test smd Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor with huntron 2800

Started by Bert, October 05, 2023, 10:13:34 AM

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Is it possible to test smd Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor the same test to radial Electrolytic Capacitor.

I mean the radial Electrolytic Capacitor can easy test with the huntron set on 10k resistance black probe on ground en test each radial Electrolytic Capacitor at the top to see there is leakage.
or a another easy way???  to test Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor  for leakage with the huntron 2800

Many Thanks Bert...


The Tracker will give you a good idea if the Capacitor is good or not with both surface mount and radial types, even Tantalum Capacitors.
 Have a look at this on www.peakelec.co.uk. as shown below.
Best results with either type of Capacitor obtained by disconnecting one side.
The device from Peak can even attempt to discharge Capacitors up to 50 Volts if you forgot to check first they have no charge on them.


Hello jvthorsley,

Thanks for reply,
yes i know that you can use a esr meter and i got a esr meter.
But its not easy to unsolder one pin from smd Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor, i want know how i test with huntron on circuitboard the smd Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor the easy way.

Many Thanks 



Hi Bert
A Tracker or any other test can only go far with a Capacitor in circuit.
Have you tried turning the voltage down below 2 Volts so that your not turning on any other devices in circuit.
If the circuit repeats itself the above method would show if there is a problem with the Capacitor.
For surface mounted Capacitors I have found that desoldering  braid is the best method to remove solder from surface mount components. Then applying heat and carefully pushing a scalpel under the component lead. Soon as its lifted a little from the PCB pad push a piece of Mica of the type used to isolate transistors and make your measurement.
As said the only alternative to disconnecting one side of a Capacitor is to turn down the volts below 2 Volts and try different settings of frequency & resistance with a known good Capacitor and compare results.


Hello  jvthorsley,

Yes  i use the lowest voltage and resistance with frequency 200 hz
and i got three possible bad Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor,
one is 100uf test with huntron 200uf is bad.
one is 100 uf      ,,          150 uf ?? 
one is 68 uf       ,,          88 uf  ??
when is the Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor bad how much % from good 100 uf

Many thanks Bert...


Hi Bert
After heating up a Capacitor you will get a higher Capacitance reading.
But I would be suspicious of my test equipment to get the readings you are getting.
But a quick test with some new Capacitors will confirm if your readings are correct.
The important measurement with all types of Electrolytic Capacitors is the equivalent Series Resistance / ESR.
And the average reading on new capacitors will confirm what you should get.
For switch mode power supplies you can buy Capacitors with very low ESR.
But for most applications the usual range of Capacitors available from component suppliers will do the job.
What test gear are you using to test Capacitance & ESR?


Hi Bert,
If you mean this type of electrolytic:

Then, yes. You can test to the top but you may need to press firmly to get your Huntron Microprobe through the coating on them. Be careful to not press too firmly- you do not want to puncture the casing. Use a range such as 3V, 10Kohms, 60Hz using the negative connection on the cap as Common. I will usually compare to other caps on the PCB to gauge how the signature should appear.
The most important troubleshooting tool is your eyes.


Sharp needle probes as shown will normally pierce any coating on a circuit board.
But with any Capacitor in circuit using a Tracker wouldn't any voltage range under 1 Volt be better and with the Huntron 2800  that would be 200mV to stop any in circuit semiconductor devices switching on?
With the ESR70 above here this Capacitor measured 23 uF with an ESR of 0.98 Ohm.


I believe Bert is referring to the "testing to the top of the cap" method. It is explained in this article from Circuit Board Problems:
Finding Bad Electrolytic Capacitors

The SMD versions have a thin coating over the component body that you need to gently pierce with the probe. This method requires a higher resistance range to work and I generally use a 3V setting for better signature stability. It works great for spotting leakage.
The most important troubleshooting tool is your eyes.


Learn something new every day.
Tried it out on my 22uF surface mount capacitor.
Using the top method same result on either terminal.
See attached photos.


Hello All,

Yes that is what i mean, I found one has a bad esr (4,3 ohm) and the test on the top of this smd electrolytic capacitor (See Picture) its a 47uf 16volt

Many thanks to jvthorsley and the Admin from Huntron


I am going to share this free of charge.

For in circuit electrolytic capacitor test the best instrument in my opinion is the BK 881.


Quote from: Al1234 on October 25, 2023, 11:10:42 AMI am going to share this free of charge.

For in circuit electrolytic capacitor test the best instrument in my opinion is the BK 881.
I am surprised at myself for not responding to this comment. This is a "Huntron" forum after all.
In-circuit testing with an ESR meter will give you cumulative values since there can be caps in parallel. How do you know which cap has leakage?
Finding a leaky signature when testing the "tops" means that specific cap has an issue. That's the beauty of this method.
The most important troubleshooting tool is your eyes.