Can Smart Tweezers be Used on a PCB Circuit?

// November 12th, 2012 // No Comments » // Smart Tweezers Questions and Answers

Yes, if you know the circuit and understand how it works. It can also be used for voltage measurements in a working circuit to debug it. By measuring a voltage drop on a resistor (that can be also measured using ST) the current through the resistor is easily calculated.

How Accurate are Smart Tweezers?

// November 12th, 2012 // No Comments » // Smart Tweezers Questions and Answers

Typical accuracy is about 1% for resistance, 5% for capacitance and 10% for inductance measurements. This accuracy allows to select an SMD component from a strip because the variation on the strip is often higher than the measurement accuracy.

What is Smart Tweezers Mostly Used For?

// November 12th, 2012 // No Comments » // Smart Tweezers Questions and Answers

ST is an unrivaled tool for identification and measurement of surface mount device (SMT) components. Just imagine a bunch of devices with and without labels sitting on your desk. ST does this job in one touch, speeding the identification process hundreds of times.

What Models of Smart Tweezers are Available?

// November 12th, 2012 // No Comments » // Smart Tweezers Questions and Answers

There are five models of Smart Tweezers. The first model of Smart Tweezers ST-1 was released in 2004, Smart Tweezers ST-2 in 2007, Rechargeable model of ST-2, STIC in 2008 and model ST-2.3 with another LCD in 2010. The latest model, the ST-5 was released in November 2011.

More information on Older models of Smart Tweezers may be found at History of Smart Tweezers.

Smarter Smart Tweezers

// November 9th, 2012 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

The newest model of Smart Tweezers, the ST5, is the same reliable LCR meter with new improvements and upgrades.

Designed specifically for Surface Mount Technology, the newest version offers an estimated 6 times higher basic accuracy of 0.2% than that of older models, new measurement modes, as well as slight physical differences.

Smart Tweezers still measures for Inductance, Resistance and Capacitance with the high speed and accuracy like older models, but now measures real and imaginary impedances, resistance with series resistance measurements. Capacitance and the ESR or D of a capacitor, Inductance with measurements for DC resistance or Q. The ESR mode is able to measure the ESR of high-value capacitors at different frequencies. A new diode testing feature can show to polarity of the diode and detects shortened devices, as well as using a continuity beeper to warn for a break in the continuity.

The generator voltage is more adjustable with 0.2V, 0.50V and 1.0V settings allowing for higher accurate measurement results of in-circuit devices without having to turn on semiconductor junctions. By being able to adjust the voltage, measuring CK05 and CK06 ceramic capacitors provides a higher accuracy, the capacitors’ capacitance varies with different applied voltages.

A semi-automatic offset subtraction allows for the elimination of parasitics between the two tweezer tips, improving the measurement accuracy with low-value components. A “tolerance mode” features visible and audio while sorting components.

The older models of Smart Tweezers had a jog-wheel on the side of the device that made navigating somewhat cumbersome, the new ST5 features a joy-stick like button on the front of the device providing a more comfortable navigation experience. A new Li-Ion battery with USB charging solves the problems that older Smart Tweezers had with the batteries depleting too quickly. The USB charging also lets the device be recharged nearly anywhere with a USB port, or the included wall charger.

Smart Tweezers arrives to you in a hard-shelled travel case, providing protection for the device, and allows for safe storage in any bag, desk or otherwise. Included is an calibration certificate showing that the device has been calibrated to NIST standards. Optional tips for Smart Tweezers are available in a range of styles from between $40 to $60.

Smart Tweezers ST5, the Newest Model of Handheld LCR-meter

// November 6th, 2012 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

The newest model of the popular, fully automatic LCR-meter has been released, the Smart Tweezers ST5, from Siborg Systems Inc.

With the electronics industry being dominated by Surface Mount Technology, where the components are mounted directly to a Printed Circuit Boards, testing and troubleshooting these components becomes difficult the more densely packed the PCB becomes. The components may or may not be labelled due to the size of them, making testing and identifying cumbersome. Smart Tweezers are a simple solution to these problems with their high-precision tweezers tips fitted with an LCR-meter.

Able to automatically measure Inductance, Resistance and Capacitance with just a touch, Smart Tweezers can assess all types of passive and through-hole devices with high speed and accuracy. The newest model features an estimated 6 times higher basic accuracy of 0.2% over older models due to a new patented mechatronic design, an accuracy level only available on expensive bench-type testers that require effort in setting-up for measurements. An automatic component identification allows Smart Tweezers to automatically measure for Inductance, Resistance and Capacitance, and can automatically select the proper test range and frequency for the best results. An LCD fitted in the device shows the component type, measurement results and test conditions used.  It is also able to measure secondary parameters such as parasitic Resistance or the ESR value of a capacitor, doubling the Smart Tweezers device as an ESR-meter.

Smart Tweezers have been industry proven to be indispensable for component sorting, on-board impedance testing, and production line component evaluation. With automatic LCR measurements and  automatic range of measurement, the operated is able to focus on the task at hand. The  features on the newest Smart Tweezers ST5 include:

-Automatic LCR and Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) measurements.
-Basic accuracy of 0.2%
-Component sorting with 1%,5%, 10%, and 20% tolerance
-Diode and Continuity Tests
-Adjustable test signals
-Semi-Automatic Test Signal
-Displays active and reactive impedance components
-Ideal for small components, as small as 0201 size (about 0.3 mm)
-2 Oz. weight with ergonomic, ambidextrous design
-Li-Ion battery and USB charging

Smart Tweezers with Rechargeable Batteries

// January 31st, 2011 // No Comments » // Smart Tweezers Questions and Answers

Digital Multimeter Smart Tweezers comes in two models: with regular disposable batteries and with rechargeable batteries and inductive charger. If you use Smart Tweezers very often, say 2 hours of continuous use a day, and you use regular disposable batteries, your batteries will be depleted in about a month and you will then have to replace them. Eventually this will lead to damage of the thread in the plastic housing and you will need to replace the housing. If you use the rechargeable model, and you always put Smart Tweezers on the charging cradle when you do not use it, your batteries will last for about a year, even for a heavy use. The charger uses a trickle-charge charging in order to increase the battery life.

Digital Multimeter Smart Tweezers does not measure

// January 5th, 2011 // No Comments » // Smart Tweezers Tricks and Tips

There are two  most likely reasons why Digital Multimeter Smart Tweezers does not measure:

  1. The front-end circuit is burned. This happens if you apply voltage higher than allowable (1.4 Volts in Auto mode and 8 Volts in Voltage mode) or try to measure a charged capacitor with Smart Tweezers. Obviously Smart Tweezers require repair in this case.
  2. The slide-switch at the bottom-left corner of Smart Tweezers is in wrong (right-most) position. In this case the problem is easily fixable by sliding the switch into the right (left-most) position.

What is the difference between Excelta’s TM-200 IntelliTweeze and Smart Tweezers

// October 10th, 2010 // No Comments » // Smart Tweezers Questions and Answers

Excelta’s TM-200 IntelliTweeze is the same device as Smart Tweezers digital multimeter.

Measuring Small Inductances with Digital Multimeter Smart Tweezers

// September 3rd, 2010 // No Comments » // Smart Tweezers Tricks and Tips

Smart Tweezers are capable of measuring inductances as small as 1 micro Henry with accuracy of about 5%. However, it should be kept in mind that Automatic mode is not suitable for this type of measurements and gives results roughly 10% lower than actual values.  Setting the Test Frequency to 10 KHz resolves the problem. Another thing has to be noted: inductive components are designed for a use at specific frequency and this frequency is shown in the component data sheet. Very often this frequency is much higher than that used by Digital Multimeter Smart Tweezers and therefore values measured at 0.1, 1 and 10 KHz may significantly differ from the nominal value of the component.