Re: recommended ESR meters these days


ESR meters (AC low ohm meter) are very easy to build and there are several good schematics on the web. I built one from parts around my lab in 2007, and have not had a need to fix or replace it. It has two ranges 0-10 ohms and 0 to 30 ohms and measures accurately down to .05 ohms at the lower resistance third of the scales. It uses an analog meter and fits in a 2" X 2" by 4" metal box. I created the meter face in powerpoint (before I got familiar with the "Meter" program). Ended up pretty close to zero cost. I based mine off the IZ7ATH style circuit ( ) but there are many versions to choose from. If concerned about ESR, a 0 to 5 ohm range with around 0.05 ohm accuracy at the 0 to 1 ohm range (.5 ohm above that) is generally all that is necessary.

In 2004 I built a low ohms meter (DC ohmmeter) which goes well with the ESR meter and uses home make kelvin clips. It has ranges of .2 ohms, 2 ohms and 20 ohms. It has resolution to .0025 ohms on the lowest scale and very accurate to this resolution compared to my calibrated HP 3456A in 4 wire mode.

While there are many AC and DC low ohms meters on the market, buying one is not as much fun as building one and a built one could easily be fixed if it ever fails. In my case I already have several good LCR meters from HP and B&K so another one just to get ESR would be overkill.


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