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The coolest meter you will ever own


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  • The coolest meter you will ever own

    I’ve been meaning to post about this, finally getting around to it.

    We’ve all got capacitors throughout our centers performing various functions. These are often the culprits of certain problems, especially with older equipment. How do you reliably test them? Yes, you can use a multimeter to test ohms, or if you’ve got a more modern multimeter maybe it does capacitance. But that’s not enough. What you really need to test for is capacitance(i.e. the capacitance value, example 250uF) AND ESR(Effective Series Resistance) AND voltage loss. I’ve got an old Fluke 83 that has served me well. It does have a capacitance setting which only tells me capacitance. I’ve also got an ESR meter which gives me an approximation of capacitance vs. ESR. (Honestly that meter was a waste of $30.)

    BUT! MTester does all of the above very well and then some. I got this thing off eBay for $10! For capacitors it gives you capacitance, ESR and Vloss, and it’s very accurate. It will measure most discrete components up to 3 leads in circuit, so you can even test transistors & thyristors & various diodes with this thing.

    So the one I bought was $10.

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    The only way to test components was to remove them and insert the leads into that light blue clasp.

    Well, I noticed there were pads on the little circuit board labelled 1, 2 & 3. So I tested them, and sure enough they coincided with slots 1, 2 & 3 in the clasp. So I pimped out my little meter by soldering on some clip leads to those pads.

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    Now I can simply clip onto components and press the blue button to test them. Just need to make sure and short out capacitors prior to testing. Other components, no worries. This little meter is invaluable.

    Here’s a bad cap on a foul light board. Should read 240uF and less than 5%Vloss.

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  • #2
    I want one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • #3
      That is so cool!
      Mike Wilson
      Bowl-Tech Inc..


      • #4
        Originally posted by 8230chief View Post
        I want one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Looks like the price has gone up a couple of bucks since I bought mine, but $12 on Amazon is still pretty cheap for such an amazing little gadget.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mike Wilson View Post
          That is so cool!
          Yeah, it really is a nifty device. We unfortunately still have an antique AMF "tragic score" system, and this little box allows me to troubleshoot the sonar arrays quickly & efficiently. It also works great for those big ass capacitors in the front end, the start/run caps for the table & sweep motors.


          • #6
            Thanks for the link. Its ordered! Love the way you modified it.
            Later Chief


            • #7
              Ordered one from Ebay with the clear case.
              I see them available as just a circuit board too, but Im spoiled.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Wookie8662 View Post
                Ordered one from Ebay with the clear case.
                I see them available as just a circuit board too, but Im spoiled.
                That's what I did too.

                After I got mine I told an old friend about it. He and I worked in electronics repair long ago, so we talk about geeky stuff like this. Anyway, he ordered an MTester but didn't pay close attention to the ebay listing. What he ended up getting was a circuit board and loose components which he had to solder onto the board, lol. Fortunately for him he's got a hot air soldering station for those tiny surface mount parts. I was actually a little jealous that he got that particular kit because I love doing that sort of thing. If I were to ever get another one of these meters I'd probably get that "build it yourself" kit.


                • #9
                  I remember seeing one of those on the bigclivedotcom Youtube channel. I must get me one of those some time.


                  • #10
                    I love bigclive, he is on my favorites list.


                    • #11
                      Epic Beard Man for the win!

                      Also in my bookmarks are two more from the UK; Techmoan is good for retrotech, and StuffPlus for his gameplay videos (I started playing Prison Architect because of him).


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