Multi-tester 101

Old 09-23-03, 02:36 PM
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Multi-tester 101

I just bought a rather cheap (under $20) multi-tester which was supposed to have a "complete, thorough user's manual." The manual turned out to be one sheet of paper with barely legible writing on both sides. I guess I got what I paid for.

Anybody know of a good source for learning how to use a multi-tester.
Old 09-23-03, 03:01 PM
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I can't think of a source other than the owners manual. while most multi testers perform the same functions, the manual settings and push buttons are often different, so I wouldn't count on a universal set of instructions.

On the plus side, if you tell us what the meter functions are and what you hope to do with it, we can probably guide you through it pretty easily. Incidentally, who was the manufacturer?
Old 09-23-03, 11:20 PM
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same situation w/ multi-tester

I bought one too (GB Instruments) and instructions are slim. I've read a couple electrical books too; not much instruction there, either.

I had an unpleasant experience w/ it. Connected a lead to a terminal on a switch and got a nice pop and flash lightshow; tripped the circuit. Turns out I had part of the terminal touching part of the metal of the switch at the same time; completing the circuit.

I need to test a pair of wires (red, black, ground); do I need to connect the black terminal to the white wire before the red terminal to the black wire? Any chance of any shocks or anything here?
Old 09-24-03, 03:49 PM
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I presume you are testing a red, black and ground for voltage.

In that case, put one lead of your meter on the black and the other on the ground. (should give you 120V) Now do the same with the red and the ground. (again, 120 V) Finally, do the same thing with the black and red (should be about 240V.)

As to shock hazards, just make sure you touch the wires with your test leads and not your fingers. If, for some bizarre reason ,you are creating short circuits through your meter, retrun it immediately, it is faulty.
Old 09-25-03, 11:00 AM
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Thanks CS for the help.

The tester I bought is an ELECTRO-TEK ($17 at Wal-Mart).

I'm not even sure which jacks on the tester to plug the leads into: one says "VOmegamA", the middle jack is labeled "COM", and the third jack is labeled "10A".

I need a copy of "Multi-Testers for Dummies."
Old 09-25-03, 11:24 AM
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What type of muti-tester is this---- "digital" with a "numerical" reading, or "anolog", with a deflecting indicating-needle?

If it's designed with a rotary selector-switch, it's possible the switch-settings include "DC Volts---- "AC Volts"---"Ohms". The safest setting is "AC Volts" and you would use the "Com" + "Vomegama" jacks.

Good Luck & Enjoy the Experience!!!!!!!!
Old 09-25-03, 03:10 PM
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The "Com" jack is the common. The black lead will always be connected here. The 10A jack is for amperage readings. The red lead would connect here for amperage measurements. But, since it appears to have a 10 Amp limit, I would advise against using it on a household circuit. (a 10 amp meter is more suited to electonics work.) All other functions (voltage A/C, voltage D/C, resistance, etc.) will have the red lead plugged into the VOmegaMA jack.
Old 09-27-03, 08:42 PM
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After looking at this thread again, it finally dawned on me what the nomencalture on your meter is

V = Volts
the greek symbol omega (lower case) = Ohms (resistance)
mA = milliamps

It's likely your meter also has a dial of some sort containing some or all of the following marks

V with a solid line under or beside it = Volts DC
V with a dotted line = Volts AC
Ma = milliamps
A (or 10A) = Amps (limited to a 10 amp max. going beyond that can damage the meter)
Omega = Ohms (you may also have an audible tone associated with this function that indicates continuity.)

Since you have a low cost meter it is doubtful that you have

upsilon (lower case) = capacitance
Temp = temperature (and rquires a temperaturs probe)
Old 09-27-03, 10:26 PM
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Book on Multi-tester

Sears/Craftsman publishes a small manual on how to use multi-testers. I don't know if it's any good, but I've seen it displayed in the same area as their multi-testers.

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