How to use Digital Multimeter ? – Noobs Guide

Electronics is a subject where you need to do lot of practical stuffs than to just learning the concepts,that’s the reason I am presenting this article than teaching you about maximum power transfer theorem is or method calculate the Thevenin’s resistance.(Please go through the book The Art of Electronics if you don’t understand these terms).

multimeter-techiestuffs

Digital Multimeter is a very essential Electronics Tool that every Hobbyist and learner should possess,because this is the very first tool which can help you to understand the basic Electronics.

Multimeter is an Electronic device which helps you to measure various quantities like Voltage,Current,Resistance etc.In this article I am going to demonstrate all those stuffs that you can do with a Multimeter.

Anatomy of Multimeter

Multimeter’s are available in various range based on its precision and extended features to measure several other physical parameters like Capacitance,Inductance etc.You can buy Multimeters on various online stores such as Amazon.

In this article I am using the basic one which has capabilities to measure Current,Voltage,resistance and to check the continuity.

Anatomy of multimeter

As you can see in the above Image,The multimeter represented here is have 3 digit resolution,which is enough for a beginner or a Hobbyist.

Inorder to measure the specific quantity, you need to set the knob to corresponding range,If you are unsure about the range then start with the lowest possible range.If the reading in the multimeter shows ‘1’ then it means the value is overflowed so you need to move knob to next higher value.

Now before moving on further,I would like to mention about the Try it exercise block below every experiment,these small experiments will let you think and explore deeper to what you are learning.So Please don’t skip the Try it exercise’s.

Experiment to Measure Continuity of a material

Continuity is a physical property which represents the materials ability to conduct current through it.Continuity test will be helpful in many aspects such as verifying Soldering joints and to debug the circuit for broken wires and pins.In fact most hobbyist mostly use Digital multimeter to test continuity only.

Let’s see how to test continuity

  1. Connect the Black probe to COM port(Common).
  2. Connect the Red probe to V(mA) port ( for measuring small current and voltage)
  3. Set the position of knob to Continuity test mode. (Refer the below Image)
  4. Place the Black probe and RED probes in two ends of the material that you wish to test the continuity.
  5. Now if you hear beep sound then,the material you tested is a conductor and if it doesn’t makes beep sound then the material is not a conductor.
contuinity-test-multimeter

[tryit] Try to short the two probes in continuity mode,what did you observe ? [/tryit]

Now test some other materials before you move further.

Experiment to measure the Resistance of a Material

I hope you understand what resistance and resistor is,So I am moving on to the experiment directly.

  1. Connect the probes as mentioned in previous experiment.
  2. Set the knob to Resistance mode (start from the lowest range,that is from 200 ohms).
  3. Now place the probes in two opposite ends of the material.
  4. Now note down the Resistance value displayed in the LCD screen,if it becomes 1 then it infers that the values you set is overflowed so now set the knob to next higher resistance range.
  5. Repeat the above step still you get the stable value.
multimeter-measure-resistance

Thats it,You are doing well now but before moving on try to measure the resistance so your tongue and some other objects.

Before you move on I want to put up a question,Can you use Resistance mode to test the continuity also ?

[tryit]  Try to measure the resistance of a standard resistors and verify that tolerance levels are correct. [/tryit]

Experiment to measure Voltage

To do this experiment you need to have any working battery,here I am demonstrating with a 9V battery.

  1. Connect the probes as I mentioned in previous experiments.
  2. Set the knob to measure Voltage mode (start from the lowest voltage).
  3. Place the Black probe to negative end of the battery.
  4. Place the Red probe in positive end of the battery.
  5. You can see the voltage value in the LCD screen,If it becomes 1 then as I mentioned earlier the voltage of the battery is above the range you set in step 2.
  6. Repeat the above step till you get the stable value.
multimeter-measure-voltage

Note that even if you are using a fresh battery the actual voltage you get may be deviated form the labelled voltage,this is due to various factors like battery internal resistance etc.

[tryit] Now try to exchange the position of the probe,that is connect black to positive terminal and Red to negative terminal.Did you observe anything ??? [/tryit]

Experiment to measure Current

In this experiment I am going to measure the current delivered by the battery.

  1. Connect the probes as I mentioned in previous experiments.
  2. Set the knob to measure Current mode (start from the lowest).
  3. Place the Black probe to negative end of the battery.
  4. Place the Red probe in positive end of the battery.
  5. You can see the value of current in the LCD screen,If it becomes 1 then as I mentioned earlier the current delivered by the battery is above the range you set in step 2.
  6. Repeat the above step till you get the stable value.
multimeter-measure-current

[tryit] Now try to measure the AC voltage and Current that is supplied to your home.(Take parental guidance if you are a beginner) [/tryit]

In the above experiment we have measured the current delivered by the battery.Now if you want to measure very HIGH current,that is above 10A you have to make some adjustments.

Measure High Current (upto 10 A DC )

    1. Connect the Black probe to COM port as we did earlier
    2. Connect Red probe in the other port which we didn’t use for previous experiments.(10 A)
    3. Set the knob to measure current.
    4. Now connect the two probes in Live wire and Black wire in neutral pin of your AC port  High DC current source you want to measure. (Current above 10A will blowup the fuse inside your multimeter)
    5. The value will show up in LCD display.

If you forget to change the Red probe then the chances are very high to fuse your multimeter,so always don’t forget to make the changes when you are measuring current above 10A.

[tryit] Try to measure small current with the probe set to above above 10 A.Did you get any value ??? [/tryit]

What else ?

If you are not a good reader,following visuals can help you.(This video is not by me )

We have come to end of this long tutorial,Thanks a lot for showing much patience to read this article and I hope you liked it

If you found this tutorial useful,please share this with friends via social media channels like Facebook,Twitter and also Subscribe our Newsletter to stay tuned with this blog.

Comments

      • Kuberkoos says

        Measure High Current(above 10 A)
        1. Connect the Black probe to COM port as we did earlier
        2. Connect Red probe in the other port which we didn’t use for previous experiments.(10 A)
        3. Set the knob to measure current mode (voltage or current).
        4. Now Place the RED probe in Live wire and Black wire in neutral pin of your AC port.
        5. The value will show up in LCD display.
        If you forget to change the Red probe then the chances are very high to fuse your multimeter,so always don’t forget to make the changes when you are measuring current above 10A.
        Try to measure small current with the probe set to above above 10 A.Did you get any value ???

        The 10A current setting is to measure currents up to 10A. (Open up your multimeter. Inside you will find two fuses – a small one for the Milliamp setting – and a large one for the 10A setting. The rating on the large one is 10A . In other words, if you attempt to measure more than 10A it will blow. Go on, try it.
        1. Your point 3 states:” Set the knob to measure current mode (voltage or current).”To measure current it should be the 10A setting. You stating “voltage or current” is very confusing: Which do you want to measure’ voltage or current?

        2. Your point no. 4 states:”Now Place the RED probe in Live wire and Black wire in neutral pin of your AC port. “ Does this mean the socket outlet fed from your distribution board? If so, you will be trying to measure the total current your energy supplier is able to generate, and that would be in the order of Megawatts – if not Gigawatts, or more plainly, several thousand Amps at the very least.
        3. While the rest of your piece is fairly good, I would suggest you discuss this piece on measuring current with a electrical professional.

        • says

          Thanks Kuberkoos….Yeah you are right.The method I mentioned was to measure DC current upto 10A..As you pointed earlier the current above 10A will blowup the fuse.

          Thanks a lot for your appreciation…I will improve this article based on your comment.

  1. Jonas says

    Hi, i would like to know, if my digital multimeter is broken or what. Anything i do with voltage, its always showing 1, does not meter if it turn it to 200m or 2 or 20 or 200 or 1000, its always showing 1. If i turning power of and on, then numbers changing and going to 1 and stays there. I tried to disconnect the leads from it, and its still the same 1 and nothing changing. Tried different things to meter from 1.2v battery to 9v laptop charger, the result always showing 1 and no changes if i do change meter readings like i said 200m 2 20 200 or 1000v—

  2. says

    Great article! That takes me back to when I was just learning electronics. I can’t count how many times I replaced that cartridge fuse in my multimeter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>