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Old 12-15-2005   #1 (permalink)
 
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I just bought a DMM (digital multi meter).....no clue how to use it......all i really need is to measure the output voltage of the channels on the amp...and the impedance of sum voice coils....what side do i turn the dial to for that
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Old 12-15-2005   #2 (permalink)
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Good question. Anyone with this knowledge, could you post this info as a sticky? How to use a DMM. I have wanted to get one but do not know how to use it to measure anything in my system.
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Old 12-15-2005   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: DMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_official
I just bought a DMM (digital multi meter).....no clue how to use it......all i really need is to measure the output voltage of the channels on the amp...and the impedance of sum voice coils....what side do i turn the dial to for that
there are many variations to dmm's. what brand and model did you get?

in general, to measure output voltage of an amp, set it to measure ac voltage. it's usually symbolized with a wave. to mearue the impedance of subs, set it to measure ohms. it's usually sysmbolized with an upside down horseshoe. for both measurements, if your dmm will not automatically select the appropiate range, you have to do it manually.

here's a pic of mine. my range is automatic but i have the ability to adjust it manually.
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Old 12-15-2005   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: DMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by roe
there are many variations to dmm's. what brand and model did you get?

in general, to measure output voltage of an amp, set it to measure ac voltage. it's usually symbolized with a wave. to mearue the impedance of subs, set it to measure ohms. it's usually sysmbolized with an upside down horseshoe. for both measurements, if your dmm will not automatically select the appropiate range, you have to do it manually.

here's a pic of mine. my range is automatic but i have the ability to adjust it manually.
See this???

This is why ROE owns an audio website...

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But I do have a Crunch 1600.1 and my 2 Sidewinders waiting for my Accord!
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Old 12-15-2005   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: DMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_official
to measure the output voltage of the channels on the amp...
I'm not sure, but I don't know why the voltage is important, I know it's important to Pre-outs on a head unit, but I;m not sure how you would convert volts to wattage.
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Old 12-15-2005   #6 (permalink)
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you measure the voltage to set the gains.
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Old 12-15-2005   #7 (permalink)
 
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Yea, Shon gets ultimate kudos from me because he uses a Fluke meter.

I have a Fluke 73 and a cheaper Craftsmen true-RMS meter. The Fluke has been wonderful ever since I bought it. I have used it on just about everything and bashed it up pretty good too. Going to purchase a newer model with all the bells and whistles here pretty soon.

Can't go wrong with those Flukes.


Anyway, what meter did you purchase mr. official? If it's a cheaper model it may not be as accurate on measuring AC voltage, therefore use a 60hz test tone when your setting your gains as most meters can do well because it's closer to house current.
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Old 12-16-2005   #8 (permalink)
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someone knows his dmm's . i have the fluke 112

btw, good advice on the frequency!
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Old 12-16-2005   #9 (permalink)
 
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you measure the output coltage when you have two amps. so that you can match them, so they are both putting out the same voltage. (if they are not daisy-chainable)


to convert voltage to watts.
you would also need a clamp meter to measure the amperage.

The formula for finding wattage is very simple.

Watts = AC Volts x AC Amps

you put a clamp meter on your power wire to the amp, and a dmm on your Speaker outputs from your amp.

you do a burp.

write each number down.

multiply, that will tell you how many watts you are putting out during that burp.


for example, at world finals, on my pair of autotek mm4000.1d's... wired at 1ohm dcr, on a single 12volt battery, with the Car off, i get...


output AC voltage = 110.52
input AC amperage = 24.6
output wattage to sub = 2718.79

tests were the same on both amps. (after gain matching the amps)

so, 5437.58 watts from two amps of a single battery. not too shabby.

but, of course, sadly, at finals, my subs did not have the right ohm load, so i had to use a transformers to reach the ohm load i needed.

transformers rob you of 20% output power.

so i lost 1,087.52 watts by using the transformers.

dropping me to 4,350.06 watts.

or, 2,175.03 watts per amp.
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Old 12-16-2005   #10 (permalink)
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for gain matching on 2 amps its fine but this method is bad for setting up amp gains, its a no no (unless its regulated)

only way to truly set up is with a scope



this way indicates when you have a clipped signal which a dmm cant
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Old 12-16-2005   #11 (permalink)
 
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true a scope is better.

but also costs more so not everyone has access to them.

and a dmm is far better than "by theear" which is how most people set the gains.
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Old 12-16-2005   #12 (permalink)
 
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i just bought sum cheap one real quick cause i needed one.....but damn.....every answer I've had about anything has just been answered in this thread....THANKS
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Old 12-16-2005   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
for gain matching on 2 amps its fine but this method is bad for setting up amp gains, its a no no (unless its regulated)

only way to truly set up is with a scope



this way indicates when you have a clipped signal which a dmm cant
x2 on an o-scope. but like what pornstar said, a vast majority of the people don't have access to one.

with an o-scope, the nice feature is that you can analyze your pre-outs and adjust your hu before it clips then adjust your gain.

i have always been tempted to get one of these:
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-VELLEMAN-10M...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old 12-16-2005   #14 (permalink)
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LoL i use a cheap 2.00 walmart one lol. but hel it works.
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Old 12-16-2005   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roe
someone knows his dmm's . i have the fluke 112

btw, good advice on the frequency!


I'm going to have to look into that Fluke that you have. I might just sell my old 73 model and pick one of those up. Has anyone used the Fluke clamp meters? I'm thinking about buying one of those and playing around with it on my car system and other things to measure current.

Oh, and on the ocilliscope subject...I don't know much about them, nor have I used one, but to my understanding, if you get a square wave this means that the signal is clipping. Same goes for an unclipped signal exept that it would be a round wave? Is all this correct? Or am I wayy off?
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Old 12-16-2005   #16 (permalink)
 
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well sort of. a clean signal is a nice smooth up and down wave.

a clipped signal is exactly that. the top and bottom waves are clipped flat.



the white signal is a clean signal.

the yellow signal is clipped, and will generate heat in the voice coils.

a sqaure wave is different altogether.




read this page: http://www.bcae1.com/2ltlpwr.htm

matter of fact, i've always found this site to be aperfect primer for ANYONE involved with car audio.

http://www.bcae1.com
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Old 12-17-2005   #17 (permalink)
 
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Yea, I read quite a bit of that site ages ago. VERY good info.

As for the waves, I knew I was close. The square waves are irrelevant to what I was talking about, but the basic car audio page states that you get a square wave with severe clipping.
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Old 12-17-2005   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pornstar

matter of fact, i've always found this site to be aperfect primer for ANYONE involved with car audio.

http://www.bcae1.com
x2 on the site. even if you think you everything in car audio, you will learn something new from that site.
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Old 12-30-2005   #19 (permalink)
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i have a scope! yay me (my grandpa gave it to me). i used to bring my buddies cars into my electronics 12 class and set their gains with the like $2000 scopes that they had at school... those were the days
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Old 12-30-2005   #20 (permalink)
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I still keep an ever watchful eye over my Fluke88

many people have tried to coax it out of my tool box from work with some lovely candy.....
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