Multimeter's Common Controls
This multimeter was $100 when I got it about 8 years ago. It also has some extras that are good for modding use, but I am not explaining to limit confusion.
Good habits to get into with a multimeter are:
Check your equipment as some leads have changeable tips that come loose.
Set your meter to the function before connecting leads.
Connecting one lead at a time, crucial with live wires/boards, crossed connections can kill you or your project.
Working with bare wires or components can cause shorts or misreading's,
so work on insulated area (not in a metal case).
Learn wire color-coding and pinouts to avoid accidents. Keep a folder/ notebook for writing down notes so you can keep for reference.
Keep paper handy if your doing several tests to write readings on.
Reading a multimeter
First thing to reading a meter is an understanding of the prefixes. The prefixes are metric, so conversion is easy once you get the hang of it. My meter auto ranges, so it selects the most accurate range and then I convert it to know the proper way to write and look up parts.
|Symbol:||Magnitude:||Meaning (multiply by):|
|Mega-||M||106||1 000 000|
|micro-||u (mu)||10-6||0.000 001|
|nano-||n||10-9||0.000 000 001|
|pico-||p||10-12||0.000 000 000 001|
Symbols for Electric: Most used prefixes for reading a multimeter
The other key is the symbol for each function, which makes jotting notes easier. Example of this is 100 mA DC may be on a part, which is read as 100 Milli Amperes Direct Current. A meter reading on digital display of 1 M Ω, which is read as 1 Megaohm of resistance. View the chart and then read on to begin testing with a multimeter.
|A/C or AC||Alternating current||Electric in back-forth direction|
|D/C or DC||Direct Current||Electric in one direction|
|V||Volt||Force of current|
|A||Ampere||Amount of current flow|
|f||Capacitance||Storage & release of electric|
|Hz||Hertz||Frequency of current|