On my multimeter what does 20K represent in testing what Volts Ac ? ?


Testing the Stator Voltage on my car Alternator that’s the copper wire twisted under the housing on a 10 SI the rear bearing you see 3 copper wires come down I’ve tested in the past with another meter which the setting was 750V- 250V  V~ and I metered 1,980v coming out of my car Alternator . Different meter “ Different OUT come “ is my new meter junk ? Or my old meter ? I recorded it ! 

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Only a 'true RMS' meter can measure AC voltages that do not have a standard frequency (usually mains frequency, 50 or 60 Hz).

    I have never seen a multimeter (nor a true RMS) meter that had a 20,000V. range, so obviously you are looking at a 20,000 Ohm range.

    Certainly, you are doing the wrong thing trying to measure what comes out of a car alternator... a stupid reading maybe that can be higher than an alternator usually puts out, BUT in a car the battery voltage is the reference that STOPS the alternator going overvoltage.

    You are doing something silly.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    You have some problems there! 

    1,980 volts does not come out of an alternator! 

    If you disconnected the output of the alternator from the battery, and bypassed the voltage regulator, so the rotor was energized continuously, you could probably get 100 volts out of the alternator. 

    Show us a photo of your meter with the reading and the control knob visible. 

    P.S.  Scales such as 20, 200, 2k, 20k, 200k, 2m are generally RESISTANCE scales.

  • 2 months ago

    What volt meter are you using? Brand, Model?

    20K is a Ohmmeter range setting not a voltage setting.

    If you are using the ohmmeter to read voltage you probably destroyed the meter or blew the fuse.

    Have you read the book?

    You cannot read hundreds of volts on a car alternator system.


  • qrk
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Are you using a digital or analog (has a needle) multimeter?

    It appears you are using an analog meter and reading the ohms scale.

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  • John
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    20,000 ohms per volt is a cheap volt meter because it is a load on the circuit. I only use a Fluke which is open to the circuit. Buy a Fluke. Jim Whitney used a Simpson 260 to measure 10;000 Volts DC (Klystron anode) and got killed. The accident was investigated and the brains couldn't find the reason.

  • Jim
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    k is an abbreviation for kilo or 1000 typically (except in computers where it means 1024).

    20k means 20,000, so 20,000 vac

    But be careful if measuring that high. Check that meter and leads are all certified for that voltage, my VOM is only rated for 600 volts! My 20k setting is for resistance.

    Ripple voltage or (AC voltage) can be measured by switching your digital multimeter to AC and connecting the black lead to a good ground and the red lead to the “BAT” terminal on the back of the alternator, (not at the battery). A good alternator should measure less than . 5 V AC with the engine running.

    Source(s): Car alternator voltage might be up to 20 volts dc or V-, and should be less than 0.5 vac V~
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