A Two-Range OLED Capacitance Meter

If you are just starting out in electronics, you need tools. But it is hard to build all your tools. Even though we see a lot of soldering station builds, you really ought to have a soldering iron to build the station. It is hard to troubleshoot a multimeter you just built if you don’t have a multimeter. However, a capacitance meter is a handy piece of gear, relatively simple to build, and you should be able to get it working without an existing capacitance meter. [gavinlyonsrepo] presents a simple design¬†using an Arduino, an OLED display, and a few components.

The principle of operation is classic. On one range, the Arduino charges the capacitor through one resistor and discharges it through another while timing the operation. The amount of time taken corresponds to the capacitance.

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Capacitance Measurement with the Arduino Uno

CapTestBoard1

Have you ever found the need to measure the capacitance of a capacitor? No multimeter handy (for shame)? Well, as it turns out you can actually measure capacitance using your Arduino Uno, with no external components, and only ~20 lines of code.

[Jonathan Nethercott] does an excellent job explaining a capacitance test circuit which uses a reference capacitor to calculate the unknown capacitance. He further explains that, with the Arduino Uno, you can remove the reference capacitor from the circuit, and simply use the stray capacitance present in the board and microcontroller, which can be calculated. This results in the test circuit being as simple as plugging in your capacitor to pins A0 and A2. Continue reading “Capacitance Measurement with the Arduino Uno”