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# Opinions about Smart Tweezers Handheld RCL Meter

K

#### [email protected]

Jan 1, 1970
0
I would appreciate your opinions about the following device:

"Smart Tweezers LCR RCL RLC Meter Digital MultiMeter SMD"

I found on eBay. Looks like an interesting concept but is it as good as
the seller tells?

R

#### Robert Baer

Jan 1, 1970
0
I would appreciate your opinions about the following device:

"Smart Tweezers LCR RCL RLC Meter Digital MultiMeter SMD"

I found on eBay. Looks like an interesting concept but is it as good as
the seller tells?
Without a link, to look and evaluate????
Forgeddit!

L

#### Lord Garth

Jan 1, 1970
0

There was already a discussion about this tool some weeks ago. Best I can
say is that
if it is that useful, others will be making them soon. I think it looks
useful but I like
to see one first hand so I might see the construction quality or lack
thereof.

R

Jan 1, 1970
0
1) For the size, Priority Mail Flat Rate is $3.85; the envelope could be distorted more by adding padding. As long as one can fit something in that envelope and seal it, there is no limit to the weight. Theoretically, one could ship about 42 pounds of pure osmimum (the most dense element known). 2) ?Five? digits? Forget it. a) Impossible for capacitors and impractical as the best accuracy one could possibly find in an SMD capacitor might be 5%. Stray capacitance around the probe leads can add anything from 0.2pF to 5-10pF. The PCB, the PCB traces, and all parts in parallel with the capacitor to be ?measured? can add another 2-20pF on strays alone. b) Impossible for non-PCB resistors; maybe 3 digits for the low values as the probe is *not* kelvin - and maybe 4 digits for higher values to a few megs. If the resistors are on a PCB, then there are too many parts that can be in parallel, and the reading can me orders of magnitude off. c) Inductors: maybe 2 digits at best in a PCB environment. The stray capacitances mentioned previously can royally mess up readings. 3) Parts sorting - Possible; 3 digits at most. ** Now i see their specs; the best is 1%, which absolutely KILLs 5 digits and underscores my 3 digit statement above. I see the hoopla concerning Ac waveforms, but one must note that there is *no* specification concerning AC! Good curiosity item, not too good (especially at the price) for debugging an assembled PCB as most failures would be in the ICs after useage. G #### Guy Macon Jan 1, 1970 0 The same item is$323.00+$0.00 instead of$254.95+$16.00 here: [ http://www.hmcelectronics.com/cgi-bin/scripts/product/3080-0045 ] That's$52 less. (Feel free to send me $20 for telling you this ) Or you can simply buy a set of BK Precision TL 8 Tweezer Test Leads [ http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/b+k precision/bktestleads.htm#TL-8 ] or [ http://www.bkprecision.com/showproduct.asp?pn=TL 8 ]. for$25 and use a *good* DMM.

Robert said:

When posting ebay URLs, do it like this:

1) For the size, Priority Mail Flat Rate is $3.85; You are applying US shipping rates to a Canadian seller.$10 is typical shipping and handling for an eBay seller. The person
doing the shipping doesn't work for nothing, packing material costs
a bit, etc. $16 for the first one and$5 for the second isn't out of
line. By comparison, Contact East has these shipping rates for the
same product at the same price:
http://www.contacteast.com/product/group.asp?parent_id=11165
http://www.contacteast.com/help/shipping-rates.asp
FedEx Ground $10.49 FedEx 2-Day$17.99
FedEx Standard Overnight $18.99 U.S.P.S. Parcel Post$11.99
U.S.P.S. Priority Mail $20.99 2) ?Five? digits? Forget it. [...] Now i see their specs; the best is 1%, which absolutely KILLs 5 digits and underscores my 3 digit statement above. I see the hoopla concerning Ac waveforms, but one must note that there is *no* specification concerning AC! There are other problems with the spec: "DC Voltage: 0 to 800 mV (Up to 8V with optional slide switch manual setting)" That's a quite low voltage. They don't give maximums (another warning sign); will a cap charged to 5V or 12V kill it? I also wonder about the claimed 1uH-1H 10pF-900mF ranges. There has been some online speculation based on zooming in on the JPEG of the board that this item uses and AD9833 / CMOS switch to make quadrature phase measurements. If you get one, please open it up and post all of the part numbers. With that info, any of the sci.electronics.design regulars can tell you the real performance specs. G #### Gerhard Jan 1, 1970 0 [email protected] schreef: I would appreciate your opinions about the following device: "Smart Tweezers LCR RCL RLC Meter Digital MultiMeter SMD" I found on eBay. Looks like an interesting concept but is it as good as the seller tells? I bought one. It is a nice peace of equipment, except for the jog dial button. Left and right movement are ok, but when pressing it the result is completely unpredictable. Therefore it is impossible to set up the instrument. And when you eventually get back to the measurement mode, you don't know how it is set up. I tried to contact the manufacturer, but got no response until now. http://www.siborg.com/smarttweezers/ST_Canada_2.htm Best regards, Gerhard G #### Gerhard Jan 1, 1970 0 [email protected] schreef: I would appreciate your opinions about the following device: "Smart Tweezers LCR RCL RLC Meter Digital MultiMeter SMD" I found on eBay. Looks like an interesting concept but is it as good as the seller tells? I bought one. It is a nice peace of equipment, except for the jog dial button. Left and right movement are ok, but when pressing it the result is completely unpredictable. Therefore it is impossible to set up the instrument. And when you eventually get back to the measurement mode, you don't know how it is set up. I tried to contact the manufacturer, but got no response until now. http://www.siborg.com/smarttweezers/ST_Canada_2.htm Best regards, Gerhard G #### Gerhard Jan 1, 1970 0 [email protected] schreef: I would appreciate your opinions about the following device: "Smart Tweezers LCR RCL RLC Meter Digital MultiMeter SMD" I found on eBay. Looks like an interesting concept but is it as good as the seller tells? I bought one. It is a nice peace of equipment, except for the jog dial button. Left and right movement are ok, but when pressing it the result is completely unpredictable. Therefore it is impossible to set up the instrument. And when you eventually get back to the measurement mode, you don't know how it is set up. I tried to contact the manufacturer, but got no response until now. http://www.siborg.com/smarttweezers/ST_Canada_2.htm Best regards, Gerhard J #### John Woodgate Jan 1, 1970 0 I read in sci.electronics.design that Gerhard bought one. It is a nice peace of equipment, That's good... except for the jog dial button. ..... but that would make me war-y. M #### Michael A. Terrell Jan 1, 1970 0 Robert said: a) Impossible for capacitors and impractical as the best accuracy one could possibly find in an SMD capacitor might be 5%. Stray capacitance around the probe leads can add anything from 0.2pF to 5-10pF. The PCB, the PCB traces, and all parts in parallel with the capacitor to be ?measured? can add another 2-20pF on strays alone. No better than 5%? Then where did all the 1% 100pf SMD caps come from I used in Salen Key filters at Microdyne? The design is about eight years old and they were off the shelf then. I used a set of test tweezers with one of our digital capacitance meters and could not only zero out the probe, but read the caps properly. M #### Michael A. Terrell Jan 1, 1970 0 Glenn said: Check out this http://members.cox.net/berniekm/super.html Looks like you could build one for about$50. With a little immagination
you could even mount a tweezer on the front end.

Another impossible to read web page Dark green on a black
background? Are they crazy?

D

#### Don Pearce

Jan 1, 1970
0
Another impossible to read web page Dark green on a black
background? Are they crazy?

Really? I get a medium green on a dark background, and it reads rather
easily. Check your brightness and contrast - they sound misadjusted.

d

Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com

M

#### Michael A. Terrell

Jan 1, 1970
0
Don said:
Really? I get a medium green on a dark background, and it reads rather
easily. Check your brightness and contrast - they sound misadjusted.

d

Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com

Its as bright as I can get it without retrace lines.

G

#### Glenn

Jan 1, 1970
0
I would appreciate your opinions about the following device:

"Smart Tweezers LCR RCL RLC Meter Digital MultiMeter SMD"

I found on eBay. Looks like an interesting concept but is it as good as
the seller tells?

I bought one too.

I agree with the previous owner that the jog dial is a bit confusing but
I think I did manage to figure it out and the unit seems fine for
identifying all those SMDs laying around under the stereomicroscope that
would otherwise get tossed because its too much trouble to figure out
what they are. And that's even with a vector network analyzer and
benchtop DMM handy...

The Voltage/Plot mode is probably not of any real use. It's also a pain
to have to mess with the slide switch to get to it. If I'm doing
something in-circuit I'll use a benchtop DMM anyway. However the
auto-range auto-select does seem to do a reasonable job at identify both
the type and value of the component. Having it all in a tweezer is
actually fairly useful. The alternative is to try to get a part to hold
still while you get two probes from a meter on it.

The Tweezers are not entirely useless on installed components, but of
course one has to know hwat the circuit is to know how to interperet the
results. I think their forte is loose SMDs.

So, all in all, my assessment is that it is a little pricey when you
consider the functionality apart from the integration, and perhaps a
little bit so, even then, but that it does prove to be a useful tool.
I've only used mine a modest amount so far but don't regret buying it.

Glenn

R

#### Robert Baer

Jan 1, 1970
0
Glenn said:
Check out this http://members.cox.net/berniekm/super.html

Looks like you could build one for about $50. With a little immagination you could even mount a tweezer on the front end. That Mondo Technology Super Probe is a far better instrument for the money, and ther is no hype (no 5 digit display for a 3 digit device). R #### Robert Baer Jan 1, 1970 0 Michael said: No better than 5%? Then where did all the 1% 100pf SMD caps come from I used in Salen Key filters at Microdyne? The design is about eight years old and they were off the shelf then. I used a set of test tweezers with one of our digital capacitance meters and could not only zero out the probe, but read the caps properly. Must have been specialty parts at a specialty price. Ordinary capacitors run from 5% to 20%, and the few 2% caps are wound plastics. I dare say that the only SMD caps are ceramics, meaning that the accuracy is limited by the construction and physics of construction. Green ceramic caps change size and shape when fired; cannot get around that. Now, one *could* test to a tight spec; bin the passes for hi$ and
the failures for regular sales.
BTW, do you know the temp curves for X5R, Y5V, etc???

M

#### Mike Deblis

Jan 1, 1970
0
I would appreciate your opinions about the following device:

"Smart Tweezers LCR RCL RLC Meter Digital MultiMeter SMD"

I found on eBay. Looks like an interesting concept but is it as good as
the seller tells?

have you seen the Peak Electronics LCR tester:

http://www.peakelec.co.uk/content/products/atlaslcr.html

They have other nice small test equipment and good prices too...

Mike

G

#### Guy Macon

Jan 1, 1970
0
Glenn said:
With a little immagination
you could even mount a tweezer on the front end.

Or you can simply buy a set of BK Precision TL 8 Tweezer Test Leads
for $25. [ http://www.bkprecision.com/showproduct.asp?pn=TL 8 ] [ http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/b+k precision/bktestleads.htm#TL-8 ] Having it all in a tweezer is actually fairly useful. The alternative is to try to get a part to hold still while you get two probes from a meter on it. Or you can simply buy a set of BK Precision TL 8 Tweezer Test Leads for$25. [ http://www.bkprecision.com/showproduct.asp?pn=TL 8 ]
[ http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/b+k precision/bktestleads.htm#TL-8 ]

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