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This kit includes everything you need to make your very own capacitance meter, able to measure caps anywhere between the range of 500uF to 1pF. Many multimeters are able to measure capacitance, but they're rarely as precise as a dedicated capacitance meter. Not only does this product provide a great chance to hone your soldering skills, but you also come out with an accurate, fully functional, capacitance measuring tool.
Assembly is very straightforward, and all components are through-hole. You'll get a chance to solder a wide range of components such as resistors, seven segment LEDs, a 28-pin ATmega48 microcontroller, and more!
An 8-16VDC power supply is required, but not included.
This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.
Skill Level: Rookie - The number of pins increases, and you will have to determine polarity of components and some of the components might be a bit trickier or close together. You might need solder wick or flux.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Based on 16 ratings:
3 of 3 found this helpful:
I bought this on a whim just to see if it would actually measure capacitance levels as well as and below what my WaveTech multimeter does. Surprisingly, this unit does indeed measure the capacitance values quite well. My WaveTech didn't have the resolution (needs another digit) to show me anything like the 22 pF we use on our boards. This one does it well!
The assembly is easy and straight forward. Some hints: A) Make sure you have the polarity on the electrolytic capacitors correct. You might want to use an ohmmeter and reference the schematic to make sure you know where the +/- side is on the board. B) I would suggest you measure all those resistors as you insert them in the board. The color bands are very small so I immediately got the ohmmeter out just to make sure.
Once you have it assembled you may ask: how do you keep it away from all that "conducting" stuff on your workbench?
I found that it will fit very nicely in an Altoids tin. Cut a durable piece of plastic the shape of the tin and place it under the capacitance checker. Drill a hole in the tin for the power socket and it will be protected from inadvertent contact with conductors on the desk. You can still close the cover of the Altoids tin when the capacitor checker is in the tin.
Another thing I found it will fit in is the hard rubber molding for the Iphone-4 sized protectors. If you slide the end off that molding you can slide the capacitor checker into that unit and it will not fall out. This method does not provide a cover however.
2 of 2 found this helpful:
I carefully built this kit and found that it does a very good job of measuring caps. I might want bigger holes in the measurement terminals. I did goof the polarity on the filter cap and had to replace it. However, that was my bobo. Measuring and sorting the resistors is a must before putting them into the board. I handled the unwanted electrical contact problem by covering the underside of the board with some stick on fun foam from a craft store. Recommended.
It works great except the last digit on right misbehaves. I am going to buy a box and put it in. Thanks. Victor
This kit is great for anyone that wants to get some soldering practice building a useful piece of tech for their workbench. I will note that while the parts list claimed 1% tolerance on all resistors, most were 5% tolerance, which may cost a bit of accuracy. Would be interesting to build another kit with all 1% tolerances to compare readings. All in all, a useful addition to anyone's bench.
I followed directions that were not clear and it does not work.
Please contact our support team for assistance if you need more help. Thanks
Much better than my previous capacitance tester which worked with my multimeter. Very reasonably priced too.
I wanted a simple capacitor test and this was it. Works well. *Note: Carefully read directions because the note about polarity of C5 and C6 can easily be overlooked. *Wish: Came with or could buy a case.
Went together quite quickly and easily and, to my surprise given my lack of soldering experience, worked the first time I started it up. I made a slight modification and attached a 9-volt battery clip onto the J1 pads, routing the wires through the top right screw hole as strain relief, and left the barrel jack connector off. Works great.
One thing to keep an eye out for is the values of the 10k and 120 ohm resistors - they're 5-band metal film resistors, and the patterns for them just so happen to be symmetrical. Brown-black-black-red-brown for 10K, and brown-red-black-black-brown for 120.
If you have a multimeter handy, definitely double check, or you might end up with a kit that doesn't work despite everything looking like it's in the right place.
Still a good kit though, and a handy device to have around for any mystery capacitors you may come across, or if you're like me and can't keep track of all the marking schemes out there.
It went together in an evening and worked the first time. Now that its done I am looking for a simple case for it. Too bad it is a little wide for the Altoids mints tins. I will look to sparkfun for other products in the future. Thanks for the Great Kit
Works as advertised.
I am writing this review after receiving an email requesting that I review this product. This JYETech Kit arrived promptly and was well packaged. All the parts for the kit were accounted for. The PCB was easily populated with the supplied components. The Kit works as advertised. You get what you pay for.
Meter price was right, worked as expected. Spakkfun is a good place to buy from, excellent service, fast shipping.
So fast and easy to use much better than my big meter. Just hook up a capacitor and you know its value no changing ranges. Works great i really love it.
Easy to assemble, gives accurate results. Very handy for measuring the capacitance of those mystery caps in the junk box. The numbers can be a bit hard to see if your work area is brightly lit though.
This is a super cool kit because not only is it good practice to build, but you end up with a useful tool at the end of the day. I've been quite impressed with the accuracy of this meter and believe it might exceed the rated specs. I guess it'd be nice if it included a case, but that'd raise the cost and you may as well just make your own by repurposing an Altoids tin or 3D printing a custom one.
I guess my only gripe is that the firmware doesn't seem to be open-source as far as I can tell, even though it's based on the really common atmega328p. I'd like the ability to add more features to it, but oh well. They have the hex file available to download, but that's only useful if you fry the µC and have to replace it.