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plug-in home voltage meter with digital readout?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by eric, Apr 24, 2004.

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  1. eric

    eric Guest

    My wish is to purchase a voltmeter that will plug into a home wall
    socket and give me a digital readout on the voltage. I use my
    multimeter for that, but I'd like something small and permanent that i
    don't have to use matchsticks to keep in the wall socket. i live in
    Spain , and use 220V curerent. Does such an apparatus exist? Id so,
    what's its name and where can it be found?

    thanks, eric
     
  2. There are lots of small digital AC voltage meters that are small and
    made for panel mount.

    E.G.
    http://www.topac.com/DPM_AP160.html

    You could mount one of these on a receptacle box cover and replace the
    receptacle with it, or mount it in a small box and plug it into the
    receptacle.
     
  3. Colin Dawson

    Colin Dawson Guest

    Or... but you need to be a little careful. use your existing Voltmeter,
    but make a set of test leads that instead of getting poked into the wall,
    terminate in a standard plug. You'll need to be careful that you don't
    leave it plugged in when the voltmeter is being used elsewhere.

    Col.
     
  4. If I was doing this, and I've been tempted, I'd buy a cheap DVM for
    the job, and dedicate it to the task. Take an AC cord, and wire it to
    the DVM. Run it off batteries for simplicity.

    The real issues would be working things so the plugs don't come out of
    the meter, with that live AC. Better to drill into the case, and wire
    to the actual circuit board, though then one needs to cover the jacks
    so that does not expose the AC voltage. Or buy one of those DVMs
    where the leads are permanently attached to the meter, those tend to
    be the cheapest anyway, and cut off the probes and splice the AC cord
    to them, taking proper precautions. And/or it might make sense to
    put a resistor, or a pair of resistors, into the AC plug so current
    is limited at the other end. Use a voltage divider there, and simply
    use a lower voltage scale on the meter.

    The other issue is ensuring the function switch can't accidentally be
    changed. Not the smartes thing to leave a switch available when it
    can mean applying higher AC voltage to the ohm function. Maybe glue
    the switch to that position? Or mount the meter inside a metal box
    (useful anyway for ensuring those probe jacks are isolated) so the switch
    is not accessible by the average person.

    Since one is measuring AC line voltage, one could even get fancy, and
    put in a small transformer and make a DC supply so the meter is run off
    the line, and there goes the battery.

    Michael
     
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