LCR Meter Recommendations

I am in the market for an LCR meter and I am looking for recommendations. My immediate use is measuring inductance of custom-wound magnetic components. I expect it will be used for a brief period, then be shelved for several months before being used again, i.e. it won’t be in regular use.

After looking at several different meters I very nearly bought a BK Precision BK880. It seemed like a good deal, with bundled accessories, good performance and measurement to 100kHz (similar to Agilent’s U1733C bundle, but lower cost). Then I found a follow-up review on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vWk1DqFzZY) that drew attention to some bad points. The tweezers were poor quality and the standby current was very high (higher than specified) so there is a risk of battery drain and leakage.

What do you use? Would you recommend it? Do you have a BK880 and disagree with the review? Should I stop wasting billable time and just buy a U1733C? Or get a budget item and look again when I need something better?

I have this one, ET4401, and it’s great:

https://www.aliexpress.com/i/32974589297.html

If you can afford a Bode100, buy that instead:

https://www.omicron-lab.com/products/vector-network-analysis/bode-100

I’ve always found that Bathroom Equipment stores sell the best test equipment! :laughing:

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About 100 stores at Aliexpress sells it:

https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catId=0&initiative_id=SB_20211003130425&SearchText=ET4401

I just recently bought the Bode100. Then I needed a bias injection box

I could buy this one:

https://www.picotest.com/products_J2130A.html

525 USD!

When you look inside, there is a capacitor and a resistor. So I build my own, since I cannot buy it on Aliexpress. At least not what I have found

Yeah, this “Verification Box” selling for $700 has four resistors in it:

But they can get away with it because no responsible manufacturer will cut corners on product safety compliance.

Nice example. Almost like people buying speaker cables for 200 USD/meter :wink: (although that box actually does have a purpose)

I own the BK Precision BK880. TEquipment says I bought on it Sep 14, 2019, for $354.76 USD. I use it very infrequently, but it has been fine for my purposes, mostly sanity checking Joulescope component values and investigating a few real-world behaviors. I think that I have only used the 100 kHz, slow reading. I also have more relaxed expectations for accuracy, and 0.2 pF (as the video reviewer was noting) is not reasonable with a casual setup, at least from my experience.

I think that I have only charged the BK880 once. I just took it out, and it powered up fine.

I have not used the U1733C, so I can’t recommend one over the other.

Thanks kvk. I had a look at it and the review by Defpom on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpwVrwKxGvs). I know it sounds silly (I can’t help it) but I was put off by the “FREG” button (frequency?).

I nearly bought the BK880 this morning after reading that you were happy with it. It’s waiting in my shopping basket while Farnell verify whether it ships with a UK mains adaptor.

I had a reply from Farnell. Part 277-0322 is shipped with a 120V adaptor. Farnell’s advice was to buy an additional adaptor (321-4119) and presumably discard the other one? Anyway, that’s a European plug so no good for me in the UK. :frowning_face: