Capacitance Meter DIY Kit – SparkFun KIT-09485
This kit includes everything you need to make your very own capacitance meter, able to measure caps anywhere between the range of 500uF to 1pF. Many multimeters are able to measure capacitance, but they’re rarely as precise as a dedicated capacitance meter.
Not only does this product provide a great chance to hone your soldering skills, but you also come out with an accurate, fully functional, capacitance measuring tool.
Assembly is very straightforward, and all components are through-hole. You’ll get a chance to solder a wide range of components such as resistors, seven-segment LEDs, a 28-pin ATmega48 microcontroller, and more!
An 8-16VDC power supply is required, but not included.
- Automatic range switch
- Zeroing available
- Real-time serial output of measurement read-outs with timestamp
- Low cost and easy to build
- About 1% accuracy, <2% error
- Measuring range: 1pF – 500uF
- Power Supply voltage: 8 – 16 DC
- Power Supply current: <30mA
How to Assemble:
It is pretty straightforward to assemble the cap meter. Install all parts included in the kit onto the PCB by following schematic and labels. Double-check to ensure no soldering errors. If everything is ok then the cap meter can be powered up and put into use. No adjustment needed.
How to Use:
Insert the capacitor to be tested into J5. The capacitance will be displayed. Alternatively caps not fitting into J5 can be connected through J3 with a pair of clips. Usually, large caps take longer to show results but should not longer than 2 seconds.
Remove cap (if any) from J5 and J3. Press the “ZERO” button. “C0 ” will display. Wait for it to disappear. Now the stray capacitance is compensated. The compensation value is stored in EEPROM and will remain in effect until another zeroing is performed. To obtain good measurement results for small capacitance shielding is required. To do this put the board into a metal box and connect the ground of the meter to the enclosure.
Serial Data Format:
The ASCII outputs from the TXD pin of J4 include a sequence number, measurement time (in seconds), and measured capacitance. The baud rate is 38.4Kbps fixed. The data format is 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, and no parity.