The DE-5000 LCR Meter (Review)

    • by Jean-François Simon
    • Reading time: 5 min

    The DER-EE DE-5000 is a streamlined, portable LCR meter ideally suited for precise measurements of inductance, capacitance, and resistance in electronic components. Dive into its impressive features!


    Enclosed in a tough plastic case, the meter sports dimensions of 190 x 95 x 52 mm, making it comparable to traditional hand-held multimeters in size. It is outfitted with a generous backlit dual display that allows for simultaneous presentation of two measurement values, enhancing usability and efficiency.

    In addition to measuring primary L, C, and R values, the meter also assesses critical secondary parameters such as dissipation factor (D), quality factor (Q), phase angle (Φ), equivalent series resistance (ESR), and parallel resistance (Rp). While users have the option to select parameters manually, the DE-5000 conveniently starts in an Auto LCR mode, automatically recognizing and measuring the most crucial parameters of the component at hand.

    The DE-5000 is energized by an included 9 V battery or an AC adapter for longer operation, ensuring reliability and flexibility in various settings. It comes bundled with a durable carrying case, short test leads (TL-21), specialized SMD tweezers (TL-22), and a protective guard line (TL-23). For those looking to expand its capabilities, an interface for PC connectivity can be acquired separately.

    DE-5000 included accessories
    Unboxing the comprehensive DE-5000 package.

    Applications for the DE-5000

    The DE-5000 is highly effective across a spectrum of applications. It shines particularly in the troubleshooting and maintenance of electronic equipment, with its ability to measure the dissipation factor (D) providing a more precise indicator of capacitor health compared to ESR, which is often omitted on component datasheets.

    Measuring a capacitor with the DE-5000
    Testing capacitor capacitance and dissipation factor efficiently.

    This device is indispensable when repairing a diverse array of devices such as power supplies, vintage radio receivers, testing equipment, and even large-scale machinery that depends on motor capacitors. Its inductance mode is particularly effective for checking motor windings. Furthermore, the included SMD tweezers make identifying unmarked SMD components a breeze. The device is also a boon for DIY enthusiasts, aiding in the creation and modification of DC/DC converters and switch-mode power supplies with precise inductance measurements.

    Using the SMD tweezers
    Utilizing the SMD tweezers for accurate component identification.

    While the resistance measurement capabilities of the DE-5000 are similar to those of standard multimeters, it distinguishes itself in the precision measurement of very low and very high resistances, thanks to its advanced 4-wire Kelvin connection. Additionally, the Sorting mode provides eight preset tolerances for rapid component sorting or verification, delivering quick and accurate Pass/Fail results. Detailed instructions for these modes are readily available in the accompanying manual.

    Initial Setup and Use

    The DE-5000 automatically initializes in Auto LCR mode at a 1 kHz frequency, quickly identifying and displaying the properties of components without requiring manual input, making it highly accessible to users. Although the interface might seem a bit complex initially, it is designed for user-friendliness with only a few essential buttons active.

    The LCR Auto button allows users to switch effortlessly between modes, and the Freq button modifies the test signal frequency, which is vital for testing large-value electrolytic capacitors that need a lower frequency. The Backlight and Hold buttons are straightforward and functional as expected.

    Measuring a custom inductor
    Accurately testing a custom inductor.

    The PC button controls the output to computers, while the Cal button starts a comprehensive calibration mode, ensuring that the instrument remains accurate over prolonged use.

    Advanced Modes

    Other operational modes like Auto L, Auto C, Auto R, and DCR cater to specific measurement needs, including manual frequency adjustments and switching between series or parallel models for components, offering versatility in testing scenarios.

    Series and Parallel impedance modes
    Exploring the dual impedance model options for varied applications.

    Component Testing

    The DE-5000 enables a variety of component connections. Users must ensure capacitors are fully discharged before testing to avoid damaging the device. The TL-21 adapter and TL-22 tweezers offer adaptable testing configurations, and users can design custom setups using standard banana plugs at the instrument's terminals.

    Meter Calibration

    Calibration involves a detailed step-by-step process using the test fixture to guarantee the meter's accuracy. This procedure enhances the precision of measurements, which is crucial for obtaining detailed and reliable assessments in various technical scenarios.

    Calibrating the DE-5000
    Systematically calibrating using the TL-21 test leads for optimal performance.

    Although frequent calibration is not necessary, it becomes crucial when striving for the highest measurement accuracy, especially when using different test leads than those included with the meter.

    Target Audience

    The DE-5000 is an excellent resource for both hobbyists and professional electronics technicians. It is particularly beneficial for individuals involved in complex troubleshooting tasks and those experimenting with sophisticated electronic constructions.

    Measuring a transformer
    Detailed analysis of a transformer’s parameters in an advanced study.

    The DE-5000 serves as an advanced measurement solution that complements any electronic toolkit, establishing itself as an essential device for those deeply engaged in electronic work or entering the field of metrology.

    Unique Selling Points

    The DE-5000 is distinguished by its versatile test frequency selection, in-depth capacitor analysis capabilities, and extended operational life on both battery and AC adapter. Its robust design is supported by a vibrant online community, offering extensive user-generated documentation and support.

    DE-5000 accessories and components
    A general view of the DE-5000 along with its practical accessories.

    Expanding Horizons

    The DE-5000 not only meets current technical needs but also stimulates further exploration into its detailed functions and potential applications, encouraging users to delve deeper into the intricacies of electronic measurement and expand their technical acumen.



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