Voltmeter design _ Dc Metering Circuits

# Voltmeter design _ Dc Metering Circuits - Voltmeter desig n...

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1/22/2014 Voltmeter design : Dc Metering Circuits http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_1/chpt_8/2.html 1/6 Voltmeter design As was stated earlier, most meter movements are sensitive devices. Some D'Arsonval movements have full-scale deflection current ratings as little as 50 µA, with an (internal) wire resistance of less than 1000 Ω. This makes for a voltmeter with a full-scale rating of only 50 millivolts (50 µA X 1000 Ω)! In order to build voltmeters with practical (higher voltage) scales from such sensitive movements, we need to find some way to reduce the measured quantity of voltage down to a level the movement can handle. Let's start our example problems with a D'Arsonval meter movement having a full-scale deflection rating of 1 mA and a coil resistance of 500 Ω: Using Ohm's Law (E=IR), we can determine how much voltage will drive this meter movement directly to full scale: E = I R E = (1 mA)(500 Ω) E = 0.5 volts If all we wanted was a meter that could measure 1/2 of a volt, the bare meter movement we have here would suffice. But to measure greater levels of voltage, something more is needed. To get an effective voltmeter meter range in excess of 1/2 volt, we'll need to design a circuit allowing only a precise proportion of measured voltage to drop across the meter movement. This will extend the meter movement's range to higher voltages. Correspondingly, we will need to re-label the scale on the meter face to indicate its new measurement range with this proportioning circuit connected. But how do we create the necessary proportioning circuit? Well, if our intention is to allow this meter movement to measure a greater voltage than it does now, what we

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1/22/2014 Voltmeter design : Dc Metering Circuits http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_1/chpt_8/2.html 2/6 need is a voltage divider circuit to proportion the total measured voltage into a lesser fraction across the meter movement's connection points. Knowing that voltage divider circuits are built from series resistances, we'll connect a resistor in series with the meter
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