Every electrician needs a multimeter as it is very essential in works that involve usage of electric current. A multimeter is simply an electronic measuring instrument that includes basic features such as voltage in volts, current in amperes and resistance in ohms. There are different types of multimeters and here is an overview of the best multimeters on the market.
They are usually used to find electrical problems in both industrial and household equipments.
Types of multimeters.
They are basically two types of multimeters, and we are going to discuss both, although they both do the same job.
i. Analog multimeter.
They were the first to be developed before the invention of the digital one. They relied on a moving pointer on a scale with a reading in it. They are built around an ammeter, which is used to measure electrical current in amperes. It is connected to the socket where direct current passes through it. The current being measured passes through a coil which is attached with magnetic field, and converts electrical energy to mechanical energy. Once you have inserted the probes and connected it to the multimeter, the pointer on the scale will deflect measuring the current. The measurement of voltage and resistance is not hard as it uses the formula of calculating it.
When finishing using the multimeter, it is advisable to return it to its original position as it prevents it from being picked up to measure voltage when it has been set for current measurement. This can lead to damage of the meter or even the circuit under test.
ii. Digital multimeter.
This is a more advanced multimeter. It uses digital circuits to measure current compared with the analog ones, which use a continuous range of values. In digital meters, the values are displayed on the meter bar, which uses LED light and the numerical value of the quantity being measured. Though it is more accurate compared to the analog meter, the time involved in processing the signal makes them disadvantageous in measuring values that change.
Which is better?
This debate never ends on which is better than the other. People have different preferences depending on its uses, although they both have its advantages and disadvantages.
The digital multimeter is more accurate compared with the analog; this is because the analog uses a pointer, therefore, it is easy to miscalculate unlike a digital one whereby the readings are displayed for you.
The flow of reading might change and in this case, it is good to use the analog meter as it is easier to see the readings fluctuate. The digital one would lead to inaccurate readings as the digits would appear erratic and not precise.
The digital meter has a lot of special features and serves multiple purposes as it can also read change in temperature, humidity, light and even sound unlike the analogue which is limited to only current, voltage and resistance.
The analogue meter is tedious as it requires you to set the scale and a slight error will lead to false readings. On the other hand, the digital automatically sets the scale for you and even indicates it on the display.
The analogue meter is prone to parallax errors while the digital simply displays a number.
Although old is gold, the digital is better as it is more advanced and accurate.