Laboratory Exercises



Laboratory Exercises


Laboratory Exercise 1: Multimeter
The purpose of this exercise is to introduce to you some of the most common measurement devices of voltage, current and resistance and to help you understand the operational principle of the oscilloscope. The theory section supplements the information in the course material.

1.1 Multimeters
Multimeter is a device used for the measurement of AC or DC voltages, currents and also resistances. Some meters are also capable of measuring temperatures, conductivities and frequencies. Multimeters can be analog or digital, or combination of these (the most modern meters).

Analog multimeter
Analog multimeter has a pointer, which moves continuously along the scale, and the measurer reads the position of the indicator on the scale. Alternatively, there are also device structures in which the scale moves behind a fixed indicator line. Moving-coil instrument is the most commonly used electromechanical analog meter because of its high sensitivity. Passive meter does not need supply voltage for measurements of voltage and current, since the energy needed for indication is driven from the measurand. In direct current (DC) measurements the voltage or the current to be measured is brought into the mechanism through a suitable shunt or series resistance. In alternating current (AC) measurements, full-wave rectification is performed first. In resistance measurements the internal battery of the meter is connected in series with the movement and the resistance is determined by the current flowing through the resistor. When constant current (nominal current) flows through a moving-coil mechanism, it will result in a full-scale reading. In voltage measurements the sensitivity of the meter is specified as reciprocal of the nominal current /V, independent on the measurement range. For this reason the input resistance of the meter depends on the he measurement range. The value of this resistance can be determined by multiplying the sensitivity of the meter by the full-scale voltage reading of the given measurement range. Inaccuracy of an analog multimeter is specified as an accuracy class. It tells the value of the inaccuracy of the meter as percent of the full-scale reading of the measurement range. The measurer should choose the measurement range so that the indication of the meter is as high as possible. Inaccuracy is higher in AC measurements than in DC measurements. Analogic indication is more practical than a digital one when one has to be able to observe the rate and direction of change of the measurand. Disadvantages of an analog multimeter are its relatively small input resistance (loads the measured object relatively much) and inaccuracy of the indication. Analog multimeters are usually inexpensive. In the most modern analog multimeters a liquid crystal bar replaces the easily damaged indicator.

leads. Many multimeters can also measure frequency. Many meters select the measurement range automatically, after the user has selected the measurand he wants. Ana-digi-meters are digital multimeters, which have both normal e.g. 3½-digit numerical liquid crystal display and an analog bar display. Numerical (digital) display does not make a digital meter more accurate than an analog meter. Input impedance of a digital multimeter is typically 10 M , and it is usually larger than the input impedance of an analog multimeter. Sometimes also a digital multimeter loads the measured object too much, which causes the value of the measurand to change and the measurement result will be wrong. Due to the finite word length of an A/D-converter, the result may contain some quantization noise. In addition to this, warming-up of the meter during its use changes the properties of the meter a bit. For the most accurate meters a warm-up time, after which certain accuracy level is achieved, is specified. For digital multimeters the inaccuracy is usually given in a bipartite way: ± (inaccuracy of the reading (or range) as percent + number of counts of the least significant digit). Example: Reading of the meter is 0,71549 V and the inaccuracy of the meter is given as (0,25% rdg + 70 digits; rdg stands for reading). Thus the inaccuracy of the measurement result is ± (2,5 10-3 715 mV + 70 10-5 V) = ± 2,5 mV


Measurements carried out with multimeters
Voltage measurements
The smallest DC voltages to be measured with both analog and digital multimeters are in order of mV. With the most accurate digital multimeters the smallest measurable voltage is in order of microvolts. On AC range digital multimeters are able to measure millivolts, but with passive analog multimeters operating range ends in the order of volt. The highest voltage ranges are for both DC and AC voltages typically 500 - 1000 V. A multimeter may be damaged if high voltages are measured with too sensitive measurement range. Many meters have different terminals for measuring high or low voltages. Some digital multimeters tolerate supply voltage on all voltage ranges In AC measurements, the indication of an analog moving-coil mechanism is based on the fullwave rectified mean. The result will be equal to the root-mean-square (RMS) value of a sinusoidal signal corresponding to this mean. Thus, for other waveforms than sinusoidal, the analog multimeter will not give correct results. The properties of digital multimeters vary quite a lot in AC measurements. Like analog meters, most digital multimeters measure the rectified mean of the signal and indicate the RMS value of corresponding sinusoid. Usually these meters are most accurate in the frequency range of 50 500 Hz. True RMS-meters can be used to measure RMS values of other than sinusoidal waveforms. For these meters, the highest waveform crest factor (CF), with which they will still operate with high enough accuracy, is given. CF is the ratio of the peak value to the RMS value of an AC signal. The highest CF-value of True RMS -meters is in order of 3...5. Together the crest factor, frequency sensitivity, accuracy and bandwidth of a multimeter give a general idea of how accurately different waveforms can be measured with it. In AC measurements it is good to use an oscilloscope to help observing the waveform, especially if the properties of either the signal or the meter are not exactly known. Among the analog meters there is the iron-vane-meter, which also shows the RMS value of an AC voltage independent on the waveform. If the meter is AC coupled, the result of an AC measurement will show only the RMS value of the AC component. In order to determine the true RMS value of mixed voltage, its DC component has to be measured separately. RMS value of mixed voltage is determined by equation:

Digital multimeter
In digital multimeters the measurement result is given in numerical form. The most important component in it is an analog-to-digital (A/D) converter, which converts the measured (or from it electronically formed) DC voltage into numerical presentation. In addition to the usual multimeter functions, microprocessor technology has enabled some new features in digital multimeters. Readout holding 'freezes' the displayed value instantly after the probe touches the measurement point; thus the user may concentrate on aligning the testing wires to the measured object. Short-circuit testing beeps when the resistance is below a certain limit. A multimeter with recording of minimum and maximum values can be left to record minimum-maximum values on its own, no matter whether they are voltages, currents, resistances or temperatures. Peak value holding is useful, when the measured circuit has voltage transients or impulse currents of less than one period’s length. The use of offset makes it possible to record a signal value into the meter’s memory and adding this value to or subtracting it from the following values; in this way two different voltages can be compared quickly. When offset is used together with dB-function, the dB-values can be read directly on the meter. Offset can also be used for the compensation of the measurement error caused by the resistance of the measurement


2 U DC

2 U AC

where UAC is the RMS value of the AC component. Depending on the meter, a DC-coupled RMS meter displays either only the DC component or the combined RMS value of both the AC and DC component.

which sets the meter’s indication to zero. 1. Many digital multimeters have a continuity summer which beeps when the resistance between the leads is small (typically less than 100 ).1 . e. Some digital multimeters have conductance modes (conductance = 1/resistance). when the temperature difference is 100 K (about 5 mV)? c) RMS value of a positive square wave? 2.10 A. The smallest measurable resistance is 0 and the highest is infinite. 25 V? b) This meter is used for measuring DC voltage of 5 V. resistances between 0. sawtooth. when the voltage range is 2. Frequency range may be as wide as from 1 Hz to 50 MHz.g. triangular. amplitude and frequency there may be several other function in a function generator. In four-wire measurement one wire couple is used for feeding constant electric current through measured object and the other couple is used for measuring the resulting voltage over the object. In many meters there is a special connector used only for current measurements in order to prevent this. both the measured object and the meter may be damaged. The resistance of a semiconductor junction depends highly on forward voltage affecting the junction. Clamp-on current probe must be used if the measured circuit can’t be broken for the measurement. those resistance ranges that feed high enough voltage to make the pn-junction conductive are often marked with diode symbol. which can be used only for measuring AC currents. There are separate controls for voltage control and current regulation. When analog multimeter is used for measuring semiconductors one must remember that the meter gives a voltage whose polarity is reversed compared with the indication of the connection terminals. Almost no current flows through the voltage measurement wires.20 M can be measured. The voltage over the shunt is measured and the magnitude of the current is determined mathematically. The scale of an analog multimeter is non-linear in the ohm range. which is connected to a circuit under inspection. but those values can also be measured with a multimeter before connecting the supply to the circuit under investigation. The most accurate results are achieved using instruments with four-wire measurement of resistance. Explain how and with what kind of multimeter you can measure a) RMS value of the mains voltage? b) voltage output of a thermocouple. 1. The supplies have displays for both the output voltage and output current. e. In digital multimeters. a separate measurement resistor (shunt) or a clamp-on current probe must be used. If the measured currents are too high for the meter. Most clamp-on current probes are current transformers. Shunt is a resistor. Moving-coil mechanism of the analog multimeter used in the laboratory has a nominal current of 50 A in DC ranges. Thus the resistances of the measurement wires and contacts will not affect the result. Semiconductor junctions make it more difficult to analyse the results when resistances between different points on a circuit board are measured. Sometimes the power supply has separate switches for operating voltage and output voltage. The front panel of a function generator is shown in next figure.5 Pre-report Answer the following questions before coming to the laboratory. In some digital multimeters the resistance of the measurement leads can be compensated by short-circuiting the leads and pressing the zeroing switch. Measurement instrument calculates the resistance from the proportion of measured voltage and current.3 Function generators Function generator is a signal source. setting of impulse ratio. but reading accuracy is bad on high values. Resistance measurements With a typical digital multimeter. which generates both sinusoidal and several other waveforms. with which resistances up to 10 G can be measured. The available voltage and current ranges vary between the supplies. In current measurements the input resistance of the multimeter is very small. Analog multimeter must be set to zero by short-circuiting the measurement leads and adjusting the meter’s indication to zero ohm always before resistance measurements or when measurement range is changed. and it can usually be limited to a certain value. With these meters the pn-junction should not be conductive when other measurement ranges are used. which give the voltage proportional to the current. The resistances of the measurement leads and contacts must be taken into account while measuring small resistances. If the meter is connected wrongly. 2 3 1. 1. For DC current measurements one must use probes based on Hall effect. In addition to the selection of waveform.MIT-1016 Laboratory Exercises 3 MIT-1016 Laboratory Exercises 4 Current measurements The lowest current ranges in both analog and digital multimeters are in the order of mA. There will always be a small voltage loss over an ammeter. square.5 V. The output current is determined by the ratio of the output voltage and the resistance load. It has a small resistance and it can withdraw high power loss.4 Power supply A power supply produces DC voltage (or current). pulse and DC voltage waveforms. Highest ranges are usually 2 . 10 V.g. a) What is the input resistance of the meter. whose effect on the measured circuit must be taken into account when judging the correctness of the measurement result. so there will be hardly any voltage loss. In a specific diode testing mode the meter feeds small current into diode and the threshold voltage over the pn-junction is displayed. Source impedance of the . Otherwise the resistance of the leads must be subtracted from the measurement result.

(See pre-report. impulse ratio D = d/T.MIT-1016 Laboratory Exercises 5 MIT-1016 Laboratory Exercises 6 power supply is 1 M . which gives a constant output voltage. Meter Analog meter Digital meter Theoretical RMS value a) Does connecting/disconnecting of meters cause any changes in the indications of the other meter? b) What causes the observed phenomenon and what kind of consequences does it have on measurement results? c) Are the results given by different meters alike (measurement uncertainty taken into account)? Why? Measurement result [V] Given inaccuracy Inaccuracy of the result [V] 1. Write the measurement results down in table below. Measure the voltages from the connectors Ua … Ud with both of the meters. This unknown output voltage is measured in this exercise. look at the figure beside). Based on the measurement results and structure of the test circuit. Test the effects of the different controls of the oscilloscope on the signal displayed on the screen. Determine also the nominal values for the resistances. if it is possible with the meter used. Calculate the inaccuracies for the measurement results. Calculate the theoretical RMS value of this signal. Change the waveform of the voltage set in the previous exercise into a positive square wave (pulse wave) with frequency of 100 Hz and impulse ratio of 1/5. 1. Measure the voltage with meters mentioned in table below in such a way that all meters are connected simultaneously. Meter Analog meter Digital meter Theoretical RMS value AC DC Compare the results with the theoretical value you calculated. 10 V voltage is the input for a voltage regulator.6 Measurements in laboratory 1. Adjust the display’s brightness and contrast correctly. Write the measurement results down in table below.6. determine the regulator voltage E when using meters mentioned in the table. Write down both the measurement results and the input impedances Rm of the meters on the measurement ranges you used.1 Resistance measurements Exercise 1 Measure the resistance of the given resistors with the meters mentioned in table below. IMPORTANT: compensate the measurement lead resistances. calculate a) DC component value (time average) b) RMS value for AC component (you get the AC component by subtracting the DC component from the original signal) c) total RMS value as a function of the impulse ratio? d) What is the crest factor of this signal? 1.6. For a positive square wave (voltage levels 0 and A.3 Getting acquainted to the oscilloscope Switch the oscilloscope on. Set its amplitude to 10 V again.5 Pulse wave measurements Exercise 4 In this exercise. Explain the differences between the results. Note! The inaccuracy of the analog multimeter is given as percent of the full-scale reading of the measurement range and it can be found below the measurement scale.6.2 DC voltage measurements Exercise 2 Supply U = 10 V DC voltage to the given test circuit from the DC power supply.4 Measurement of RMS value of a sinusoidal AC voltage Exercise 3 In this exercise. Meter Analog meter Digital meter Nominal value R1 R2 R3 How can you eliminate the effect of the measurement leads if there is no compensation in the meter? 1.6. What causes the differences between the results given by analog multimeter? How about the differences between analog and digital multimeter? . The structure of the circuit is presented on the box containing the circuit. What is the meter reading when 10 V measurement range is used? What is the reading if a digital multimeter with input impedance of 10 M is used? 3. Find the given inaccuracies for each meter from their specifications and write them down in table below.) Meter Analog meter Digital meter Rm Ua Ub Uc Ud E 1. Use the oscilloscope to set the amplitude of the function generator signal to 10 V. Calculate the theoretical RMS value of this signal (see pre-report). Connect 1 kHz sinusoidal signal from the function generator to the oscilloscope input. Set the function generator to sinusoidal waveform. Set its frequency to 127 Hz and its waveform to sinusoidal wave. frequency 1 kHz. measurement of the RMS value of a waveform different from sinusoid is studied. Check the value of the voltage before connecting the supply. accuracy properties of different meters are examined.6. Use either zero-setting or four-wire measurement according to the meter properties. Set trigger signal to be taken from the channel 1 and set triggering mode switch to AT-position (automatic triggering). adjust the horizontal and vertical deflections on the oscilloscope properly for the sine wave and switch off the instruments.

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