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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 11-08-2009, 03:23 AM   #1
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Noob- Electrical wiring question - using a voltmeter

How do you test for 12v current with a voltmeter? Do i need to strip the wires to test these things out? Where do the black and red probes go?

Sorry if this is a really stupid question.
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:58 AM   #2
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On the meter:
For current measurement: The black probe wire goes the COM (common) socket. The Red probe wire goes to the A (amp) socket.
For voltage measurement: The black probe wire goes the COM (common) socket. The Red probe wire goes to the V (voltage) socket.

On the live wire:
See attachment.

The 1st (with the motor and battery) is how you measure current with a meter.
The 2nd (with the battery alone) is how to measure voltage.

I'm assuming you are refering to a multmeter not just a voltmeter. A voltmeter is only good for measuring voltage. A multimeter is good for voltage and current.

Be careful about measuring current. Most multimeter can only measure up to 10 Amps maximum before burning out its internal fuse. To measure anything higher than 10 amps you'll need a clamp-on type of meter which measures the current flowing through the wire by measuring the magnetic filed generated by the current flow.
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Last edited by AL330CI; 11-08-2009 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:52 AM   #3
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If you are asking if you can test for voltage through the insulation, the answer is no. You have to touch the metal.

What are you trying to test? If there is access to where the wire connects to something, it is usually better to test at that point than stripping a wire and potentially damaging it.
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