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Best cheap multimeter for capacitance

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  • 2a60a4f2ae23f2f4cff2ac64dc12c6a6
    I know that there are several Fluke and other top quality multimeter out there that measure capacitance but is there a decent brand/model that has a good range
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 28, 2013
      I know that there are several Fluke and other top quality multimeter out there that measure capacitance but is there a decent brand/model that has a good range for measuring capacitance loop building persons could buy for a reasonable price?
    • AlienRelics
      Good question. I have quite a few DMMs with built-in capacitance measurement, including several Flukes at work. The lowest scale on all of the ones I ve used
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 28, 2013
        Good question. I have quite a few DMMs with built-in capacitance measurement, including several Flukes at work. The lowest scale on all of the ones I've used only go down to the nF scale, down to one pF (0.001nF).

        I used to build and sell capacitance meters. Originally with a standard 50uA meter for the display, then I built them to use any DMM as the display on the 200mV scale.

        Here is a schematic, for best results us the TLC555 (CMOS version):
        http://www.polyphoto.com/tutorials/ElectronicCircuits/Dual555CapMeter150dpi.jpg

        It does require a regulated voltage. A 78L05 works fine, or pretty much any modern well-filtered switching regulator. It wasn't meant for measuring large capacitors, so the largest capacitor it will measure is 20uF on the 2uF scale when your autoranging meter switches to the 2V scale.

        I still have one. I built one ugly on purpose so I wouldn't/couldn't sell it. It easily resolves 0.1pF pretty stably. Keep in mind that with any measuring system, resolution is not the same as accuracy. I have a 0.1% capacitor I use to calibrate it on the 2000pF scale, and trust the tolerance of the other resistors.

        Steve Greenfield AE7HD


        --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, <k910dog@...> wrote:
        >
        > I know that there are several Fluke and other top quality multimeter out there that measure capacitance but is there a decent brand/model that has a good range for measuring capacitance loop building persons could buy for a reasonable price?
        >
      • William Young
        I now have a Honeytek A6013L digital C meter, range: 0.1 pF to 20000 microFd bought new on ebay. I like it, but I cannot really comment on its accuracy. So
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 28, 2013
          I now have a Honeytek A6013L digital C meter, range: 0.1 pF to 20000 microFd bought new on ebay.  I like it, but I cannot really comment on its accuracy.  So far, for me having capacitances read from it is better than capacitances from my old Heathkit RLC bridge.  Bill Young WD5HOH
           

          To: loopantennas@yahoogroups.com
          From: k910dog@...
          Date: Sat, 28 Dec 2013 01:33:17 -0800
          Subject: [loopantennas] Best cheap multimeter for capacitance

           
          I know that there are several Fluke and other top quality multimeter out there that measure capacitance but is there a decent brand/model that has a good range for measuring capacitance loop building persons could buy for a reasonable price?
        • jeffthom99
          I use both the SmartTweezers ($350, but really slick) and the AADE Model iIB ($99 kit). The AADE will measure L and C very stably and I carry it to hamfest
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 28, 2013

            I use both the SmartTweezers ($350, but really slick) and the AADE Model iIB ($99 kit).  The AADE will measure L and C very stably and I carry it to hamfest tailgates.  Get the 3/4 inch binding post spacing option - it fits standard banana jack spacing.  See it at www.aade.com.


            The SmartTweezer also gives you Q and ESR.  It's a bit more precise, but the AADE's 1 to 2% is fine for most of the stuff I do :)


            Jeff W3HVU

          • John Sterkeson
            I built the L-C meter kit from : electronics-diy.com . Very accurate for most purposes. Cost about..... $70.00 John KC9ZYT From: jeff@123jeff.com Sent:
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 28, 2013
              I built the L-C meter kit from :  electronics-diy.com   .  Very accurate for most purposes.  Cost about..... $70.00
               
              John
              KC9ZYT
               
               
               
              From: jeff@...
              Sent: Saturday, December 28, 2013 2:15 PM
              Subject: [loopantennas] RE: Best cheap multimeter for capacitance
               
               

              I use both the SmartTweezers ($350, but really slick) and the AADE Model iIB ($99 kit).  The AADE will measure L and C very stably and I carry it to hamfest tailgates.  Get the 3/4 inch binding post spacing option - it fits standard banana jack spacing.  See it at www.aade.com.

               

              The SmartTweezer also gives you Q and ESR.  It's a bit more precise, but the AADE's 1 to 2% is fine for most of the stuff I do :)

               

              Jeff W3HVU

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