Measure charging current with DMM

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CircaM
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Location: Ohio, United States
Measure charging current with DMM

I would like to measure the current going from my charger to my battery using a charger and a digital multimeter but I am not sure how to rig it up.

I'd like to do this in at least these two scenarios:

1. Hobby charger charging battery. (18650, NiMH, car battery, etc)

2. In a device that charges batteries inside. (i.e. radio transciever that charges NiMH while in the device using a wall wart, USB, etc as the power source.)

I tried this experiMENTALLY, by setting my DMM to the Amps setting and using 10A Positive(red) and COM ground(black) then touching the positive lead to the positive end of the battery and the negative lead to the negative end... this resulted in my DMM beeping and some sparking from the contacts with the battery and the battery got very warm.

Would anyone be able to explain to me how I would hook my multimeter up to measure the current of a charging battery?

Edited by: CircaM on 09/09/2015 - 16:54
SIGShooter
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Joined: 07/14/2013 - 02:10
Posts: 2280
Location: northern california

CircaM wrote:

I would like to measure the current going from my charger to my battery using a charger and a digital multimeter but I am not sure how to rig it up.

I’d like to do this in at least these two scenarios:

1. Hobby charger charging battery. (18650, NiMH, car battery, etc)

2. In a device that charges batteries inside. (i.e. radio transciever that charges NiMH while in the device using a wall wart, USB, etc as the power source.)

I tried this experiMENTALLY, by setting my DMM to the Amps setting and using 10A Positive(red) and COM ground(black) then touching the positive lead to the positive end of the battery and the negative lead to the negative end… this resulted in my DMM beeping and some sparking from the contacts with the battery and the battery got very warm.

Would anyone be able to explain to me how I would hook my multimeter up to measure the current of a charging battery?


Scroll down to the bottom third of this
itsonlyme
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Location: Uk

Circa, you were shorting the battery

CircaM
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Location: Ohio, United States

SIGShooter wrote:
Scroll down to the bottom third of "this":http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?236906-Simple-guide-t...

This looks like what I needed. I didn't know I only used one end, not both.

Piece of Foil with a piece of paper in between.

Image Credit: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?236906-Simple-guide-to-using-a-DMM-for-measurements

(Hosted on my photobucket)

CircaM
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Location: Ohio, United States

itsonlyme wrote:
Circa, you were shorting the battery

I knew it wasn't good when it started sparking, haha.

My DMM is stupid proof though, it started beeping then the reading went to 0.000, so I think it auto stopped. Sparking stopped after the beeping started.