Measure current in series and parallel circuits, using a multimeter.
DefinitionMeasurement should include determining current, voltage, and resistance.
When working with a circuit
- connecting the meter to the circuit should be done in the power-off condition
- resistance measurements should always be made in the power-off condition to avoid blowing a fuse in the meter or damaging internal components
- negative reading(s) in a DC circuit means the leads are reversed.
Note: Black will always be placed in the ground position, while red will be in VΩmA for low-value measurements of up to 1-2 amperes and will be moved to the 10 ampere (maximum) position for higher readings.
- What is a multimeter?
- How do analog and digital multi-meters compare in use, accuracy, and performance?
- How can multimeters and similar test equipment be used to measure circuit characteristics?
- How do actual and virtual test equipment values compare?
- How can multimeters be used to measure circuit characteristics of voltage and current?
- How do series and parallel measurements of current differ?
Related Standards of Learning
The student will plan and conduct investigations using experimental design and product design processes. Key concepts include
- the components of a system are defined;
- instruments are selected and used to extend observations and measurements;
- information is recorded and presented in an organized format;
- the limitations of the experimental apparatus and design are recognized;
- the limitations of measured quantities are recognized through the appropriate use of significant figures or error ranges;
- models and simulations are used to visualize and explain phenomena, to make predictions from hypotheses, and to interpret data; and
- appropriate technology including computers, graphing calculators, and probeware is used for gathering and analyzing data and communicating results.
The student will investigate and understand how to diagram, construct, and analyze basic electrical circuits and explain the function of various circuit components. Key concepts include
- Ohm’s law;
- series, parallel, and combined circuits;
- electrical power; and
- alternating and direct currents.