Wouldn’t it be great if leaky or shorted parts just lit up and whistled at you?
Well, guess what … The LeakSeeker 89 Autoranging Fault Locator can guide you right to the culprit with whistles and flashing lights!
Shorted or leaky components in a circuit can be difficult to locate because your ohmmeter will show the same shorted or low reading at every pad along the suspected trace. You’ve probably wished for a better way to find these defective parts in-circuit, rather than cutting up the trace into segments and unsoldering and checking every suspicious part in each segment.
Sure, you can use an expensive 8 digit micro-ohmmeter and compare readings at different pads, looking for the pad with the lowest reading. This is time consuming and only works for dead-shorted components, because the meter’s resolution isn’t high enough for values beyond a few ohms. Also, you would have to keep remembering and comparing all of the readings. Also, no DVM will even register on an active short because their test voltages aren’t high enough. Ever had a shorted IC chip or cap on the other side of an isolation diode? Notice that the DVM won’t show the short across the power supply because it can’t bias the diode forward.
The original 12 bit LeakSeeker 82B was great, but the new LeakSeeker 89 with its 16 bit converter and three fully automatic sensitivity modes make it even greater.
Simply touch LeakSeeker’s gold-plated probe on any solder pad along the suspicious trace and LeakSeeker automatically calibrates itself to the resistance of the defect, choosing one of 65,535 windows that show distance to the short via nine LEDs. The window’s sensitivity can be adjusted via the three position GAIN switch for the type of pc board (thin traces, thick traces, or wide ground plane). Because the test voltage is higher than your DVM, yet current-limited, it will power through good diodes to activate shorted components beyond. It will NOT damage any parts even in a 3.3V circuit. Touch a pad in one direction or the other and LeakSeeker beeps higher or lower and lights the LED distance scale to indicate that you’re getting closer or further from the defect. The window allows a small area of pcb trace to be checked, then LeakSeeker automatically re-calibrates itself to a new window as you get closer to the short.
Because LeakSeeker 89 has a range of zero to 300 ohms, it can locate not just shorted, but leaky parts as well. And unlike your DVM, LeakSeeker’s unique “floating reference” circuitry doesn’t give up resolution at these higher leakage values. You can usually pinpoint the location of the defect within a fraction of an inch, even on multi-layer boards with a power plane instead of individual traces.
The solder pad where the beep is highest is the location of the defect!
There is also a special 3-wire test mode that isolates LeakSeeker’s precision test voltage source from the probe circuitry to locate high resistance faults, even when a large good electrolytic tries to muddy up your readings by trying to steal a charge from the voltage source. And the thermal method of locating leaky components allows easy findings even on the most complicated boards without requiring a schematic or any knowledge of the circuit at all.
Imagine a piece of test equipment that can find a leaky or shorted component from zero ohms to 300 ohms only a quarter of an inch from a good one, both soldered to the same trace, on any kind of pc board, and you have a good idea how much time LeakSeeker can save you.
LeakSeeker 89 comes with a special set of gold-plated test clips and probes and a complete manual with a hands-on tutorial.
EDS ceased production of our test equipment line in 2014. Although production ceased in 2014, we currently have two post-production units for sale. Otherwise, all parts required to build your own LeakSeeker 89, except cabinet and overlays, are in stock. Any parts order that includes the programmed mcu also includes all data to build one: pcb gerber and drill files, BOM, layout, overlay pdf, etc. Contact us if you are interested.
Designed and built in the U.S.A. in our ISO9001:2000 registered and certified plant.