About the article

Capaci-Meter

with two-digit Dekatron-style LED display

Capaci-Meter
The Capaci-Meter is a capacitance meter with a retro-style ‘Dekatron’-type arrangement of LEDs to represent two digits. It is not designed to be an accurate measurement instrument. Instead it is aimed at establishing if a capacitor is close to the desired value, especially when it is difficult to read the values printed on the capacitor.
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Components
Download the BOM list
The BOM (Bill of Materials) is the technically exhaustive listing of parts and other hardware items used to produce the working and tested prototype of any Elektor Labs project. The BOM file contains deeper information than the Component List published for the same project in Elektor Magazine. If required the BOM gets updated directly by our lab engineers. As a reader, you can download the list here.
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Component list

Component List

[Illustration 191043-030-94]

[Illustration 191043-029-94]

Resistors (all 1%, 0.25W)

R1=1.5MΩ

R2=150kΩ

R3,R7,R10=13kΩ

R3',R8,R9,R12=1kΩ

R4=560Ω

R5,R6=470Ω

R11=130kΩ​

R1',R2',R4'= Not fitted (optional to adjust accuracy)

 

Capacitors

C1,C2 = 10µF, 10V

C3,C4,C5 = 100nF​

C6 = 4.7nF, 1% or 5%

C7 = 47pF

C8 = 10nF

 

Semiconductors

D1,D2,D3,D4 = 1N4148

Q1 = 2N7000

U1,U2 = CD4017BE

U3 = NE556

U4 = 78L05

LED1,LED11 = green LED, 5mm, low current or high brightness​​

LED2-LED10, LED12-LED20 = 18× red LED, 5mm, low current or high brightness

 

Miscellaneous

J1,J2,LK1,LK2,LK3,LK4 = 2-pin pinheader, 2.54mm pitch

J3 = PP3 9V-battery clip

J4 = Connections to test capacitor

JP1 = Jumper for range selection

2× 16-pin DIL socket, 7.62mm width for U1 & U2

1× 14-pin DIL socket, 7.62mm width for U3

Printed circuit board (PCB) 191043-1

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