This little circuit indicates the basic integrity of a printed board, detecting 0V, positive supply voltage from less than 3V to 30V and floating parts. If the probe is floating, as it would be in a broken track, then both LEDs barely light up, since there is no current to drive the transistors, but if the probe touches 0V or a positive voltage one or other lights. A digital signal should light them in proportion to the mark-space ratio whereas the output of a circuit oscillating at a frequency rate below about 20Hz will cause the LEDs to flicker alternatively. The LEDs will illuminate always at a constant intensity, no matter the voltage supply used, because they are fed by a very simple FET constant-current generator (Q1).
- R1 = 22K
- R2 = 22K
- D1 = Red LED
- D2 = Green LED
- Q1 = BF245
- Q2 = BC547
- Q3 = BC557
- The Black clip must be connected to the negative ground of the board under test.
- The Red clip should be connected to a positive voltage source (not exceeding 30V) available on the same board.
- Metal probe is suitable for this circuit.
- Two Miniature Crocodile Clips (Red and Black) are also necessary.