How to test if a condenser is good or bad
While chatting in the moped repair forum of Moped Army, I had mentioned that I had acquired a bunch of 1970s
automotive condensers. Since I had mentioned that the ones I used from the lot had tested good and worked
great on my bikes, someone had asked how I test them. Its been a while since I did a picture tutorial so this
seem like a good enough topic.
This is only one mans method, and it seems to work well for me.
The equipment I use is a 9 volt battery and a needle style (analog) DC voltmeter.
I like this one because it doesn't use a battery so its always ready to go. I hate it when I want to use my digital
meter only to find the battery dead. I think someone gave this meter to me because it was too "old fashion" for them.
First thing I do is measure the voltage in the battery that I will use to "charge" the condenser.
Good, looks like I have a full 9 volts.
Next you need to "charge" the condenser by holding the metal body of the condenser against the (-) negative post of
battery, then at the same time, touch the metal of the wire lead to the positive post of the battery for a split second.
The condenser should now be charged and storing a small 9volt charge that can only be released by grounding the wire
back to the metal case.
The most important thing to avoid after charging the condenser is to not let anything touch the metal of the wire lead
as it will discharge the voltage before it can be seen on your meter.
Last, clip the black (-) negative lead of the voltmeter to the steel case of the condenser. Now position the (+) positive
meter lead in your hand so that you can strike the condenser wire while looking closely at the meters needle. When you
strike the condenser wire it causes the condenser to discharge to ground through the voltmeter where it is read by the
meters needle which will jump slightly. The needle movment is so slight and fast that it is hard to catch sometimes so you
may have to re-charge and repeat 4 or 5 times.
If the needle moves, then the condenser is holding a charge and that is all it does its whole life.
THIS JUST IN!!!!!!!!
Someone said you can do the same condenser test that I Wikied, only instead of a meter you can use a LED bulb.
You also need to use a DC battery source to charge the condenser as a transistor battery wont light a led. I just tried
it a few times using a 12v charger and a 1157 style LED bulb. Goes off like a flash camera, very definite.
I feel like a fucking hillbilly with a stone knife and a bearskin.
Another Wiki page by cheetahchrome http://www.mopedarmy.com/riders/cheetahchrome/