I previously purchased an ESR meter kit a while back for checking capacitors on things like LCD monitors, power supplies, etc. And it has served me very well, but unfortunately, I needed something that would measure inductance. And while you CAN do it with a function generator and oscilloscope, it’s just a pain to break out the pieces needed, power things up, etc. I wanted a simple meter for checking inductors/chokes (partially because I have a huge pile of unmarked inductors I got from a very kind neighbor), since older/larger ones usually aren’t marked at all. The one that most people point to for hobby/intermediate use is the DER DE-5000, which is found from various resellers on eBay, and is the OEM part for the IET DE-5000 (IET just calibrate it a bit better, and offer proof of calibration). After some looking, and time, I found an eBay seller selling the DER DE-5000 with the alligator clips, tweezers, and ground lead for $85 with free shipping (a good $40 less than anyone else) (which I’ve told people on the eevblog forums about this sale, and probably given the seller a good 10-15 sales).
The item arrived less than a week later from Japan (seller paid for US Postal Priority Mail International), and was in very good condition (new). Boxes were a little crushed from the envelope, but not bad. The build quality of the unit is very good, and it’s quite ridged. I do think the unit is a little bigger than it needs to be, given the connections, buttons, and PCB, but not a problem. Also seems a little lighter than I expected (it just doesn’t feel dense like many hand held meters). Construction, though, is very high quality. My only real beef is why they didn’t use a standard 2.1mm DC jack for the external wall-wart.
Now, I haven’t use the unit a ton yet, but comparing it to my measurements using my Scope and Function Generator to get Inductor values, it measures up very well. Also means my math wasn’t terribly wrong. =)
I hope to use the unit more over the coming months/years, but for now, it’s going to let me go through my bin of unmarked inductors/chokes, as well as all the really old caps laying around. I’ll still keep the “Blue” ESR meter, but I’m guessing it won’t get used that often anymore unless I need a meter for work. All and all, a very good purchase, especially for the price it was (the seller has now upped his price to $105). =/