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The two instruments most commonly used to check the continuity (a complete circuit), or to measure the resistance of a circuit or circuit element, are the OHMMETER and the MEGGER (megohm meter). The ohmmeter is widely used to measure resistance and check the continuity of electrical circuits and devices.
The ohmmeter’s pointer deflection is controlled by the amount of battery current passing through the moving coil. Before measuring the resistance of an unknown resistor or electrical circuit, the test leads of the ohmmeter are first shorted together, as shown in figure 1-31.

With the leads shorted, the meter is calibrated for proper operation on the selected range. While the leads are shorted, meter current is maximum and the pointer deflects a maximum amount, somewhere near the zero position on the ohms scale. Because of this current through the meter with the leads shorted, it is necessary to remove the test leads when you are finished using the ohmmeter.


If the leads were left connected, they could come in contact with each other and discharge the ohmmeter battery. When the variable resistor (rheostat) is adjusted properly, with the leads shorted, the pointer of the meter will come to rest exactly on the zero position. This indicates

ZERO RESISTANCE between the test leads, which, in fact, are shorted together. The zero reading of a series-type ohmmeter is on the right-hand side of the scale, where as the zero reading for an ammeter or a voltmeter is generally to the left-hand side of the scale. (There is another type of ohmmeter which is discussed a little later on in this chapter.) When the test leads of an ohmmeter are separated, the pointer of the meter will return to the left side of the scale.

The interruption of current and the spring tension act on the movable coil assembly, moving the pointer to the left side (∞) of the scale.

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