how to measure dc voltage with a multimeter


Digital Multimeter Principles by Glen A. Mazur, American Technical Publishers, The dials, buttons, symbols, and display of a digital multimeter. Adjusting DC offset is usually accomplished through replacing capacitors in the electrical component; this task should be left to a professional. Before using a multimeter, read the owner's manual in its entirety. A multimeter that is not auto-ranging will have a selection of voltages on the dial that can be chosen, e.g. Set the multimeter dial to AC or DC mode. Note: Most modern DMMs automatically detect polarity.

On an auto-ranging multimeter such as the one shown in the video, there will only be one DC voltage selection on the dial.

Place the meter on the input voltage line and let it record. Reading a simple constant voltage from most digital multimeters is extremely simple - turn the dial to the DC voltage icon and place the test leads at two exposed circuit contact points, and a number appears. The important consideration when choosing a meter to measure DC offset is the lowest available voltage range. A multimeter is a handheld device for measuring electrical current, resistance, or voltage.

Set the volume dial to minimum, the tone dials in the middle position, and the balance dial in the center. •The 10 range is used for 10V and the We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Just recognize if the probes touch opposite terminals, a negative symbol will appear in the display. Since almost all tube type amps have transformers at the output, and transformers do NOT pass DC, there is none to measure. By using our site, you agree to our. Almost every meter will include either the manual range selection, or it will have a button labeled ‘Range’, but never both. To correctly measure the voltage, turn your switch dial to DC voltage measurement. The red lead of your multimeter should be at a higher voltage than the black lead, so take care to orient the probes as described. This reading can be extremely useful when control devices appear to power off every now and then and you want to examine the cause. Voltage measurements are very easy to make using either a digital multimeter, DMM or an analogue multimeter.

First insert the black probe into the COM jack. As shown in the chart above, a fully charged auto battery rated for 12 volts may have an open-circuit voltage ranging from 11.9 V to 12.6 V (typically 2.2 V per cell). Now you have found the failed parallel switch without having to remove a wire. Small, but not quite 0. In a set of multiple parallel Normally Open buttons, one might become broken, or shorted, or the spring inside may have failed to cause a constant connection. A battery with a slightly higher voltage measurement (3% to 5%) is much better than a battery with a lower measurement. Turn the dial to the type of current you plan on measuring. When taking and comparing dc voltage measurements, refer to manufacturer’s specifications for specific values in the circuit. Connect the test probes to the circuit: black to the negative polarity test point (circuit ground), red to positive test point. Modern DMMs default to Autorange based on the function selected on the dial.

If uncertain of which to choose, start with dc voltage, which handles higher voltage. DC voltage on a multimeter is a fairly straightforward reading. Sometimes, the ranges might include: 1, 10, 100, and 1000 volts, or perhaps 2, 20, 200, and 2000 volts. The symptom is the same in either case (controller briefly losing power) but the extra information can help make a better-informed decision to locate the cause. Reference: Digital Multimeter Principles by Glen A. Mazur, American Technical Publishers. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Voltage measurements are normally taken to a) establish that voltage exists at a given point and b) ensure that the voltage is at the proper level. In some dc applications, large dc variations are not only acceptable, but intentional. Create one now. If you expect a surge or drop to be happening on a very regular basis, you may need to turn to an oscilloscope. When using tube amplifiers, it is recommended not to run the amplifier without a load (no speakers). Begin by disconnecting the speakers.

Not true in this case - it’s not dangerous, simply above the limit.

Example: The speed of dc motors can be adjusted by varying the amount of dc voltage supplied. Whatever that target voltage happens to be, select the range with a value just above that number. For a digital multimeter the main difference is that the measurement type switch must be set to measure AC current rather than DC current. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 87,153 times. If the signal does not spend an equal amount of time traveling in both directions, however, the resulting imbalance is referred to as DC offset.

Some digital multimeters (DMMs) also include dc millivolts. To select a specific fixed measurement range, press the RANGE button multiple times until the desired range is selected. If the voltage drops to near 0, then a short has likely occurred and the power supply has turned off momentarily to protect itself.

If uncertain of which to choose, start with dc voltage, which handles higher voltage. A small computer board might be more likely at 3.3-5 volts. Multimeters are available in either digital or analog models, and can sport a variety of different features. On some meters, there may be an mV function. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Because DC offset readings will be quite small (usually under 100 mV), you need a meter with a small range (sensitivity) so that the readings will register correctly. Likewise, use the region labeled V and a wavy line to measure AC.
Steps for measuring dc voltage with a digital multimeter. This function is reading and storing voltage for a certain time period, with a certain time delay between readings. On an analog meter, the needle will instantly peg to the right side of the display. In this case, 95% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

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A dc voltage variation below the normal rated voltage indicates a problem. It’s a simple measurement, at least at the surface level. Otherwise, damage to the meter will occur. The Black Meter lead/Probe is Negative 3. The guide below will teach you how to measure DC offset using perhaps the classic application - a stereo receiver or amplifier. Some digital multimeters (DMMs) also include dc millivolts. But this simple reading is only the very surface level of a function that is designed to be much more capable than a single reading. If the range selection is too small in value, the meter will read ‘OL’ which means ‘Over Limit’. 2V, 20V, 200V, 1000V. I was looking for info on setting my Bias and DC offset on my Sansui B-2301. The extra knowledge of pairing that reading with the manual range selection and the min/max functions can bring more information and accuracy to the reading of voltage and ultimately, the solution to electrical faults.

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