Hello, Element14!

In this blog post, I will discuss the very basics of how to use a multimeter.

I sure most of you already know how to use a multimeter, but I thought I'd make this for the absolute beginner.


Voltage Measurements

Before making any measurement using a multimeter, you first need to insert your test probes into the correct sockets on the multimeter.

The black probe is the ground probe, and is always connected to the port labeled "COM".

When measuring voltage DC or AC, you insert the red probe into the socket labeled 'V' which stands for voltage.

Once you insert your probes into the correct sockets, you can power on your multimeter, and set it to the V setting.

You'll have two types of voltage setting. AC voltage like from a wall outlet, and DC voltage like from a battery.

Determine which type of voltage you're measuring, and set your meter to measure the that type.

                            AC Voltage Setting                                                                         DC Voltage Setting


Once you've figured out what type of voltage you're measuring, and have your meter set appropriately, it's time to start probing some voltage!

To measure DC voltage, Connect the red probe to the positive side of your power source, and the black probe to the negative or ground side of your power source.

The voltage between the probes will be displayed on the LCD.


Current Measurements

Just like with voltage, you have to make sure you probes are in the correct socket.

The black probe should remain in the COM port, and the red probe should be moved to the 10A socket.

Switch the rotary switch to the A setting which stands for amps.

This time, you have to insert you're meter in series with a circuit.


And, the current will display on the LCD.

If the current you're trying to measure is in the milliamps or microamps range, then you can switch you probe to the ma/ua socket.

Then, move the meters rotary switch to the milliamps or microamps range.

This way, you'll get a more precise reading.


Resistance Measurements

Measuring resistance is very similar to measuring voltage.

When measuring resistance, you put you're meter in resistance measuring mode which is usually indicated by an ohms symbol.

The put the red probe in the socket labeled with an ohm symbol (usually the same socket for voltage), and connect your probes to your component in parallel, and the resistance reading will be displayed on the LCD.


Continuity Testing

One of the most useful features of a multimeter is the continuity testing mode.

It simply tests if there is connection between two points, and is very useful when testing for shorts or broken connections.

To use this mode, connect the red probe in the resistance socket, and choose the continuity testing setting.

When there is connection between the probes, your meter will make an audible beep to indicate that there is a connection.


Additional Features

Your meter might also have the ability to measure frequency, diodes, capacitors, transistors, etc.

Look up the model number of your multimeter to find out how to use those features, as it varies from meter to meter.


Links to previous blogs:

How To Control Motors

Introduction to PWM


Thanks for reading!