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Патент USA US2135587

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‘Nov. 8, 1938.
Filed Sept. 28, 1935'
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
Patented Nov. 8, 1938
Maurice J. Lovelady, Gollinnwood, vN. 1., assign
or to Radio Corporation of America, a cor
poration of Delaware
Application September 28, 1935, Serial No. 42,644
2 Claims. (Cl. 175-183)
This invention relates broadly to an instru
ment for measuring electrical properties. More
the slider S and the junction oi’ the known and
unknown resistances. An alternating current E
speci?cally my invention is a direct reading in
strument for measuring a relatively wide range
of values of resistance, capacitance, or induct-
the bridge is unbalanced, the alternations of the
current will be audible in the telephone receiver. 5
The slider is moved back and forth until a null
The art of measuring electrical properties is
is applied across the adjustable ratio arms.
point is observed in the response of the tele-,
an old one. Perhaps the most widely known in- phone receiver.
strument for measuring resistance is the Wheat- I
After the balance has been obtained, as indi
10 stone bridge; Modi?cations of the Wheatstone
bridge have been made to adapt it ‘to the measurement of capacitance and inductance. Most
instruments of the latter type are cumbersome,
expensive and complicated.
These instruments
are mainly used by skilled technicians. I have
cated by the null point, the unknown value may 10
be determined by multiplying the known or
standard value by the ratio of the bridge arms
A to B. This may be expressed as follows:—
overcome these di?iculties by making a light,
portable, inexpensive bridge which may be used
to measure a wide range of electrical constants.
one of the objects of mymvention is to make
20 a small light weight. portable instrument for
measuring resistance, capacitance, and inductance_
Unknown rwstanccAxvalue of standard ,csistance l5
It Wm be Observed that the scale for the
slide wire ratio is not linear. That is for small
movements where A is nearly equal to B the 20
scale Wm be approximately “near but as A be‘
comes much smaller or much larger than B, the
Another object is to make a direct reading in-
scale Wm become very crowded or Very open- In
an open linear scale is shown on the left
Another object is to make a direct reading in- - and m contrast 9' non'nnear scale 0? the type 25
strument for measuring a very wide range 01 described above is shown on the right. The
electrical properties_
crowded scale is very undesirable and 18 over
A further object is to design a measuring in- come in the ease of an ordinary Wheetstene
strument for measuring electrical constants.
strument employing relatively few standards
30 which may be selected by simple switching
Additional objects will appear from the accompanying speci?cation and appended claims.
My invention may best be understood by ref_
35 erence to the accompanying drawings in which
Figure I is ‘a diagram of a conventional
wheatstone bridge,
Fig 11 is a schematic diagram of one embodiment of my invention,
40 Fig. 111 is a schematic diagram of one of the
switches used in combination with the circuit
of my invention,
Fig. IV illustrates a linear and a non-linear
Fig. V illustrates one form of panel which may
be used, and
Fig. VI is a wiring diagram of my bridge arrangement.
A conventional Wheatstone bridge as repre50 sented in Fig. I is comprised of variable ratio
arms A and B which are serially connected to a
standard and an unknown resistance’ or other
electrical unit whose resistance is to be determined. An indicating device D, such as a tele55 phone receiver or the like, is connected between
bridge by empleymg a relatively large number
of standards so the ratio arms are generally at 30
a balance between the ratios of 4/6 or 6/4.
In Fig- H e Scheme-tie dlagmmendleates One
form of bridge arrangement whleh overcomes
the dif?culties just described. An adjustable re
sistance M is used for one of the ratio arms. The 35
other arm is composed of a ?xed resistance N
whose ohmic value is equal to one tenth the
ohmic value of the adjustable arm M at its max
imum_ setting. A single pole double throw
switch P may ‘be used to connect either’the ?xed 40
resistance M10 arm N or another M10 arm Q
whose resistance is ?xed at an ohmic value equal
t0 the Ohmic resistance of the maximum Setting
of the adjustable arm M. If the switch P is
connected to the fixed resistance arm Q of the 45
larger ohmic value, the ratio of M to Q may be
varied from .1 to 1. 11? the switch P is connected
to the ?xed resistance arm N of the smaller
ohmic value the ratio of M to N may be varied
from 1 to 10. Thus the use of either of two 50
?xed arms and one variable arm will not only
give a total ratio 0!..1 to 10 or 1 to 100 but also
the ratio may be read directly on a linear scale,
as shown in Figure V. Although the arrange
ment‘just described may be used in the measure- 55
- 2
ment of resistance, modi?cations are required
in the measurement .of inductance or capaci
The reactance of a capacity, assuming a con
stant frequency is impressed, will vary inversely
transformer supplies the alternating current for
the bridge, which will be described below.
The output of the bridge is represented by a
ground connection ‘I and a capacitor 43 which
connects the output of the bridge to the input
with the size‘ of the capacity. That is, at a ?xed of a two stage audio frequency ampli?er. The
frequency, the larger 9. capacity the smaller will _ ampli?er is represented by the double purpose
be its reactance. If the straight direct reading thermionic tube 45 and the connections within
bridge arrangement is employed, as just de
the broken lines 41. The grid, 49 which connects
10 scribed, the balance might be made to a null
to the coupling capacitor 03, is returned to 10,
point but the scale reading would be erroneous.
ground through a grid resistor 5|.
The true reading would be the reciprocal of the
03 is connected through an iron core choke '55
to the positive terminal of the power supply. The
grid 51 of the second ampli?er is coupled to the
iron core choke by a capacitor 59. The grid is 15
returned to ground through a grid resistor GI.
The output of this ampli?er comprises its anode
scale reading.
The di?iculty may be overcome
by reversing the relative position of the known
15 and unknown capacitance. One simple method
is to use a double pole double throw switch T as
reversing means as shown in Figure 111. a
A capacitor or an inductor ordinarily does not
offer pure reactance but has as ‘well a ?nite
20 resistance. The resistance of a capacity or in
ductor ordinarily broadens the balance or null
point. If the resistance of the standard capaci
tor or standard inductor is balanced against the
resistance of the unknown capacitor or unknown
25 inductor, the effect of the two resistances will be
eliminated and the capacitance or inductance
may be determined by exactly balancing the
bridge. Since the resistance of the standard
may be greater, equal to, or less than the un
30 known, it is necessary to put a variable phase
balancing resistor U in series with either the
known or unknown. This may be accomplished
with a single pole double throw switch V, as
shown in Figure III. The complete wiring dia
35 gram also shows means for short circuiting the
phasing resistor when the bridge is arranged for
;~ '
The vbridge circuits described above are sche
matic in form. A practical alternating cur
40 rent bridge requires an ampli?er to bring up
the output to a point where telephone receivers
may be used. It is customary to'employ audio
currents of a frequency of one thousand cycles;
The anode
‘63, the primary 65 of transformer 61, a resistor
69 and a return through the potentiometer of
the power supply. The secondary H of the out v20
put transformer is connected to a Jack 13 into
which a pair of telephone receivers (not shown)
may be plugged.
The bridge circuit is represented by a number
of standards and the required switching means. 25.
The inductance standards consist of three in
ductors 15, 11, 19 which are connected to the
?rst three contacts of the two nine position
switches 8|, 03.
The three resistance standards comprise re 30,
sistors, 85, 81, 89 which are connected to the
fourth, ?fth and sixth contacts 61 the multi-po- .
sition switches 3|, 33. The three capacitance
standards 95, 91, 99 are connected to the sev- \
enth, eighth and ninth contacts of the multi-po 35
sition switches. The movable contact arms IOI,
I03 of these switches are moved with a single
control I05, as are the movable arms I01, I09
of the double throw reversing switch III. The
double throw switch is'used to reverse the_stand
ard and unknown connections for capacitance
measurements as previously described. Two of
the ?xed contacts H3, N5 of the reversing
therefore to be complete the bridgeishould in- . switch I II are connected to one of the termi
45 elude an ampli?er and a source of one thousand nals II1 to which the element of uknown value 45
cycle alternating current. The complete ,circuit
is to be connected. The other of the terminals
arrangement is shown in Figure V-I. " . ~
7 -
H1, is connected to the variable phasing resistor
A source of alternating current, such as. 110 ' H9 and to the ?xed contact I2I of the single
volts 60 cycles, is connected to the input‘ I, 3 , pole double throw switch I23. The second vari
of the recti?er system which is included-within; able phasing resistor I25, is a vemier, which is
the broken lines 5. The recti?er is of the well‘. used for ?ne adjustment and is serially connect
known voltage doubler type. A thermionic rec
ed to the ?rst variable resistor I I9. The remain
ti?er 1 with two cathodes and two anodes-is
connected to a ?lter network 9. Across the ?lter
55 network a potentiometer II may be connected.
The negative terminal I3 of the potentiometer is
grounded. This, and all grounds illustrated, are
. to a common chassis terminal and not to. actual
earth. An actual earth connection might short
60 circuit the alternating current input line.
Within the broken line IS a thermionic tube I1
is connected to generate oscillations of a fre
quency of 1000 cycles; although other frequen
cies may be used. The grid I9 is connected
65 through a grid leak grid condenser combination
21 to a circuit 23 tuned to 1000 cycles. The an
ode 25 is coupled'through the transformer ‘21 to
, the‘ grid circuit. The resistor 29 reduces the
anode voltage supplied by the recti?er to an ap
70 propriate value. The resistor 29 may be by
ing ?xed contact I21 of the single pole double
throw switch is connected to the lower terminal
of the Vernier phasing resistor I25 and the mov 55'
able contact arm IOI of the multi-position switch
8|. The movable contact I29 of the single pole
double throw switch is connected to ground.
The ratio arms of the bridge are-composed of
either of two ?xed resistors I3l, I33, which are 60
similar to N and Q in Figures If and III. These
resistors are connected together and to the slider
I35 ‘of the variable resistor arm I31. The lunc
tion of the ?xed resistors and the slider is con
nected to the‘ coupling capacitor 43 which is 65
connected to the input of the audio ampli?er.
The voltage input to the bridge is represented by
the secondary 39 of the balanced transformer 31.
The secondary is connected to the movable con
tact I20 of the single pole double throw switch 70
passed by a capacitor 3I. A tertiary winding I30 and to the ?xed terminal of the variable re
33 on the transformer 21 is connected to the sistor I31. The secondary is also connected to
primary 35 of a transformer 31, Whose, center the movable contact arms I01, I09 of the double
tap is grounded to balance the transformer with throw double pole switch III. The remaining
75 respect to ground. The secondary 39 of the ?xed contacts of the double pole double throw 75
"switch are connected together. The movable
contact I03 of the lower multi-position switch
binding posts which are the terminals 2|! for
the unit of unknown value. The power supply is
83 is connected to the ?xed contact I39 of the ' represented by a cord and plug 22!.
double pole double throw switch.
The method of using the bridge is as follows:
It should be noted that the movable contacts
of the double throw reversing switch and the
movable contacts of the multi-position switches
are operated with a uni-control. To avoid di?i
culties the double throw reversing switch has
10 contact arrangements which automatically oper
ate when the switch is ‘positioned for capacitance
readings. A second switch “5 is operated in con
junction with the single pole double throw ratio
arm switch I30. This switch “I connects a small’
variable capacitor between the high potential ter
minal of thehlghest valued standard resistor and
ground. The small variable capacitor is only used
when resistances of very high value are being
measured.‘ A high resistance in the unknown
20 arm may have a substantial capacity reactance
to ground which would unduly broaden the null
point. This may be balanced out by adjusting the
small variable capacitor. By the way of ex
ample, I shall give a table of values of the sev
25 eral elements of the bridge. It should be under
stood that other constants may be used, but I
have found the following useful over a vary wid
range of values:
10 millihenries
1000 microhenries
1 microfarad
.01 microfarad
.0001 microfarad '
Standards of resistance ____ _. 10 ohms
scale the ratio selector switch is turned to high 15
and the variable ratio arm adjusted for a balance.
If a balance is found on this range the value of
the unknown resistance will be from 10 to 100
ohms and will be ten times the scale reading at
the balance point. If the unknown resistor has 20
an ohmic value greater than 100, the above de
scribed operation is repeated on the higher re
sistance standards until a balance is found.
The measurement of inductance is performed '
in substantially the same manner. The only dif 25
ference is that the resistance component of the
inductor must be balanced out by adjusting the
phasing resistors. The usual method is to move
10000 ohms
ance position and then move the coarse phasing 30
adjustment to balance out the residual 1000 cycle
note. The ?nal adjustment results from succes
sive adjustments of the vernier phase control and
the variable ratiov arm. At the exact balance
point the residual 1000 cycle note will disappear
procedure for measuring inductance. However,
Fixed ratio arms _________ __ 1000 ohms
Variable ratio arm _______ __ 1000-10000 ohms
Phasing resistors coarse_____ 10000 ohms
Phasing resistors vernier“..- 55 ohms
Balancing capacity _______ __ 10-285 micromicro
* Partly inherent capacity.
pear or become a null at the balance point and
will increase in intensity on either side of the
balance point. If no balance is found on this
Capacity is measured in accordance with the
100000 ohms
switch is placedon the lowest value of resistance
(1-10), and the variable ratio arm is moved slow
ly from 1-10. The response in the telephone re 10
ceivers will be a 1000 cycle note which will disap
and a true zero response will be found.
1000 ohms
unknown terminals, the ratio selector switch is
placed on “Low”, the nine position selector
the variable resistor arm to an approximate bal- -
30 Standards of inductance___ 1 henry
Standards of capacitance"
An unknown resistance is connected across the
With the above standards and variable ratios,
resistances from 1 to 1,000,000 ohms, inductances
from 100 microhenries to 10 henries, and capaci
ties from 1 micromicrofarad to 10 microfarads
may be measured and their values determined
directly from the variable resistor arm scale.
The entire device ‘may be assembled within a
55 small portable case 9% inches long, 61/2 inches
high, and 41/2 inches deep. The total ‘weight is
about 51/2 pounds. The front panel of the case
is shown in Figure V. The adjustable ratio arm
pointer 2M with its linear scale 203 is shown in
60 the central portion of the illustration. The con
trol knob 205 connects to the nine position
switch. The double throw switch 201 in the up
per right,hand corner is the ratio selector switch.
The small knob in the lower right is the control
65 for the variable capacitor which is used to bal
ance out the capacity reactance of high resist
ances. To the left of this small control knob and
in the following order are the off-on switch 209,
the phone jack 2| I, the double throw switch ‘M3
for placing the phasing resistors in the standard
or unknown arms, and the knob 2|5 for the ver
nier phasing resistor. Immediately above the
vernier phasing adjustment knob, is the control
knob 2i‘! for the coarse phasing adjustment. In
75 the upper left hand corner of the panel are two
one additional step is required._ There is a small
amount of inherent capacity. in the terminals 40
and leads. This value is usually 25 to 30 micro
The unknown terminals are left
open and the bridge is carefully balanced. The
reading for the balance is the inherent capacity
which must be subtracted from the ?nal reading 46
which is obtained after the unknown capacitor
has been connected and balanced.
I have described a compact, self-contained
portable bridge. Its accuracy will be determined
largely by the precision of its standards and the 50
care with which the variable ratio arms are
chosen. Accuracy within about 2% is well within
practical design. The bridge lends itself to ready
measurements within a wide range of values of
resistance, inductance or capacitance. The fore 55
going description, constants and circuits are mere
ly by way of example. Those skilled in the art
will ?nd numerous modi?cations within the scope
of my invention which is only limited by the priorv
art and the appended claims.
I claim as my invention:
1. In a portable measuring device of the Wheat
stone bridge type, the combination which includes
a continuously variable resistor operable in co
operation with a linear scale, a ?rst and a second 65
?xed resistance, a ?rst switch for selectively con
necting one of said ?xed resistors to said variable
resistor whereby said variable and said selectable
?xed resistors form the conjugate variable arm
and ratio arm of said bridge respectively; a plu
rality of standards of known values of resistance,
capacitance, and inductance, a second switch to
select one of said standards, terminal connections
for an unknown capacitor, resistor, or inductor
which is to be measured, connections including 8- 75
' vreversing switch wherebysaid unknown and’ said I and connections whereby'said fourth switch cona standard are‘ serially connected across’ said vari- "' nects said variable capacitor across at least one,
able arm and said ratio arm to form the remain
'ing' twoconjugate arms of said bridge, said re
versing switch being operably connected to ‘said
> second switch whereby the selection of a capaci
tive standard automatically reverses the relative
of said vresistance standards to thereby. permit
the inherent shunt capacitance across high r'e-'
sistances which are to be measured to ‘be bal
anced out; means for energizing said bridge, and
means for indicating a balance.
position of said standard and said unknown; 9.
- 2. A device of the character described in claim _ ~
second’ variable resistor, and a third switch
1 which is further characterized in that said
whereby said second variable, resistorvmay be
_-connected in series with said standard or said
means for energizing said bridge is an audio ire-'- '10 ._
quency‘ vacuum tube oscillator.
‘unknown; a variable capacitor, a fourth switch,
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