More Electronics Know-How

This appendix provides a how-to on using a multimeter and soldering, as well as a handy reference for reading the color bands on resistors.


A multimeter is an indispensable tool used to diagnose and troubleshoot circuits. As its name states, it is a meter capable of measuring multiple things related to electricity—namely, current, continuity, resistance, and voltage. Let’s take a look at how to use a multimeter. We will be using the SparkFun VC830L (TOL-12966; shown in Figure A-1) throughout the tutorial, but these methods should apply to most multimeters.

Parts of a Multimeter

A multimeter has three main parts, labeled in Figure A-1.

FIGURE A-1: A typical multimeter

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