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Welcome to Bob's ESR
Information about the different versions and their
This is the well-known Blue
ESR meter from Anatek Corp in the USA.
Designed for easiest possible construction, everything is mounted on
the circuit board. It's powered by a 9V battery which lasts even longer
thanks to its low-current cool blue
displays and low-dropout voltage regulator.
Available in kit and fully-built form, click
here for all the info on the Alltronics
Also available from these companies (click on the
name to visit their website):
Electronics in Vancouver, Canada (they have a USA
Jukes in Vancouver, Canada (they happily ship
Repair Guide (Jestine Yong) in Malaysia
The Electronic Superstore in India (Amarbir ships
This is one of the ESR meters from EVB
in sunny Portugal. They're the same basic design as the Dick Smith unit
(below) and there are various versions to suit individual needs.
The black version has heavy duty protection diodes in parallel with the
test leads while the white version is designed to be able to test
batteries so it doesn't have those diodes. It still has reasonable
protection against charged capacitors.
This new blue version is powered by
6x AA cells and is housed in a stronger ABS case.
These meters are available fully-built from EVB
in Portugal (click here) so check them out.
here to read a detailed impartial user review
And this is the Dick Smith Electronics
K-7214 kit. Unfortunately Dick Smith Electronics has permanently
stopped making all kits, including this one.
Please note that the kit is quite complex and is not
recommended for inexperienced hobbyists.
It uses a custom-programmed microcontroller chip. A
blank Z86E0412 will not work.
You can download the notes for the DSE kit as an
Adobe Acrobat file...
For Firefox users, right click here
and select 'Save Link As...'
For Internet Exploder users, right click here
and select 'Save Target As...'
Then save the k7214.pdf file to an appropriate
subdirectory on your hard drive.
Measurement range: 0.01 to 99 ohms, auto-ranging
Peak voltage across capacitor under test @ full scale:
Update speed: 4 readings/second
Power supply: EVB & Blue meter: 9V alkaline
battery. DSE: 6 x "AAA" cells.
Controls: Single push button for power on/off and
Dimensions: EVB: 65mm x 131mm x 30mm. Blue meter:
3.4 x 5.8 x 1.0". DSE: 2.7 x 5.2 x 2.2"
Microcontroller: ZiLOG Z86E0412PSC 1866
* Tests electrolytics in circuit,
& test leads are
* Test lead resistance compensation.
* Automatic power off when reading is unchanged for 3
* Low battery voltage warning ('b' flashes on right-hand digit).
* Big, easy to read 0.5 inch (13mm) LED displays.
* Table of typical good capacitor ESRs on the front panel.
* Self-testing firmware for easier identification of construction
* Kit contains all hardware and components, except batteries
(prohibited in postal system).
Note: A variable DC power supply
is needed to calibrate the kit meters. Click here
for a little circuit you can make if you don't have one.
This ESR meter can generally handle being connected to capacitors
charged to about 50V without damage, but like most other ESR meters it
will be seriously damaged by being connected to
such things as the main filter capacitor charged to 300V or more, of a
240V-powered switching power supply. The EVB meter has extra protection
as noted above.
"How To Make Full Use Of Your ESR Meter" by Jestine
Yong (Electronic Repair Guide).
do if you've built an ESR meter and it's not working properly.
prefer an analog ESR meter, check out Doug Jones' Capacitor
Wizard. Good to see you back, Doug.
Back to Bob's home page...
Last update: 25th October 2018