Instructions Needed for Digital Multimeter

Discussion in 'Talkback' started by PoppaDoc, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. PoppaDoc

    PoppaDoc New Member

    Numerous posts in various forums mention checking the electrical hookups at RV parks with a multimeter before plugging in to determine ??? I was in a hardward store a few days ago and saw a digital multimeter on sale and purchased it. Now, after reading all of the instructions, I've absolutely no idea how I would use it due to all of the settings. I have black and red electrodes and 3 places to plug them in. One plug in is a common/ground. There are settings for DCV, ACV, DCA among others. I realize this is one of those dumb questions, but, how do I use this thing and what sort of reading am I looking for? Help needed for electronically illiterate newbie. I do not wish to electrocute myself and give my DW all of my life insurance. :question:

    ARCHER Senior Member

    Re: Instructions Needed for Digital Multimeter

    Guess it came with owner's manual???? If your checking site plug, it would be ACV, if your checking a battery, DCV (like 12 volts), DCA prob means amps direct. It is really easy to us. just read it real closely and follow the instructions as to what to plug it into and what to touch. If you can't figure it out, go buy the direct plug in that shows the volts on the meter (I use one of these to monitor the voltage on-going inside my unit).
  3. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Instructions Needed for Digital Multimeter

    Yes, the meter you have is great for looking at battery voltage. Set it on DCV, plug the black lead into the Common/Ground, and the red lead into the appropriate hold for positive DCV. Attach the other end of the black lead to the battery negative post or other ground (chassis) point. Touch the other end of the red lead to the positive terminal of the battery or other point you want to know the voltage. You are looking for a voltage higher than 12v. The exact value will depend on whether it is being charged and by what method. Generally if you don't have close to 13v or higher, there is a problem.

    It can be adequate for looking at AC voltage, but the value to look for depends on what kind of meter it is, peak to peak, or true RMS. It is much easier and safer to use a plug in meter which just plugs into the outlet and tells you the voltage and possibly other things (mine gives frequency and miswiring indications). Basically you want a voltage between 110v and 130v to avoid damaging your RV's electrical components.

    Voltage is always measured across 2 points. Current is always measured between 2 points, which means you disconnect a wire and attach the meter between the end of the wire and the place where the wire was connected.
  4. mike9121

    mike9121 New Member

    Re: Instructions Needed for Digital Multimeter

    Whooooooh. Before you you plug in to AC at the park..... Check the voltage betweeen the two slotted insertions points on the plug. The round insertion point should be Earth ground. If you get between between 110 and 125 you are good (with the meter set to the next selection at or above 130 volts ACV). Most multimeters today are suitable for measuring AC voltage. You should not have to disconnect anything on your camper to test. Your meter will correctly measure the proper AC voltage.
  5. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Instructions Needed for Digital Multimeter

    Don't need to disconnect anything to test voltage. You do need to disconnect to test current unless you are testing AC current AND have an inductive loop probe (which clamps around the wire and measures the current through the wire via induction)

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