Adventures in Science: How to Use Common Electrical Engineering Tools

There are a number of tools students should know how to use when delving into electronics. The most recent additions to our “Adventures in Science” video series walk viewers through using some of the most common tools in a fun way with historical context.

How to Use a Multimeter

Multimeters are incredibly useful and should be at the top of the list when getting started in electronics. Basic multimeter models are capable of measuring AC and DC voltages, current and resistance. Multimeters are also quite handy for detecting unwanted shorts and opens in a circuit.

Want even more information? Check out this written tutorial on how to use a multimeter.

How to Use a Power Supply

Bench power supplies are used for testing circuits and adjusting voltage and are considered essential tools by many practicing engineers. For projects that need a specific voltage or where the power section hasn’t been designed yet, bench power supplies can be lifesavers. Their main function is to convert AC to DC and provide an adjustable DC voltage supply.

To learn more about how to power electronics projects, read this tutorial.

How to Use an Oscilloscope

Oscilloscopes are handy for visualizing how electrical signals change over time, allowing users to measure periodic and transient signals that may be too fast for a digital multimeter to catch. Oscilloscopes are indispensable for debugging circuits.

Here’s a written tutorial for more information.

How to Use Calipers

The slide caliper is an indispensable tool for taking precise measurements between two opposite sides of an object. Modern calipers are capable of measuring the external diameter or width, as well as internal diameters or widths. They can even be used to help replicate an object in software for 3D printing.

To see a full list of the videos in our “Adventures in Science” series, check out our “Adventures in Science” YouTube channel. What tools would you like to learn how to use – or teach your students to use? Please share your ideas and suggestions in the comments below. 

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