Component tester M12864

New version of famous component tester I tested some time ago has arrived. M12864 Graphical RLC/ESR Transistor Tester With AVR-ISP Socket MOS/PNP/NPN M328 is an an updated version of famous M168 component tester.  This new model can test all the same components as the earlier version, plus it can do for example in-circuit capacitor ESR measurements. Also the new model with graphical display can show the component pinout in more readable format.

The kit is based on Atmel 328 CPU (same as used in Arduino Uno boards) and adopts 12864 dot matrix LCD display richer content, illustrations. This tester can measure transistor, MOSFET, diode, resistor, capacitor, inductor and also the ESR of the capacitor. This new M12864 version is also from German author Karl – Hans design (Karl-Heinz Kübbeler’s ttester project) like the earlier model.

This Graphical RLC/ESR Transistor Tester With AVR-ISP Socket MOS/PNP/NPN M328 board has standard Atmel AVR programming connector which allows easy future software updates as they may appear.

The pictures below show my quick review of the device. It seemed to work well. The device has ZIF socket for component measurements (the owner of this device had also solvedred his own test leads to the circuit board):





I found a a two part YouTube video of the Kit version of the M12864 tester so enjoy it for more details:

Product links:

Ready made M12864 reviewed in this post

Other ready made M12864 version

Another ready made version

M12864 DIY kit version and matching case



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Very Affordable & Incredibly Useful Electronic Component Testers

    These testers would be worth the money if all they did was test capacitors — the fact that they also work with resistors, inductors, diodes, and transistors is cream in the cake.

    A few weeks ago I was meandering my way around my office building when I ran across my chums Ivan and Darryl playing with a new toy that Darryl had picked up on eBay.

    This little rascal (the toy, not Darryl) turned out to be a component tester. I have to say that I was pretty amazed by what I saw; so much so, in fact, that I raced back to my office to purchase one of my very own.

    First, I placed an order for the model Darryl and Ivan were playing with — a Mega328 ESR Transistor Resistor Diode Capacitor Mosfet Tester w/ Test hook — which is a mega-bargain at only $15.98 USD ($0 shipping and handling):

    It turns out that there are a bunch of these things.

    It does take a couple of weeks for these little ragamuffins to wend their way from China

    Both of the units come with ZIF (zero insertion force) sockets. You plug the leads from your component into the ZIF socket (it doesn’t seem to matter which pins go in which holes), close the socket, press the “Test” button, and observe the results on the display.

    To be honest, these testers would be worth the money if all they did was test capacitors.

    The fact that these testers also work with resistors and inductors and diodes and transistors

    The only area I think these testers could use some work is the way in which they number the component pins on the display and associate these numbers with the pins in the ZIF socket — sometimes the mapping is obvious; other times less so

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Getting the T-Rex Endless Runner to work on a Component Tester

    Anyways, the atmega328p used on the board it is the same present in many duinos out there(UNO, Nano, Mini, a thousand clones.. etc), so it got me thinking “Why something so hackable is not being hacked?”. I mean, it has an LCD screen, a sort of button, battery connection, and a SPI port available.

    Following, I will explain how I got the component tester to run a game similar to the T-Rex game.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EEVblog #1020 – Is A $7 LCR / Component Tester Any Good?

    Is a $7 LCR Meter / Component Tester from Ebay any good?
    Dave tests the M328 (LCR-T4) model component tester.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Component Tester Shootout [Pt.1]: General Comparison and Diode Testing

    Component Tester Shootout [Pt.2]: Transistors, SCRs, TRIACs

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Component Tester Shootout [Pt.3]: Special Functions, Tear-down & Final Verdict

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EEVblog #1020 – Is A $7 LCR / Component Tester Any Good?

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Two Very Good/Low Priced Items For Electronics Hobbyists

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Assembly of a Component / Transistor Tester gm328

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How Do Those Component Testers Work?

    Most people have at least seen those cheap component testers you can buy on the Chinese websites for $10 or so. If you haven’t seen them before, they usually have some kind of multi pin socket.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Micro Component Tester
    Test transistors, diodes, thyristors, resistors, capacitors and inductors. Also identify their leads and obtain their component value.


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