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Why do we want fast continuity detection in a multimeter?

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Hi everyone:

Let's assume I'm a complete newbie, with next to no understanding of electronics and only basic knowledge of how to use a multimeter.

In many of the Dave's reviews, we watch him check the continuity test function of a meter by shorting the two leads and listening for how quickly the meter beeps. Faster is better, apparently.

Please help the newbie understand, why do we want faster speed doing this? Will a fraction of a second make a difference? If a meter responds slowly, is that a sign of other issues which might occur, or just poor build quality? Since continuity is the inverse of resistance, I wonder if it's a sign the meter will be innacurate with resistance tests.

I ask because I just got a Zotek ZT-Y. It seems to match the other meter I use so far for measurements, but doing that continuity test, it's definitely quite a bit slower.

It is not about being faster, it is about latching the first continuity reading and producing a sound for a bit even if there is no longer continuity there. This eliminates the scratchy sound because of contact bounce.

A good meter should be imperceptibly fast, if it is slow enough to be noticeable, then it will annoy you all the time. And you will potentially be missing continuity when doing a lot of measurements (like tracing a board or a cable harness).

Hmm..yeah, that's sort of what I figured.

So, I think I may have jumped on the ZT-Y too quickly. Are there models higher up in the same line, with the same or similar LED display? I have trouble with my eyes, and very little lighting in my place. That combination made the ZT-Y very appealing to me. And I do love the display, but I'm wondering if there's something of better quality in the same line with similar great display.

No idea about LED displays, but one way around this may be to use another meter for continuity, since it does not require looking at a display. Not ideal, but it is hard to guess with all the random cheap meters.

Try using a continuity tester to buzz out traces on a board.  If it's fast, you can use one probe on the thing you're trying to find the route to and just brush the other probe on contacts as you need - along the pins of a SOP package, for example - and just hear a little noise if it makes contact.

If your continuity tester is slow, you have to try every individual pin because you need to wait to see if it sounds.  A slow continuity tester isn't just on a delay, it's actually taking that delay worth of time to decide if the continuity is there (basically just looking for a resistance measurement below a certain threshold), so if it's slower and you drag it across pins with only one actually connected to the other point, you may miss it entirely because the time the probe is on that one pin is pretty small.

Latching is a nice QoL feature, but is very much the secondary feature to me - I want it to tell me quickly so I can cover a lot of potential pins in a short amount of time.


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