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Design, build, hack....zap and repeat!

Busy, busy, busy. . .

Posted on Jun 23, 2014 | Comments Off on Busy, busy, busy. . .

Wow, it’s been 2 months since my last confession! Yes. . .busy, busy, busy. Between work and work and work, there’s barely anytime to work. Just look at this mess on my workbench. Every time I set out to clean and organize the bench, I get caught up in a software issue or a capacitor replacement or a programming problem or the washer blowing a circuit board. Like Gilda Radner so profoundly exclaimed, “It’s always something!” And this weekend is Field Day so there won’t be much organizing soon. But I pledge that I will get this straightened out within the next 30 days or I’ll have to swear again in 30 days! Oh my! Related articles Workbench v1 (ajvtech.com) Building Your WorkBench (makezine.com) How to use a desoldered capacitor? (electronics.stackexchange.com) Tracking down bad caps (ajvtech.com)   Share this:Click...

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Tracking down bad caps

Posted on Jul 29, 2013 | Comments Off on Tracking down bad caps

I just added a new tool to the workbench and I’m loving it: Atlas ESR70. I work on a lot of power supplies, computers, transceivers,  LCDs, printers (you get the drift, right?) and find that capacitors don’t always have to “leak” to be bad. Here’s a pic of some bad capacitors. Easy enough to spot the bad ones, right? After replacing the three bulging caps though, the system did not come up. The ESR meter allows me to test for the equivalent series resistance in circuit, which is often impossible with a capacitance meter or DMM. And this particular model of ESR meter discharges a capacitor before measuring. . . so no blown meter innards. An ideal capacitor has a zero equivalent series resistance, and failure of a capacitor can be seen as an increase in its ESR. Well, the...

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