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Measuring Instruments

Output Power Meter

The output power meter is designed to directly
measure the output power in the arbitrary load.
The instrument provides a set of resistive loads to be
selected for power measurements.
This can also be used to measure impedance and
frequency response characteristics.
(Frequency response is a measure of magnitude and phase of
the output as a function of frequency, in comparison to the
The input impedance network consists of two tapped resistances and a coil.
The input impedance can be varied in steps from 2.5 to 40k .
At low impedance values , the coil shunts a portion of R1 an increase in
resistance results in fewer turns in the coil. This arrangement keeps the meter
reading proportional to the energy dissipated by the resistor.
At high impedance values, the coil is replaced by another tapped resistance
The RC frequency compensator is in parallel with the coil .
At low frequency , the capacitive reactance Xc is high , it
decreases as frequency increases. This compensates for
the losses of the coil at low frequencies.
R3 is the control in variable T-network. Which is used to
extend the range of the meter. The lowest range is
normally 5mW, but it can be extended in decade steps of
50mW, 500mW etc.,
The remaining circuit is a combination of a calibration and
frequency compensation network.
Field Strength Meter
The field strength meter is used to measure the radiation intensity from a
transmitting antenna at a given location. With its own small antenna, it is a
simple receiver with an indicator.
(It measures the signal strength caused by a transmitter)
The wavemeter circuit with a rectifier meter indicator is as shown in the fig
below. It is equipped with a small antenna , and it is called field strength meter.
To enable the wavemeter combination to act as a field strength meter, greater
sensitivity can be easily obtained with the addition of a transistor dc amplifier, as
shown in fig.
(The coil L is held near an oscillating circuit to provide loose coupling, and the
capacitor C is tuned to resonance. When the variable capacitor is calibrated in
terms of frequency, it will be very useful as rough frequency meter. Since the
meter is tuned at resonance , it will absorb the greatest amount of energy and
cause a detectable change in the indicating meter of the transmitter)
The transistor provide ample current gain , so that satisfactory
sensitivity is obtained. The transistor is connected in a common
emitter configuration.
With no signal being receive, the quiescent current is balanced out by
the back up current through the variable resistor R2.
The collector current through the meter provides an indication of the
strength of the RF wave being picked up .
This current is not strictly proportional to the field strength , because
of non linearities of diode and transistor. However, the response is
satisfactory for the relative comparision of field strength.
An instrument for studying periodic motion or
determining speeds of rotation by shining a bright light at
intervals so that a moving or rotating object appears

A strobe light flashing at the proper period can appear to

freeze or reverse cyclical motion
The stroboscopic principle uses a high intensity light which flashes at
precise intervals. This light can be directed upon a rotating or vibrating
Most stroboscopes consist of an oscillator, a reed and a flasher as shown in

The oscillator provides trigger pulses to a flasher mechanism to control the

flashing rate. The oscillator is generally an extremely triggered
The vibrating reed serves as a reference for accurately calibrating the
stroboscope. The reed is driven from the ac lines and vibrates at 7200
times per minute.
The reed is driven from the ac lines and vibrates at 7200 times
per minute. The flasher produces the illumination for the
The flasher tube is fired by capacitor discharge, which in turn
is controlled by trigger pulses from the oscillator. The tube is
filled with inert gas which produces light when it is ionized.
i. When the frequency of movement exactly matches with the
stroboscope frequency , the moving object is viewed clearly
once during each revolution. This causes the moving object
to appear as a single stationary image.
ii. Multiple still images are obtained when the stroboscope
frequency is some multiple of the rotation frequency. In this
case the light flashes more than once during each rotation
of the object.
a. Moving images are obtained when the light frequency and the
rotational frequency are not synchronized.
b. When the image appears to rotate in a direction opposite to that of
actual rotation, the rotation frequency is less than flasher
c. When it appears to rotate in the same direction as the actual
rotation , the rotation frequency is higher than the flash frequency.
A stroboscope may be used to check motor or generator speeds
ranging from 60 to 1,000,000 rpm
The stroboscope is highly versatile, uses no power from the circuit
being measured and when calibrated, has an accuracy as close as
Q meter
(A Q meter is a piece of equipment used in the testing of radio
frequency circuits)
The overall efficiency of coils and capacitors intended for RF
applications is best evaluated using the Q value.
The Q meter is an instrument designed to measure some
electrical properties of coils and capacitors.
The principle of Q meter is based on series resonance ; the
voltage drop across the coil or capacitor is Q times the
applied voltage.
If a fixed volage is applied in the circuit , a voltmeter across
the capacitor can be calibrated to read Q directly.
The circuit is tuned to resonance by varying C until the electronic
voltmeter reads the maximum value.
The resonance output voltage E, corresponding to Ec is, E =Q*e, i.e.,
Q=E/e. Since e is known , the electronic voltmeter can be calibrated
to read Q directly.
The inductance of the coil can be determined by connecting it to the
test terminal of the instrument. The circuit is tuned to resonance by
varying the capacitor or the oscillating frequency.
The Megger is the instrument used for measuring the resistance of
the insulation. It works on the principle of comparison, i.e., the
resistance of the insulation is compared with the known value of

Used for measurement of resistances above 50M is the Megger
This instrument is used to measure very high resistances.
Examples Cable insulations, between motor windings, in
transformer windings, etc.
The Megger is essentially a portable ohmmeter with a builtin high
voltage source.
The Megger shown in the fig, has 2 main elements, a magnet type dc
generator to supply current for making measurements , and an
ohmmeter which measures the resistance value.
The generator armature is turned by a hand crank uually through
stepup gears , to produce an o/p voltage of 500V.
Phase meter
A phase sensitive detector ( or a phase meter) is used for comparing
an ac signal with a reference signal.
For the first half cycle the instantaneous polarity of the
reference voltage Vr causes the rectified current to flow
through the conduction rectifier D1,producing a positive
voltage to ground across R1 and a tendency for the
meter to deflect to the right.

Fig : Phase Sensitive Detector (a) Positive Half

On the second half cycle, the instantaneous polarity
of the reference voltage Vr causes an equal
rectified current to flow through diode
D2,producing an equal tendency for the meter to
deflect to the left.

Fig : Phase Sensitive Detector (b)Negative Half

Since these two equal and opposite tendencies are averaged over the
full cycle, the galvanometer reads zero over the full cycle, with input
When an input signal Vs is applied, it either aids or opposes the
reference voltage, depending upon whether it is in phase or out of
phase with it.
If Vs is in
Signal voltage will aid the instantaneous
phase with ac voltage in the upper half of the
transformer secondary, producing a
Vr larger current through D1 and a larger
dc output voltage on the first half.

If Vs is in Diode D1 will not conduct in

opposite the upper half and the signal
voltage will oppose the
direction instantaneous ac voltage, to
produce a smaller dc voltage
with Vr across R2