ESR meter recommendations.

Tothwolf tothwolf at
Sat Jan 23 21:27:28 CST 2016

On Sat, 23 Jan 2016, Mattis Lind wrote:
> 2016-01-23 13:54 GMT+01:00 Noel Chiappa <jnc at>:
>> If you do a lot of work with analog components (and it sounds like you 
>> do), it's probably worth getting capacitance and ESR meters, they can 
>> be obtained (new) on eBay for not that much. I have one of each that I 
>> got that way; their quality is pretty good, considering how little I 
>> paid for them (I didn't think I'd be using them enough to make it worth 
>> paying out a lot for really good ones). I haven't used the ESR meter 
>> much, but the capacitance meter works quite well, and has been very 
>> helpful. Of course, it can't be used in-circuit, but...
> Yes. agree with you.I really should get one. I have been thinking I need 
> to get one every time I get my head into anther PSU and then everything 
> is sorted out and the PSU seems to work fine and I forget about it. I 
> have been looking at the DerEE DE-5000 which looks nice and has got good 
> reviews as far as I can tell. What meter do you have and recommend?

The one I absolutely cannot in good faith recommend (unless you are going 
to custom build it) is one that seems to come up in these discussions the 
most, and that is the Blue ESR from Anatek. The design itself isn't that 
bad, however Anatek used some of the worst junk-sourced parts I have ever 
seen when they kitted up the one I bought. I used the pre-programmed 
micro, the led displays, and most of the fixed value resistors, but junked 
most of the rest of the components they included and used my own. The 
trimmer resistors they included didn't even fit the pad layout of the 
board. The wire they included to make the "test leads" was also really bad 
quality and was wadded up and kinked. I fitted some shrouded banana jacks 
to my tester instead of the short hard wired leads.

Another thing to keep in mind with the Blue ESR is that the firmware has a 
limitation and cannot measure small value capacitors (under 0.1uF?) and it 
also only goes down to 0.01 ohms.

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