Finding the value of chip inductors? - diyAudio
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Old 7th February 2009, 09:15 PM   #1
Bitrex is offline Bitrex  United States
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Default Finding the value of chip inductors?

I have a synthesizer here that I'm attempting to repair - I've narrowed down the problem to a cracked SMD inductor in the backlight driver section. I have another synth mainboard to use as a reference - but unfortunately the service manual for the thing is unattainable and there's no value printed on the inductor! I'm wondering if there is any way for me to measure the value of the inductor off of the good mainboard without going out and buying a new multimeter that has an inductance measurement function. I considered hooking it up with a capacitor and resonating it with a signal generator, but the thing is smaller than a grain of rice and I haven't a clue how I'm going to get test leads attached. Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 7th February 2009, 09:20 PM   #2
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Canandaigua, NY USA
Well, you just described how I'd do it. I've gotten pretty good at tacking tiny leads on SMT parts for measurements. One word of advice- in all my years of troubleshooting, the cause of a problem has almost never the part showing the physical damage. Unless you know the inductor was physically damaged because something hit it, there's a good chance it cracked when it overheated because something else failed.
I may be barking up the wrong tree, but at least I'm barking!
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Old 7th February 2009, 10:04 PM   #3
Bitrex is offline Bitrex  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Thanks for the advice - in this case I'm pretty sure that the failure was caused by a mechanical issue rather than an electrical one. The SMD inductor in question is mounted about a quarter of a millimeter from a screw mounting hole at the very edge of the board, and I think it cracked due to concentrated mechanical stress from the board warming and cooling and the synth being banged around. The failure is intermittent and only seems to occur when I pick the synth up and move it around, or I tap on the inductor with a probe. I will take another look around it to make absolutely sure, though. Now to build some nanoprobes
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