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LCR-Reader: Budget LCR/ESR Meter

Built for Simplicity

LCR-Reader multimeters are a budget friendly option for testing and troubleshooting SMT. The device, which debuted in 2014, combines a set of gold-plated tweezer probes combined with a lightweight multimeter. LCR-Reader Professional task kit from Siborg Systems Inc.

When a component is between the tips, LCR-Reader will automatically determine the type of component and best test parameters to use for that component - including the component type and test frequency to use. LCR-Reader does not compromise on basic accuracy despite its low price point - measurements are done using a 0.5% basic accuracy. All measurement values, including main and secondary (ESR) impedance values are instantly displayed on the OLED screen.

The lower price point - under $200 USD - was achievable by streamlining the features on the device. By only offering Auto, L, C, R and ESR measurements, limited test frequencies and a lower basic accuracy, Siborg was able to create a device that is more affordable by non-professionals.

LCR-Reader is ultimately portable - weighing only 1.5 oz. and nearly the size of a pen, LCR-Reader is nearly unnoticeable in a bag or pocket. The high contrast OLED display provides easy readability in even dimly lit situations. The Li-Ion battery is useable for up to 40 continuous hours and recharges via micro-USB.

The device controlled using a one-button navigation. Pressing the button cycles through the test modes: A (auto), L (Inductance), R (Resistance), C (Capacitance) and ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance)

Display

The images show LCR-Reader's display during a measurement. During testing, the device displays the test mode, the component type, the main impedance value, secondary impedance values, test frequency and a battery icon displaying the remaining charge.
LCR-Reader display during measurement
LCR-Reader OLED display labelled with the different parts of the screen

Calibration Fixture and Accuracy Verification

LCR-Reader and Smart Tweezers calibration fixture uses 14 known components within the measurement range of LCR-Reader

Siborg sent 5 randomly selected LCR-Readers to Navair Technologies in Toronto, Ontario, one of Canada's leading calibration facilities for NIST certifications. Siborg assumed the basic accuracy was closer to 1%, but the returned results showed the accuracy closer to 0.5%.

A calibration fixture was created for all models of LCR-Reader and Smart Tweezers devices, including older models. The fixture uses 14 known components within the LCR-Reader and Smart Tweezers measurement ranges. When connected, the calibration fixture will signal a different component each time the button is pressed. The measurement values are displayed on the multimeter, and then the measured values are compared to the actual values of the component to confirm or reject accuracy.

View the Calibration results here

Features

  • Automatic and manual L, C, R and ESR
  • Basic accuracy of 0.5%
  • Automatic best test range selection
  • 0.5 V test signal level
  • 100 Hz, 1 kHz, 10 kHz test frequencies
  • Li-Ion rechargeable battery, micro-USB charger
  • 1 oz. weight
  • Bright OLED display
  • Optional NIST calibration certificate (with Professional task kits)

Colibri

LCR-Reader Colibri offers the same basic abilities as LCR-Reader, but with the added ability to select the test frequencies. With each press of the button, the device cycles through test modes and the test frequencies. For example, Auto mode -> 100 Hz, 1 kHz, 10 kHz, Inductance -> 100 Hz, 1 kHz, 10 kHz, Capacitance -> 100 Hz, 1 kHz, 10 kHz, Resistance -> 100 Hz, 1 kHz, 10 kHz. Read more about Colibri

How do you decide which device is best for you?

Siborg offers many different devices depending on the task at hand at various price points. Consult our model comparison chart to help determine the features you need and choose between LCR-Reader, LCR-Reader Colibri, LCR-Reader-MPA and Smart Tweezers models.