What’s a good in circuit cap tester?

Discussion in 'Radio Circuits, Repair & Performance' started by WA7F, Nov 26, 2020.

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  1. W6EDT

    W6EDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the DER DE-5000. Pretty nice LCR meter with variable input frequency and resonable precision. About $125 on Amazon. Comes with very nice 4-wire surface mount and alligator probes.
  2. F5VHZ

    F5VHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    one of the best " in circuit testers" is made by Huntron called the huntron tracker and there are a few different models to choose from, i think mine was 2000 model. now they make far better ones but even the 2000 is great for in circuit testing... and it tests any conponent. mostly used on two boards at the same time, one known good board and one suspect, the tracker reads any point to point trace from each board and toggles the display between the two boards, or whateved your compairing.
    once youve mastered the tool you will be able to test ic input and outputs, all junction devices fets triacs, diodes zeners and so on... even caps but only with its low non destructive voltage, so not much use on looking for caps flashing over. thats a different ballgame, as suggested... out of circuit and use a megga tester... i use one that cranks up 800 volts, and is adequate for my needs..
    but if you ever see a huntron tracked going cheap, buy it, you will use it over and over...
  3. WA7F

    WA7F Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for the reply, Colin. I picked up a BK Precision 880 LCR but, I’ll keep an eye out for a Huntron Tracker as well. It sounds very versatile.
  4. KN6SU

    KN6SU Ham Member QRZ Page

    The BK 880 looks like an improvement over the 879B, with max test freq up from 10kHz to 100kHz (now the same as the DE-5000), test signal level selectable between 0.6 and 0.3V (DE-5000=0.5v), basic accuracy increased from 0.5% to 0.1% (DE-5000 somewhere in between), and a bit faster measurement rate. The DE-5000 has a 20k count display whereas all the BK LCR models feature 40k count displays, which could allow an extra digit of resolution (but not necessarily accuracy) to the reading.

    So while the BK 880 does seem a significant improvement over the BK879B and I'm sure will work very well for you, the DE-5000, at less than one third the cost of the 880 and which is a more capable meter than the 879B, is plenty precise and accurate for the work of an advanced amateur electronics tech, especially if you spend an extra $18 to upgrade it with a set of Kelvin clips from Amazon. If more precision and accuracy is needed, you'd need to step up from either the DE-5000 or BK880 to a much more expensive lab bench instrument.

    Just my opinion for anyone out there looking for the best low cost full featured handheld LCR meter currently available.

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