Tauntek Logic IC Tester

posted in: Other Projects 2


This Logic IC Tester by Tauntek is designed primarily to test 7400,74LS,74HC,74C and 4000 series integrated circuits. I first heard about this Logic IC Tester while watching this YouTube video. Based on the title of the video, I was under the impression that this was a crowd-designed tester, however, the title of the video refers to a viewer of the channel (Bob Grieb) having designed the tester.

I contacted Bob and purchased the bare PCB and the two pre-programmed PIC chips that come with the tester. It is up to you to purchase and install all the other components on the board. There are a LOT of resistors and diodes. This is the first project I am building specifically for use at my day job. I like tools that relate to the work I do. For my home office, I am building the Retro Chip Tester Pro.

How Much Does It Cost?

I am in NY and the cost of the PCB and two PIC chips, shipped, was $45.15 USD. The cost of the components will vary. I had most of the parts already, but there are a bunch that are not so common. I didn’t have enough resistors on hand and so I had to order some. The most expensive component in this kit is the 32-pin ZIF socket, and you must use one that can support both 0.3″ and 0.6″ ICs. I also opted to use a machined socket for the ZIF socket, rather than soldering the ZIF to the PCB. See the build section below for an overall view of what is used. You can get a BOM and schematic from the Tauntek product page under resources.

The Build

Usually I try to install the lowest height components first and gradually work up to the tallest components. But instead, I installed them as I received them in the mail, since there was a week or more each between the three orders to get all the parts, since I had to go with a couple of substitutes.

The first parts to be installed were the IC sockets, since I already had those. Next were the thirty eight (38) 1N4148 switching diodes, which I did not have enough of, so I had to order some more. I also installed the crystal. Next were the resistors and ceramic capacitors. I didn’t have enough of the 220Ω or 6.8K resistors on-hand, originally.

After installing the transistors (I had to get substitutes for these), I added the power LED and the test socket, which the ZIF socket will install into. Next I installed the DC jack, electrolytic capacitors and headers, as well as the two PIC chips. Finally, I installed the remaining integrated circuits and voltage regulator.

Here I have installed the ZIF socket and have taken a solder-side photo of the board as well. At this point, all that remains is to installed either an RS-232 interface with a DB-9 connector or a USB serial interface. I also need a power adapter.



Get more information and order your own Logic IC Tester at the product page

Retro Chip Tester Pro


2 Responses

  1. Granz

    Very nice, how well does it work?
    Also, about how much did you spend (for the PCB and PICs, and then for the rest)?

    • Chris Savage

      I will add cost information to the post, which I am still working on. There will be screenshots and all, but I haven’t yet powered it up. It has a serial interface, so it is meant to be controlled via terminal (VT100). I’m trying to find / order one of those DB-9 ribbon cables that used to be in old computers and connected to a 2×5 header. Screenshots coming soon.

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