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ESR kit builders wanted

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by John Bachman, Nov 14, 2007.

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  1. John Bachman

    John Bachman Guest

    Bob Parker and I have put together what we think is the best ESR kit
    yet. Before we release this product I would like a couple of techs to
    build one to help us identify defects in our assembly manual,
    procedure, etc.

    I want two test builders, one experienced and one newbie.

    If you are interested please email me at john at anatek dot mv dot com
    Tell me a little about yourself, how long you have been repairing
    electronics, what kit building experience you have, what ESR meter you
    use (if any).

    The selected builders will receive a kit and instructions just like a
    buyer will. After you build your kit I will send you a short
    questionairre about your experience, what problems you had,
    suggestions on improvemnets, etc.

    The meter you build will be yours to keep at no cost to you.

    You can preview the meter at


    AnaTek Corporation
    The Electronic Repair Center at
  2. John Bachman

    John Bachman Guest

    I have plenty of experienced guys willing to be a guinea pig but no
    newbies so far. Unless you count the "newbie" who started in 1956.

    You guys are amazing.

  3. Charles

    Charles Guest

    Now hold on John ... how are you going find a newbie here? If they can
    solder, are they really a newbie?

    You need to field a "man on the street." ;>)

    Glad to see that Bob is still active. Have not talked to him for quite a
  4. Not sure this will prove useful, as a true newbie wouldn't be able to solder
    at all (though you could teach the basics reasonably quickly), but more
    importantly, they would have no idea about component designations and details
    of that nature which would be a prerequisite for building.
    Someone who had never touched it before would need constant supervision,
    with the heavy associated bias by the supervisor themselves, thus negating the

    I'm sure there must be SOME 'newbies' here that are past the newbie stage
    just enough to operate reasonably autonomously.

    This would be a far more realistic test, as they would represent the bottom
    end of the user scale of those who would be buying and building the ESR kit
    A 'man on the street' wouldn't know what an ESR meter is let alone want one.
  5. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    So what's an 'ESR' ?

    As an acronym it means equivalent series resistance to me.


  6. Follow the link John posted, and ALL will be revealed.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  7. Charles

    Charles Guest

    Ah yes, the term "newbie" is a sliding scale. Vague ... indeterminant ...
    cannot be accuratey defined.

    The ideal "newbie" should be able to solder and identify components. And
    perhaps understand equivalent series resistance?
  8. Ask at a local school or college? I assume they still have 'radio' clubs
    these days?

    If it's anything like the last model I found the instructions OK. I
    suppose I'm pretty experienced, but if there's a 'gotcha' I'm guaranteed
    to find it. ;-)
  9. John Bachman

    John Bachman Guest

    I got one real newbie with promise so far. He is interested in
    electronics, knows what ESR is (or at least wants a meter) and seems
    willing to learn. A good test.

    My thought is that not everyone who buys one of these is experienced
    with them and that puts a strain on the assembly manual. This is
    based on our experience when we carried the Dick Smith meter. The
    manual has to be bullet proof, hence my desire to test it out. The
    design is solid (thanks Bob) so I have no concerns there.
    Yes Bob is still very active. He lurks here occasionally but does not
    post much.

    What a great guy. I am very pleased to have been able to work with
    him on this project. The label on it gives him well deserved

  10. DaveM

    DaveM Guest

    You might try posting for newbies in the NG. Lots of
    those guys can repair a radio with help and instructions from the experienced
    guys. That is, they can solder and follow instructions... exactly what you're
    after. Might be just the ticket for your test. Be careful though... those
    older guys get lust in their eyes when something like this comes along. {:>)

    Dave M
    MasonDG44 at comcast dot net (Just substitute the appropriate characters in the

    "In theory, there isn't any difference between theory and practice. In
    practice, there is." - Yogi Berra
  11. Warren Weber

    Warren Weber Guest

    John.. I am sorta new. Only been in electronics repair since 1944. Never
    had a ESR meter. Thinking about buying one though. Have done many kits for
    fun. Even built a lot of test equipment from scratch. So if you get no
    takers I would try it. <G> Warren
  12. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    Was the SI (Weber) named after you ? :)))
  13. Smitty Two

    Smitty Two Guest

    True. Although the OP could offer *his* definition for the purposes of
    this particular discussion.
    Maybe. I built two Heathkit VTVMs when I was in high school. I'd never
    seen a soldering iron before, and didn't know a resistor from a butter
    knife. I wouldn't have known ohm's law if it leaped out and bit me in
    the ass. The directions were excellent. I didn't receive a speck of
    guidance or assistance. Both meters worked perfectly right out of the
    gate. That accomplishment earned me the dubious privilege of
    troubleshooting two identical units that had been assembled by my
    father's colleague - a university chemistry professor. I accomplished
    the task with a meticulous step by step visual inspection.
  14. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    I built a Heathkit 'scope when I was a kid. I could solder, just about, but
    those Heathkit instructions, with the line-drawing illustrations and the
    check-boxes, made doing it a breeze. I think back then, all those years ago,
    Heath really had home construction for the 'amateur', taped, and a lot could
    be learnt about how to do it now, by looking at some of their old building
    instruction books.

  15. JW

    JW Guest

    Looks nice. I've been repairing electronics stuff for 20 years or so, but
    have never owned an ESR meter. What do you think the price will be for
    that unit?
  16. Yes - I built their valve voltmeter ages ago when the usual was a moving
    coil unit like the AVO. It's on a shelf looking pretty - like the AVO 8.
  17. Visual inspection. Arguably the most-important troubleshooting technique.
    Particularly for kits.

    27 years ago I assembled an Integrex kit, one of whose op amps was
    overheating. I spent more than an hour trying to rationally determine the
    problem. Then it occurred to me to perform a careful visual inspection.
    Fifteen seconds after flipping over the board, I found a solder bridge. (The
    PCB did not have a solder mask, but that was no excuse for my carelessness.)
  18. John Bachman

    John Bachman Guest

    I have lots of takers Warren, thanks. The problem is going to be how
    to fairly pick from them.

  19. John Bachman

    John Bachman Guest

    Our pricing analysis is not quite completed. It takes a fair amount
    of labor to assemble all of the loose parts into a kit in a logical
    form. I am trying to reduce that labor cost and hope to be able to
    keep the kit below $80.

    This kit uses all quality parts and includes test leads with 4mm
    shrouded plugs so you can plug in any termination that you want. Other
    kits either had no leads or had cheap ones. We will not do cheap.

  20. John Bachman

    John Bachman Guest

    You are absolutely correct. That is why our kit has a solder-masked
    board. We also made it a bit larger than the old Dick Smith kit to
    get better spacing between pads. All of that adds cost but we hope to
    be able to keep the price down.

    Even so, the first two that I have built had solder bridges. But I am
    a crappy solderer with lousy eyesight. That makes me a good tester
    doesn't it?

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