Get acquainted with the Digital Multimeter – an engineer’s best friend!

The ability to test resistance, voltage, current & continuity are vital to any electronics maker – even the freshest of newbies. In fact, having a reliable multimeter on hand is a huge help when learning the basics. Even before understanding what each value means, you’ll be able to establish reference points for applying each new concepts and troubleshooting experiments.

For those curious, the big blue meter I use in the video is a Protek 6300 (Mastech MS8229 seems to be a similar model). While you can find functional multimeters for under $10, I do recommend getting yourself a higher quality device. Increased accuracy, build quality, display backlight, and expanded measurement options are all very welcome features at my workbench.

If you find yourself getting a bit frustrated using the pointy-stylus stock multimeter test probes, I highly recommend picking up a pair of ‘Minigrabber Test Clip to Banana Plug’ leads (they make a brief cameo early on in the above vid). I keep a set of Pamona brand minigrabbers on hand for connecting to IC pins & through-hole part leads. Alligator clip leads would likely work as well.

Happy Testing!

Subscribe to the MAKE Podcast in iTunes, download the m4v video directly, or watch it on YouTube and Vimeo.

Collin Cunningham

Born, drew a lot, made video, made music on 4-track, then computer, more songwriting, met future wife, went to art school for video major, made websites, toured in a band, worked as web media tech, discovered electronics, taught myself electronics, blogged about DIY electronics, made web videos about electronics and made music for them … and I still do!


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