What can and can't the Huntron do?

Started by uriahsky, August 30, 2010, 03:43:48 PM

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I have used a 2000 for years and sometimes I have no luck at all trying to find a problem on a circuit board after hours and hours of comparison with a good board.  Is there any info on what problem the Huntron can't find and why, or some tips on what I might be doing wrong.  I have read most of the info on the website and I do have the manual. Thanks, Russ


Hi Russ,
Thanks for joining the Forum.

Trackers rely on a change in circuit impedance when comparing good versus bad boards. Changes in impedance generally indicate possible electrical damage at that point on the board. It is possible that an electrical failure can occur deep inside a more complex IC and therefore be masked at the pin level where you have test access.
There is not a list of what can and cannot be tested (although crystals come to mind) because a Tracker is a general purpose tester. It is used by people on the majority of existing electronic components. That said, you may be working outside the limits of the Tracker 2000 where its range settings can limit the component values where you will see useful signatures (i.e. a 15000uF cap will look like a short). We have addressed range limitations to some extent with the newer Tracker designs that use variable ranging (i.e. ProTrack, Tracker model 30, Tracker 2800).
In the end, Trackers may not be able to help you find EVERY problem on a PCB but I have always find them to be an invaluable tool to have in the shop.


The most important troubleshooting tool is your eyes.


I think Curtis is right in that the most common problem is saturation of the part of the signature you are interested in. This is why the ranges are more finely adjustable on newer units.

There is a lot of information contained within a signature and it is all about extracting the pertinent bit.

The self-paced training course can help a lot but I am not sure about the ranges when used with a 2000, perhaps Curtis could answer this one?
English may be a strange language but I can assure you that an empty-head and an open-mind are not the same thing!


The current version of the Self-paced Training Course (SPTC) is designed for the newer Tracker models with variable range capabilities. Trying to use a Tracker 2000 with this course would be pretty limiting. The old SPTC for the Tracker 2000 is no longer stocked as a kit but the book is still available. Here is a download link copy/paste):




The most important troubleshooting tool is your eyes.


Dear Curtis,

You 2000SPTC link is no longer active.

Would you be able to rectivate the link for me please as I would very much like to read the manual. Was a SPTC manual ever available for the Tracker 200 (TR210) please ?

Kindest Regards

Huntron Tracker HTR1005B-1S
Tektronix/Huntron Tracker TR210


Here is a revised link. I had moved the file on our server:


There was not a SPTC for the Tracker 200 specifically. The Tracker 2000 SPTC would mostly work with a Tracker 200. Some of the exercises may not fit however.


The most important troubleshooting tool is your eyes.

Eaton Aerospace

it can't wash my car yet....unless I put a wash mit on the prober and my car surface underneath at bottom side slot (top).... :o


We can let you know when the automotive sanitation accessories are available.  ;)
The most important troubleshooting tool is your eyes.


Hi Russ,

What type of boards are you faultfinding?
Huntrons are great for most things ,like Curtis pointed out ,but recently some battery powered esr testers came on the market ,which are worth a mention.

I have not found many leaky caps using huntron 2000 as easily as i have with an esr meter.
Reason is the tilt which trackers show in-circuit are not conclusive enough for me . For something very fast ,you just can't beat an esr meter.

2000 CAN'T display equivalent series resistance ( esr )  in caps  , since it does not send a  high enough test frequency  ie 100khz, so you CAN'T  see/display  esr ,either in or out of circuit. >:(
Look at user manual and find the  table of typical esr values of different caps to get a better understanding of what i am talking about.


Best tool for esr is peak atlas esr 70 (which measures both cap value and esr value) or  blue esr meter(esr values only) .They are  Low cost and also very good for low ohms work in-circuit.(down as low as 0.05)Well worth the money ,typically usd 200


you are an experienced 2000 user, are you  using  the same method when troubleshooting  boards ?

------------------Here are my Huntron power-off troubleshooting tips----------------------------

moved  to new post ,check it out there.

AES Wind

I discovered you can op-check various components w/the tracker (things like relays and fiber xmtrs).  Also, I piggyback boards together (one hooked up to the prober, the others hooked, daisy-chain fashion, to each other).  This works very well when I'm testing large(er) boards that have analog and digital ground plains, alleviating the need for a spaghetti factory of cables snaking across my table from/to the  prober/CCAs. 

I would like to see something akin to an old A/B switch for switching between "alt" on the tracker and single sig testing (w/probes).  Maybe a physical switch on the tracker? Currently I have to unplug from the com, to goto the "B", and back again.  I know I could simply get another lead, but that adds clutter.  I know this may seem an odd thought, but it works on my config.

Alas, I have yet to figure out how to get it to walk my dogs!
Support Our Military.  FLY Navy!


I may not get your suggestion entirely but you do have control of the Tracker channel at the Pin level of the Tree pane.

Your Prober could walk a very, very  small dog, I think...



The most important troubleshooting tool is your eyes.

AES Wind

I'm referring specifically to the actual physical requirement of plugging/unplugging the leads from the A/B/COM on the front of the tracker to switch from taking a single reading using both the leads in hand, to doing a comparison (A/B) reading.  For instance; you're doing a board comparison (A/B (signature pane, tracker tab)), you get a funky reading, you want to switch to individual checks for the specific component (like reading just the IC in Q, or verifying the diode is good) that showed a change from the known good board.  Gotta physically unplug the lead from the "B", and stick it in the "com".  Not a huge issue I know, but time consuming and eventually a wear & tear factor on the lead or the receptacle. 

Two more things: Thanks for the update!  And howgozit!!!???
Support Our Military.  FLY Navy!


You could buy another pair of probes (Non-shrouded) and leave one plugged into the Common jack with the clip leads. Then you just need to pick up the other probe.

AES Wind

Yeah, but my issue is space (the final frontier!).  I've considered on a number of occasions just biting the bullet and simply plugging in a third lead, but I'm already heavily short on real estate, and I want to minimize any further cluttering of my workspace.  I'm leaning towards an aftermarket A/B switch kind of thing. 

Howdy Curtis!
Support Our Military.  FLY Navy!


A ProTrack with built in ESR meter would be a good combination to sort problems that a Huntron alone can not do.
With perhaps an oscilloscope and bench P.S.U.!!!!!