Tuesday, February 10, 2009

M3 Electronix Semiconductor Analyzer

A little known company called M-Cubed Electronix is selling an excellent little kit - PIC based Semiconductor Analyzer. It is one of those "I don't know how I managed without it?" things. On their web page - http://www.m3electronix.com/ there is a plenty of information about the features of this Analyzer - it fills a whole page so I am not going to relist them. From hardware point of view there is nothing special - just a PIC, LCD, 3 analog multiplexers and an array of precision resistors. used to set different measurment ranges. What is amazing is the firmware inside the PIC - the Analyzer is using mathematical models of semiconductor devices to detect the DUT (Device Under Test) and measure its parametters accordingly. I must say that this little Analyzer has an impressive accuracy and set of features and it is "a must" for every electronics workbench.

All components are high quality - no surplus stuff. Components are sorted by type. The plastic enclosure (sold separetly) is somewhat bulky anc could be better but it works. Assembly instructions and user manual are in digital form (CD).

Here is the complete PCB and Display Board. On this picture, the PIC is not istalled yet in it's socket. Upgrades to the software are free when available (requires shipping of the old PIC back to the company or buying a new PIC with the upgraded firmware)

The finished analyzer. Device Under Test is an ancient Bulgarian-made Germanium Transistor (GT2 306). There is no specific order to connect the test clips - the analyzer will automatically detect and display the DUT pinout. Every 5 seconds the display changes, scrolling thru a few data screens and showing various test results. After 30 seconds the LCD backlight is switched off to conserve power.

Here is another data screen. Diodes are connected only between the left and right test clips. The feature, detecting internal short (fault condition) in components can be used as ohm-meter for up to 50 ohms.

One small modification I have done is to drill a hole to the right of the LCD and glue a micro-switch connected to the calibration jumper. This allows me to perform calibration without opening the eclosure. I might drill another small hole for access to the trim-pot controlling the display contrast.


nanodocl said...

Nice toy..have you got the schematics??

Andrey E. Stoev said...

You can download the schematics from here:
(just correct the url - (dot))
Early version of the PIC firmware can be found at this board -
What you are going to end up with will be an earlier version of the Analyzer - it will work fine but it has been vastly refined/improved since. Unfortunatly the latest PIC firmware (which is the core of the device) is not freely available and if you want all of the latest features you'll need to buy it from M-cubed.

jose araujo said...

thank your teacher for help in this project as a project this long ago but was looking for there was no way of downloading or anything like that he was infinitely grateful I am writing from Dominican Republic eternally grateful thanks for your help ....... ....