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Huntron Tracker 2000.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by HellasTechn, Dec 27, 2017.

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  1. HellasTechn

    HellasTechn

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Good day dear friends,
    My wish to all of you for the new year is whatever is for your soul's best interest.

    Recently a device called Huntron Tracker 2000 came into my hands. I have no idea what that device is and what exactly it does or how.

    I Googled "huntron tracker 2000" and found out that it is a test equipment of some kind but cant really understand what it does.

    Anyone has an idea ?

    Thanks !
     
  2. HellasTechn

    HellasTechn

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    Apr 14, 2013
    I found the user manual which is pretty long to read (i will read it through though). I also found comments on internet stating that the 2000 model is not useful in modern electronics that operate under low voltages. Is that a fact ?
     
  3. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

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    Jun 21, 2012
    There have been several threads here discussing the Huntron Tracker 2000. Visit this page to see what they are.

    Bottom line is this is not a very useful piece of kit for the 21st Century. Might be fun to play with though. It claimed to be able to test semiconductors, diodes, capacitors, etc. in circuit without having to un-solder one lead first. That would have been a substantial troubleshooting advantage in the early part of the 20th Century. IMHO they are waaay overpriced when available on eBay, but your mileage (or kilometers) may be different..
     
    HellasTechn likes this.
  4. dorke

    dorke

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    Jun 20, 2015
    Hop,
    "early 20th century",clearly a typo...;)

    Actually it is a very interesting and useful testing and troubleshooting instrument especially in it's newer versions.

    @HellasTechn
    There are some nice videos on it here,and see here.
    And here is some competition.
    Finally ,
    An explanation(and PC implementation) on the VI method here.
     
    hevans1944 and HellasTechn like this.
  5. HellasTechn

    HellasTechn

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    Apr 14, 2013
    It looks like it has never been used. It has almost no signs of cosmetic ware and it powers up and shows the beam, controls seem to be working. I only need a set of probes and to read the manual and i am good to go.

    If it can accurately test capacitors then its good enough for me :) as for the rest of the semiconductors well... I do get some old devices to fix every now and then.
     
  6. HellasTechn

    HellasTechn

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Sorry for the "duplicate" post. I should have searched first.:)

    P.S i am a little confused about how useful or not this device is...
     
  7. HellasTechn

    HellasTechn

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    Apr 14, 2013
    I will take a look. Thank you !
    Im not sure how much they cost though.
     
  8. HellasTechn

    HellasTechn

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    Apr 14, 2013
    One last question. does anyone have an idea if the mains transformer has a winding that can accept 220V ?

    The tracker i have is marked 110V and i am thinking to buy a step-down transformer. If i can avoid that it would be nice though since i am really tight on budget for irrelevant reasons.
    Thanks !
     
  9. HellasTechn

    HellasTechn

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Ive just checked e-bay and the prices are crazy...
    Im seriously considering selling my unit instead of keeping it. I could list it for like 400$ and still be the cheapest seller...
     
  10. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

    4,536
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    Jun 21, 2012
    The idea behind the Huntron Tracker is sound: you provide a signal source that is current-limited by intention, then apply it to the device-under-test (DUT), often without removing the DUT from the circuit. Then, on an x-y oscilloscope display (or the equivalent LCD display), the instrument provides an x-axis deflection corresponding to the signal source voltage (which is usually AC) and a y-axis deflection corresponding to the current drawn by the DUT. For a resistor this results in a diagonal straight line. Other components produce a different "signature" depending on whether they are "good" or "defective." Over a period of time, the technician learns to recognize the "bad" parts and distinguish them from the "good" parts. Since the instrument usually can acquire "signatures" without removing parts, it can become a very rapid way to troubleshoot circuits and circuit boards, especially in a production environment where all the circuits and boards are identical.

    If you own an oscilloscope with x-y deflection capability and an audio signal generator, with a little bit of skill and imagination you can jury-rig your own "Huntron Tracker". Of course it won't have any "bells and whistles" like the "real deal" but at least you can get a "feel" for what its capabilities are. I sometimes jury-rig similar instrumentation for testing and characterizing semiconductor devices, although usually foregoing using just two probes. Instead I have one probe (or a differential pair of probes) to measure the voltage across the device terminals and another to measure the current going in our out of one of the terminals using a low-valued current-sensing resistor.

    I have no actual experience with a real Huntron Tracker, but I am sure you can find dozens of testimonials from technicians or engineers who will either swear by them or swear at them.:cool:
     
    HellasTechn likes this.
  11. HellasTechn

    HellasTechn

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Thank you for all the helpful information. I have already bought a cheap step down transformer and begun playing with the tracker.So far i have tested several capacitors known good and known bad once and i have to say that it is hard to tell the difference between them.
     
  12. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

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    Jun 25, 2010
    ....and still not find a buyer!
     
  13. dorke

    dorke

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    Jun 20, 2015
    The issue of finding faults on PCBs is intact very important in many levels if done "in-properly" ,
    may result in costly and time consuming results.

    In the production phase it is crucial.
    There a few automated methods used to perform what is called ICT(In Circuit Testing).
    The newer JTAG(Boundary scan)- well matched for devices supporting it.
    The older Bad of Nails- good for all, but limited by smaller and smaller board sizes.
    The combination of the two is also implemented.

    For repair,
    The above two are used in the factory or big pro. repair facilities.
    The IV (signature analyses) method may be very helpful as well.

    Most small repair shops don't use it, and do it the manual old-school way-
    "sniffing and probing" with traditional instruments i.e DMMs,Scopes etc.
     
  14. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

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    Jun 25, 2010
    Increasingly though, users are operating a 'swap-out' service as being the most cost-effective (in terms of down time and repair expense).
    It would only be 'rare' equipment that demanded such intense fault-finding attention these days.
     
  15. HellasTechn

    HellasTechn

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    Apr 14, 2013
    At the time being i am more troubled with locating bad capacitors on a board without having to remove them first.
    Further more i would like an instrument that could reliably indicate a faulty capacitor even removed from the board.

    i have one of these cheap capacitor-ESR meters sold on e-bay that is fairly accurate but still not good enough.

    The other day i had a monitor that after working 5-10 minutes it would turn itself off. i removed and measured the capacitors with this esr meter and found them to be in normal condition. For example a 1000uf 16V rated capacitor would give me 850-900uf and an esr value of about 0.8 to 1ohm. Still the fault was caused by one of them. After replacing all of them the problem was fixed...
     
  16. dorke

    dorke

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    Jun 20, 2015
    Well,
    Actually that 1000μF/16V with 0.8ohm ESR is clearly faulty!
    So your ESR meter is good enough.

    The value and ESR of a cap depend on the cap tolerance(%) and the series(general purpose,low ES,physical size etc.).
    You need to know those in order to decide if a cap meets it's manufacturing main parameters(they do defer between manufactures).

    For high voltage caps there is also the issue of leakage under the specified voltage ratings.

    There are various ESR tables on the web,they are good for general guidance only.
    You actually need to know the exact parameters of the specific cap you have.
    In general, the higher the capacitance the lower the ESR.

    Here is an example of a specific quality series of Panasonic.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
    HellasTechn likes this.
  17. HellasTechn

    HellasTechn

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    Capacitors ESR is directly affected by the capacitors voltage rating. Anyway even on the tracker the measured 850uf 16V 0.8Ohm ESR capacitor would give a correct signature. and that is confusing me.

    The other day i wast testing a bulged capacitor with the tracker and the difference between a good one of same rating was barely noticeable...
     
  18. kds9591

    kds9591

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    Jan 18, 2018
    Hi,

    What frequency were you using? Were you doing comparison analysis with another known good board comparing the cap signatures?

    A Huntron tracker's strength and what it was primarily designed for was comparison analysis. To use it just as a component tester is like using just the radio in a car and not driving it anywhere.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  19. HellasTechn

    HellasTechn

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    Apr 14, 2013
    :)

    Yes i understand.

    In the case mentioned above i used two single capacitors of the same value and voltage (removed from the board).
    One was bulged and the other was good and like i mentioned before the difference was barely noticeable. If it wasnt for the bluging, i could have mistaken it as a good one.

    for capacitors i generally use 50hz combined with low voltage setting.

    When it comes to the tracker i am far far from experienced user :)

    P.S.

    By the way welcome to our forum !
     
  20. kds9591

    kds9591

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    Jan 18, 2018
    Thank you for the welcome. As one of the other posters stated your
    capacitor meter showed a bad cap with a high ESR which should be trusted. In my experience using a Huntron tracker when
    it comes to higher value electrolytic capacitors in circuit unless it is way off value, shorted or not connected to the point Im measuring from the two signatures will be the same. Also higher value capacitors will "mask" a signature such as a resistance or semiconductor problem. Changing the frequency so the capacitance component of the signature isn't as dominate helps greatly.
     
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