Author Topic: Advice on equipment wanted  (Read 988 times)

Offline DaiKen

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Advice on equipment wanted
« on: January 26, 2018, 08:00:19 PM »
Hi all,

Before I start building anything remotely like a Tesla coil I am a) reading and studying a lot and b) beginning to collect equipment to do all kinds of measurements on the parts and circuits to come.
I own several (cheap) multimeters, bought an old analog oscilloscope today for a few euro's, but an lcr meter is also advisable.
Can someone advice me on a good (and preferably not too expensive) lcr meter?

ThanX in advance!
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 09:33:08 AM by DaiKen »

Offline Hydron

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Re: Advice on equipment wanted
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2018, 01:37:35 PM »
Be careful using cheap multimeters on mains powered circuits - I'd at least completely avoid using the current range due to inadequate fuses etc.

LCR meters are not critical when building a coil - you can normally work out things without one, especially with the help of programs like JavaTC to calculate inductances etc (see http://www.classictesla.com/java/javatc/javatc.html ). Probably the only situation where it is very useful to have one would be if you were constructing your own capacitors, but building a MMC is generally easier and cheaper so it is not done often anymore. If you do want an LCR meter, I'd suggest looking at reviews of the cheap chinese options on sites such as the EEVBlog forums.

Offline Mads Barnkob

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Re: Advice on equipment wanted
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2018, 02:29:51 PM »
A old analog oscilloscope is fine to get started, but eventually you should look into the starting range of oscilloscopes from Rigol/Hantek etc. I have a DS1054z and to the price I am very satisfied with it. We discussed a few options here: https://highvoltageforum.net/index.php?topic=168.0

A dual 0-30V lab bench power supply is great for testing various variable inputs on tesla coil drivers.

A variac has always been vital to me, low voltage testing and slowly ramping up the voltage will often reveal problems before you have exploding transistors all over the bench. Plugging a homemade inverter straight into mains is always a gamble :)

I have one of the absolute cheapest LCR meters you can find on ebay, but as time went, I also invested in a better one, the DER EE DE-5000 LCR meter, it is not cheap, but surprisingly the very cheap LCR meter had a good accurancy compared to it. Small and cheap LCR meters does however struggle with larger capacitors where they simply do not have enough power. Another issue with the cheap ones, leads break very easily, poor plastic quality, rattling inside, gets worn down extremely fast.

If you want to go all out, the top of the line tools in inverter work would be a current monitor/transformer (or you could make one yourself that will be fine up to 1MHz) and a differential probe so you can do isolated measurements around 1kV on the inverter output. These are however expensive tools, unless you are lucky to find a cheap Pearson Current monitor or Tektronix P5200 differential probe on ebay.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 02:32:31 PM by Mads Barnkob »
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Offline DaiKen

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Re: Advice on equipment wanted
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2018, 12:44:35 PM »
Thanks Mads & Hydron for your answers.
I'll take a serious note on your warning on cheap multimeters.
I am toying with the idea of building a capacitor myself.
I got a second hand lab power supply and a variac and ordered a lcr meter from a business called electrodump ;-)
Now I am thinking about rectifiers and bridges...

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Re: Advice on equipment wanted
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2018, 12:44:35 PM »

 


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