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Blown multimeter fuse again - Doh!

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Cirkit, Aug 24, 2017.

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  1. Cirkit

    Cirkit

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    Oct 28, 2015
    Is it just me or do others infrequently blow multimeter fuses when measuring current? :(

    I use the lower range current terminals when I think the current consumption is going to be lower than the fuse rating but the circuit being tested often doesn't behave as expected and tries to draw the maximum current limit from the power supply!

    This is especially annoying when the cartridge fuse is proprietary like the Fluke meters (100/44) and are costly!

    I know you are supposed to use the higher current terminals and range first but sometimes, you either forget or don't realise that the current measured will be larger than the fuse value. One person claims to have never blown a multimeter fuse on another forum as they are always careful to check and use the higher current range first.
     
  2. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

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    You're blowing your fuse because you're doing something wrong and the fuse is protecting your meter.
    If you think you have a problem replacing costly fuses, imagine your dilemma replacing the meter.
    Use the correct range. If you forget, you're the problem, not the meter.
     
  3. Cirkit

    Cirkit

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    Oct 28, 2015
    Thanks, but I wasn't blaming the meter - just frustration that's all! :mad:

    So do you never blow fuses at all?
     
  4. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

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    I've been doing this for 47 years. Yeah, I've blown a few in my time. Like you, I get frustrated because I did something without thinking about it first.
    If I'm not sure what I've got, I start my meter on the high range jacks and work my way down to the lower current reading jacks. Like the 'one person' suggested.
    Biggest dumb mistakes I've made with meters is using them to measure current, set them aside without moving the test leads to the other jacks, and then sometime later picking up the meter and testing some voltage. ... Poof, goes the current fuse. I kick myself for that, I don't guess there's another truthful option.
     
    Cirkit likes this.
  5. Cirkit

    Cirkit

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    Oct 28, 2015
    I have done that but luckily, so far I don't think it's resulted in a blown fuse yet! One of my meters has shutters on the terminals so you cannot select the voltage range or vice-versa without removing the lead plugs from the incorrect terminals.
     
  6. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

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    What model is that? I gotta get me one of those.
    Maybe it'll stop me from stocking spare fuses!
     
  7. Cirkit

    Cirkit

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    Oct 28, 2015
    Any of the Gossen Metrawatt ones. I think Hioki also do one.
     
  8. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    • Start on a higher range than you think you'll need (start on 10A) and move to the lower range if the current is small enough
    • Don't try to measure the current across voltage sources (batteries, capacitors, power supplies, mains, etc).
    • Blowing a multimeter fuse is often an indication you've done something wrong. Everyone makes mistakes, but if you frequently blow multimeter fuses then you're either not learning from your mistakes or you're failing to recognize that you're making them.
     
  9. Terry01

    Terry01

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    Jul 5, 2017
    I have 3 meters. The 10A is blown on 2! I'm waiting on new fuses to replace them now. Both were me "learning" how to take a measurement. Teaching ones self when one knows nothing is not very bright.....I "learned". Not all bad as I did learn something :confused:
     
  10. BobK

    BobK

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    Jan 5, 2010
    That is my problem as well.

    Bob
     
  11. Terry01

    Terry01

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    Jul 5, 2017
    I think I probably done 1 fuse,wondered why it wasn't working no more and changed meters only to do the other straight after! The thing that saved the third meter was me getting bored with meters that didn't seem to be taking measurements no more. I learned a few days later reading posts on here why my meters weren't working no more. I now check every time before I measure anything. The thing is there's plenty "learning" to be had yet :eek:
     
  12. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    I guess I'm pretty anal when it comes to my meters. I tend to store them without the leads plugged in, have several that complain if the leads are in the wrong jacks (or have shutters). But mostly, after replacing a couple of HRC fuses I've decided I have better things to do with my money and time!
     
  13. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

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    Shhhh, ....that's Moderator *steve*.
    I have yet to see *steve* make a mistake.
    I'm pretty sure *steve* isn't a real person. I think *steve* is actually a computer entity residing on this website.
    I just KNEW *steve* was going to be irritated when Cirkit and me started talking about making mistakes, blowing fuses in our DMMs.
    I'm just glad *steve* points-out mistakes when I make them here so I don't give somebody bad advice.
    Don't believe me? Check out that post from *steve* with the psychedelic picture that he claimed was some kind of electronic organ, ..... I think it's actually a picture of *steve*.
     
  14. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Now I know you're being sarcastic.

    There are so many mistakes waiting to be made that I just can't afford to waste time making the same ones twice.
     
  15. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

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    Doh!
    *steve* responded to my post the millisecond I posted it.
    I just KNOW *steve*'s actually interfaced to this forum.
     
  16. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Nonsense! I'm not that fast :)
     
  17. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

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    Jun 25, 2010
    Only ever blown a meter fuse once - the lower current range - sometime around 1978 iirc :D - it's something you (should) very quickly realise is a PITA thing to do and subsequently adopt the correct meter usage methods to prevent it happening again.
     
  18. BobK

    BobK

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    Jan 5, 2010
    Perhaps the pain level needs to be higher. One trial did teach me not to reach for the soldering iron without looking up from my work.

    Bob
     
  19. Terry01

    Terry01

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    Jul 5, 2017
    Maybe patent a new type of meter Bob? :rolleyes:
     
  20. Doug3004

    Doug3004

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    Sep 5, 2014
    The Holdpeak 770H on Amazon (US) for $24 that includes that feature. A few of the Holdpeak meters have it, and the most expensive DMM they sell is only like $70. If this issue is one's particular downfall....

    Holdpeak is a cheapo brand, but for low-voltage/most hobby stuff it works well enough IMO. Main thing is to test it right away after you receive it to make sure that you didn't get a quality-control dud.

    I don't blow meter fuses much, but then I mainly do digital stuff and so I don't measure current very often.
     
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