ebay goodie: leader brand transistor tester, working
only a little clean-up needed, new battery and some de-oxit spray on the switches. good as new, now!
it auto-identifies which leads are the E/B/C. you then have to set those leads to the right slots for the manual tests (gain, leakage).
if you enable the beeper, it sounds off as its testing.
the photo didn't capture the TWO 'collector leds' that light up. in auto mode, its hard to tell the diff between the C and E wires (or drain and source). in auto-test, it identifies the base and polarity but that's all. after you are done the lower 'red' region of test, you move the test mode switch over to the green/right, the ORIENT the transistor properly in the socket (yes, you may have to remove it and change leads) and then you can do leak and gain tests. you still won't know if you got C/E properly until you find that Vbe is sitting on .6v (Si = silicon) region and that gain is showing something 'reasonable'. if your Vbe test is not showing a nice green band region, swap C E pins and try again; it should work fine, then.
(posted on Makezine blog: blog.makezine.com/2012/06/03/make-flickr-pool-weekly-roun... )