How to use an ammeter

The flow of electrons within a circuit is called current. Amperes is the measurement of current that is also known as an amp. To open an electrical circuit and insert an ammeter inside is the typical way to get the current’s measurement. This way, the electrons would have to flow into the meter as well. There is difficulty in measuring this way because it calls for the meter to become a part of the circuit in some way. It is the kind of measurement that surpasses resistance and voltage in complexity.


But what is an ammeter?

An ammeter is a device that measures the amount of current flowing through a particular circuit. Amperes measure the speed of electrical charges running through a point. An electromagnetic field appears once current becomes present. The magnetic field pulls the needle to indicate the measurement of electrical current in analogue ammeters. In digital units, the energy is converted into figures and displayed in numbers. Digital meters also tend to have a designated jack where the red lead attaches to measuring current. Analogues also make use of ports to measure resistance and voltage as well. It is best to read the manual for the particular ammeter model you have.

No voltage is detected when a current passes through the ammeter when place in a circuit. Its resistance is low as test probes would prove. If positioned across terminals where there is an ample amount of voltage, it will short out. The meter may be damaged once it experienced a spike in current.

Here are the ways to use an ammeter:

  • Know which type of ammeter to use

Analog and digital are the two types of ammeters. Similar to a compass needle, the analogue ammeter makes use of this system as well as magnetic fields to make measurements. The needlepoint then determines the amount of current. With digital ammeters, it is easier to read because the analysis appears in numerical figures through an LCD monitor. Make your decision based on your level of skill and what you think would work for you.

  • Safety measures

When working with electricity, it is imperative to observe safety precautions. Hot or live wires could deal an electrical shock or burns when you’re not careful. It is advised to use gloves when testing electrical circuits and components, batteries, and other parts that could cause damage.

  • Circuit break     

Ammeters work this way as simple as a battery and lamp demonstration. Batteries have both negative (-) and positive (+) terminals connected to the lamp. To be able to measure the amperes, disassemble the part of the device where it needs checking. It is where the ammeter must be inserted. It needs to be adjacent to a circuit to be able to make accurate measurements.

  • Attach the leads

Lead testers come in pairs where one is black, and the other is red. Attach them to the ammeter taking care to insert them into their designated ports. The red lead tester connects to the positive battery terminal, and the black should be at the negative part of the battery. Touch the red lead to a wire adjacent to the positive (+) power source using a metal clip or an alligator clip which is more suitable. Do the same with the black but connect it to the wire adjacent to the negative (-) side of the battery. Be careful that the test leads do not attach to the wrong terminals because this will cause damage to the ammeter itself.

  • Wrap up the reading

Because there are two types of ammeters, the way they are read will also be different. To be able to read an analogue meter, it is the scale’s smallest division, and the next number is rounded off. The needle simple points to the estimated amount of amp. With digital types of meters, rounding off isn’t necessary nor does it need the method of division because the LCD automatically features the reading.

Final word

An ammeter is very useful for personal projects to working with electrical components as a professional because of its uses and benefits. Selecting the best ammeter for your needs and skill or level of experience will make it easier for you to complete your task. Remember to always follow precautionary measures since working with electricity and electrical components can become dangerous due to carelessness and disregard of the protocol.