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TheAmmoniacalSupporterPosts: 1173Country:
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The SoulmanFrequent ContributorPosts: 875Country:
I remember a rather boastful electronic engineer at IBM seeing OL on fluke DMM, saying something like "OL means the meter is faulty". OL is a defacto standard that works with seven segment displays quite nicely.We use a lot of defacto standards without thinking about it. One defacto standard I hate is SMD tantalum caps having the stripe as positive, yet on electrolytic caps it in negative. Who ever devised the tantalum "standard" needs to be removed from the gene pool. It is illogical, stupid and dangerous. I think many of us have been caught out with that once.

You are watching: What does ol mean on a multimeter


I can't believe overload is leading the poll. A meter is decidedly not overloaded with an open circuit on resistance mode. The measurement however is certainly over limit. Over limit works for all modes.
macboy wrote: "I can't believe overload is leading the poll."------------------------------------------------------------------------It's probably the leader because that's what it means. At least according to what the manufacturers say in their manuals.Keysight: "OL - Overload (the reading exceeds the display range)"Fluke: "If the input signal is greater than the selected range can measure,the Meter displays overload"
Datron:- Overrange: "Is signified by a 1 being illuminated at the left of the normal display. 100% overrange permits a maximum display of 19999(9)."- Overload: "Results in blanking of the display* when measured value exceeds 100% Overrange."*(would be OL on other meters)
An overload indicator does not really make sense on modern multimeters, and really only makes sense in voltage or current mode (?).I would guess the OL indication originates from back when voltmeters were resistive panel meters? An over-voltage condition would in this case cause it to overheat and potentially burn?I've just looked at a few manuals, both Keysight and Fluke do say overload.
*BZZZZZZAAAAAP*Voltamort strikes again!Explodingus - someone who frequently causes accidental explosions
IMHO it's overload.ADCs in the past have been single- ord dual-slope types. A integrator is charged by input voltage (and for dual-slpe again discharges by the reference voltage) The charge time is counted and gives the display value (count).Thus exceeding the input range caused the integrator to be overcharged means overloaded./PeLuLe
I remember a rather boastful electronic engineer at IBM seeing OL on fluke DMM, saying something like "OL means the meter is faulty". OL is a defacto standard that works with seven segment displays quite nicely.We use a lot of defacto standards without thinking about it. One defacto standard I hate is SMD tantalum caps having the stripe as positive, yet on electrolytic caps it in negative. Who ever devised the tantalum "standard" needs to be removed from the gene pool. It is illogical, stupid and dangerous. I think many of us have been caught out with that once.
For me its always been "over load". Most multimeter manuals describe "OL" with something like "Overload condition is detected", e.g. the manual of the Fluke 87V.
While it may not make sense it means "Over Load" because the DMM manufacturers said so. I just wonder which DMM was first to display "OL". Early DMM display a 1 for this.
I want to know why budget multimeters show a single "1" when in over-range. If the concern is over logic complexity, I can understand not wanting to implement text characters, but a single or double hyphen would probably be more understandable. So many times I've worked someone unfamiliar with multimeters through a problem and they've said things like, it reads "1 Volt" and then only do you realise that they had it on the mV range and that's the overload indication.
Surely it means "Oh Lord" - given I most often see it on a continuity reading and I now have an open circuit to find in a bunch of wires
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While it may not make sense it means "Over Load" because the DMM manufacturers said so. I just wonder which DMM was first to display "OL". Early DMM display a 1 for this.
Nixie (or other early digital display) multimeters have indicator lights for "Over Load". I'm assuming LCD DMMs in the 80s soon followed.
*BZZZZZZAAAAAP*Voltamort strikes again!Explodingus - someone who frequently causes accidental explosions
I repeat the important bit mentioned above: "OL" works nicely on 7-segment displays, but "OR" is perhaps harder to read.

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I want to know why budget multimeters show a single "1" when in over-range. If the concern is over logic complexity, I can understand not wanting to implement text characters, but a single or double hyphen would probably be more understandable. So many times I've worked someone unfamiliar with multimeters through a problem and they've said things like, it reads "1 Volt" and then only do you realise that they had it on the mV range and that's the overload indication.
I can't believe overload is leading the poll. A meter is decidedly not overloaded with an open circuit on resistance mode. The measurement however is certainly over limit. Over limit works for all modes.
Well, if you consider an Ohms measurement using a CC, then overload could be applied (somewhat reciprocally) that the open circuit voltage is being exceeded.I agree over limit makes more sense, but my first intuition was that this terminology (among other generic terms) by chinglish translations. Nonetheless, there are more conventions that we carry over by tradition rather than common sense. Otherwise the whole world would be using metric by now, and we certainly wouldn't have 0.635mm SOP packages that look like 0.65mm
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It's especially weird because in continuity test mode, the default display is simply "OPEN." Why didn't they do that for resistance as well?
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