I've heard about Jean Christophe Morrison, or known as J.C. Morrison for about two decades. JC used to write articles for Sound Practice in the 90s and back then I was the translator for Sound Practice Chinese edition. We never met or connected before JC purchased the etracer kit but I did learned a lot from JC's articles and from his blog. It is an honor for me to get such a positive feedback from JC.
I am not sure since when vacuum tube testers like etracer are categorized as "pulse-type" tube testers. And this type of tube testers are usually being criticized as not accurate because the DUTs are not biased at the quiescent point and hence during testing the temperature of the DUT is lower than the temperature of the DUT in the real circuits. However, little information can be found on the accuracy requirement. How bad is it? And how much deviation is acceptable? 1%? 10%. In this article I will explore this issue a little deeper and measurement data are provided for references.
Thanks Ale for writing a review on his initial experience with an etracer. Ale is a famous blogger in valves (vacuum tubes) electronics. His website, Bartola Valves gets more than 1000 clicks per day. Ale is also an owner of a utracer and his comments are impartial. Ale got hit by the VAT(Value Added Tax) badly and he is the guy paid the highest amount of money for an etracer in the world. Based on his experience I adjusted the pricing structure to ease import tax. The link to the full review is:
Please note Ale's review is based on a very old version of software. Ale promised me he will update his review when he gets time.
Click on the following icon to enter Ale's blog.
As I mentioned in one of my earlier article the initial goal of etracer was an enhanced utracer. The project turned out to be a totally different design and shares nothing in common except the idea of using a capacitor to supply high voltages. the letter 'e' in etracer thus has multiple meanings. It can be enhanced, electron or essues. The key differences between etracer and utracer are listed below:
|High voltage supply range||0~750V||0~400V|
|Negative supply range||0~-180V||0~-40V|
|Heater supply||1.5V~27V regulated DC supply with a current capacity of at least 3A. One side of the heater supply is always connected to the system ground by a 0.1ohms current sensing resistor.||Heater voltage is emulated by chopping the 19V DC input. Or an external DC supply is required.|
|High voltage supply topology||Output voltage is 0~750Vdc referred to the system ground.||Output voltage is 19V above the system ground. When making a measurement the heater needs to be disconnected from the system.|
|Voltage charging time||Sophisticated DSP algorithms ensuring accuracy in the low-voltage range and fast charging time in the high voltage region||Fixed charging period. Charging time is significantly longer in the high voltage range (>200V)|
|ADC resolution and sampling rate||14 bits/ 900k samples/sec||10 bits|
Beside the technical differences etracer is offered as a built PCB while utracer is in un-built kit format. etracer also have a companion chassis, the Model-01 to save the users' precious time and possible frustration.
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