How to Measure Hertz with a Fluke Multimeter

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Are you perplexed by all the symbols on your Fluke multimeter? Are you wondering what that letter V with a line on top could possibly indicate? Probably, you are still learning how to use your Fluke multimeter or have had yours for a little while now but are uncertain on what a couple of symbols indicate as you have never had to use that setting.

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Congratulations, because you’ve come to the right place. We are going to explain to you in detail what frequency setting and symbols mean on your Fluke multimeter.

The last thing you like when troubleshooting a critical problem with your multimeter is to misunderstand what the reading means, right? That could be potentially risky if you’re trying to undertake a frequency task and incidentally had your instrument set to the Volt measurement. 

In today’s post, we will use the Fluke digital multimeter. We prefer this brand as they are an excellent all-around tool, not to mention they have the settings and symbols that you will find on most multimeters on the market today. 

A digital multimeter is one of the most common and essential pieces of lab equipment. This tool is widely utilized for taking basic electrical measurements connected to Ohm’s law. That involves measurements such as resistance, current, voltage, and more. 

Take note that multimeters could be both benchtop and handheld units. The former is more likely to provide better precision compared to their smaller handheld counterparts. 

Keep in mind the yellow symbols around the dial. Such readings could be done after you press the SHIFT button. That button works the same as on an ordinary keyboard. You only press it, and the digital multimeter will do an added function, based on where you’ve set the dial. 

What is the Symbol for Hertz? 

In the multimeter, you will press SHIFT: Hertz (Hz). That is used to measure the frequency of the equipment or circuit. Various equipment and circuits are created to work at either variable or fixed frequency. Hence, it will help if you understand that before you perform the test. 

Fluke multimeters could also be utilized to measure the frequency of an AC voltage signal. Keep in mind that a frequency is a measurement of cycle numbers repeating on a signal per second. For instance, a sine wave repeating ten cycles per second would have a frequency of ten Hertz or 10 Hz. 

The input frequency range on your Fluke digital multimeters could vary substantially. So, make sure you confirm that your multimeter can measure higher frequency signals. Like voltage, the frequency measurement is performed in parallel to the circuit. 

We suggest using a dedicated Frequency Counter when you need to measure high-frequency signals, along with higher accuracy. 

What is Frequency?

Frequency is the number of times an event happens in a particular length of time. Any repeating event could be measured for frequency. Hertz or Hz is the unit of measurement applied to frequency. Hz measures the number of times an event repeats in a single minute. 

How Do You Measure Hertz in a Fluke Digital Multimeter?

Does your Fluke digital multimeter provide a frequency setting? Then Hz is the symbol you can find on your dial. 

  1. Turn on your dial to AC voltage. You can set the range to the highest voltage setting, particularly if the voltage in the circuit is not known. Keep in mind that many digital multimeters power up in Auto Range mode, automatically choosing the measurement range based on the voltage existing. 
  1. Attach the black test lead into the COM jack. Attaching the red test leads to the circuit. Remember that the position of your test leads should be arbitrary. Once done, detach the leads in reverse order. Connect the red first, then followed by the black test lead. You can now read the voltage measurement in the display. Press the Hz button on your Fluke multimeter with it still attached to the circuit. 
  1. Read the frequency measurement shown in the display. The Hz symbol must show in the display to the right of your measurement. Further, frequency measurement overview circuits and equipment might be displayed to work at a fixed or variable frequency.

They may function abnormally if operated at a different frequency than designated. For instance, an AC motor created to function at 60 Hx works slower if the frequency is less than 60 Hz or faster if the frequency goes beyond 60 Hz. 

For AC motors, though, any changes in the frequency can cause a proportional change in the motor speed. Moreover, a 5% reduction in frequency creates a 5% reduction in the motor speed. 

Other digital multimeters in the market have optional models connected to frequency measurement. There might be enough alteration on the line in some circuits to avoid an accurate frequency measurement. For instance, AC variable frequency drives VFDs can generate frequency distortions.

If your meter permits a decoupled frequency measurement, you might also try adjusting the voltage range to compensate for the noise. 

Final Thoughts

When taking a measurement using your multimeter, it’s practical to capture and retain the reading as it shows on your display. Are you taking a measurement in a tight or dimly lit environment? The data hold button keeps the measurement on the LCD until you can easily read it. You can capture that reading by clicking the button. 

With all of its options, features, and buttons, a Fluke digital multimeter could surely be an intimidating tool, but it doesn’t need to be. The guide above should help you with some of the abbreviations and symbols about Hertz and frequency. 

Trying to keep an electrical system without a Fluke digital multimeter is a challenging and complicated endeavor. If you take the time to understand how to use one properly, you’ll significantly widen your testing abilities and get rid of any of the guesswork.

We hope you find this post informative and useful. What about you? Are you ready to measure Hertz? Feel free to visit this guide again if ever you need help. We wish you the best of luck!

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