What is DCA on a Multimeter?

DCA on a multimeter stands for Direct Current Amperage. The DC (direct current) is a one-directional flow of the electrons (electric charges). Amperes is the unit that is used to measure the amount of current. The DC flows in conductors such as wires and semiconductors like insulators. Most of our electrical appliances use DC.

Multimeters can be used to extrapolate the load of current consumed in the circuit.

Multimeters can be used to measure different electrical properties of any material – the resistance (Ohms), DCA, and DCV. To measure the DCA of a circuit, select DC on your multimeter using the adjusting knob. Using the meter probes, complete the circuit and note the reading. The reading indicates the amount of current the circuit consumes.

Why Measure the DCA of Circuits?

It is important to measure the amount of current consumed by a circuit. The DCA current is required for power measurement. The amount of power dissipated or consumed is computed by multiplying voltage and current. Therefore, the process of measuring the DCA current needs to be very precise and accurate. The wrong measurement of DCA can cause big losses and damage. In this guide, I will teach you how to properly set your circuit and measure the DCA using a multimeter.

What you Need for this Experiment

To conduct this experiment, you need the following tools:

  1. A multimeter with probes
  2. Connecting wires
  3. A switch (in this case, the multimeter will act as the switch)
  4. A battery (source of voltage)
  5. A load (use a light or a bulb)
  6. Clips
  7. Adhesive tape

Setting Up the Circuit and Measuring the DC

You will need to set up a circuit to perform this experiment. Follow the below-mentioned steps to set up your circuit, and measure the DC (in the circuit). (1)

  • Connect your wires to the positive and negative terminals of the battery. You may use clips to fasten the wires or adhesive tape.
  • Run the wire from the positive terminal of the battery to the red probe of the multimeter.
  • Now connect the wire running from the negative terminal of the battery to one end of the bulb. And then complete the circuit by connecting the black probe from the COM section of the multimeter to the other end of the bulb.
  • Note the reading on the display unit. The DC value shows the amount of current consumed by the circuit. If the voltage value is known, you can multiply it with the DC value and get the total power in the circuit.

Important Points to Note in this Experiment

Use the following hints to avoid damaging your multimeter fuse:

  • Plug the red probe in the correct port on the multimeter. The voltage source will help you predict the amount of DC. For higher voltage values, use the port marked 10A, and for lower voltage values use the port labeled as mA, 200 mA maximum. Plugging the red probe in the wrong port can damage your multimeter fuse.
  • Do not place the probe leads directly to the power source terminals or the battery in our case. That only happens when you are measuring the voltage. Direct connection of probes to the battery can cause a short circuit, and will most likely blow your fuse. It happens if the current exceeds 10mA.

technician using multimeter for testing

  • The bulb must glow, otherwise, your battery is dead, or the connection is unsuitable. Be sure to follow the connecting steps accordingly.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) experiment – https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-an-experiment-607970

Video References

Circuit Digest


Slideo Studios

About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gI realized early on carpentry was a huge passion for me and I’ve stayed in the industry for over 20 years now. This gives me a unique ability to really be able to tell you what the best tools and recommendations are. I’m not only a carpenter but I also like machinery and anything to do with electrics. One of my career paths starting off was as an apprentice electrician so I also have a lot of experience with electrical products and anything related.