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Capacitor ESR meter kit or schematic

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Pete Cross, Jul 27, 2004.

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  1. Pete Cross

    Pete Cross Guest

    Anyone know a cheap supplier for an ESR meter in the UK ? so far I've found
    £70 in kit form from, or a schematic for one that doesn't
    require unobtainable parts.
  2. Try this one:

    It is not in the UK, but it is shipped worldwide. I have got one myself,
    its build quality is excellent and in my opinion well worth the money.
  3. Art

    Art Guest

    Bob Parker makes a rather nice kit that also is inexpensive, easily
    assembled, and quite nice to make use of, 'Google' may turn up quite a few
    of the items.
  4. Andy C

    Andy C Guest

    I'm UK based and I ordered the Dick Smith ESR meter kit direct from
    Australia about a month ago. It only took a week to come and works out nice
    and cheap. The mark one kit, (which is what I bought), costs 50 Australian
    dollars, which is just under 20 UK pounds. Postage is quite a lot, but if I
    remember correctly the total was under 30 UK pounds.

    Oh, and it found the dud cap within 30 seconds of me probing around! I
    really can't praise this ESR meter enough.

    Andy C
  5. Luis Pestana

    Luis Pestana Guest

  6. Peter Duck

    Peter Duck Guest

    In message <4106b3df$0$6451$>
    The satcure one is the Bob Parker/Dick Smith kit (even comes in a Dick
    Smith box): seems you'd need to be in a hurry to knowingly pay double +.

    Very good/useful, IMO, wherever you get it: cracked joints apaert,
    dried-out elcos seem to be the No 1 problem in modern equipment,
    particularly in switch-mode power supplies. ...
  7. John

    John Guest

    Bob Parker's site has the circuit diagram.
    I designed a PCB and built my own. All standard parts.
    Will only cost you a few pounds.
  8. FYI: The EVB meter ( is a
    completely build version of Bob Parker's ESR meter.
  9. Pete Cross

    Pete Cross Guest

    John, how did you get the preprogrammed pic ?
  10. Bob Parker

    Bob Parker Guest

    Pet's right... the ESR meter uses a custom-programmed
    microcontroller. It was the only way to get all its features in
    something that relatively small and cheap. You can't just buy a blank
    ZiLOG Z86E0412 chip, plug it in and expect it to work as some people
    have done in the past.
    However it is most certainly *not* a Microchip PIC. My thoughts
    about PICs can be seen in "artistic" form at
    Thanks for all the nice comments about the ESR meter from others in
    this thread. It's nice to know that the design's been useful to many
    technicians other than myself. :)

  11. Bob Parker

    Bob Parker Guest

    Sorry Pete!
    I didn't proof-read it carefully enough. :)

  12. dave

    dave Guest

    Elektor Electronics magazine (
    did one in issue No. 313 SEPTEMBER 2002, which I built and works a
  13. Art

    Art Guest

    Off the Thread:
    Bob: Gov, How've you been, the flippin EST meter I got over 3 years ago
    still kicks caps!! Still waiting for the updated cap/esr values tho: LOL
    Best of All too you, and a pint of Fosters in celebration! One of the best,
    inexpensive devices I have had the pleasure to use. Art Jernberg
  14. John

    John Guest

    John, how did you get the preprogrammed pic ?

    My mistake. It was the ESR meter from Poptronics (formerly Popular
    Electronics) magazine July 2001 that I built. Here is a link to the
    The magazine article had several errors. These are shown in the circuit.
    The ESR meter works fine.
  15. Bob Monaghan

    Bob Monaghan Guest

    yes, IIRC, Nuts and Volts magazine in the USA had one in their reader Q&A
    column within the last few years (since they switched to 8 1/2 x 11" sized
    magazines from newspaper formats). It used a 555 timer and a dual op amp
    for the 100 mv signal etc. Looked nifty, but the sort of thing you would
    "toast" on charged caps now and again ;-)
  16. Bob Parker

    Bob Parker Guest

    G'day Art(hur),
    Nice to hear from you again after all this time! Thanks for your
    nice wishes. I'll have to make time for that pint of Fosters some time
    soon... I feel the need for it right now. :)
    For the info of everyone reading this thread, there are some very
    good and inexpensive ideas for checking the ESR of electrolytic caps
    on Stephen Powell's website, starting at and you certainly don't need a
    pre-programmed microcontroller to make them work!

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