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ESR / C Tester

A versatile meter for capacitors

ESR / C Tester
The two most important properties of a capacitor are its capacitance and its internal resistance (ESR). You need to know both values in order to judge whether a capacitor is suitable for a particular application. The meter described here combines two popular Elektor Electronics projects to create a convenient new instrument that rightly belongs in every well-equipped electronics lab.
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Gerber file

CAM/CAD data for the PCB referred to in this article is available as a Gerber file. Elektor GREEN and GOLD members can exclusively download these files for free as part of their membership. Gerber files allow a PCB to be produced on an appropriate device available locally, or through an online PCB manufacturing service.

Elektor recommends its business partner Eurocircuits as the company of choice for its own prototypes and volume production in selected cases.

Extra info / Update
Resistor R10 is shown as 1 k? in the circuit diagram and 10 k? in the parts list. The latter value is correct, although not critical in this application.
Readers are advised that an FAQ on the ESR/C Meter is available in our online Forum.
Component list
R1-R4 = 56
R5-R8, R24 = 2k2
R9, R10, R15, R16, R25, R26, R28, R29 = 10k
R11-R14 = 1M 1%
R17 = 8M2
R18 = 7k85
R19 = 120
R20,R21 = 1k
R22 = 82k
R23 = 47
R27 = 220
R30 = 180
P1 = 100k 10-turn preset
P2 = 1M 10-turn preset
P3 = 1k 10-turn preset
P4 = 200 10-turn preset
P5 = 25k preset
P6 = 100k 10-turn preset
C1 = 1nF
C2 = 47nF
C3 = 22pF
C4 = 27pF
C5 = 10µF 16V radial
C6 = 220nF
C7, C8, C9, C12-C17 = 100nF, lead pitch 5mm
C10, C11 = 10µF 16V radial
D1 = zener diode 5V6 500mW
D2-D5 = 1N4007
IC1 = PIC16F877-20/P, programmed, Publishers order code 040259-41*
IC2 = PIC16F84A-20/P, programmed, Publishers order code 040259-42*
IC3 = 74HC4066
IC4 = ICL7660
IC5 = TLC555
IC6 = 78L05
IC7 = LF412CP
T1 = BC557
Bz1 = AC (passive) piezo buzzer
S1 = switch, 2 changeover contacts
S2 = switch, 1 make contact
K1 = LCD module, 2x16 characters (e.g., Digikey # 153-1078-ND)
X1 = 20MHz quartz crystal
2 wander sockets for banana plug
Measurement cable
Enclosure, e.g., SERPAC H75 (Digikey # SRH75-9VB-BD)
PCB, Publishers order code 040259-1
Source- and hex-code files, Publishers order code 040259-11
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