Ammeters, Volt Meters and Multimeters

So, the school wants me to price up a new "electronic trolley" (I have pointed out that we had one a few weeks ago, then the staff all did the electronics modules with 3 years groups at the same time and completely destroyed it)
One of the things I have been looking at is why we use the kit we do; Ammeters and Volt Meters (the digital ones) seem to be £20 a pop, whereas a Multi meter is about £15, does both and is more relevant to the "real world" (context; how often do you see a sparky pull separate bench volt meters/ammeters out of their kit?)

What do you guys use? Are there any schools out there who straight up use only multi meters? If not, why not**?

**not in a critical/confrontational way, literally why not? What am I missing?
 
We use analogue Voltmeters, Ammeters when they are best suited for the use they are being put.
Digital multimeters in the mode required again for the use.

orses for coarses.
 

karen b

COMMITTEE
We use the Easy Read meters with the separate ammeter and voltmeter modules (though each trolley only has 12 meters and 12 each of the add-on modules, so that hasn't been thought through!).

We do have digital multi-meters on the trolleys as well but only years 12 and 13 seem to use them. I think this is because many teachers don't understand how to set up the multi-meters and couldn't sort one out if a student fiddled with how we had set it up.
 
In all the places I have worked ammeters/voltmeters have been used for the 'lower' years and multimeters for the older ones unless the experiment required something a little bit more sensitive.
Personally I would prefer to just use multimeters as they are still simple to use (i know some teachers for some reason find them difficult to use), if need be just get too different colours to be able to tell which would be 'volts' and 'amps'
 
In all the places I have worked ammeters/voltmeters have been used for the 'lower' years and multimeters for the older ones unless the experiment required something a little bit more sensitive.
Same here, sixth form still manage to blow fuses constantly even with teachers reminding them to check if they are set to amps or volts first. I get a nervous twitch when the thought of GCSE even look at one.
 
We support year 9 upwards and usually give out multimeters. We get a few blown fuses. We have separate meters which go out if it seems best - for example induction demos where the current produced is small and a centre-zero meter shows how it fluctuates more visually.

We also have a few AVO meters lurking on a top shelf.
 
We use both
Not really for the competency reasons the other guys mentioned but because of something the HoD noticed on the exams

For certain experiments we need the accuracy of the multimeter doing things like fruity batteries up to A-Level work
We do however give out analogue ones whenever the accuracy is not crucial because apparently on the exam papers, if electrical experiments are ever covered then they do it with a picture of an analogue scale so the students need to have seen one and know how to read it as well
 
Some teachers and pupils find the multi meters intimidating/complicated but I agree they're more 'real world' and they are more accurate.

However, changing their fuses can get boring quickly. (Especially when it's the same teacher pretty much every time..)
 
So, the school wants me to price up a new "electronic trolley" (I have pointed out that we had one a few weeks ago, then the staff all did the electronics modules with 3 years groups at the same time and completely destroyed it)
One of the things I have been looking at is why we use the kit we do; Ammeters and Volt Meters (the digital ones) seem to be £20 a pop, whereas a Multi meter is about £15, does both and is more relevant to the "real world" (context; how often do you see a sparky pull separate bench volt meters/ammeters out of their kit?)

What do you guys use? Are there any schools out there who straight up use only multi meters? If not, why not**?

**not in a critical/confrontational way, literally why not? What am I missing?
I'm thinking of buying these dual meters that can be switched between volt meter and ammeter they are the same price as the single volt meter
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Does anyone know what these are like?
upload_2020-3-10_13-40-30.png
 

JFKtech

and then there were two - now JFK Techs :)
What do you guys use? Are there any schools out there who straight up use only multi meters? If not, why not**?
**not in a critical/confrontational way, literally why not? What am I missing?
Because the kiddies (and the teachers !) can't deal with turning a multimeter to the right setting. Either they blow the fuse, or they drag me into the lesson because it 'isn't working' - or if I'm really lucky, both !
We use the Unilab easy read meters with voltmeter and ammeter shunts for pretty much all KS3 and 4. The only exceptions I can think of are the same as Technician Q says, things where a centre zero analogue meter shows the effect more clearly, such as magnetic induction.
6th form use a combination of easy read and multimeters, dependent on what I or Mr Physics think is best for the practical.
 
Multimeters. simple ones, usually bought on special offer for £5 to £7 each (+VAT) or our more complex £40 ones for 6th form.
We have 4 large demo analogue meters when needed and 40ish small analogue meters with shunts and multiplier, but they dont see the light of day often.
T
 

Nick Mitchener

COMMITTEE
We use the grey satz meters but only because they were already here. I would only buy new with auto off as teachers rarely check they are off. That's wrong, some always check and some never check.

All our multimeters have resettable fuses so blown fuses are not an issue but we only use them if we need AC, or better resolution, or as ohmmeters or capacitance meters.. We also have a set of 12 easy read, perhaps that was some sort of deal. We also have analogue both in class sets and large display models.
 
We generally use easy-reads with a few multimeters on the side for later years. The physics lab whiteboard presently has my diagram of a multimeter set-up to remind students (and lecturers...) what to set them too. Unfortunately, we're onto a different type of multimeter now, and I can't be bothered changing the drawing...
 

Techitude

COMMITTEE
We use ammeters and voltmeters primarily because they're less confusing but do have multimeters too that get given out when we need additional sets or if we need to read milliamps.
Recently when showing a teacher how to do a demo where I had used a multimeter he made me write down the two setting he needed to turn it to, literally 10A and 10V.......the mind boggles.
 
Because the kiddies (and the teachers !) can't deal with turning a multimeter to the right setting. Either they blow the fuse, or they drag me into the lesson because it 'isn't working' - or if I'm really lucky, both !
This. No matter how many times you say "Start at the highest scale and work your way down" at least half the class will start at the other end.

Number 1 job with multimeters - replace all fuses with resettable electronic ones, available from RS and other good suppliers.
 
This. No matter how many times you say "Start at the highest scale and work your way down" at least half the class will start at the other end.

Number 1 job with multimeters - replace all fuses with resettable electronic ones, available from RS and other good suppliers.
Epic; job 1, put an order in!
 

JFKtech

and then there were two - now JFK Techs :)
This. No matter how many times you say "Start at the highest scale and work your way down" at least half the class will start at the other end.

Number 1 job with multimeters - replace all fuses with resettable electronic ones, available from RS and other good suppliers.
I've seen resettable fuses for multimeters mentioned a few times on here; and I was wondering how you know which ones to buy, as the parameters aren't the same as for cartridge fuses. I've just looked on RS but I don't really understand the datasheets and want to make sure I get the right thing !
For example, the cartridge fuse I've just taken out of one style of multimeter is F200mAL 250V . All the 200mA resettable fuses on RS have a trip time of 4s - is that fast in fuse speed terms ?!
 
4 seconds is a long time but having said that, and not having seen the data sheets, I would think that the 4 seconds is how long it will sustain the 200mA current before tripping.
Remember even a fuse will mostly carry more than the rated current for a wee while before popping, bit like the red line on the cars rev counter, it allows going all the way into the red before any rev limiter kicks in.
 
I need to buy multimeters to read capacitance for KS5 but not sure which to get. What do you all use and are they worth the money?
 

Nick Mitchener

COMMITTEE
We bought some just for this they were about £30 each. They don't need special adaptors/connectors but they aren't much use for anything else so I keep them away from teachers.
 
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