In the garage
Originally Posted by Mike Romain View Post
Get a generic tail light bulb and socket for $5 or whatever small amount they cost. You can easily slip that in series with your ammeter. The resistance the light provides will keep the current below burning out your meter. Gives a nice visual cue of current flow and you'll never cook another meter again. If the light will not illuminate, or is very dim, it means there is not much current flow taking place. You are safe to use the meter directly.
In this case the OP is just trying to find out what is draining his battery overnight, so we are not interested in measuring the actual current flow. It could be calculated if you know the construction of every portion of the circuit you are measuring, but since it's seeing the entire vehicle we don't care. Just interested to see if it is flowing enough to drain the battery overnight and finding out what is causing it.
Of course a person could just hook up the light to see if it would illuminate. Don't need a meter at all. If the light shines when you hook it up as previously described, just start disconnecting things till it doesn't shine anymore.
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