LED based transistor tester

john March 22, 2011 17 Comments

Description.

Here is the circuit of a very simple transistor tester which used two LEDs for displaying the condition of a transistor. Both PNP as well as NPN transistors can be tested using this circuit. Quad 2 input CMOS NAND gate IC CD4011B is the heart of the circuit. Out of the four NAND gates inside the IC, only three are used here and they are used as NOT gates by shorting their input terminals. Gates U1a, U1b, resistor R1 and capacitor C1 forms a square wave oscillator. The frequency of this oscillator can be adjusted by using R1. The output of the oscillator is inverted using the gate U1c. The inverted oscillator output is connected to the base of the transistor under test through the resistor R2 and the non inverted oscillator output is connected to the emitter of the transistor under test using the resistor R3.

The status of the LEDs D1 and D2 reveals the condition of the transistor under test. If red LED is ON, It indicates that the transistor under test is a good NPN. If green LED is ON, it indicates that the transistor under test is a good PNP. If both LEDs are ON, it indicates that the transistor under test is short. If both LEDs are OFF, it indicates that either the transistor is bad or you may have connected it incorrectly.

Circuit diagram.

LED based transistor tester circuit

Notes.

  • The circuit can be easily assembled on a Vero board.
  • Use 5V DC for powering the circuit.
  • All unused pins of the IC must be connected to ground.

Take a look at our other Transistor Tester Circuits

Comments
  • Brandi Weed
    November 7, 2016

    Is there a reason you use a NAND gate IC if you’re just shorting them out into NOT gates? Couldn’t this circuit be built with a IC 7404 (NOT gates) instead?

  • October 5, 2014

    This Circuit is Cheap Simple and Useful..Thank You so Much For A Great Little Handy Dandy Project!!!!

  • Hammad
    May 8, 2014

    only pnp transistor make glow to green line red led is not glowing when npn is connected .. what is problem there ?

  • April 5, 2014

    Green LED on = PNP,,, Red LED on = NPN Awesome Circuit!! Worked First Time!!

  • pappu
    October 28, 2013

    i have tried the connection bt the led’s are nt glowing up, can any1 tell wats d problem exactly??

    • Seetharaman
      April 6, 2014

      May be ic is dud. or check your wiring thoroughly. It is a very simple circuit and it should work.

  • VIShNU
    August 25, 2013

    What we can use instead of VK200J in 2km fm transmitter?

    • Seetharaman
      April 6, 2014

      Any RF choke from 50uH to 250uH

  • RICK
    March 7, 2012

    This is The BEST Transistor Tester I Have ever seen!!! Basically The 4011 does all the work,,,WOW!!!!!!

  • RICK
    November 11, 2011

    Nice Design,,,Cheap Simple Effective,,, Thanks!!!!PS****I used a 10K resistor( To keep costs down) and it worked great!!!

  • April 16, 2011

    very nice.. keep it up… i need simple capacitor and inductor meter circuit using LEDS.

    • mahi angel
      April 1, 2013

      frndz please tell me that in this circuit what is the values of R1 and R2……

      • April 5, 2014

        R1=10K while R2=R3=1K

  • March 10, 2011

    I impress very much with it.
    Very very useful and fantastic

    • April 5, 2014

      The Parts Are Very Cheap..Resistors 2 cets each and 4011 for about 40 cents!!!

      • April 5, 2014

        cets=cents oops!!!

  • antonio.duro
    February 11, 2011

    happy days

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