When it comes to effectively testing an electric power supply, a simple continuity test is often not sufficient to prove that there are no problems within the circuit. This is especially pertinent to circuits which are dealing with high amperage levels that can go up to, and exceed, 24 AWG of power. This is when the benefits of a voltage drop calculator are evident. Learn more in this article.
Faulty circuits Perhaps somewhat counter-intuitively - but nonetheless true - one can test a power supply circuit for a current, obtain a reading of, for example, twelve volts and still actually be dealing with a circuit that is faulty. Furthermore, you could carry out a similar test for resistance, obtain a reading of a good .2 ohms for example, and still unfortunately be dealing with faulty circuits. This will naturally leave you a little perplexed, and may lead you to wonder if the problem lies with your voltage gauge. The likelihood is that it's not a fault with your reader, because in reality, there exist several circuit problems which can cause this dilemma.
The circuit problems
Essentially, the problems occur when we are faced with a chaffed line that is literally hanging on by a few single strands. In this case, when a continuity test is applied to the circuit, you are likely to obtain a pass. However, the circuit will nonetheless be unable to carry any significant current. Poor connections and corrosion Several slight issues such as loose connections and crimps as well as a certain extent of corrosion can occur within a circuit. In such a circuit, while a positive result may be obtained with a standard resistance or voltage tester, when a more significant load is passed through the circuit, it is likely to under-perform.
The voltage drop calculator
Thus, in such a faulty circuit, when an increase of resistance is applied, problems will occur. It is then that a voltage drop calculator type test will need to be carried out to identify the cause of the problem. An example where this type of test is often used is during the diagnosis of automobile starting and charging systems. How it is done Voltage drop tests are always carried out on a live circuit. This allows for the creation of a load within the circuit as the readings are taken. The meter provides an alternative path for the voltage to take, therefore it becomes the path of least resistance, so to speck. If the circuit is without fault, the entire voltage will pass to the load and you will gain an acceptable reading from the meter.