Tag Archives: transistor tester

Quick Review of a cheap Chinese component tester

Adam Fabio has posted a quick review of a cheap Chinese brand multifunctional component tester on Hackaday. He found its build quality was very cheap, but he was also amazed with its features and functionalities, including ohmmeter, capacitance meter, transistor tester, etc, which worked amazingly well with a reasonable accuracy. Powered with Atmega328 microcontroller, this component tester can be purchased for ~ $20 on eBay and Aliexpress.

Transistor tester

Inexpensive Transistor tester from China

I didn’t have huge expectations for the tester, but I hoped it would at least power up.  Hooking up a 9 volt battery and pressing the magic button brought the tester to life. Since I didn’t have anything in the socket, it quickly lit up and displayed its maker information – “91make.taobao.com”, and “By Efan & HaoQixin”, then it informed me that I had “No, unknown, or damaged part”.

I had a few resistors lying around the bench (doesn’t everyone?) so I put one in. The tester read it as 9881 ohms. Sure enough, it was a 10K 5% resistor.  Capacitors – ceramic disc, electrolytic, and surface mount all worked as well. The tester even provided ESR values. The real test would be a transistor. I pulled an old  2N2222 in a TO-18 metal can, and popped it in the tester. The damn thing worked – it showed the schematic symbol for an NPN transistor with Collector, Base, and Emitter connected to Pins 1,2,and 3 respectively. Flipping the pins around and re-testing worked as well. The tester showed hFe as 216, and forward voltage as 692 mV, both reasonable numbers for a 2N2222.

Microcontroller based Diode and Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT) tester


Most of the digital multimeters these days have built-in features for testing diodes and sometimes transistors. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate a simple way to construct a testing device for diodes and bipolar junction transitors (BJTs) using a microcontroller. The testing algorithm is based on a simple fact that a working PN junction conducts current in only one direction. A PIC16F688 microcontroller is used in this project that switches the bias voltage across the PN junctions of diode and transistors, and determines if a particular junction is normal, open or short.


The logic behind testing a diode is straightforward. A diode is a PN junction that allows the conduction of current only in one direction. Therefore, a good diode will conduct current in only one direction. If it does in both the directions, it means the diode is short, and if it does in neither direction, it is open. The circuit implementation of this logic is shown below.

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