This is a Test arrangement for Leakage Testing of Diodes on Reverse Bias. The leakage current indicates the ability of the diode to withstand higher voltages. An AutoTransformer or Variac can be used to vary the test voltage. Even Plastic capacitors can be tested for leakage this way.

High Resistance Indicator – del50004

Diode Reverse Bias Leakage Tester

Safety Precautions –
Use a Isolation 1:1 transformer for safety. This circuit has to be enclosed in a insulated cabinet. A Jig or Acrylic Safety Plate with clamp can be used to connect the diode. The voltage is only applied as long as a Mains two way push switch is pressed. This adds to the safety.

Build a DMM or Digital Multi Meter

Caution Instruction –
Use this with Low voltages like 24V AC for Learning. Do not Use it with High Voltage AC. If you are learning, first work with other circuits using batteries or Low Voltage Mains Adapters.

This Circuit helps in the monitoring of mains supply voltage. It does not use a isolation step down transformer. This has to be constructed only by skilled people with knowledge of safety requirements.

C1 limits the current and drops most of the voltage. The zener regulated supply is for the chip. C2 can be raised to 220uF or more if required. The bar mode display may consume more power.

Mains Voltage Power Transformers 

R2-R3-R5-R6 form a voltage divider to get a sample of the input voltage, D11-C3 get the DC value.

Adjust R5 preset with a log Plastic tweaker to get the 5th led to just turn on when input voltage is at 138V AC. This has to be done after PCB is put in a sealed fire-retardant-plastic or epoxy box. drill a hole in box for plastic tweaker.

National LM3914 – Dot Bar Display Driver
This Circuit is Not a Tested Design. It is an Idea for study

Mains Voltage monitor using LM3914

Warning : This Circuit is Mains Operated without Isolation Transformer and will give lethal electric shock if touched when the circuit is turned on. Test circuit only with DC 9V Bench Power Supply to try it out. Do not use 230V AC.

This is a Digital Panel Meter based on ICL7107. This was the workhorse Digital Readout chip before Low power uC designs were developed. Even now it is the easiest way an analog parameter can be displayed in an instrument.

Instrumentation and Measurement Circuits

3-1/2 Display is just enough resolution for recording process data or troubleshooting equipment. With 4-1/2 you notice the problems of thermoelectric EMF of probes and connectors. That is one reason gold plating is used another being low contact resistance. In 4 1/2 the reading can change due to contact resistance too, if the input impedance of the analog signal conditioning is low or the protection diodes, RC filter caps are leaky.

ICL7107 DPM When you measure an analog parameter from a sensor; you attenuate or amplify it, to scale to the A/D converter range. You also need to protect or isolate the analog front end from high energy mis-connections, which will happen during field use. The operator should not get injured from any high energy leakage while measuring.

Resolution is the finest detail you can enumerate in a parameter or object. You can say the crowd was 3000 or 4000 people. Here 1000 is the resolution, finer data does not matter here. You would also hear things like, there were 80 to 90 boys in that classroom. 10 is the resolution there.

Accuracy is how precise a statement or number is. If there was 85 boys in that class, the above statement is accurate. If there was 65 boys, the measuring method or process needs calibration or examination.

In this circuit, the plastic caps should be of very low leakage. Multilayer plastic caps are good for instrumentation.

This is a R-2R Digital to Analog Converter, It converts a byte (8 bit) to a analog value. It has 256 levels including zero.

This was the first Digital Pot i Built decades back – Digital Potentiometer

This can be used to convert a byte sent from a microcontroller to a analog value like say 1.51 V. At full scale, when all 8 bits are high calibrate to give 2.55 V then ever bit increment is 0.01V, 10mV steps.

Digital to Analog with R2R Ladder Network

If the eight bits inputs are from a counter you then will see a staircase waveform at output, each step being 10mV higher or lower depending on whether the counter is counting up or down.

The accuracy of the analog output depends on the resistor ladder. The OP07 has an offset error of about 70uV only. The 74HCT373 power is derived from LM336 a stable reference so that the D-A is accurate. The 8 bit data can be latched with the 74HCT373 to get a stable analog value for control systems.

See another circuit in which both these ICs are used Mini RTD Pt-100 Three Wire Transmitter

OP07E has very low input offset voltage 75 µV max and low input bias current ±4 nA

ICL8038 and XR-2206 can help you build a Function Generator or Wavform Generator. It is needed along with the Oscilloscope and Power Supply on the Workbench.

The ICL8038 waveform generator is a monolithic integrated circuit capable of producing high accuracy sine, square, triangular, sawtooth and pulse waveforms with a minimum of external components. The frequency (or repetition rate) can be selected externally from 0.001Hz to more than 300kHz using either resistors or capacitors, and frequency modulation and sweeping can be accomplished with an external voltage.

See the Full page with parts list at my Website – Function Generator using ICL8038.

Function Generator using ICL8038


Frequency range – 0.95 Hz to 105 KHz in five decade ranges
Waveforms – Sine, Triangular and Square.
Output amplitude – Adjustable from 10 mV PP. to 10 V PP
Output impedance – 50 ohms.

I don’t remember if this circuit worked properly. But a few were made and i might not have shown the modifications that were done to make it work. This was meant to be a portable, low cost, insulation tester for an electrician. If you try it out and debug it it may work well.

High Resistance Insulation Materials

A negative voltage is derived by shifting gnd with two diodes, i feel this did not work very well. Two pins of CD4028 pins are also used to boost the reference to get two extra ranges as 4051 has a 100E on resistance.

High Resistance Meter

The 555 clock makes 4029 counter count. But the clock can be clamped to gnd by a TL062 window comparator. The clock is frozen when the input value to comparator pin 5-2 is within a lower limit and upper limit “window” pin 3-6.

Insulation Tester

The 4029 counter BCD is decoded to decimal by 4028 which drives the LEDs, keep LED drive within 3mA or chip will be loaded. Use high efficiency extra-bright LEDs.

The 4029 BCD also controls a shunt resistor array with CMOS switches 4051. The voltage across shunt is a sample of leakage current. This is compared in the window comparator to freeze the Clock and LED display to give a reading of the leakage current or Insulation Resistance.

LM331 is a Voltage-to-Frequency Converters and  74C926 is a 4 Digit Counter. The first part of the circuit converts the amplified DC analog value from a shunt to pulses. The Second counts the pulses and Displays it on a Seven segment LED display.

Amp Hour Meter using LM331 and 74C926

In Electroplating, the time taken will determine the plating thickness which is both related to cost and quality. More current also means more metal has been used so it has to be monitored to control and deliver cost effective electro plating quality.

Mixed and Interface Circuits

A high current with low voltage is applied on special electrodes. One of the electrodes will have the job to be plated. The Medium is an Electrolyte. This is a part of Electrochemistry, Battery, Cells, Electrolytic Capacitors all belong to this branch.

This is a Test Circuit for Logic Analyzer software, with the Simple port circuit. The VB Logic Analyzer works, but is just an example program to test and learn.

Printer Port Logic Analyzer

The speed at which the logic state changes say like 10 M Hz while probing even a PIC or 89C51, is too fast for this circuit. For that, the incoming data has to be spooled or stored in RAM at real time, by the external Hardware itself.

Test Circuit for Logic Analyzer software – del20006

As this is a Parallel Port Interface, an Embedded High Speed Digital RAM Storage of Multiple Logic input Channels with Signal Conditioning in the front end, could do the job. This is the minimum, if you want to program the rest of the instrument on Computer Software. Here is one you can see from Bitscope using USB or Ethernet.