Connect with us


Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by John Riley, Aug 15, 2006.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. John Riley

    John Riley Guest

    I bought me a big old 5A AC ammeter. (8" x 8")

    I must admit I bought it thinking it was DC, but hey, I
    really only want it to match my old galvanometer :)

    But I was thinking about the difference between an AC
    and a DC instrument.

    Am I off track when I think that the AC ammeter is just
    a DC ammeter with a full wave rectifier and perhaps
    some smoothing electronics applied to the input
    before it is measured in millivolts across a shunt
    by the galvanometer inside?
  2. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "John Riley"
    ** Yikes !

    ** It is almost bound to be a " moving iron " meter.

    ( Is the scale a bit cramped down at the low end ?? )

    Such meters read DC amps of either polarity and AC amps accurately over a
    fairly narrow frequency range - typically up to a few hundred Hz.

    ........ Phil
  3. John Riley

    John Riley Guest

    Have a look at the beast at

    I am only ever likely to try it around 30V DC with an amp or two
    charging my batteries.

    The only AC might be mains 250V at 50Hz
  4. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "John Riley"

    ** It is Cleary a "moving iron" type - = look the term up on Google.

    The scale says it is calibrated at 50Hz.

    ....... Phil
  5. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    To find out, you'd have to open the meter - it could be a "moving vane"
    type, which has two plates of magnetic material inside a coil, and one
    of them can rotate, which is connected to the needle. One of those will
    work on AC or DC, because the magnetic field induced in the vanes will
    be the same polarity in both, and they will repel each other.

    Otherwise, it would have to be a bridge (with a suitable shunt), and
    they take care of the RMS/Average thing by scaling the meter dial.

Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day