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A test meter that can ALSO test 'capacitance'-does such a meter exist?

MDC

New Member
I should start by saying I am interested in a meter based on DC circuits. I was looking online at meters. Although there are meters that test resistance, I did not see any meters that have the ability to test capacitance, as in testing a capacitor that is not actually in a circuit.

I have been salvaging a few components from a small pcb. I guess such a test facilty 'within' a general meter can be helpful-checking the size of capacitance and confirming if it is a goer or non-functioning. I did see some meters that were specifically for testing capacitance and no other function. The cheapness of these had me doubting the quality in terms of accuracy. Ideally I would like to buy a meter that tests a bit more than just capacitance.

If anyone is aware of a specific meter that would be suitable for my needs, please share the link if possible.

(Off topic, am I only allowed to make one post per day? This is currently my understanding. Can someone clarify please) Thank you.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
A great many multimeters test capacitance as well - I'm currently sat next to an Aneng AN8002 (cheap Chinese meter) and that does it. However, multimeters are likely to be less accurate than a dedicated capacitance meter.

What EXACTLY are you wanting to do?, for component 'testing' one of the cheap Chinese component tester kits is ideal, tests far more things than a multimeter, and fun to build as well.
 
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JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
(Off topic, am I only allowed to make one post per day? This is currently my understanding. Can someone clarify please) Thank you.

News to me.

Please post away to your hearts content, there is no limit that I know of.

JimB
 
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rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I'd suggest either getting a good quality brand-name one, for long term reliability and accuracy, or a cheap one from a retailer where you can take it back if it fails & does not cost much; the problem there is not many cheap ones include capacitance.

A secondhand Fluke or similar may well be better than a brand new no-name one, but expect to pay £100 or more even secondhand, for one will all normal features.

This one from Amazon is an example that includes capacitance:


ps. An one of these little component testers is well worth having, as Nigel says - I saw a mention of them on here and got one off ebay, it's now an essential part of my test gear collection!

 
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MDC

New Member
rjenkinsgb
Just been on e bay and bought one of them M328 as mentioned and linked to. Thank you, recommendations from people that know, is a big time saver.

Nigel Goodwin
I understand the Flute meters are top notch as you mention. Might be a bit over kill for my needs. I only have a need for testing DC circuits. Can you recommend a decent one specific to DC?

JimB
Thank you for the clarification, re no posting limit.
 

danadak

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Meters that "measure" capacitance do not necessarily "test" capacitance.

Testing typically involves measuring ESR and leakage, even in some situations
soakage. Some actual parametrics, eg. R and L of caps at freq.

So be aware of the limitations present in the meters you are looking at. Most'
low end meters just do basic C measurement. Which of course is only effective
for caps that are not open or shorted or seriously degraded.


Regards, Dana.
 
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MDC

New Member
Thank you for mentioning that Dana. Which multimeters would you recommend that would be capable for testing the functions of a capacitor-faulty caps, as you highlighted? It is a bit difficult for me to know. The Flukes at one end and the £10 micky mouse ones at the other. I guess there will be some suitable ones that are not right at the top of the price range.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Thank you for mentioning that Dana. Which multimeters would you recommend that would be capable for testing the functions of a capacitor-faulty caps, as you highlighted? It is a bit difficult for me to know. The Flukes at one end and the £10 micky mouse ones at the other. I guess there will be some suitable ones that are not right at the top of the price range.

You want an ESR meter - not a multimeter, nor a capacitance meter.
 
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danadak

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Thank you for mentioning that Dana. Which multimeters would you recommend that would be capable for testing the functions of a capacitor-faulty caps, as you highlighted? It is a bit difficult for me to know. The Flukes at one end and the £10 micky mouse ones at the other. I guess there will be some suitable ones that are not right at the top of the price range.
I am not aware of any one meter that does it all. You can buy ESR meter, or network
analyzer, from cheap (NanoVNA) to > $10000 (tests at high frequency). There are
meters that can measure charge droop over time to handle leakage/soakage, and
basic meters that just measure C.

I am retired and knowledge of state of the art test equipment no longer current.

Do a google search "how to test capacitors", quite a few hits and videos on topic.

Some info on the topic -



Your field of work, usage of C's, dictate the types of gear you will need. I know designs
that could care less about ESR, and others that do. Designs that care about Femtoampere
currents, and ones that expect and live with large leakage environments. Ones that want
precision capacitance values, and others than only need +/- 100% or more values.


Regards, Dana.
 
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