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INTRODUCTION TO CIRCUIT MEASUREMENT

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1-3 If you intend to accomplish anything in the field of electricity and electronics, you must be aware of the forces acting inside the circuits with which you work. Modules 1 and 2 of this training series introduced you to the physics involved in the study of electricity and to the fundamental concepts of direct and alternating current. The terms voltage (volts), current (amperes), and resistance (ohms) were explained, as well as the various circuit elements; e.g., resistors, capacitors, inductors, transformers, and batteries. In explaining these terms and elements to you, schematic symbols and schematic diagrams were used. In many of these schematic diagrams, a meter was represented in the circuit, as shown in figure 1-1. As you recall, the current in a dc circuit with 6 volts across a 6-ohm resistor is 1 ampere. The @(UPPERCASE A) in figure 1-1 is the symbol for an ammeter. An ammeter is a device that measures current. The name "ammeter" comes from the fact that it is a meter used to measure current (in amperes), and thus is called an AMpere METER, or AMMETER. The ammeter in figure 1-1 is measuring a current of 1 ampere with the voltage and resistance values given. Figure 1-1.—A simple representative circuit. In the discussion and explanation of electrical and electronic circuits, the quantities in the circuit (voltage, current, and resistance) are important. If you can measure the electrical quantities in a circuit, it is easier to understand what is happening in that circuit. This is especially true when you are troubleshooting defective circuits. By measuring the voltage, current, capacitance, inductance, impedance, and resistance in a circuit, you can determine why the circuit is not doing what it is supposed to do. For instance, you can determine why a radio is not receiving or transmitting, why your automobile will not start, or why an electric oven is not working. Measurement will also assist you in determining why an electrical component (resistor, capacitor, inductor) is not doing its job. The measurement of the electrical parameters quantities in a circuit is an essential part of working on electrical and electronic equipment. INTRODUCTION TO CIRCUIT MEASUREMENT Circuit measurement is used to monitor the operation of an electrical or electronic device, or to determine the reason a device is not operating properly. Since electricity is invisible, you must use some sort of device to determine what is happening in an electrical circuit. Various devices called test equipment are used to measure electrical quantities. The most common types of test equipment use some kind of metering device.


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