Re: Yet another use for a curve tracer


Does it not need a minimum load. I just hook them up to the AC cord and a light bulb. I guess I'm stupid for keeping it simple (KISS)

There were opinions earlier on other brand Curve Tracers, EICO and Heath, any opinions from the group on the BK 501A Curve Tracer?


At 08:18 PM 12/04/2020, you wrote:
I've been cleaning up and organizing lots of stuff lately, and I found I had a couple dozen various AC light dimmers and fan controls piled up. After I eliminated the obvious junkers - marked bad, taken apart, busted parts, etc - I had about a dozen left, to save for possible re-use. I decided to check them out on the curve tracer, to eliminate any more bad ones from stock.

I set up the 576 for AC, 350 V peak range, series R 680 ohms, H 50 V/div, V 100 mA/div, and started testing. It worked great, and all of the two-terminal types checked OK. There are some three- and four-terminal ones that need further study to figure out appropriate hookup. Here's the process, for two-terminal types:

1. Set collector supply to zero.
2. Hook up dimmer.
3 Set collector to about 175 V peak.
4. Run dimmer knob through OFF and full range.
5. Display appearance should change according to dimmer setting, from a flat line or small "+" to a large "+," indicating proper operation.
6. Turn collector back to zero.
7. Disconnect dimmer, and connect the next one.
Repeat as needed.


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