Digital Multimeter Components and Functions

A digital multimeter such as those from the Fluke company are a critical part of an electricians toolbox. Let’s take a look at the various parts of a digital multimeter and what their purpose is.

The Display
The display of a digital multimeter normally is very straightforward and contains intuitive elements. Normally is is large and easy to read. The displays will normally have four digits. The first digit is normally a 0 or 1 and there will also be a + / - indicator. Additionally depending on the model and brand you own, there could also be some smaller ones like an AC / DC indicator.

The Connections
There will of course be main connections for the probes. You can’t do much without these. There have to be at least two since a minimum of two are needed to make a measurement but theremay be three or four. The types of connectors are

  • Common - This is used for a all measurements. You may hook up the negative (black) lead probe to the common connection.
  • Voltage, ohms, and frequency - This is used for nearly all types of readings. This connector accepts the red probe.
  • Amperage - This takes the red probe as well. Obviously this is used to measure amps or current.
  • High Amperage - Now many times in a ammeter you will have a special connection for high current readings. The specs on the model should explain what levels of current each connection is recommended for. If you expect high levels of current, you will use this connection.

Some models may have other special connections but these are the most common multimeter connection types

The Main Switch
Certainly we have to be able to turn on our digital meter. So, normally single larger main rotary switch to both power on the unit and select the type of measurement you will be making.

There may be a host of other controls and displays on various types of multimeter. For Fluke meters this is the general layout. Some companies provide different features like even a one button operation. The standard layout has endured for years so I think these features will be common for years to come. Of course there are many other types of digital meters that perform many other specialty functions like temperature measurement, light measurement, gain on transistors, resistance of motor windings, transformers, and solenoids etc., continuity of wiring, insulation tests and on and on.

Fluke are used by professionals and home DIYers alike. Whether your installing a new Home theater and tv wall mount or working on a multimillion dollar office building contract, Fluke gets the job done.

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2 Comments

  1. Dexter L., October 13, 2010:

    i’m in need of help.. i own a car that has a digital meter and while i was changing the bulbs i pull the front layer of the lcd screen which looks like a transparent plastic layer and accidentally tore it into pieces.. can anyone tell me what plastic is it.. without it i cant see my digital meter with my naked eyes.. no wires connected to this plastic layer.. i did assume it is a UV protective layer as i did tried putting on my sunglasses(which is UV protected + polarized) and surprisingly i can see my digital meter with the sunglasses.. i hope u can help me with this because i cant find anyone who can help me with this in my country.. i can only try ordering it but if its the wrong material, it will be just a waste of money.. and basically i can’t find that specific digital cluster for my car anywhere.. its kinda old so i have no choice.. hope you guys can help me.. thanks a million….!! hope to hear from you guys soon..

  2. Dexter L., October 13, 2010:

    one more thing.. if i could rip off any digital stuffs like clock etc. will there be any plastic layer that i could use as a replacment..? thanks again?

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