Making measurements with an LCR Meter

Next part of our memeber’s tutorial on measuring instrumements…

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LCR meter is another very useful measuring device that is extensively used by electrical engineers and companies manufacturing related products. So first f all I will start with the basic conventional introduction of this measuring instrument followed by its working.

An LCR meter is used to measure the inductance, Capacitance and resistance of the device under test. We know that the inductance is denoted by L, capacitance by C and resistance by R. So it is just so clearly visible that why this device is known as a LCR meter in short for convenience.

The useful of the devices is just evident from the fact that it acts as a three in one measuring instrument, which can measure for you all your three required values just in one package.

Working of an LCR meter

The next question that will definitely be arising in your mind is that how does it work? How does it cope with the operation of all the three devices in just one small package? Well the answer is really simple, i.e. the working of an LCR meter is pretty straightforward and nothing complex.

To make it simpler for you, I have explained this working in 5 easy steps below:

  1. Firstly an alternating voltage is passed through the device under test (also known as DUT)
  2. The meter than measures the voltage through this device. As we know that a voltmeter is connected in parallel in the circuit for measuring the voltage. So the connections of the LCR meter are also such that it measures the voltage from across the DUT.
  3. Next the meter measures the current passing through the DUT. This is measures such that I is in series. This all happens in the internal circuitry of the device and the user does not have to change the connections again and again.
  4. By taking the ratio of both its measurements, the LCR meter calculates the inductance (L) of the DUT.
  5. Afterwards the capacitance and the resistance of the device under test are calculated according to the value of the impedance measured from the device and are displayed as shown below:Making measurements with an LCR Meter
  6. We assume that the LR elements of the inductor resistor coil are in series and the CR elements of the capacitance resistance coils are in parallel.

Advantages of an LCR meter

  1. One thing that is evident is that it is compact and a three in one sort of a measuring unit which is obviously preferable.
  2. Other than this it is also worth mentioning here that an LCR meter is quite accurate and gives the readings with a high precision.
  3. It can also tell about the angle between the voltage and the current measure if needed.
  4. It is easy to calibrate and quick to use, the user just needs to connect the two probes of the meter to the DUT as shown below:

Making measurements with an LCR Meter 2

Applications of an LCR meter

LCR meters are being widely used in electrical related industries now-a-days for measuring these ratings of different devices. For example they are used to measure the inductance, capacitance and resistance of different newly manufactured appliances like refrigerators, televisions etc.

They are also used in laboratories for circuit testing and components calibration. In short they are of wide usage in daily life.

TOP 5 Best Sellers LCR meter on amazon

Bestseller No. 1
Proster LCR Meter LCR Multimeter Tester for Capacitance Resistance Inductance Measuring Meter with...
221 Reviews
Proster LCR Meter LCR Multimeter Tester for Capacitance Resistance Inductance Measuring Meter with...
  • Proster LCR Meter: inductance, capacitance and resistance measuring meter,it is a Specialdigital instrument which is easy to be operated, the reading accuracydegree is higher with liquid crystal...
  • High Accuracy : (Inductance) Measuring accuracy up to ±(2%+5); (Capacitance) Measuring accuracy up to ±(2%+5)Forward voltage drop of diode:Displaty forward voltage drop of diode;Forward voltage of...
  • Rotable LCD Display : Multi angle adjustment for easy reading.There is no need to hold tester while measuring, more convenient operation.
  • Multi-function: Auto power off; Data Hold function; Low Power Indication; ZERO ADJ for Capacitance.
  • New Version Test Leads: Comes with crocodile clip/ Test Loads/ mini Alligator Clip; The black pen is connected to the negative pole and the red test lead is connected to the positive pole
Bestseller No. 2
DE-5000 Handheld LCR Meter with accessories
97 Reviews
DE-5000 Handheld LCR Meter with accessories
  • This LCR Meter is a 19999/ 9999 counts dual display, high accuracy LCR meter, which could measure Inductance/ Capacitance/ Resistance with secondary parameters including dissipation factor (D),...
  • This LCR Meter is fully auto ranging operation for AC impedance & DC resistance measurement. The user could measure the L/C/R components directly in “AUTO-LCR “ smart mode without selecting the...
  • Components could be measured in serial or parallel mode according to the DUT (device under test) impedance automatically.User could select the desired test frequencies of 100Hz/120Hz/1kHz/10kHz...
  • The "Sorting"mode could help the user to make a quick sort for a bunch of components.
  • Standard Accessories: English PDF manual, DC9V Battery, Alligator test lead case(TL-21), SMD Tweezers case(TL-22), Guard Line(TL-23),,,,, Option: IR to USB cace *It isn't included.
Sale 2019Bestseller No. 3
Extech 380193 Passive Component LCR Meter
15 Reviews
Extech 380193 Passive Component LCR Meter
  • Primary display of inductance, capacitance or resistance
  • Secondary display of Q, dissipation (1/Q) and resistance
  • Built in test fixture or use external test leads
  • Sort components using programmable Hi/Low values
  • Parallel or series equivalent circuit
Bestseller No. 4
Sinometer VC9808 30-Range Digital Multimeter & LCR Meter, A Professional Multimeter for L C R...
51 Reviews
Sinometer VC9808 30-Range Digital Multimeter & LCR Meter, A Professional Multimeter for L C R...
  • 12-Function 30-Range DMM + LCR Meter
  • AC/DC V/A Resistance Frequency Capacitance and 5-range Inductance
  • Diode Check Continuity & Transistor test
  • Data Hold
  • 1 Year USA Manufacturer Warranty
Bestseller No. 5
Walfront Digital LCR Meter, MS5308 Portable Handheld LCR Meter 100Khz Inductance Resistance...
  • Auto LCR smart check and measurement. 1999 counts dual LCD display. Series/Parallel modes are selectable. L\C\R single item measurement selection. Resistance measurement in DCR mode. Multi angle...
  • This LCR meter is a professional instrument for measuring inductance, capacitance and resistance. It has many features, such as automatic identification, automatic measurement range, high measurement...
  • It provides both AC and DC measurement modes. A variety of test frequencies up to 100Khz can be provided for inductance, capacitance and resistance in AC mode to meet the actual needs better. No need...
  • D/Q/ESR deputy show. Battery capacity display, long time do not operate power automatically shut down. 15mA current of ultra-low power consumption. Five different test frequency are available...
  • Designed to safely and accurately troubleshoot a variety of automotive and household electrical problems. A Special meter to test Capacitance Inductance. Higher reading accuracy degree with dual LCD...

So this was all about LCR meters. To know more such stuff about measuring devices keep visiting us. And, of course, you still can giv eyour impressions on the comments section below!

2 Comments

  • Nice LCR info piece! I would add too that there are a wide range of LCR meters available, from units costing less than $20 on eBay to models costing many thousands of dollars. While it’s tempting to purchase a very inexpensive meter, quite often you get what you pay for. A cheap LCR meter might be fine for a hobbyist, but for measurements that you really must count on in R&D, production, and service, get an LCR meter from a major manufacturer.

    I use the HM8118 (from Rohde & Schwarz) It has a basic accuracy of 0.05%, and in addition to measuring the resistance, inductance and capacitance of passive components, it measures the nonideal characteristics of real components, such as series equivalent resistance (Rs) and parallel equivalent resistance, (Rp) of capacitors and inductors (very important). It also calculates derived parameters, such as the quality factor Q, the dissipation factor D, the phase angle Theta, as well as the complex values of the impedance Z and the admittance Y.

  • Rich, thanks for the comment.
    So from the value Cp measured on the meter, how can we extract the actual capacitance assuming we know the area and thickness

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