Voltmeters and Ammeters - How to use them.

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 This is a guide primarily aimed at analogue panel meters, volts and amps. Typically these meters do not need an external source of power to enable the meter to function. These meters draw a tiny amount of power from the circuit they are in.


Digital multimeters operate in a similar way, but they are usually powered by an internal battery. When using a digital multimeter to measure voltage or current, always check the test leads are in the correct sockets on the meter before connecting them to the circuit. Connecting a meter configured in ammeter mode directly across a voltage source will cause a near short circuit, possibly causing damage and blowing a fuse in your meter.


VOLTMETERS

  Symbol                   Connection Diagram
  • Voltmeters measure Voltage.

  • Voltage is measured in Volts, V.

  • Voltmeters are connected in parallel across components.

  • Voltmeters have a very high resistance.

  • The positive terminal of the meter, marked + should be connected nearest to + on the    battery or power supply.

  • The negative terminal of the meter, marked - should be connected nearest to - on the battery or power supply




AMMETERS

                                  
                               Symbol                           Circuit before connecting an ammeter (top),
                                                                                                                                                and circuit after connecting an ammeter ( bottom).
  • Ammeters measure current.

  • Current is measured in amps (amperes), A.

  • Ammeters are connected in series.

  • To connect in series you must break the circuit and put the ammeter across the gap, as shown in the diagram.

  • Ammeters have a very low resistance.


At the point in which you connect your meter in your circuit:

  • The positive terminal of the meter, marked + should be connected nearest to + on the battery or power supply.

  • The negative terminal of the meter, marked - should be connected nearest to - on the battery or power supply.

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