How to Measure Milliamps with a Fluke Digital Multimeter

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A milliamp is a unit utilized to measure electrical current and equivalent to one-thousandth of an ampere. The term milliamp is short for milliampere. As established in 1948, it’s the basic SI unit utilized to measure current. The acronym for ampere is A, while the acronym for milliampere is mA. 

Did you know that ampere is equivalent to the current that, if enabled to travel through parallel, straight conductors of infinite length and negligible cross-section area placed in a vacuum with a space of one meter between them, it would produce a force of force 2.0 x 10^-7 Newtons per meter? 

Keep in mind that one milliampere is equivalent to one one-thousandth of that current. Also, an ampere is equivalent to one coulomb of charge per second. 

The ampere is also named after the French physicist and mathematician Andre Marie Ampere who lived from 1775 to 1836. Andre Marie was a pioneer in the field of electrodynamics. In case you didn’t know yet, ampere was first publicized as a unit of measurement of current by the International Conference of London in 1908. 

The term ampere is simplified to the amp, both in everyday speech and in scientific literature. 

How Do You Measure Milliamps in a Digital Multimeter?

Are you interested in creating your electronics as a hobby? Maybe you are only doing some DIY troubleshooting and repairs around your home and vehicle. Whatever the case may be, a digital multimeter (DMM) is one of the most convenient and practical tools in your arsenal.

You can test it for short circuits, determine whether voltages are at their proper levels, or test the quantity of current flowing over a circuit. Remember that testing amperage needs some preventive measures and an understanding of what you are doing. 

A word of caution, always be safe when you are testing amperage. Do you reside in a flood-lying region? Then you may understand that, shockingly, some inches of fast-flowing water are enough to sweep you off your feet. It can potentially injure you or drag you to your death. 

It is a decent analogy for amperage. That’s the flow rate of electricity through the circuit. 

You may not know it, but a shockingly low leverage of amperage could be extremely deadly and risky. Fatal electrocution is the most apparent risk, but as little as fifty milliamps—a very low amperage—could cause other long-lasting health conditions such as heart arrhythmias. That is why you need to learn more about the potential cautions spelled out in the manual of your Fluke digital multimeter or in the online resources or books you are utilizing for guidance.

Train Yourself with a Fluke Digital Multimeter

Fluke is a brand name that’s worth it. Fluke digital multimeters are some of the most dependable out there. They respond quicker than most low-cost multimeters in the market, and most of them have an analog bar-graph trying to bridge the graph between digital and analog meters. It is a better option compared to a pure digital read about. 

Like most DMMs, Fluke multimeters have a similar appearance. You will find one black jack for the negative or common lead and three red jacks: one for measuring microamps and milliamps, one for measuring amps, and one for measuring resistance and voltage.

Remember that the amp symbol on your Fluke digital multimeter is an uppercase A. Microamps and milliamps are indicated by the abbreviations µA and mA, respectively. 

Your digital multimeter has a dial that chooses numerous functions from testing resistance and continuity to DC and AC voltage. Your digital multimeter may have only one setting and push buttons to pick certain ranges or different settings on its dial for measuring amps. 

Set the Range of Your Fluke Multimeter

The range is the level of amperage you want to test. It will help if you begin at the highest setting, meaning plugging the Fluke multimeter’s red probe into the 10A jack. Set it for a single setting. 

Many modern DMMS are auto-ranging, which means they pick the proper range when you begin the test. The black lead goes to the black jack, specified COM or Common.  

If you don’t have an auto-ranging multimeter, it has low- and high-amperage settings. Insert the dial into the 10A setting. 

Measure the Current with a Fluke Digital Multimeter

You should run the circuit through the meter itself to test the current in a circuit. To do that, cut off power to the circuit and break it at a convenient point, typically by unplugging a power connector or disconnecting a wire.

Hold or connect the meter’s red lead to the circuit’s upstream part, nearest to the power source. Hold or connect the black lead to the circuit’s downstream portion. 

Restore power to the circuit. The display will give a number. You are measuring amps if it begins with a whole number from one to ten. You are measuring milliamps if it begins with a zero and a decimal point. 

If that number is below 0.400, you will receive a more exact reading by changing the red lead to the mA jack and changing the multimeter to the milliamps range. Fluke digital multimeters sometimes give a reading to three decimal points. Hence, a reading of 0.236 in the 10A range might suggest a more exact 235.695 mA. That will not be at all times significant, but often it is. 

Final Thoughts

There you have it! We hope you finally have a thorough understanding of how you can measure milliamps with a Fluke digital multimeter. 

Before you understand how to use one, make sure you learn how to pick the right multimeter first. Your entire selection would vary on the purpose for which you need the meter. For instance, you may need a different model if it’s for general electrical testing. Some other models might be better suited for engineering applications.

What about you? Are you ready to measure milliamps? We wish you the best of luck and make sure you ensure your safety first!

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