Multimeters are aptly named devices. As the name suggests they have multipurpose usages. These devices are used to measure voltage, current and resistance, mainly. They not only find applications in the industrial world, but also in the general commercial and household purposes.
These devices are used to measure the voltage and resistance in an alternative current as well as direct current. They are used to measure resistance and continuity in various electrical circuits as well. They are also used to check, if small currents are present in certain circuits.
Previously, analog multimeters were widely used. These multimeters have an arch shaped scale with markings on it and a pointer which points the various measurements taken. However, with the advancement in technology, another kind of multimeter, known as the digital multimeter came into being. These multimeters, as the name suggests, uses digital and logic technology, i.e. Integrated circuits are used; hence, making it easy to record the measurement. Furthermore, since the measurements are digitally shown, there are no chances of a parallax error being caused.
Hence, these multimeters are more widely used for most purposes and specially relied upon by electronics industries. These multimeters provide more accurate readings in comparison to the analog multimeters and hence are widely in demand. Also, a digital multimeter has features to measure various other items, that the analog multimeters cannot.
As discussed above digital multimeters are designed to give more efficiency in measurement and have many more features as compared to those of the analog multimeters. The basic facilities that both kinds of multimeters provide. Include measurement of current in amps for both AC and DC, voltages in ohms for both AC and DC, and resistances.
However, since digital multimeters are made using the integrated circuit technology, they provide more facilities like measurement of capacitance in farads, temperature in both Celsius as well as Fahrenheit degrees, frequency in hertz, Inductance in Siemens, transistor tests and many more.
They also have sensors, which can also measure light sensitivity, relative humidity, acidity and alkalinity. Furthermore, digital multimeters are used for continuity testers, diodes and transistors. Although the additional test features are usually not as accurate as that of the dedicated instruments for the test, yet they obviously prove to be extremely useful in cases where the average measurement is required. So, we can very well see the vivid uses of these multimeters and can hence justify its increased demand.
There are various other added facilities that digital multimeter has;
- They are designed such that they have the auto-ranging feature in which the device itself selects the required range of the quantity that is to be tested which in turn enables us to see the significant digits only.
- They also have the feature of auto-polarity, which is used for DC reading.
- These devices have this feature of sampling and holding, in which even after the instrument is removed, the device will show the recent reading taken.
- They have a feature of graphic representation due to which fast-moving trends can be easily jotted down.
So overall, one can say that a digital multimeter does everything for us and is a boon for the electronics industry.