# Lab 1: Current, Voltage, Resistance ```Lab 1. Current, Voltage and Resistance
Introduction
1. The TA will show you how to use the multimeter for measuring current,
voltage and resistance.
2. The TA will show you how to use a protoboard, also known as
breadboard, and the DC power supplies.
The Protoboard
The protoboard allows you to assemble circuits by placing components into the
holes, officially called contact points but usually just points, which are connected
internally in various patterns.
Measuring Resistance
1.1
Use the resistor color code scheme on page 6 to identify the resistance of
the given resistor.
1.2
Use the multimeter to find the resistance of the above resistor.
Measuring Current and Voltage
1.3
Connect the resistor in 1.1, the DC power supply (used as a constant
voltage source) and the multimeter using the protoboard as shown below.
Use red and black banana leads to connect the power supply to the binding
posts and red and black wire from the binding posts to the contact points.
Assemble a coaxial cable with a BNC/banana adapter on one end and a
BNC/minigrabber on the other. Insert the banana plug into the current
measuring connectors on the multimeter. Place the resistor on the
protoboard by pressing one lead into a point in a horizontal row and select
another row for the other lead. Clip the red minigrabber to the red wire
coming from the positive power binding post. Clip the black minigrabber to
one of the resistor leads. Use a black wire to connect the other resistor
lead to the binding post used for power supply common.
When using a multimeter to measure current the meter must be connected
in series within the circuit, as shown below. This is because current must
flow through the meter just like water must flow through the water meter in
a house to determine how much water is used in a year. When ever you
make a measurement you want to make sure the measuring device, in this
case an ammeter, does not effect the actual measurement. When
measuring current the internal resistance of the meter is very nearly zero
ohms. This makes sense because you wish to measure all the current
1
flowing through the circuit and if you meter reduces the current flow then
A
+
V
Amp meter
R
Current Measuring circuit for Ex. 1.3
When measuring voltage the meter is connected in parallel with the circuit.
This is because voltage can be considered as electrical pressure. A
pressure gage connected to a water pipe is closed at one end. Therefore,
its resistance to flow is infinite since no water flows through it at all. A
meter that measures voltage has a similar characteristic in that the input
impedance of voltmeter is very large, typically 10 megaohms or larger.
This is considered large enough to not allow current to flow through the
meter when measuring voltage and thereby not influencing the
measurement. If current flowed through a volt meter when making a
voltage measurement then the voltage measured in the circuit would be
less than the actual voltage if the meter were not there since the current in
the circuit which causes the voltage to be produced would be reduced by
the amount going through the meter.
Voltage measuring circuit for Ex. 1.3
2
Complete measuring circuit for Ex. 1.3
Switch the power supply ON only when the circuit is properly
assembled and confirmed by the TA or instructor. Switch OFF the
power supply while making changes to the circuit or when not in
use.
1.4
Apply voltage across the resistor from 0 to 6 volts in increment of 1 volt
using the power supply. Monitor the applied voltage by observing the
analog meter on the front of the voltmeter. At every 1 volt increment,
measure the current flowing through the resistor by using the multimeter.
Plot the Voltage (V) versus Current (I) curve. From the slope of the curve,
find the resistance of the resistor.
1.5
Compare the resistance of the resistor as measured using color code, the
multimeter and the V-I curve.
3
Distributing Current and Voltage
1.6
Connect the circuits shown below (Resistors in Series and Parallel).
Calculate the voltage between each of the nodes, A to B, B to C, C to D, in
each of the circuits below. Confirm your calculations with voltage
measurements using the voltmeter.
A
A
10Kohm
10Kohm
B
A
B
+
10V
+
10Kohm
+
10V
10V
10Kohm
C
10Kohm
10Kohm
10Kohm
10Kohm
B
10Kohm
C
D
(A)
(B)
(C)
Variable Resistor (Potentiometer)
1.7
Apply 10 volts across a 5 kΩ potentiometer as shown below. Rotate the
potentiometer clockwise or counterclockwise from end to end and measure
the voltage between one of the end terminals and the central terminal
(wiper). Write down the range of voltage you observed?
Power
Supply
+
1
POT
3
-
+
2
POT
CCW
CW
Voltmeter
-
Wiper
4
Fabricating a thin film resistor, Series Connection
1.8
Use the cards given to you for fabricating a thin film resistor. The card has
four silver painted lines, A, B, C, and D on the right side of the card. These
lines are electrically conducting. Use the pencil given to you to shade a
stripe, shown below, between the silver lines as follows:
Connect A to B on the left side
Connect B to C on the right side
Connect C to D on the left side
The graphite in the pencil provides a conducting path for current
between A to B to C to D. Hence shade it uniformly to allow a proper
path for current flow.
RIGHT SIDE OF CARD
1.9
Measure the resistances between A and B, B and C, C and D, and A and
D. Is the resistance between A and D larger or smaller than the individual
resistances measured? Why?
5
Fabricating a thin film resistor, Parallel Connection
1.10
Shade one line between A and B on the left side of the card, shown below,
and measure its resistance between A and B. Next shade a second line
between A and B and measure the resistance between A and B. Is the
final resistance larger or smaller? Why?
LEFT SIDE OF CARD
6
7
Page 1
Lab 1. Current, Voltage and Resistance
Name:___________________________
Section Number:________________
TA init:______________
Date_________________________
1.1 Find Resistance from chart.
1.2 What is the resistance as determined by the multimeter?
1.4
Plot of Current vs. Voltage (I vs. V). What is the Resistance (slope of curve
from V=IR)
1.5 What are the differences in the above three results? Why?
1.6
Voltage between
A and B
B and C
C and D
Figure A
Figure B
Figure C
Voltage Calculations
8
Page 2
Lab 1. Current, Voltage and Resistance
Name:___________________________
TA init:______________
Section Number:________________
Date_________________________
1.7 Voltage range of potentiometer:
1.9 Film Resistor Series Connection
Resistance
between
A and B
B and C
C and D
A and D
Resistance
1.10 Film Resistor Parallel Connection
Resistance
between
A and B 1 line
A and B 2 lines
Resistance
9
```