“There is nothing more satisfying then building a circuit and having it work as you intended and nothing so infuriating at it failing and not knowing why!
There’s usually a few main culprits that can cause a circuit to fail. There could be a solder bridge or a part missing, maybe you have wired something up incorrectly. All these types of failures can be checked, identified and fixed, but what happens if it’s the IC that fails and how do you check if it is working as it should?
If you use an IC socket, then you could remove the IC and replace with another. The problem though is, you still wouldn’t know if the IC’s faulty or not. To rectify this, I decided to build an IC tester that could test a few common Op amps (along with a Vactrol). The Op amps that it tests are LM358, LM386 and LM741.
Each test uses an LED that flashes to indicate whether the IC is working correctly or not. If the LED stays on or off constantly, then you know that the IC doesn’t function correctly.
I’ve included the Eagle schematics and board design along with the gerber files so you can get a board printed up yourself and make your own.
Let’s get testing!
I have included the parts list in the attached image as well as in a PDF format. You can also find it in the Google drive link I have provided in the next step. Also check out the next step for the PCB printing options.
The links below are to specific parts in the attached parts list
1. 9V Battery holder
2. 8 dip IC sockets
3. Slider switch
3. 9 V battery (only if you want to power the tester via a 9V battery. You can also power the board a few other ways.
4.PCB pin headers, Male & female
5. The rest of the components like resistors, capacitors, LED’s can be found on the attached list of parts”