Testing a Transformer – How To Accurately Test A Transformer

February 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

There is two types of transformers in the market- linear transformer and switch mode power transformer. The transformers fabricate is different. Sometimes it is just referred as ac transformer. Linear transformer mostly used in radio, task kits, Vcd and etc while switch mode transformer can be found in Monitor, Tv, Fax and so on.

A transformer consists of two or more coils wound on the same core. For power transformers, the core material is commonly iron. For a radio-frequency transformer, the core material is commonly ferrite or air. The basic property of a transformer is to convert Ac voltage. A transformer cannot convert direct current voltage. A step down transformer has a lower Ac production voltage at its secondary winding than the Ac input voltage to its customary winding. Conversely, a step up transformer has a higher secondary than customary voltage. The transformer laminations or coating of shellac, enamel or varnish is to insulate adjacent turns from shorts in the middle of winding. I will not go too details about how transformer work and transformer calculation as you can read more details from most electrical and electronic transformers books.

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How to test transformers: Transformer failures are relatively rare in most electronic equipment, compared with other components. If too much current goes straight through a coil or winding, the winding heats up and can either open up completely, or the insulation in the middle of turns of wire can break down, causing the coil to be partly or completely shorted.

Testing a Transformer – How To Accurately Test A Transformer

Just like a coil, you can check continuity of any customary or secondary transformer winding. The actual value of Dc resistance you read is rather meaningless, but at least you will know either a winding is open. Checking linear transformer is quite right forward. Apply the ac voltage to the customary winding and expect production voltage at the secondary side. No or low production voltage means the transformer winding has open or shorted winding. Look for any evidence of overheating, such as darkened or blackened areas or a burnt smell.

About how to test a power transformer-it is a dinky bit complicated. You cannot apply ac voltage to the tool and expect the desire production at the secondary side without join together to load otherwise over voltage will happen (because you have removed all the secondary load) and will blow the power section which consist of power fet, pwm ic and etc. Switch mode power contribute are designed to run with load while linear transformer can be test without load.

The best way to test a switch mode power transformer is first take off it from the board. Check only the customary winding as secondary winding failures are exceedingly rare. How do we know which one is the customary winding? Trace from the big filter cap the positive pin to see where the circuit goes. It will go to one of the pin of the transformer. Then look for the power fet middle pin which is the Drain and it will lead to another pin of the transformer. This two pins is the customary winding of the transformer. Checking the resistance of the customary winding only can relate either it is open but it cannot check if it has developed a shorted winding. Only by using a ringer test you will know if it shorted or not. A shorted turn in the customary winding can cause the power section to blow.

The cheapest ringer tester that i came across is Dick Smith Lopt Meter or flyback tester. Just join together the probes to the customary winding and the effect are at once seen from the Led bar graph. 4-8 bar narrate a good winding, 1-2 bar narrate partial short and if the led goes off means there is a heavy short in the winding. Also checking the transformer it can be use to check B+ Coil, horizontal yoke coil and flyback customary winding and ballast (choke).

The expensive ringer tester is from sencore equipment. Sencore Lc102 and Lc103C Also checking capacitor it also have the capability to check all kind of winding. either it is a low voltage transformer, high voltage transformer, current transformer, pulse transformer, electric transformer, institution transformer this tool will be able to check and test it.

If you do not wish to spend on this tester you may use a light bulb to check it. take off one of the customary winding pin and join together a 60 watt light bulb. One end to the circuit while the other to the transformer pin. If the bulb light and didn’t goes off presume a shorted winding and if the light goes off, the winding is ok.

Transformer mend is not easy and it need a good skill to do it. Most of the transformer repairer adored to rewind bigger winding such as fan, car alternator and starter. Switch mode power transformer is a dinky bit difficult to rewind because of the small size and low price.

Testing a Transformer – How To Accurately Test A Transformer


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