> A gismo called a Capacitor Wizard, around $200 from a guy in Kansas City
> does the definitive such test, measuring the equivalelent series
> resistance, aka ESR, and any capacitor that reads over 2 ohms ought to
> be replaced.


While on the subject of test equipment.  I just got one of these things.
Highly recommend

Not "definitive" but also much less expensive at only $10 is those "three
terminal testers" that are all over eBay.  Measurement error varies but
generally it's "a few percent"

Here is what it does... basically "magic"

Place ANY device in the meter, a resister, cap, inductor FET, NPN bipolar,
DC motor or light bulb what ever you have in the junk drawer, I does not
matter in what order you place the transistor leads and the meter will
identify and characterize the part.   The meter has three input terminals
so you can cone any device that has up to three leads.

So I pull a random stepper motor out of my box of salvaged parts and the
meter tells me that (1) It found a coil and the coil's inductance and
resistance

Then I place a capacitor on the meter and the meter tells me that (1) if
found a capacitor and its value and ESR

Next I try a diode and the meter tells it it's a diode and which way I've
connected it and the forward drop and the gate capacitance.

Then I pick up some random little metal can with three leads coming out the
bottom and the meter (1) tells me I have an NPN bipolar transistor and (2)
tells me which lead is which and characterized the transistor for me giving
hFE

Then I find some other random part and it tells me I have an FET and IDs
the part.

Costs $10.

It is totally open source design with schematics and source code available
so you can see how it works.

Here is one random eBay seller -- there are MANY.
www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-LCD-GM328A-Transistor-Tester-Diode-Triode-LCR-ESR-Meter-MOS-PNP-NPN
<http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-LCD-GM328A-Transistor-Tester-Diode-Triode-LCR-ESR-Meter-MOS-PNP-NPN-V2KC/331725213315?_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D45703%26meid%3D811367f004244e74ba2aa439641b7ad1%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D201393618873&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851>

-- 

Chris Albertson
Redondo Beach, California
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