Building capacitance and inductance meter

Capacitor and inductor are like brother and sister. They both are reactive components with somewhat similar characteristics. Like any other electronics component you need to know its value before putting in to circuit. Capacitors are a bit easier as they are pretty good labeled. Inductors are different story. Some of them are labeled, but what if you want to make your own – then you can calculate its value (what is not always so easy) or measure. Most multimeters come with capacitance meters, but only few have inductance measuring option. BasinStreetDesign from instructables decided to build capacitance/inductance meter that would be accurate enough for his daily use. He considered several measuring methods including resonance, time constant and impedance. Resonance seemed to be most accurate. Measuring frequency and calculating component value definitely involved microcontroller that he wanted to avoid. Interesting thing is that he used UV erasable PIC microcontroller. Most of young hobbyists probably never seen this before. So the project got some smell of retro. Anyway further journey took everything to AVR. He had some struggle by setting things up… Continue reading

High Accuracy Digital LC Meter

You’re get involved with many projects that require to measure the impedance of a component? You couldn’t find the right tool to help you overcome the hassle? Well, in this case, you might want to create a brand new high accuracy digital LC meter. Digital LC meter, or it also known as the “LCR” meter, is the electronic test equipment, which normally being used to measure the impedance, such as inductance, capacitance and resistance! The digital LC meter started to gain its popularity over the analog type, due to their high accuracy and high input impedance. Some other features like auto zeroing, auto ranging, auto power off and down mode are making the digital LC meter more powerful than the analog LC meter! This project is based on the PIC16F628 and PIC16F84 base inductance/capacitance, where the measuring range is from 0 to >0.1 uF for capacitance and 0 to >10mH for inductance. The expected accuracy is in between +/- 1% of reading +/- 0.1pF or +/- 10nH. An LM311 comparator with positive feedback is being used to make a parallel… Continue reading

The Simple And Effective Capmeter is Ready For Your Service!

You always have to deal with the capacitances between conductors, but you don’t have any idea about the value of the capacitances? Well, if you having the chance to build a capmeter, then would you want to give it a try? Please don’t underestimate this capmeter, as it can be used to measure the capacitance, such as wires, PCB traces or the legs of a capacitor. You should be glad that this tool is able to measure and verify the value of capacitors. Beside that, you can also use it to test cables or analyze circuits as well! Ok, it’s possible to buy dedicated capacitance meters. However the problem is most of the devices are too expensive and it’s better to save your money in your wallet and develop a multipurpose capmeter by yourself! For your information, the capmeter can measure capacitances with a resolution of 1 pF in the lower end, while the max measuring capacitance for this capmeter is about 10000 uF! Another great feature of this capmeter is it has a menu system, where it allows calibration… Continue reading