Transistor tester M12864 advanced version

I have earlier tested basic DIY Electronics Tester Kit M168 and more advanced Component tester M12864. Now it is time to test the next improved version of the same idea: Original Hiland DIY M12864 Graphics Version LCR ESR PWM Transistor Tester Kit (was on sale for less than 10 Euros)

This kit has same display as Component tester M12864 but includes more features. The included features are resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, transistors, SCR, and most commonly used devices will automatically recognize and measure with graphical display of measurement results. For capacitance measurement it measures the capacitance and ESR. For inductor you get inductance and resistance.

This kit has also frequency meter function. It can measure 1HZ-25KHZ at good resolution. It can measure higher frequencies with reduced resolution (measured nicely to 150 kHz). The frequency measurements seems to work at signal amplitude from around 30 mV up to 5V TTL signal.

In addition to component measurement, this device has a quare-wave generator and PWM pulse signal generator. PWM pulse signal generator for 1-99% of the pulse width modulated signal at around 7.8 kHz pulse rate.

The square wave signal generator has range of 1HZ-2MHZ TTL square wave signal. The signal is output from pin 2, the negative terminal of the power supply is always GND (can use pin 3 for this).

The whole set of functions are controlled by a rotary encoder switch control that replaces the single button used on previous models. For basic automatic component measurement, you can do it just by pressing down the encoder (works like old single button). When more advanced functionality is needed, it can be selected with rotary control.

The device works on DC power supply 5.5-12V. I used 9V battery to power my device. The nominal working current is 24mA @ 9V and shutdown current is said to be only 20nA. The components can be connected to supplied ZIF socket or you can solder your own test cables. The ZIF socket has 3 different pins wired to it: The first three columns are for pin 1, the fourth column is for pin 2 and the last three columns are for pin 3.

This is a DIY kit you need to solder together and after that calibrated. The instruction manual is available on-line. PCB Size is 75 x 63 mm.


Circuit board

Circuit diagram from instruction manual:


This design is clearly based on AVR Transistortester project that has some software at Github. Check also discussion.



Automatic detection of PNP and NPN bipolar transistor, N, P-channel MOSFET, JFET field effect transistors, diodes, two diodes, thyristors, resistors, capacitors, inductors. The device s

upport two resistance measurements (so potentiometer can also be measured).

Each test takes about two seconds for normal components, but measuring large capacitance and high inductance measurements can take a longer time

Inductance measurement range of 0.01MH-20H. If DC resistance of inductor is higher than 2100 ohms or inductance outside of that range, inductor is detected as being resistor. The highest resolution is 0.1 ohm resistance measurements, the highest measured value of 50 megaohms. The inductance measurement uses pulse measurement method. That pulse method works well with air core inductors and inductors with small core, but the measurement results can be quite much off if you try to measure inductance of large transformers (pretty different value compared to traditional RLC meter results, can can vary between measurements and way transformer wires are connected).

Capacitance measurement range is from 25pf to 100mF. If capacitance is higher than 90 nF, the device can also measure ESR (

a resolution of 0.01 ohms).

For semiconductors there isaAutomatic detection of PNP and NPN bipolar transistor, N, P-channel MOSFET, JFET field effect transistors, diodes, two diodes, thyristors. There is a

utomatic detection of current amplification factor (B) Pin Definitions and turn-on voltage of the transistor and the emitter junction (Uf).

This device can detect bipolar transistors and MOSFET

internal protection diode. For MOSFET it

can be measured threshold voltage and the gate capacitance of the MOSFET. For diodes and LEDs this can measure the voltage drop and internal capacitance.


Original Hiland DIY M12864 Graphics Version LCR ESR PWM Transistor Tester Kit

is an excellent little jewel that can help you in parts measurement and detection.

It identifies very well each component and it gives a very approximate value of the their main specification, but there are some values that are not always accurate (Vloss, ESR, inductance). It

works quite well and for the price point.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This looks like the similar device as kit but as a ready built module:

    Original Hiland M644 Transistor Tester LCR Diode Transistor Zener Quartz Measurement Frequency Counter PWM Square Wave Generator Online ESR

  2. Arcade Games says:

    Thanks for the tips and information..i really appreciate it..
    Game Lover –

  3. Puzzle Games says:

    Excellent post.. Thanks for sharing such helpful post..
    Game Lover –

  4. click here says:

    You guys are lit and this invention is brilliant. I want to make one but I’m afraid to fail – seriously!

  5. Evanston Concrete says:

    WOW! I don’t have any idea where I would even start! Very impressive! : )

  6. run 3 says:

    This topic is very interesting and I am interested but do not know where to find, thankfully you create this topic, hope everyone will help me

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    GM328A reverse engineering, new firmware and Tetris!

    reverse engineering of the GM328A transistor tester. I have drawn the schematics of the board and compiled new firmware for it. As a bonus, I also programmed Tetris for it.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hiland M8 component tester kit tested

    This device is a marvel of technique and especially of accuracy. For less than twenty euros you get a handy component tester that measures your resistors and capacitors with an accuracy you would only expect from much more expensive devices. If you are looking for a component tester, then this kit is an absolute must!

  9. Eileen Wen says:

    Yours is a simple test, then add the Bluetooth Module test, have you tried it?

  10. Mesut says:

    Hello there. I have this device.
    But the device broke down due to the wrong measurement.
    now I need the software. I will take a new processor and load its software into it.
    Where can I download the software.

  11. word unscrambler says:

    I am very impressed with your idea! Thank you very much

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Ultimate Retro Chip Tester?

    Let’s have a close look at the Retro Chip Tester Pro. With a list of hundreds of different retro chips and even the ability to read the contents of ROMs and use special adapters, is this the ultimate chip tester? Let’s build one from scratch and find out (in spite of making a few mistakes along the way).

    Retro Chip Tester Professional (English)

  13. Linlin says:

    Where can I download the software. have a close look

  14. Linlin says:

    Where can I download the software. have a close look

  15. Linlin says:

    Where can I download the software. have a close lookDFSDFASDFAsdSDDFDFGHJGJKLLJKLJKAAADFGSDFFSASDF

  16. PCBA Board says:

    thank you very much
    i like the article
    it can help me
    good article

  17. PCBA manufacturer says:

    PCBA manufacturer in China

  18. Find a Word says:

    I also have a demand to use this one. It’s of help.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    There hundreds of these out there and they are all basically identical $15 Chinese units except with different packaging. All are very useful, and surprisingly accurate.


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