LCR-Reader Probe Station: Low Frequency PCB Impedance Testing Tool
Being on the market since late 2013, LCR-Reader has earned a good reputation amongst electronic engineers and technicians as an ultimately user-friendly tool for accurate and fast LCR and ESR measurements. LCR-Reader is a handheld digital LCR- and ESR-meter that offers a 0.5% basic accuracy with fully automatic measurements. The sharp gold-plated tweezers are able to grasp components, either mounted or loose, and automatically determines the type of component and best test frequency before measuring.
All measurement values, including secondary values, the component type, measurement mode and test frequency used are available on the OLED display instantly. The product was created as an alternative to Smart Tweezers LCR-meters; in order to reduce the price, some rarely used Smart Tweezers features were omitted on the Reader, including component sorting, variable test signal levels, offset subtraction, continuity and diode test.
This new LCR-Reader Multifunction Probe Connector adds a new functionality to the LCR-Reader. When connected to one of the tweezer handles of the Reader, replacing the gold-plated tweezer tip, allows it to be used as a Probe Station. LCR testing could be done in either automatic or manual mode. In the automatic mode the impedance type L, C or R is determined automatically and the measurement is done using one of the three available test frequencies of 0.1, 1 and 10 KHz selected automatically based on the best accuracy. The test signal level is 0.45 Vrms. By connecting the connector probe (e.g. alligator clip) to a certain node on the PCB the other tweezer tip of the Reader becomes a pin probe that can be moved around promptly giving impedances at various nodes of the PCB. The impedance values are readily available on the screen once the tweezer probe is in contact with a tested PCB node.
The Probe Connector acts as an extension of the two-wire connection from the Reader PCB to a variety of replaceable probes. The connector consists of a 60 cm long shielded two-wire cable with a small PCB on one end directly connecting the two signal flex stripes on one of the product handles to a universal connector head. The shield is connected to the ground plane of the product PCB. Five kinds of probes can be screwed onto the head, including alligator clip, long and short pin-probes, a spade connector and 4 mm multimeter jack plug. The package is on sale for US$24.99.
The shielded two-wire connection virtually eliminates additional offsets due to parasitics of the wires. Besides, the connector makes it possible to measure larger components that do not fit between the tweezers. In addition, it is fully compatible with many other tweezer-like meters including all models of Smart Tweezers LCR-meter after ST-1.
The Probe Connector is simple to install. Remove the screws from one of the gold-plated probes. Place the flat side of the connector cable on the handle so that the gold flex stripes connect with the two gold stripes on the connector cable’s flat end. Using the same screws tighten the connector on the handle and start measuring using an appropriate probe type from the provided set.
Currently Siborg is offering a discount on the LCR-Reader Professional including a pre-calibrated LCR-Reader, NIST Traceable Calibration Certificate, spare bent tips, extra battery, charger and manuals in the Store and its Worldwide Amazon channels. Visit the LCR-Reader Store for accessories, replacement parts, and other devices, including the Smart Tweezers LCR-meter ST-5S and task kits, Smart LED Test Tweezers and the SMD Multimeter Test Tweezers that add tweezer-probe functionality to any multimeter with 4 mm jacks.