# Using a multimeter

Online I've seen more simpler multimeters that you choose what your measuring. How do I use a multimeter like this for measurement

• You select the range you are interested in, then connect the probes to what you want to measure. – Majenko Feb 11 '15 at 23:13
• – Nick Alexeev Feb 11 '15 at 23:18

As expected this multimeter will allow you to measure voltages, currents and resistances. To do so you just need to consider basic electronics. That is consider what reading you expect to read (if it is a small or big voltage for example) and select the closest setting. You will need to connect two probes considering black probe is ground.

Be careful that the reading does not alter the circuit. For example reading a voltage requires some small current flow (for the resistance of the voltmeter is considerable but not infinite), though this should not affect circuits unless it contains small currents due to similarly high resistances.

Also, be aware of your probe configuration when taking measurements. For instance, if you are using the multimeter above, you don't want to be measuring a current potentially above 200 mA when you are plugged into the COM and $V\Omega mA$ terminals.

I think that multimeter has a common interface to many multimeters being sold nowadays.

First of all, always measure:

• Voltage (Volts) in parallel (V)

• Current (Ampères) in series (A). In series also the Diode/bip conductivity test

• Resistance (Ohms) with the circuit off (Ω)

The 10A socket at left should only be used for the 10A position in junction with the COM socket.

Following measurements are done with COM and VΩmA sockets:

When measuring Voltage of AC sources, like the electricity power line of your house you should use V~ white positions. And when measuring DC sources, like batteries, you should use V... green positions.

The diode/bip (red) position is used to test continuity on a circuit or to discover in what sense the current in a diode is oriented.

Now that yellow part:

The hFE position is used to measure characteristic values of a transistor, like α and β, which legs you should put on the holes of that yellow circle. But first you need to know which leg is what: the Emissor, the Collector and the Base. And also if they are whether PNP or NPN. Those informations normally are available on their technical data sheet.

By the way, when you have a vague idea of the grandness of the measure you are taking, you should begin with large scales and gradually reduce.

Now, can you explain me the OFF position? I don't what the hell kind of measure is that devilish thing!

By now, it is not more time to ask questions, but for you to read the manual.

First, RTFM thoroughly, from front to back, until you get what the meter's for and you understand its vagaries.

Second, If you don't know the general magnitude of the quantity you're measuring, set the meter to its highest range for that measurement, connect the leads, and if the resultant reading doesn't take full advantage of the meter's range, disconnect the leads, switch to a lower range, and reconnect the leads.

Third, if you do know the general magnitude of the quantity you're measuring, set the meter to its highest range for that measurement, connect the leads, and if the reading doesn't take full advantage of the meter's range, disconnect the leads, switch to a lower range, and reconnect the leads.

Yes, I'm being facetious, but the point is that in order to keep the magic smoke in the meter, and in yourself, always assume that what you're measuring is more dangerous than what you think it is and set up your measurements for the least risk of damage possible to the DUT, the meter, and you.

• And don't measure volts with the probe in the 10A socket. The 10A socket is practically a short circuit to the COMmon pin, so that way lies smoke and tears... – Brian Drummond Feb 12 '15 at 0:00
• Indeed, as will trying to measure the source resistance of AC mains using the OHMS ranges. – EM Fields Feb 12 '15 at 0:15

You set the pointer to the green section in the upper left to measure DC voltage - The symbol after the "V" (solid line over dotted line) means "Direct Current (DC)". There are five voltages ranges there: 200 mV, 2000 mV (or 2 Volts), 20 V, 200 V, and 500 V. You would set the pointer to a range that includes the expected voltage.

The white section in the upper right, marked "V~" measures AC volts.

The green section on the right measures DC current.

The white section on the lower left measures resistance. When measuring resistance, the circuit you are testing must not be powered, as the meter supplies a low voltage across the leads, and measures the resulting current to determine the resistance. When measuring resistance, you should not touch both probe tips with your fingers, otherwise the meter will see your body resistance in parallel with the resistor you want to measure, and will show a lower resistance than expected.