Inductor Ring Tester

Discussion in 'The Completed Projects Collection' started by wayneh, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. wayneh

    Thread Starter Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Goal: Build a DIY tester similar to a commercially available device for testing TV transformers, in particular the LOPT, or flyback transformer.

    Strategy: Repeatedly, at 10Hz, apply a 600mV, 2ms pulse to an inductor in parallel with a capacitor, and count the peaks of the damped LC ringing that results. Disregard peaks below a threshold. Use a counter to capture the rings and LEDs to display the result. Correlate results with know good and bad LOPTs.

    Background: There's a commercial tool for this, about $55. The schematics and explanation for the commercial device are given in these pdfs.

    First generation View attachment Ring tester 1.pdf
    Second generation View attachment BLUE_rt_assembly_manual.pdf

    Experiments: After reading how this worked, I realized my breadboard from a previous project already had the ICs on it I could use to create a similar circuit. The original circuit used a LM393 for the oscillation and ring detection functions. My 556 could replace the the oscillator. My op-amp could replace the darlington transistor used to amplify and square up the rings for counting. My 4017 counter could replace the shift register, with the added benefit of lighting just one LED at a time for lower power consumption and less current-limiting resistors.

    One issue I didn't quite expect was that the positive pulse from the 556 timer, although it is the right sense, is not big enough to trigger the 4017 timer reset and to ring the inductor. So the transistor and/or one of the two op-amps is used to boost it.

    I initially used an LM358 for my op-amp, one half to boost the 556 output and the other half to amplify the rings. This worked, but with two oddities: First, I had to extend the reset pulse from 5µs to over 20µs in order to get the 4017 to respond. And I could only get a ring result with very large inductors that gave slow ringing. I had no problem getting 10 rings or more, but not within the 2ms mentioned in the original paper. I had one transformer that rang with about 2ms between pulses, so only 1 ring would register within the 2ms window.

    It was obvious the LM358 was too slow, so I switched to the TL082, since it's available at Radio Shack and is much faster than the LM358.

    This had it's own quirks - the TL082 can sense to the positive rail but not the ground rail like the LM358. The transistor in the final circuit shouldn't really be necessary but I simply could not get the TL082 op-amp to perform well as a non-inverting amp for the 556 signal. So I used it as an inverting amp and let the transistor invert it again. This gives a nice solid reset and ringing.

    Results: The circuit gives a full 10-count for some small coils I had in the junk box and, most importantly, a 10-count for the LOPT primary I built it to test. The larger transformers in my box give lower counts, but I was able to use my 'scope to see that this was because the pulse current is removed after 2ms, long before the coil is energized. The "off" ring fades out quickly.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2017
  2. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    Any chance for pictures? While I haven't studied this yet, it seems to meet the minimum requirements. A parts list would also be nice though.
     
  3. wayneh

    Thread Starter Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    I guess I could take a picture of the breadboard. It's a little embarrassing - messy - but I guess that's the way breadboards look.

    As for a parts list, that is provided in the references for anyone starting from scratch and wishing to build a "genuine" version. If I get a chance I'll provide a list for my modified version.
     
  4. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    Packing files is OK, but keep in mind a parts list is something someone who is considering building the project would browse, and should also be prominently displayed.

    Don't take these comments personal, I make them to help the presentation better. At some point I will moderate them so as they do not clutter up your work. Moderate in this context means render invisible, except to admins and mods.

    One nice feature of AAC is you can always edit your post, which is to say, if you make a better version you can substitute the info (such as pictures).

    While YouTube is not official, for projects wid da blinky lights I recommend a clip showing them blink.
     
  5. wayneh

    Thread Starter Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Looks like I failed to come back and post photos of my build. Here it is on perfboard before adding the wiring, so you can see the parts placement. This build includes my ESR tester project also.

    IMG_0486.jpg
     
  6. wayneh

    Thread Starter Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    My final build. The silvery jack is for AC wall-wart power. The 317 voltage regulator (set to ~9V if I recall) is backwards in the photo above, so I must have turned it around. Oops.

    IMG_3877.jpg IMG_3878.jpg IMG_3879.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
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  7. wayneh

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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  8. DickCappels

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    Aug 21, 2008
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    LTspice says it cannot find the symbol for the CD4017. Can/would you please post the model for your simulation?
     
  9. wayneh

    Thread Starter Expert

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    I found these files at the Yahoo group for LTspice, if I recall. There is additionally a folder of other CD4000 .asy files there and I have not included it here. I can if someone asks, but it may be better to get the latest stuff straight from the group.
     
  10. Mozee

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    Jul 23, 2016
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    hmm.. A question not related to the project if you will?! How did you create this schematics and were the connection auto routed or you had to make them?
     
  11. wayneh

    Thread Starter Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Are you referring to post #7, my drawings? They were not auto-routed, they were drawn by me in Intaglio, a Mac-only vector drawing program. You could get similar results in any vector drawing program. I assume you're probably not a Mac user. I spent years using drawing programs on the job and I find them very much easier than Eagle or DipTrace or the other circuit- drawing-specific programs. But that's just me. If you're starting at zero, I would imagine the dedicated programs are the way to go.

    One feature I really like is layers. The PCB is one layer, the components are on another layer, board traces and wire interconnects each have a layer, and finally the text labels are in their own layer. The software makes it very easy to turn any layer on or off for viewing or printing. And then when you're done drawing one side of the PCB, you can just duplicate the drawing and flip it to give you the back side. No need to redraw anything.
     
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  12. Mozee

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    Jul 23, 2016
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    @wayneh
    Great!! And i am a mac user btw.
    What I need is a software allowing autoroute for perfboard designes not copper clad ones.
    Do you know any???
     
  13. wayneh

    Thread Starter Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    No, but I'd start looking at the two I mentioned above. Can't say I've heard of any auto routing for perfboards but maybe an Eagle or DipTrace pro will chime in. You'll get better feedback if you start your own thread on this topic.
     
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  14. Mozee

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    Jul 23, 2016
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    Thanks my friend. I'll check them out.
     
  15. recklessrog

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    May 23, 2013
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    Just for information, I have repaired many hundreds of switch mode power supplies and still do when needed. One of the most useful tools I use in diagnosing faults is a home built version of the original Dick Smith ring tester with the addition of an output to an oscilloscope. The LED's give a quick check, and the scope connected allows greater analysis.
    I built mine on Vero board and housed it in a small plastic box.
    My list of equipment recommendations for anyone who is involved with repairing SMP's is :-
    1,) A good isolation transformer of around 500 kva with the output earth disconnected. (Essential if you want to stay alive)
    2,) An analogue multi-meter.
    3,) A digital multi-meter.
    4,) A ring tester with 'scope out put added.
    5,) ESR checker.
    6,) Oscilloscope.
    7,) Safety Glasses!.....I've had my fair share of blow ups, usually capacitors.
    8,) A good soldering/desoldering station. My desolderer has a built in pump and can suck or blow.
    9.) Variac
    10,) Most importantly, Common sense!! Don't take risks, and if you don't know what you are doing, Don't do it. (got all the gear but no idea)
    There are more but without the above, you can waste hours trying to repair unsuccessfully.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
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