I am glad I found this forum topic. I also have one of these Harbor Freight multimeters. Mine is Item 98025. I found this forum by searching google for “AA battery ”4 mA” good bad” (without the opening and closing quotes).
I see Brad is asking for simplification, which I also would like. I am going to try to summarize what I have read thus far and also ask for experienced users of multimers to clarify.
So, to test AA / AAA, 9V batteries, and so on, using mine and Brad’s multimeter, there are two ways to test alkaline and rechargeable batteries.
1. Use the Battery setting on the multimeter. The results are displayed in mA.
As garrybunk pointed out in his instruction manual and in mine as well (though his #4 is my #5),
2. To convert this number to volts, as Chloe pointed out, it looks line one needs to take this number and divide by 1,000, and then multiply by 370.
What I don’t get is why this calculation:
gives 1.11 instead of 1.221 volts? Is that an error or am I missing something?
To get the results in volts directly, turn the dial to 20 on the DCV area. 200 will also work, but it’s best to use a number as close as to what you are measuring the voltage of and with the number chosen on the meter to be exact or slightly higher than the rated voltage of the device one is measuring. Too low and too high will not give accurate results.
Which is more accurate or better? mA / mA and then converting to volts or getting the volts directly? I have no idea.
Measuring a brand new AAA alkaline, I get 4.4 mA
If it is correct to divide that number by 1,000 and then multiply by 370, I get 1.628 V
If I measure the same battery at 20 DCV, I get 1.58 V
So, looking forward to an experienced multimeter user(s) to clarify these issue for me, Brad, and future newbies to multimeters. Thanks.