Re: ESR meters (again)


Hi Dave,
I purchased two ESR meters a couple weeks ago, after doing a ridiculous amount of web-surfing/research.

The convention wisdom I found on the web was "if you are a hobbyist and need to do accurate L,C,R, and ESR, then the DE-5000 offers the best value for the price". However, I bought the AnaTek Blue / DaveParker ESR meter last week (in kit form),

Anatek Blue ESR Meter - Full Kit for Self Assembly

Anatek Blue ESR Meter - Full Kit for Self Assembly Blue ESR Meter Kit for capacitor equivalent series resistance (ESR) measurements.

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and just for giggles, I ordered an el-cheapo ESR meter from (also in kit form).

DIY Multifunction Transistor Tester Kit For LCR ESR Transistor PWM Signal Generator M328

DIY Multifunction Transistor Tester Kit For LCR ESR Tra... This is Meter Tester DIY Kit for Capacitance ESR Inductance Resistor. Measurement Range: Resistor: 0.5Ω ~ 50MΩ. Capacitor: 30pF ~ 100mF. Indu...

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But banggood sent me a DIY DDS function generator kit instead, so I'm in the process of getting that resolved.

The AnaTek Blue ESR works great and is reasonably accurate (I checked some 1% resistors with it).
I'll do some comparisons once I receive and assemble my banggood ESR meter.

Now, a little story about the AnaTek Blue ESR:

During the assembly, I swapped out the supplied leads with some really nice silicon wire. Next I attempted to "upgrade" its blue 3mm decimal point LEDs. The supplied LEDs are a noticeably dim relative to the brightness of the 7-segment display. I had some very bright 3mm blue LEDs in my parts bins, and being a smart guy, I knew I could swap out the dim LED for a bright one, and if it was too bright, I could tone it down just by putting an appropriate resistor in series with the new LED.

Well, it was not that easy... "Brightness-matching" went okay, but new LEDs had a problem. When displaying something like (.05) it looked beautiful ! But When displaying something (0.5) the 1st LED would not go completely dark, but only when the 2nd LED was being illuminated to its proper level. I ended up with this (.0.5) on the display. I spent the next few hours looking at the schematic, probing the drive voltages and timing with my oscilloscope, soldering resistors and even 1N4148 diodes in series with the my bright LEDs, and generally trying to debug why that darn LED would not go out completely. Long story short: I understand how the display driver circuit operates, and I think there is small error in the design. I ended up putting the original "magic blue LEDs" back in the meter and all is well.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

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