ESR Meter

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The ESR Meter is basically an AC Ohmmeter with special scales and protective circuitry. It provides a continuous reading of series resistance in electrolytic capacitors. It operates at 100 kHz to keep the capacitive reactance factor near zero. The remaining series resistance is due to the electrolyte between the capacitor plates and indicates the

ESR Meter
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state of dryness. Capacitor termination problems also show up plainly due to the continuous ohmic reading. The ESR meter uses 8 operational ainplifiers. An op-amp is an idealized basic amplifier with two inputs. The non-inverting input (+) has an in-phase relationship with the op-amp output, and the inverting input (-) an out-of-phase relationship. Op-amps are usually used with negative feedback and reach a stable operating condition when their two inputs are equal in voltage. Op-amps IA & 1B form a regenerative 100 kHz oscillatnr circuit. Capacitor C1 is the basic tiining capacitor and RI is selected to set frequency. Diodes D2 & D3 clip the bottom and top of the output waveform so that the output level and frequency are resistant to battery voltage changes. The oscillator output of op-amp 1B drives 10-ohm source resistor R8F. The test-capacitor, thru the test leads, couples this 100 kllz signal to 10-ohm load resistor R9F. The amount of voltage developed here is indicative of the capacitors ESR value. (The 10-ohm resistors determine the basic iieter scaling. ) Capacitor C3 blocks any DC voltage present on the test-capacitor. Diodes D4 & D5 protect the ESR Meter from any initial charging current to C3. Resistor R7 discharges C3 after test. A DC operating bias of 0. 55 V is established by diode D1 for the oscillator stage and for all subsequent stages, which are DCcoupled and operated class A. DC bias from D1 and ESR signal...

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