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This page is to show that a component tester can reveal capacitor problems not to be found using simple measurement tools

To be able to test electrolytic capacitors, one ALSO needs a component tester, for example a Huntron, or Vudata 3110.

An Oscilloscope, function generator and some hardware can be used also (some make this "octopus tester"), and some Oscilloscopes may have built-in component testers as well(ex: Hameg, Tektronix)


1. a KNOWN BAD tantalum 10F 25 V drop shape capacitor, NOS (new old stock)

2. a proven for esr extremely good 10F 35V drop shape tantalum capacitor, salvaged from 25 years old professional equipment.

3. a brand new Panasonic FC 10F 50 volts aluminium capacitor

first: results using Extech LCR200: BAD (esr 1.2 ohms, (very) GOOD (0.3 ohms), PANASONIC (2.7 ohms) using a 100Hz signal

Now, using the El-cheapo Chinese meter. BAD (esr 2.6 ohms, (very) GOOD (0.4 ohms), PANASONIC (1.9 ohms) NOTE frequency unknown

Now, using component tester. BAD, GOOD, PANASONIC

One EXPECTS an elliptical shape, however, it is possible have the bad tantalum behave differently.

p>Now, using component tester using different settings. BAD, GOOD, PANASONIC


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