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In most cases, when measuring DC voltages in an electronic circuit, the black negative lead is clipped to the
negative connection of the battery or supply.
This leaves one hand free.
The red lead is then used to measure the various voltages in the circuit.
These voltages are therefore measured WITH RESPECT TO negative.

wrt = with respect to

In the diagram, point A is 18 volts positive wrt to D. (this is actually the battery voltage).
Therefore D is 18 volts negative wrt A.

A is +12 wrt C and +6 wrt B.

D is - 6 wrt C and -12 wrt B.

B is +6 wrt C and +12 wrt D.

C is - 6 wrt B and -12 wrt A.

Looking at the diode.

The anode is less negative than the cathode.
Or in other words, it is more positive.
The anode is positive wrt cathode by 1 volt

To measure current the circuit must be BROKEN and the meter inserted in the break.

In this circuit the current will be the same no matter where the circuit is broken. If 1 amp is flowing then all meters
will indicate 1 amp.

Observe the polarity of the leads when measuring DC

This is not necessary when measuring AC.

Select a high current range on the meter before switching the circuit on.
Switch down to a lower range if necessary to measure the current.
This protects the meter from damage due to excessive current, especially a moving coil one.

To measure voltages, the meter must be connected ACROSS things; across resistors, across the battery etc.

When measuring DC, connect the red meter lead to the most positive point, and the black one to the most
When measuring AC voltages it doesn't matter which way the leads are connected.

It's best to select a high voltage range on the meter before connecting it and then switching to a lower range if
This protects the meter, especially moving coil ones, from being damaged by having too high a voltage applied to

  With the meter set to measure ohms, clip one meter lead to the base connection of the transistor.
Touch the other lead first onto the collector lead and then onto the emitter lead.
The readings should both be the same, either both high resistance or both low resistance.

Now reverse the leads and repeat the procedure.

The results should be the opposite of those obtained before.
If they were both high before they should now be both low.
If they were both low before they should now both be high.

Now measure the resistance between emitter and collector.

It should read high resistance in both directions.

If you dont know the transistor connections consult a data book.

If you cant find the data then measure between the three connections in both directions.
You should now be able to identify the base connection and then decide if the transistor is OK.

Note that for this to work the internal battery of the meter must supply a voltage high enough to overcome the
forward resistances of the transistors.
Many meter have a position marked with a diode symbol which must be selected when checking transistors or

Note that NPN transistors have low resistances where PNP have high, and vice versa.

 shows a simple power transistor tester. With the switch open both lamps are off.
With the switch closed both lamps are on.
If different results are obtained the transistor is faulty.
The transistor shown is an NPN. Reverse the battery for PNP transistors.

The controls on a scope can be divided into four groups.

(1) Housekeeping (on/off, brightness, focus) (3) Vertical (Y position, Y amplitude, Invert,
(2) Horizontal (X position, X amplitude,
time/division) (4) Trigger/synchronisation (level, +/-, external,
ac/dc/lf/hf, tvh/tvv)
Set any controls marked "calibrate" to the correct position.
Adjust the housekeeping controls to obtain a trace (display).
Adjust the vertical and horizontal controls to display a few cycles of a waveform.
Adjust the trigger/synch controls to make the display stationary.
It is best to display about two cycles and make them as large in height as possible.
Measure the amplitude and periodic time (time of one cycle). See below.
Calculate the frequency.

In the diagram the waveform is 4 divisions high.

The volts/ division switch is set to 50 mV/division. The amplitude is therefore 4 x 50 mV = 200 mV.
The width of one cycle (indicated between the two red dots) is 4 divisions. The time/division switch is set to 5
mS/division. The periodic time is 4 x 5 mS = 20 mS.
Note that one cycle is the time between the start of a waveform and the point where it starts to repeat itself.
Frequency can be calculated by dividing 1 second by the periodic time. Note that if the periodic time is in mS then
1 second has to be expressed as 1000 mS. 1000mS/20mS = 50 Hz
The pattern of squares is called a GRATICULE.