulated Bench power supply, Signal Generator, Logic Probe, etc. have all worked first try. Just can't seem to build a workable ESR meter.

It's been said some have used their own program on the Hung kit, but I have never been able to find anyone that really has that has offered it on open source or I'd give it a try.

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