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Welcome to Bob's ESR Meter Page

Information about the different versions and their availability...



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 Anatek Corp website and chasque aquí para la versión española (in Spanish).

Also available from these companies (click on the name to visit their website):
Electronix Corp in Ohio, USA.
Preher-Tech in Seattle, USA
Main Electronics in Vancouver, Canada (they have a USA outlet too).
John's Jukes in Vancouver, Canada (they happily ship world-wide).
Electronic Repair Guide (Jestine Yong) in Malaysia
LYNX The Electronic Superstore in India (Amarbir ships world-wide)














This is the EVB ESR meter from sunny Portugal. It's the same basic design as the Dick Smith unit (below) except that it has big protection diodes in parallel with the test leads (you can't measure battery ESR with it), brighter displays, and it's powered by a 9V alkaline battery (not 6 AAA cells as in the DSE meter).


This meter is available in fully-built form from EVB in Portugal (click here). The EVB meter works much better than the website. ;-)


Click 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... (1.3MB)
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.






Brief Specifications...

Measurement range: 0.01 to 99 ohms, auto-ranging
Peak voltage across capacitor under test @ full scale: 100mV
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 zero
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



Features

* Tests electrolytics in circuit, & test leads are non-polarized.
* Test lead resistance compensation.
* Automatic power off when reading is unchanged for 3 minutes.
* 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 problems.
* 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.



Overload Tolerance

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.



Thanks to everyone who responded to my poll! This is how you voted....



Click here to read all the unedited comments - thanks to all who left them.  :-)




More info....


Read "How To Make Full Use Of Your ESR Meter" by Jestine Yong (Electronic Repair Guide).

Read user comments from my old ESR meter guestbook.

Read my very old writeup on the electrolytic capacitor ESR problem, and the story of this meter.

See AnaTek's comparison with other well-known ESR meters.

Check out lots of hints about using the meter!

What to do if you've built an ESR meter and it's not working properly.

If you'd 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: 19th March 2014