(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 25

Thread: What Leads For A Digital Multimeter?

  1. #1

    Default What Leads For A Digital Multimeter?

    I just got a digital multimeter, the first one I've ever owned or touched, for only $10, new!

    Great stuff. But it came without leads. And when I look at it I see not two holes marked + and - as with my old analog meter, but three, with strange markings.

    So I don't know what to put in where.

    Could someone please help me? I've attached a pic.

    regards,

    ab
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member BrianJohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    151

    Default

    Common and the hole right above common, the bottom two holes, third hole upper most is for measuring amperage utilizing the meter in series with the load and source.

    I thought when you said you paid $10.00 for it that it came without holes.

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    9,001

    Default

    Make sure not to connect the meter ACROSS a voltage source with the COM and 10AMP leads, as that is pretty much a dead short.

    The blue socket on the left is to connect the three leads of a transistor ( 2 types, NPN and PNP)

  4. #4
    General Contractor, Farmer HandyAndy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Haxtun, CO
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Radio shack sold meter leads at one time, I think they still do,

  5. #5

    Default

    Okay, got it. I use the bottom two holes. The bottom one is negative and the middle one is positive, to use my old analog meter terminology.

    The 'COM' marking threw me. I didn't think of 'common' as an answer. And I still don't really understand it, but okay, earth, neg, like that.

    DON'T use the 10ADC and COM across a voltage source. Those two are to be used in series when measuring amperage with a hefty 10Amp maximum. Well, sounds hefty to me. I've never ever before measured current but I guess I'll be bound to have a go now I've got an instrument.

    Thanks for the help, guys.

    I actually googled it and found it well represented. Available in the States at a recommended retail of $us15 !

    Sold by another outfit with 1 year's warrantee!

    Pity it doesn't come with a manual.

    I'll go get some leads for it and play with it...

    regards,

    ab

  6. #6

    Default

    Infortunately, the on-line instructions aren't much help.
    Just my 2 worth.

  7. #7

    Default

    Actually it turns out I've been too hasty once again... under the cardboard backplate of the blister pack was a kinda long bubble going across the bottom, something like you get on blister packs of screws, so's the vendors can stand 'em up on display I guess.

    But this wasn't for standing up for display, it had a little instruction booklet and a pair of leads in it!

    All for $10. Ah, it's a lovely time for penurious home handymen (if it weren't for the cost of timber and steel, that is, but you can't have everything).

    But thanks for the link to those other instructions, they're more comprehensive than the stuff I got, I've downloaded them and I'd read up on 'em.

    regards,

    ab

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,632

    Default multimeter

    Personally, any multimeter without a snap around ammeter is almost worthless to me.

  9. #9
    Previous member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Riverview, Fl.
    Posts
    4,540

    Default

    Personally, any multimeter without a snap around ammeter is almost worthless to me.
    Snap around's are a lot safer too, they don't flash and hurt your eyes when you wrap them around a load larger than they can handle.

    bob...

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member BrianJohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    151

    Default

    Snap around's are a lot safer too, they don't flash and hurt your eyes when you wrap them around a load larger than they can handle.

    ?????? Could you expand on this.

    I own a variety of clamp-on amp meters and have NEVER seen a flash.

    As for a clamp-on amp meter having additional functions, that is user specific. I never use a clamp-on for anything but measuring current.

  11. #11
    Previous member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Riverview, Fl.
    Posts
    4,540

    Default

    Make sure not to connect the meter ACROSS a voltage source with the COM and 10AMP leads, as that is pretty much a dead short.
    This is the reason. If you were to use the amp and common leads to try and measure voltage on a 115 volt outlet, you would probably see the flash. Snap on current meters don't physically touch the voltage like the leads do.

    bob...

  12. #12
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,307

    Default

    I think it is confusing to suggest that a snap-on (sometimes called clamp-on) ammeter is required. The only function that a snap-on ammeter has that a standard multimeter does not have is the ability to measure Alternating Current (A/C). That is essential in some cases but is probably less than 1% of the applications for a typical homeowner.

    It is rare that a homeowner would want to measure A/C current and I think using a multimeter for that purpose on 120 Volt circuits is probably hazardous. The only time I try to measure current with mine is small DC circuits.

    I have both and prefer the multimeter for most things because it has more ranges and a better display.

    Also a consideration for the typical homeowner is that you can get a multimeter for $10 and a decent snap-on ammeter costs $70 t0 $100 or more.

    Every homeowner should own a multimeter and learn how to use it. It is good for checking lightbulbs, Christmas tree light strings, batterys, cords, and numerous other things.

  13. #13
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Metro NYC
    Posts
    798

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by abrogard View Post
    I just got a digital multimeter, the first one I've ever owned or touched, for only $10, new!

    Great stuff. But it came without leads. And when I look at it I see not two holes marked + and - as with my old analog meter, but three, with strange markings.

    So I don't know what to put in where.

    Could someone please help me? I've attached a pic.

    regards,

    ab
    "banana plugs" are what will fit in the test meter connections. Pretty much standard issue for test leads.

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member BrianJohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    151

    Default

    A few thoughts on a DIYer and his inexpensive test equipment. The least expensive voltage tester most electricians utilize cost in the range of 35-60 dollars, and while this unit may be safe to use take care.

    Be careful using this tester, always test this and any voltage tester for that matter on a known live circuit prior to use.

  15. #15

    Default

    Yep, guys thanks for the input. I well understand the warning about checking the meter before use and the reminder is very good to have - my old radio shack analog meter had such puny wiring inside the leads that they just broke during the course of normal use and led me to detect no voltage on a circuit that was actually live.

    My fault for not doing a resistance test first I guess. No matter who's fault - a very dangerous circumstance.

    And thanks for the warnings about the 'flash that hurts the eyes', I got a laugh out of that but its equally serious I guess. My instructions read to let 15minutes go between current reading and not to leave it in circuit for longer than 10 seconds.

    I guess I could get an eye hurting flash if I ignored those instructions on sufficiently beefy circuit.

    I think I won't be using the ammeter part at all - I can't see where it would be useful when I'm constrained to one measurement every 15 minutes.

    But I'm very satisfied with what I've got especially considering the price. A better replacement for the analog meter plus the transister checker is nice (even if I'm only playing) and it operates as a signal generator, too, it says, that'll be good, something else to explore.

    I test wall plugs, light sockets, computer wiring, car wiring, that's it.

    And I nearly got zapped that time with the broken lead on the analog, so I'm a bit wary. Not wary enough, though, that was a timely reminder. Thanks.

    regards,

    ab

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •