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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).
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 precision stronger ABS case.
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: 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
* Tests electrolytics in circuit, & test leads are
* 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.
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....