The multimeter, also called a volt-ohm meter (or VOM), is the basic tool for anyone working in electronics. You use a multimeter to take a variety of electrical measurements hence the term “multi.” With this one tool, you can
You Can Measure From Multimeters
- Measure AC voltages
- Measure DC voltages
- Measure resistance
- Measure current going through a circuit
- Measure continuity (whether a circuit is broken or not)
And depending on the model, you may also be able to test the operation of diodes, capacitors, and transistors to see if they’re good. All multimeters come with a pair of test leads, one black and one red (black is for the ground connection; red is for the positive connection). Each test lead comes equipped with a metal probe. For small, pocket units the test leads come permanently attached to the meter. On larger models, you can unplug the test leads.
If you don’t already own a multimeter, you should seriously consider buying one. It’s well worth the relatively low cost, considering how much you’ll use the meter. Prices for new multimeters range from $10 to over $100. The main difference between the high and low priced meters is the features that you get such as built-in testing features for capacitors and transistors. Shop around and compare features and prices. Know that, whatever you buy, you’re going to have it for years to come. Consider getting the best multimeter that you can afford so that, as your projects grow more complex, your multimeter can keep up.