Nuts & Volts ESR Meter

Jonas Otter jonas at
Fri Dec 25 10:22:48 CST 2015

On 2015-12-23 17:13, Henk Gooijen wrote:
> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht----- From: Jay Jaeger Sent: Tuesday, 
> December 22, 2015 11:17 PM To: cctalk at Subject: Nuts & 
> Volts ESR Meter
> FYI, the January 2016 issue of Nuts & Volts magazine has an ESR meter.
> It uses a 1ma panel meter, but of course one could substitute a resistor
> and use a voltmeter or a multi-meter with a 1ma scale as well.
> (Though I see the January issue is not there yet).
> It also looks like one can get a 3 month complementary subscription via
> the URL .
> The digital edition is well worth subscribing.
> Better yet, if you subscribe for at least 1 year you can be on their
> "Preferred Subscriber Network" (no extra charge - just a check-box when
> you subscribe) which gives you access to *all* the "digital archived"
> (which I found to be PDFs) issues !!
> (BTW, Everyday Practical Electronics, EPE, lost me as a subscriber when
> they did away with ordinary PDFs and instead have this odd locked thing
> with a plug-in.  I refuse to subscribe to an online edition of a
> magazine where I cannot be assured of permanent access to the issues I
> paid for!  I don't find their "EPE PDF" version with its plug-in to be
> acceptable.  I seem to recall that they restricted printing such that
> one could not simply print it to a PDF either.  Too bad.).
> ---------
> Thanks for this post Jay.
> On the Viperpits forum I received a digital issue (PDF) some 8 months 
> ago.
> I remember it was fun reading, even if I was not planning on building it.
> Thanks also for the hint "Preferred Subscriber Network" - I 
> checkmarked it!
> I subscribed just a few minutes ago. My first issue will be February 
> 2016.
> I have not yet checked, but with the "Preferred Subscriber Network",
> I hope to have lots of reading stuff during the season's holidays.
> Hmmm, as if I had nothing else to do :-/
> The list may have a lot of chatter, but the "Delete" key is always within
> reach. But your post is exactly one of the reasons to stay aboard!
> Thanks Jay!
> - Henk

Here is a link to an ESR meter project:

I think Manfred may well be a member here.

A while back I invented my own ESR meter, it is not hard at all. 
Essentially an ESR meter is an oscillator which puts out something like 
50-100 kHz or so, buffered and divided down to a couple of hundred 
millivolts (so that you can measure in-circuit without any PN junctions 
conducting and causing errors). That voltage goes across the capacitor 
under test, and parallel to the capacitor is a detector which measures 
the AC voltage across the capacitor. You then calibrate the meter by 
substituting known resistors for the capacitor under test and marking 
the dial of the meter appropriately. Manfred's design puts the capacitor 
in series with a known resistor instead, making the scale read in the 
other direction. There are lots of ESR meter designs on the net.


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