# COMMUNITY : FORUMS : TECH

## Help electronics beginer

Hi, I am trying to learn electronics and have few questions about some confusing stuff: - If one is measuring current in a circuit, he is supposed to connect the multimeter into the circuit. Ok, how do you measure current in the arbitrary track on the PCB? Are you supposed to cut the track open, just to take one measurement? - I have bench power supply, on which one can select voltage and current. If I connect toy electro motor it runs nicely. Power supply shows 3V, 0.17 A. But when replace electro motor with 1,800 ohm resistor, no current is drawn. If I insert multimeter between the resistor and terminal, multimeter shows that no current is flowing. Why there is no current flowing when resistor is connected and there is current when motor is in ? regards, dejan

framistan8 years ago
Sounds like you are trying to learn electronics on your own without anyone to help and guide you.   Thats how I learned it too.  Electronics is only difficult to learn because there are quite a few "simple" things you must learn... and then  it starts to make sense.  Here are some of them that you must master before it all makes sense:  Ohms law.  prefixes (such as milli, micro, etc), using a multimeter, soldering, various components (diode,resistors,etc), how to read schematics,  understanding shorts & opens,  series/parallel, power supplies,  and a couple others i cant think of right now.  now, lets answer a couple of your questions:

MEASURING CURRENT:  yes, you must OPEN some portion of the circuit to measure current (amperage).  HOWEVER i dont recommend someone just learning do this.  If you do this WRONG you could damage your multimeter or damage the item you are testing.  For example, if the meter probes were improperly connected to GROUND while meter is set for AMPS.... you would damage the circuit under test.  so AMPERE readings are not for beginners.
do a lot of VOLTAGE and RESISTANCE testing before you tackle AMPS.  You should NOT cut an "arbitrary trace" unless you KNOW what kind of signals
and voltage are on that trace.... could be AC .DC .. could have RF on it, or it
could have  combinations of those on it.

CUTTING A TRACE:  when working on equipment for repairs... a technician would NOT CUT A TRACE unless no other method could be found.  You might be able to LIFT one leg of a component... or measure somewhere else more convenient... also, technicians RARELY do amperage measurements... we do VOLTAGE measurements (with circuit ON) and we do OHMS and DIODE JUNCTION tests (with circuit powered OFF).  amperage only rarely.  Cutting a trace causes more work to repair,  Easier to just remove one wire of the motor, if you want to measure amp draw of the motor.  Hope that helps you  a little.
8 years ago
Just for the sake of being correct, I have to correct you.<br /> <br /> "MEASURING CURRENT: yes, you must OPEN some portion of the circuit to measure current (amperage)."<br /> <br /> Not true. Take a look at <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_transformer"><em>current transformers</em></a>. They work by measuring the electromagnetic field of a wire. Obviously, the more current flowing through the wire, the greater the electromagnetic field surrounding that wire, and the greater the induced current in the secondary coil (The "sensor"). While not practical, however, I still had to point it out. <br />
callmeshane9 years ago
Here is a great site with some EXCELLENT downloadable electrical text books...

They cover a real lot of stuff, are easy to read and even I can understand them.