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Modified 2019-09-22 by Andrea Censi

Using a multimeter effectively is an essential part of debugging any electronics project. Achieving multimeter mastery is beyond the scope of this course, but there are two modes that you should be aware of and use as part of your work.

Checking for Shorts

Modified 2018-12-12 by Stefanie Tellex

Most multimeters have a mode where they will beep if the two probes are connected via a circuit. You can use this mode to check that two outputs on your drone that should be connected are connected. Do this checking with the drone powered off. For example, verify that the PI GPIO pin that is reading the Adafruit input is connected to the correct output port on the Adafruit board. And verify that the 5V output from the BEC is connected to the 5V input on the Pi. And then verify that the power pad on the power distribution board is NOT connected to the ground pad on the same board.

Checking Voltage

Modified 2018-12-12 by Stefanie Tellex

When the drone is powered on, you can check each part of the drone for shorts. Voltage is a measure of relative electric potential between two different parts of the project. For example, verify that the power pad and ground pad on the PDF show a 12 volt difference. (It’s okay if it varies between 11 and 12.5 volts, depending on the state of your battery sharge.) Verify that the Pi’s power and ground pins show a 5 volt difference. Verify that the Adafruit board’s power and ground pins show a 5 volt difference as well.

Isaiah Brand, Josh Roy, Aaron Ray, John Oberlin, and Stefanie Tellex. An Integrated Introduction to Robotics for the Next Generation. In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), October 2018.    Bruno Siciliano and Oussama Khatib. Springer Handbook of Robotics. Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., Secaucus, NJ, USA, 2007.