Electronics/Measuring Instruments

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Measuring Instruments[edit]

Ammeters[edit]

Ammeters are devices that measure current. Current in electronics is usually measured in mA which are called milliamperes, which are 1/1000s of an ampere.
..... Basically an ammeter consists of a coil that can rotate inside a magnet, but a spring is trying to push the coil back to zero. The larger the current that flows through the coil, the larger the angle of rotation, the torque (= a rotary force) created by the current being counteracted by the return torque of the spring.
..... Usually ammeters are connected in parallel with various switched resistors that can extend the range of currents that can be measured. Assume, for example, that the basic ammeter is "1000 ohms per volt", which means that to get the full-scale deflection of the pointer a current of 1 mA is needed (1 volt divided by 1000 ohms is 1 mA - see "Ohm's Law").
..... To use that ammeter to read 10 mA full-scale it is shunted with another resistance, so that when 10 mA flows, 9 mA will flow through the shunt, and only 1 mA will flow through the meter. Similarly, to extend the range of the ammeter to 100 mA the shunt will carry 99 mA, and the meter only 1 mA.

Ohmmeters[edit]

Ohmmeters are basically ammeters that are connected to an internal battery, with a suitable resistance in series. Assume that the basic ammeter is "1000 ohms per volt", meaning that 1 mA is needed for full-scale deflection. When the external resistance that is connected to its terminals is zero (the leads are connected together at first for calibration), then the internal, variable, resistor in series with the ammeter is adjusted so that 1 mA will flow; that will depend on the voltage of the battery, and as the battery runs down that setting will change. The full scale point is marked as zero resistance. If an external resistance is then connected to the terminals that causes only half of the current to flow (0.5 mA in this example), then the external resistance will equal the internal resistance, and the scale is marked accordingly. When no current flows, the scale will read infinity resistance. The scale of an ohmmeter is NOT linear.Ohmmeters are usually useful in checking the short circuit and open circuit in boards.

Multimeters[edit]

A digital multimeter

Multimeters contain Ohmeters, Voltmeters, Ammeters and a variety of capabilities to measure other quantities. AC and DC voltages are most often measurable. Frequency of AC voltages. Multimeters also feature a continuity detector, basically an Ohmmeter with a beeper if the multimeter sees less than 100 Ω then it beeps otherwise it is silent. This is very useful for finding whether components are connected when debugging or testing circuits. Multimeters are also often able to measure capacitance and inductance. This may be achieved using a Wien bridge. A diode tester is also generally onboard, this allows one to determine the anode and cathode of an unknown diode. A LCD display is also provided for easily reading of results.

Wikipedia:Multimeter

Electronics Laboratory Instruments[edit]

Oscilloscope[edit]

The instrument is used to view AC waveforms. For better explanation of the oscilloscope.

Spectrum Analyzer[edit]

Wikipedia:Spectrum_Analyzer

Signal Generator[edit]

This instrument is used to generate low voltage AC signals. Most common signal generators can create sinusoidal(sine), triangular and square waves of various frequencies. They are used in conjunction with the oscilloscope to test analogue circuits.

Wikipedia:Signal_Generator

Logic Probe[edit]

This instrument generates high and low logic states to test digital circuits. If a logic probe is not available a square wave through a signal generator can be used. Square waves can also be used to test the response time of a digital circuits.

Wikipedia:Logic Probe