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Analog multimeters A multimeter may be implemented with a galvanometer meter movement, or less ofte n with a bargraph or simulated pointer

such as an LCD or vacuum fluorescent disp lay. Analog multimeters are common; a quality analog instrument will cost about the same as a DMM. Analog multimeters have the precision and reading accuracy li mitations described above, and so are not built to provide the same accuracy as digital instruments. Analog meters are able to display a changing reading in real time, whereas digit al meters present such data in a manner that's either hard to follow or more oft en incomprehensible. Also an intelligible digital display can follow changes far more slowly than an analog movement, so often fails to show what's going on cle arly. Some digital multimeters include a fast-responding bargraph display for th is purpose, though the resolution of these is usually low. Analog meters are also useful in situations where its necessary to pay attention to something other than the meter, and the swing of the pointer can be seen wit hout looking at it. This can happen when accessing awkward locations, or when wo rking on cramped live circuitry. Analog displays are also used to very roughly read currents well above the maxim um rated current of the meter. For this, the probes are just touched to the circ uit momentarily, and how fast the pointer speeds towards fsd is noted. This is o ften done when testing state of charge of dry batteries. Analog meter movements are inherently much more fragile physically and electrica lly than digital meters. Many analog meters have been instantly broken by connec ting to the wrong point in a circuit, or while on the wrong range, or by droppin g onto the floor. The ARRL handbook also says that analog multimeters, with no electronic circuitr y, are less susceptible to radio frequency interference.[21] The meter movement in a moving pointer analog multimeter is practically always a moving-coil galvanometer of the d'Arsonval type, using either jeweled pivots or taut bands to support the moving coil. In a basic analog multimeter the current to deflect the coil and pointer is drawn from the circuit being measured; it is usually an advantage to minimize the current drawn from the circuit. The sensit ivity of an analog multimeter is given in units of ohms per volt. For example, a very low cost multimeter with a sensitivity of 1000 ohms per volt would draw 1 milliampere from a circuit at full scale deflection.[22] More expensive, (and me chanically more delicate) multimeters typically have sensitivities of 20,000 ohm s per volt and sometimes higher, with a 50,000 ohms per volt meter (drawing 20 m icroamperes at full scale) being about the upper limit for a portable, general p urpose, non-amplified analog multimeter. To avoid the loading of the measured circuit by the current drawn by the meter m ovement, some analog multimeters use an amplifier inserted between the measured circuit and the meter movement. While this increased the expense and complexity of the meter, by use of vacuum tubes or field effect transistors the input resis tance can be made very high and independent of the current required to operate t he meter movement coil. Such amplified multimeters are called VTVMs (vacuum tube voltmeters),[23] TVMs (transistor volt meters), FET-VOMs, and similar names.

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Analog Multimeters Analog Multimeters Analog multimeters are electrical test instruments which are used to measure vol tage, current, resistance, frequency and signal power. Analog multimeters use a needle along a scale. Switched range analog multimeters are very cheap but are difficult for beginners to read accurately, especially o n resistance scales. Each type of meter has its advantages. Used as a voltmeter, a digital meter is usually better because its resistance is much higher, 1 M or 10 M, compared to 200 for a analog multimeter on a similar range. On the other hand, it is easier to follow a slowly changing voltage by watching the needle on an anlaogue display. Used as an ammeter, nalog multimeters have a very low resi stance and is very sensitive. More expensive digital multimeters can equal or be tter this performance. Most modern multimeters are digital and traditional analo g multimters are becoming obsolete. The basic functionality of an analog multimeter will include measurement of elec trical potential in volts, resistance in ohms, and current in amps. Analog multi meters can be used to find electronic and electrical short circuit problems. Adv anced analog multimeters come with more features such as capacitor, diode and IC testing modes. Specific measurements made by analog multimeters include DC volt age, AC voltage, DC current, AC current, frequency range for AC currents, and de cibel measurement. Analog multimeters that measure current may have a current cl amp built-in or configured as a probe. A current clamp is a sensor that clamps a round the wire. When searching for analog multimeters it is important to conside r the measurement range for whichever value is being measured. An analog multime ter displays these values via a dial, typically a moving pointer or needle. Anal og multimeters are generally bench top or hand held. Bench top models can also b e portable by use of handles and wheels. Hand held multimeters are specifically designed to be used while holding, i.e, can be operated with one hand. Analog multimeters have multiple scales on the dial, a moving needle and many ma nual settings on the function switch. It s tricky spotting the correct scale to re ad on the dial, plus you sometimes have to multiply the reading by 10 or 100 to get your final value. Depending on features (make sure it can do continuity test ing), prices start at about $15. For appliance and electronic repairs, it may be better to purchase a digital, no t analog, multimeter. This type is much simpler to read and you can change the f unctions on it more easily. Digital multimeters (Photo 2) have LCD readouts, do continuity testing, and cost from $35 on up. Some digital multimeters also featu re auto-ranging and overload protection and other advantages analog multimeters lack. For easier, hands-free viewing, choose an analog multimeter with a stand that wi ll prop it up or hang it on a wall. If an analog multimeter doesn t come equipped with either jumper wires or alligator clips (both about $4 each), buy them. Alli gator clips are often used to firmly grip wiring or contacts for hands-free safe and accurate readings. Both types of multimeters and these accessories can be p urchased at electronics stores, home centers and hardware stores. Common features for analog multimeters include battery power, overload protectio n, temperature compensated, mirrored scale, range switch, diode test, and batter y test. Devices with battery power can be operated without plug in power. Multim eters with overload protection have a fuse or other method to protect meter. Tem perature compensated devices have programming or electrical devices designed to counteract known errors caused by temperature changes. A mirrored scale makes it easier to read the instrument to a given accuracy by enabling the operator to a

void parallax errors. A range switch is used to select appropriate range of unit s to be measured. A device with a diode test has methods for testing diode opera tion. A device with a battery test has methods for testing battery operation. An important environmental parameter to consider when searching for analog multime ters is the operating temperature.