Ebay transistor tester testing

I bought myself one of those cheap transistor testers off ebay based on the Ardutester at https://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=164112.0 which basically is an Arduino project that someone made which the Chinese commercialized and ripped off. It’s actually a great bit of kit but it’s clearly based on an Arduino project that was never intended to be a commercial product.

The Ebay ‘transistor tester’ which does a whole lot more than just test transistors

With the Arduino and good programming and electronics knowledge you can make an end product that rivals a commercial product. Take for example the Ardutester; an open source project that tests electronic components and displays the results on a character LCD. It’s a fantastic project and the designer made all the source code and hardware schematics available for others to make. Seemingly someone in China saw this as a potential to make money, took the source code and improved it then sold it as a commercial product. I’d imagine the creator of the original product would be pissed but I guess there’s nothing you can do about it.

Anyway with that said I saw this project and was intending to make one myself but then I saw a similar product on ebay for about £30. I decided to make the purchase as buying the components to make one myself would cost far more than it would to buy a pre built unit.

On receipt I found that it is indeed based around an ATMEGA328 albiet without the Arduino bootloader but the software / firmware is clearly based on the original Ardutester firmware. There’s even versions of the original Ardutester on ebay for sale it’s just that mine is an improved version.

I was very pleased with the tester; it can reliably test pretty much any discrete electronic component and even tells you the pinout and gain (if a transistor) on a colour graphic display. It even has a built in function generator and frequency counter so it makes several of my existing test equipment obsolete as this performs much better and takes up less room. All is controlled via a simple menu.

I’m amazed that something of such good quality can cost so little. The board soldering and component positioning is excellent as is the quality of the PCB and overall appearance. It’s only drawback is the ZIF socket which broke after 3 months use.

As a side note all I need on my bench for most things is a multimeter and this great little device. It’s not 100% accurate but there again it does not need to be. For a hobbyist use it’s brilliant.

As a side note though, if you have made something great with an Arduino (or Rasperry Pi or indeed any microcontroller) and don’t want it to be copied and sold by the Chinese, think carefully before releasing your source code.

Rendered Obsolete by this great little box