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Multimeter Test Equipment

Anyone who does any work around electrical equipment knows the benefits of a digital multimeter. Whether you are simply checking for connectivity or actively measuring the flow of current in a circuit, electrical circuit meters and multimeters are vital.

Multimeter Basics

In order to use a multimeter, all you have to do is turn it on, select the right range, and touch the probes to your test points. From there you just read the number off the screen. You can get a wide range of different multimeter test leads ranging from alligator clips to simple probes. All standard leads feature banana plugs at one end to connect to the meter, and the appropriate probe at the other. Many meters feature a clamp to hold them in place while you take a measurement.

Digital vs. Analogue Multimeters

While there are still a number of analogue multimeters available, the majority of models now feature digital LCD displays. The advantage of digital meters is twofold. They are both more accurate and easier to read. Where an analogue meter can have you squinting at the dial in order to guess where the needle is, the digital meter displays it in large numerals right before your eyes.

Measurement Types

Depending on the setting, a multimeter can measure anything from simple current flow to voltage or resistance. All you have to do is move the range selector to what you want to measure. If you're not sure of the range, start high and work down. It's important to remember that you should never move the selector dial while the meter is connected, as this can damage the internal circuitry.

Multimeter Safety

Always pay attention to safety when using a multimeter. Some measurements are only possible on a live circuit, and no meter can shield you from the hazards of shock. On a similar note, never try to measure short circuit current. All you will do is fry something.

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