Module 21  Test Methods and Practices
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531, AI1 to AI3, Index
MAXWELL
BRIDGE The Maxwell bridge, shown in view C of figure 114, measures inductance by comparing it
with a capacitance and (effectively) two resistances.] This bridge circuit is employed for measuring inductances
having losses greater than 0.05 (expressed by the D dial reading). For such inductors it is necessary to
introduce, in place of the series control (D dial), a new loss control (Q dial), which shunts the standard
capacitor. This control, which becomes effective when the Function switch is turned to the L(Q) position, is
conveniently calibrated in values of Q, the storage factor of the inductor under measurement. The balance for
inductance is the same for either bridge circuit. This permits the use of the same markings on the RANGE switch
for both the L(D) and L(Q) positions of the Function switch. REACTANCE MEASURING Equipment
The reactance type of inductance measuring equipment makes use of the following principle: If an ac voltage
of fixed frequency is applied across an inductor (and a resistor in series), the voltage drop produced across the
reactance of the inductor by the resulting current flow is directly proportional to the value of the inductance.
An inductance measurement using the reactance method is identical to capacitance measurements using the same
method, except that current flow is directly proportional to the value of inductance, rather than inversely
proportional as in the case of capacitance. It follows then that if a reactancetype capacitance measuring
equipment is provided with a chart that converts the capacitance readings to equivalent inductance values and a
proper range multiplying factor, the same test setup can be used to measure both capacitance and inductance. In
practice, test equipment using the reactance method for capacitance measurements usually provides an inductance
conversion chart. Because the current flowing through the inductance under test is directly proportional to the
value of inductance, the reciprocals of the capacitance range multipliers must be used; for example, a multiplier
of 0.1 becomes
and a multiplier of 100 becomes
The reactancetype equipment gives approximate values only. Like the analog multimeter, it is used only
when portability and speed are more important than precision. If the ohmic resistance of the inductor is low, the
inductance value obtained from the conversion chart can be used directly. If the ohmic value (as measured with an
ohmmeter) is appreciable, a more accurate value of inductance can be obtained by use of the following formula:
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Q16. Is the current flow through an inductor directly proportional or inversely proportional to
its inductance value? MEASUREMENT of Inductance USING The VTVM If you do not have
a 250DE+1325 at your disposal, the inductance of a coil can be determined by using a VTVM and a decade resistance
box, as shown in figure 115. In the following example the inductance of an unknown coil in the secondary winding
of a 6.3volt filament transformer will be determined with a VTVM and decade resistance box. The unknown coil must
be connected in series with the decade resistance box. The voltage across the decade box and across the coil must
be monitored as the decade box is adjusted. When equal voltages are reached, read the resistance of the decade
box. Since the voltage across the inductor equals the voltage across the decade box, the X_{L} of
the coil must be equal to the resistance read on the decade box. For example, assume that the resistance reading
on the decade box is 4 kilohms and the frequency is 60 hertz. This must mean that the X_{L} of the coil is
also equal to 4,000 ohms. The inductance formula L = X_{L}/2πf
Figure 115.  Determining inductance with a VTVM and decade resistance box.
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Summary This chapter has presented information on basic measurements. The information that follows summarizes
the important points of this chapter. The five basic measurements are Voltage,
CURRENT, Resistance, Capacitance, and Inductance.
The accuracy of all measurements depends upon YOUR SKILL as a technician and the accuracy of your Test Equipment. Accuracy of different types of test equipment varies greatly and depends on design characteristics, tolerances
of individual components, and YOUR KNOWLEDGE of test equipment applications. The METCAL program
ensures that your calibrated test equipment meets established specifications. Most equipment technical manuals
contain Voltage CHARTS which list correct voltages that should be obtained at various test points. It is
important to remember that the Input Impedance of your test equipment must be high enough to
prevent circuit loading.
When you are performing ac voltage measurements, an additional consideration that greatly affects the accuracy of
your measurements is the Frequency Limitations of your test equipment. Ac and dc CURRENT
MEASUREMENTS can be performed using a wide variety of test equipment. Most current measurements require you to
break the current path by unsoldering components and wires and inserting an ammeter in series with the current
path. One alternative method is to compute (using OHM'S LAW) the current through a circuit by measuring the
voltage drop across a known resistance. Another alternative is to use a CURRENT PROBE that requires no
unsoldering.
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When performing resistance measurements, your primary concerns are the RANGE and DEGREE of
ACCURACY of your test equipment. In most instances, an analog multimeter is accurate enough to perform
basic troubleshooting. When measuring extremely large resistances, you are sometimes required to use a MEGGER or a
Differential VOLTMETER.
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When testing currentsensitive devices, you must be certain that the current produced by your test
equipment does not exceed the current limitations of the device being tested. Capacitance and inductance
measurements are seldom required in The Course of troubleshooting. These measurements are usually performed with
various types of BRIDGES or with a reactance type of measuring device. The bridge measuring techniques are more
commonly used and are more accurate than reactance types of measurements.
REFERENCES 8000A Digital Multimeter, NAVSEA 0969LP2799010, Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., undated.
EIMB, Test Methods and Practices Handbook, NAVSEA 0967LP0000130, Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C.,
1980.
EIBM, General, NAVSEA 09670000100, Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., 1983. Instruction Manual
for Universal Impedance Bridge, Model 250DE, 13202, Electro Scientific Industries, 13900 N. W. Science Park Drive,
Portland, Oregon 97229, March 1971.
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Instruction Manual, Model 893A/AR ACDC Differential Voltmeter, NAVSEA 0969LP2797010, Naval Sea
Systems Command, Washington, D.C., 1969. Operation and Maintenance Instruction, Current Tracer 547A,
NAVAIR 16453103, Naval Air Systems Command, Washington, D.C., 1979. Operation and Maintenance
Instructions, VoltOhmMilliammeter, 260 Series 6P, NAVSEA 0969LP2861010, Naval Sea Systems Command,
Washington, D.C., 1974.
Answers to Questions Q1. Through Q16. A1. Its calibration. A2. 10 to 1
A3. Increased input impedance, greater accuracy, and increased voltage range.
A4. Midscale. A5. Accuracy and high input impedance.
A6. The range of frequencies that can accurately be measured. A7. At least 60% of the vertical
trace. A8. Decreased internal meter resistance, greater accuracy, and greater current range.
A9. Current probes enable you to perform current measurements without disconnecting wires. Current probes are
clamped around the insulated wire.
A10. By zeroing the meter with the test leads shorted. A11. The current flow through the component
is limited to 1 milliamp. A12. True.
A13. Bridge type. A14. Magneticmetal core. A15. a capacitor. A16.
Directly proportional.
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Matter, Energy,
and Direct Current 
 
Alternating Current and Transformers 
 
Circuit Protection, Control, and Measurement 
 
Electrical Conductors, Wiring Techniques,
and Schematic Reading 
 
Generators and Motors 
 
Electronic Emission, Tubes, and Power Supplies 
 
SolidState Devices and Power Supplies 
 
Amplifiers 
 
WaveGeneration and WaveShaping Circuits 
 
Wave Propagation, Transmission Lines, and
Antennas 
 
Microwave Principles 
 
Modulation Principles 
 
Introduction to Number Systems and Logic Circuits 
 
 Introduction to Microelectronics 
 
Principles of Synchros, Servos, and Gyros 
 
Introduction to Test Equipment 
 
RadioFrequency Communications Principles 
 
Radar Principles 
 
The Technician's Handbook, Master Glossary 
 
Test Methods and Practices 
 
Introduction to Digital Computers 
 
Magnetic Recording 
 
Introduction to Fiber Optics 
Note: Navy Electricity and Electronics Training
Series (NEETS) content is U.S. Navy property in the public domain. 
