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What is a capacitance meter and how to use it?

Capacitors are widely used in various circuits. To detect the capacitance of a capacitor, a capacitance meter should be used. Nowadays, a digital capacitance meter is widely used that is a digital meter dedicated to measuring capacitance. The digital capacitance meter has the advantages of wide measurement range, high resolution, and small measurement error.


Figure 1 Digital Capacitance Meter

This article uses the commonly used M1-303 digital capacitance meter as an example to illustrate the use and precautions of the digital capacitance meter.

As shown in Figure 1, the upper part of the panel is a three-and-a-half-digit LCD display. The maximum display reading is 1999 .

The left side of the board is the gear selection button, the upper right side has a power switch, and the power switch is below the zero adjustment knob: the lower part of the panel For the capacitor socket to be tested, the left is negative and right.

The MI-303 digital capacitance meter can measure the capacitance of 0.1pF~2000μF, which is divided into 8 measuring gears. It can be selected through button switch on the left side of the watch body. When using, estimate the size of the measured capacitance. For the appropriate gear, simply press the corresponding gear button to display the capacity.


The digital capacitance meter should be installed before using the battery. The battery compartment is on the back of the meter, open the battery compartment cover, fasten a 9V laminated battery to the battery compartment and place it in the battery compartment. Turn on the power switch (POWER) and the LCD display should show “000”. If the number of LCD display shows is not “000”, then slowly rotate the zero adjustment knob (ZERO) left and right until the display number is “000”.


When measuring, press the desired gear button to insert the capacitor under test into the measurement jack. Electrolytic capacitors and other polar capacitors should be distinguished from positive and negative, left negative and right positive.


For example, to measure an 8.2μF electrolytic capacitor, the gear is selected at “20μF” and the reading is “8.26”, ie the actual capacity of the capacitor is 8.26μF.

When measuring a non-polar capacitor, the capacitor under test is inserted into the measurement jack regardless of positive or negative. For example, the 0.15μF capacitor range is measured at “2μF” and the reading is “158”, ie the actual capacity of the capacitor is 0.158pF. When the display display number is “1”, it indicates that the display overflows, indicating that the selected gear is too small, and should be replaced with a larger gear before measuring.


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