ESR Meters

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An ESR Meter is one of many useful tools in a machine tech's toolbox. While not one of the first tools a tech needs to buy, it is a useful addition for someone working on older circuit boards with damaged or dying electrolytic capacitors. This is especially useful for testing electrolytic capacitors in video monitors and switching regulator power supplies.

(Insert brief description of what an ESR meter does). For technical description of how an ESR meter works can be found Wikipedia's ESR Meter page [1].

Traditionally, ESR meters have been priced at from just under $100 to several hundred dollars (and beyond). The International Arcade Museum uses a model ESR70 by Peak Electronic Design Ltd and has been quite happy with it. Some low priced ESR meters are not protected from damage by charged electrolytic capacitors. The more expensive ESR meters generally have a protection circuit built-in that discharges a charged capacitor before performing any testing.

In late 2013 and early 2014, however, very inexpensive (less than US$25) meters have been showing up on eBay.

ESR70 ESR Meter by Peak
CapAnalyzer 88a by EDS