The world of electronics is made up of many elements, both tangible and intangible. That is why if you are going to get into the world of construction, repair and programming of devices, it is important to know all the necessary tools.
There is one instrument in particular that is essential on the workbench of any electronic technician, student, or hobbyist. It’s about the multimeter. This artifact will be of great use to you in all your projects.
In this post we will know what it is aboutwhat do we owe keep in mind when using a multimeter and the applications we can give you. Check out.
What is a multimeter and what is this tool for in electronics?
It is a totally indispensable measurement tool for those who dabble in electronics. This device is also known as a multimeter or tester and its function is to measure different electrical quantities. With a common and inexpensive multimeter it is already possible to measure values such as voltage, resistance, continuity and other data. Nevertheless, there is a wide variety of designs with advanced and very specific functions. But if you already have one of them, it is not necessary to change it or acquire an expensive one.
When seeing a tester for the first time, it is likely that we do not know well how it works, although it will be easier if you start by knowing its parts:
- The on / off switch it can be found both separate and built into the selector. Its main function is to deactivate the device so as not to consume its battery.
- Here the information of what is being measured will be prostrated to us. Before being digital, multimeters used to have a needle that marked the value of the measure. Today, the most modern devices can even offer graphs and histories.
- Range selector. It is a knob or wheel that is usually located in the center of the device. Turning it allows us to choose the type of measurement we want to do. We will see in the next section what these types are.
- Cables and ports. The multimeter has two interchangeable red and black leads. At the same time, it has three or more jacks. Thus, the negative Jack (DC connector or black clamp) must always be connected with the black cable.
- It is possible to relocate the red wire to obtain the following measurements: To measure resistance, the red wire must be connected to the port with the symbol “Ω”. In the case of measuring voltages, it must be placed in the voltage connector “V”. For current measurement it is placed in the milliamp port “MA”.
Knowing this, we can move on to the next segment, where we will know specifically what use we can give to our measuring tool.
What kind of information can I know about a circuit using a tester?
As the name implies a multimeter or multimeter is able to take measurements of different magnitudes.
Within an electronic circuit, by correctly connecting the probes, it is possible to obtain the following measurements:
- Resistance measurement.
- Continuity test,
- Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC) voltages.
- Measurement of alternating and direct current.
- Checking amps.
- Calculation of capacities.
- Frequency measurement.
- Detection of the presence of AC voltage.
- Measure the battery charge.
Learn step by step how to use a multimeter to test the circuits of your projects
Now is the time to put into practice what has been learned. The first thing you should do is define what type of value we are going to measure.
In the case of not knowing it yet, you can start with continuity, since it does not involve any risk in a switched off circuit:
Turn on the tester
Once we have identified what we want to measure, we must activate the device. This may vary by model, but the switch is usually located on the selector itself or on a separate button.
Connect the cables correctly
According to what was explained before, you must place the black wire in the negative Jack (COM) and the red one according to what is going to be measured. In the case of continuity, we will position it within Volt / Ω.
What you will have to do now is rotate the range selector until the pointer matches the appropriate symbol. According to the example, to know if a connection is cut, we will rotate to indicate the symbol similar to the sound one (several increasing parentheses). In most models, in addition to displaying the value 1, a beep will sound if it is continuous.
Place the terminals in the circuit
Next, we are ready to test the circuit. In the case of continuity, it is only necessary to make contact between the terminals and the ends of the line to know if they are short or open.
If what you want is to measure the voltage, for example, of a battery we must place the selector on the letter V with little head (~) for alternating current or the one with dotted lines above and a continuous one for direct current. The red connector must be on the mAVΩ terminal. As for the black wire, it must have one end in COM and the other in the negative socket. This is a good way to tell if a battery is still charged.
Take the display reading
The screen it will show us the value of the measurement made, depending on what we are measuring can result null, positive or negative. In the case of continuity, it may be accompanied by a sound.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will also be of great help to more members of the community. Thanks! 😉