DIY - Semiconductor Curve Tracer
« on: November 24, 2010, 12:42:44 PM »
I thought I would share this with members here since I'm having to test ,  match, and QA
devices more often now for projects around here. This might also
be useful for testing devices for bargain stuff you buy that may have come from
questionable sources , China maybe .......?

You can even identify parts with no markings, pretty handy.

Windows based interface. No clumsy 80 lb Tektronix 500 Series tracer needed. Just
make your own board and this one has a free software interface. PCB artwork free too.
What a deal... but no schematic, damn.

http://www.elektor.com/magazines/2009/february/transistor-curve-tracer.810360.lynkx?tab=1

maybe a low cost group buy for prefabbed PCB boards would be nice.


leave your opinions

Support forum
http://www.elektor.com/forum/elektor-forums/general-topics/test-measurement/usb-curve-tracer.880536.lynkx

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157623347203458/

USA Customer Service # 1-860-875-2199 8am-4:30 EST
UK service # (+44) (0) 20 8261 4509

Renesas Semiconductor
http://am.renesas.com/req/part_no_search.do?event=partNoKeywordSearch&q=R8C%2F13&keyword=R8C%2F13&toggleIds=&currentLayerId=&layerId=&dispPage=1&sortInfo=&hideRowList=&compareList=
« Last Edit: November 25, 2010, 03:30:07 PM by electrochronic »
curiousaudioparts at  gmail  dot  com
https://sites.google.com/site/diypartsstore/


bruno2000

Re: DIY - Semiconductor Curve Tracer "FREE DESIGN"
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2010, 01:50:18 PM »
I want one!
Best,
Bruno2000

Re: DIY - Semiconductor Curve Tracer "FREE DESIGN"
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2010, 02:28:40 PM »
NEED!!!  this is awesome frank!
There's nothing like the right tool for the job.
And -usually- that's what I end up using...
..nothing like the right tool for the job!


zayance

Re: DIY - Semiconductor Curve Tracer "FREE DESIGN"
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2010, 03:35:01 PM »
Pretty cool

EDIT: if you really want to go DIY al the way the CMS micro controllers parts seem not easy to find on the major distributors on quick search, maybe better take that one stuffed and tested, would have been nice to DIY tough not so many parts, anyway if it works good that's a nice tool to have right there, just a nice cheap box with banana plugs and voila.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 04:19:15 PM by zayance »

Re: DIY - Semiconductor Curve Tracer
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2010, 07:56:01 AM »
reading further thru forums for this device makes me think its bugged , and little support from
seller. A pity , looked so promising.
curiousaudioparts at  gmail  dot  com
https://sites.google.com/site/diypartsstore/

ruckus328

Re: DIY - Semiconductor Curve Tracer
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2010, 09:13:24 AM »
You beat me to it...Yea I was looking into this a couple months ago, but the bugs people were having seemed significant.  OF course we could always use thier design as a starting point for our own version - if there was someone here that could do the the interface coding of course.
Serpent Audio™ - SB4000 & SA-3A Boards & Parts Kits / SB4001 Preorder / Send 'N Blend

www.serpentaudio.com

Re: DIY - Semiconductor Curve Tracer
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2010, 10:58:49 AM »
reading further thru forums for this device makes me think its bugged , and little support from
seller. A pity , looked so promising.

started to see some of that myself, and looks like the circuit-ed version is dead in the water.

OF course we could always use thier design as a starting point for our own version - if there was someone here that could do the the interface coding of course.

if the firmware is already built up and functional that shouldn't be too tough.  seems to me that the easiest of simple iterations would be to write the sample data to a text file from the rx of the usb, then import it into an excel or openoffice spreadsheet that will suss out all the delimiter operators itself.  the data could probably be ported to more powerful analysis tools, it's just a question of formatting.

if this were to be pursued, vaccuum tube testing seems to be a logical extension/addition.
There's nothing like the right tool for the job.
And -usually- that's what I end up using...
..nothing like the right tool for the job!

Re: DIY - Semiconductor Curve Tracer
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2010, 03:16:08 PM »
Yes, It would take a skilled individual to cut through the issues, but the base or starting point is
rather good and issues seem minor. Renasas has newer versions of the R8/13C microchip so
the product line is still current from the manufacturer.

Other problem : no schematics

Elektor holds the rights , but I think at this point they don't care too much about fixing it up
for new buyers - a shame, so its open field to add improvements on. Its certainly a great and innovative
idea that begs a completion point.

Tube testing, etc options would be incredible. Wish I had the chops for fixing this up and
offering it as a working product bug free. I could use a solid tool like this on my bench.
curiousaudioparts at  gmail  dot  com
https://sites.google.com/site/diypartsstore/

barclaycon

Re: DIY - Semiconductor Curve Tracer
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2010, 07:04:14 PM »
I noticed this thread with considerable interest because I have wanted a decent 'curve tracer' for some time.
A company Circuit ED produced a USB curve tracer - nicely built PC card with some matching software for about $120.
http://www.circuit-ed.com/CT100-USB-Semiconductor-Curve-Tracer-P17C5.aspx

Perfect! Seemed to fit the bill nicely. Except that they stopped making it about a year ago and show no sign of manufacturing anymore. I've emailed them about it and requested a response on the DIYAudio forum, but it seems to be a no go!
On the DIYAudio forum someone told me about the Elektor 'project' and it seemed quite attractive until I received a whole bunch of reports from people who said that they had problems with it.
If there's one thing I DON'T need, it's test equipment that isn't reliable or needs re-designing.
There is a Chinese one around, but it's difficult to get any info about it.

If you're talking about a group-buy, how about asking Circuit ED if they would do a batch for us?
Might be an attractive prospect for them if we could guarantee a sale of about 50 boards.


Re: DIY - Semiconductor Curve Tracer
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2010, 12:46:24 AM »
IIRC circuit ed was discussing an updated re-release that never materialized. If the elektor circuit is buggy anyhow, it may stand to reason that changing it to one of the functional variety and/or adding tube testing would get us sufficiently around any IP issues. Also, if they're offering up the project for free (I'm assuming that PDF is for etching, my email won't register right so I can't see it) and we don't pursue commercial gain it's that same old fair play reasoning we dabble in daily. If that PDF is in fact an etch, could someone send it to me?
There's nothing like the right tool for the job.
And -usually- that's what I end up using...
..nothing like the right tool for the job!

redmojosteve

Re: DIY - Semiconductor Curve Tracer
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2010, 05:16:24 AM »
I fancied a curve tracer for matching some components last year. I had checked out the CT-100 which looked like it would fit the bill but they advised me they weren't making any more until sometime this year. I hadn't followed it up but it looks like they never got around to it. I also looked into the Elektor model but it seemed it had some bugs which were still being resolved the last time I checked. It's something I would still be interested in getting if possible, but like one of the previous threads, it would have to work!

zayance

Re: DIY - Semiconductor Curve Tracer
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2010, 05:25:51 AM »
IIRC circuit ed was discussing an updated re-release that never materialized. If the elektor circuit is buggy anyhow, it may stand to reason that changing it to one of the functional variety and/or adding tube testing would get us sufficiently around any IP issues. Also, if they're offering up the project for free (I'm assuming that PDF is for etching, my email won't register right so I can't see it) and we don't pursue commercial gain it's that same old fair play reasoning we dabble in daily. If that PDF is in fact an etch, could someone send it to me?

it takes some time for their server to send you the registration confirmation link, and activation afterwards also, and yes it's the etching files, mirrored and not mirrored.

Re: DIY - Semiconductor Curve Tracer
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2010, 01:05:06 PM »
Grantlack

Leave me your email and I can send the .pdf board files for etch

as such , there is no schematic that I could download. but cetainly one
must exist somewhere.

It would be worth taking this project to a skilled hardware software genius and
group paying the fixes , then ownership could be possible on a group order basis.

the redesign would source in production parts.

I have connections to such resources. I will certainly make some phone calls.
about it and make a persuit , if there is enough interest that is.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2010, 01:13:10 PM by electrochronic »
curiousaudioparts at  gmail  dot  com
https://sites.google.com/site/diypartsstore/

Re: DIY - Semiconductor Curve Tracer
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2010, 03:37:08 PM »
frank-
you can just send it to the forum-referenced one (s u b l i m i n a l f r i e n d [at] a o l), if you've pulled the rest of the files i'd like to have a look at those as well.  i'll back out the circuit from the etch and see if i can spot any glaring issues (like the r51 voltage divider issue for negative voltages that i've read).  if anyone else comes across other documented problems it might be helpful to post them here as bugfix central.  i've been looking at tube curve tracers in passing (mcutracer primarily) and i'm sure there are similarities in the design.  a working tube tracer might also be adaptable in the other direction to test semis.  transistors and tubes are essentially functional analogs, after all.
There's nothing like the right tool for the job.
And -usually- that's what I end up using...
..nothing like the right tool for the job!


 

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