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Hi guys, as I stated in this thread http://www.tlzone.net/forums/help-forum/131294-bike-wont-start-starter-relay-toasted.html my TLR wont start. Reading the manual and going through the fault finding procedures.

Went and bought a multimeter today, but to be honest, i'm a complete idiot when it comes to these things (electrics) and need a little hand-holding to guide me on my way. The meter user manual tells you very little in terms of hows and whys of using it.

So, first component on the check list was the clutch switch (easiest to get at). I put the meter in continuity mode and taped the switch closed. Attaching the prongs of the meter to each prong on the switch I got these readings:

Initial reading was high - 160ish and fluctuating wildly
Settled down to fluctuate between 5-3 for a few seconds
Then held at 0.2-0.1
All readings in Ohms of resistance as far as I understand.

Does this sound about right? If I'm correct a low resistance means high flow which means the switch is good? Is that how it works?

Next I'm going to pull off the sidestand switch and repeat this procedure. Am I doing things right so far? Whats next obvious thing to check?

cheers
Adam
 

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To explain continuity in the easiest way is its used to find a break in a line ... "hence why it buzzes when you put the probes together" .. Its also very handy if you are experiencing a short somewhere and you dont know where it is .... then you connect the one probe to your earth .. and with the red you start poking all the life wires .. when it buzzes, you know you have a closed circuit on that line..

After i realized that explaining the how to of a multimeter would take some time typing, i figured somebody else must have already cover this how to somewhere on the net.. so i went and searched it for you... and think these 2 are the best tutorials you can use :D

http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/202
http://www.genebitsystems.com/david/MotorcycleElectrical/index.htm
 

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Its also very handy if you are experiencing a short somewhere and you dont know where it is .... then you connect the one probe to your earth .. and with the red you start poking all the life wires .. when it buzzes, you know you have a closed circuit on that line.
Ok you can beep test like that but you would want all power off as some of the cheap meters will blow if you make a resistance measurement between 2 conductors with a potential difference. Also poking around live parts you'll get continuity from the live conductor though its load to earth meaning you might think there is a short where there isn't.

OP: If your meter uses a manual range then the initial test is no good.
However it is common for a set of contacts to display a higher than desired resistance as the may be dirty or worn. Even brand new contacts can do this.
When a voltage is applied to the contacts in a closed state a a small initial "wetting current" will help the contacts conduct.

Your initial test could also be bad contact of the probes to the switch terminals or a fault in the probes (intermittant probe faults are common).
 

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Thanks guys. Thats a LOT to take in. Phew. Yeah, my meter is cheapish Auto-ranging unit, so I noticed it kinda throws random numbers as it calibrates itself before settling on a final number. As I said I'm new to auto-electrics so just kinda getting aquainted with the whys and wherefores

cheers for the input
mm66
 
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