How To Test Transistors with a Digital Multimeter

Getting a very late start in electronics – I started at 50 years old! — has it’s problems that I need to work really hard to resolve.

My friends tell me I always jump in at the deep end of the pool, and I think they are right.

After all, I am always teaching myself things by reading, and experimenting. I taught myself how to work on cars, upholstery, software programming, and a billion other things. If I want to know something, I just go figure it out.

But electronics is really turning out to be the deepest pool I’ve ever jumped into. There’s just so much background I need to acquire to even understand basic stuff.

Right now I’m putting together a little Elenco kit radio that’s meant to teach you radio concepts, like how to solder, what the different stages of a radio are, how they work, what different components do, and how to test your work using standard testing equipment like an oscilloscope, a multimeter, and a signal generator.

However, the instructions in the booklet on how to test a transistor leave something to be desired.

So I went looking for better instructions and turned up this wonderful video that explains how to use a digital multimeter to figure out if a Transistor is NPN, or PNP type, and which pins are the base, emitter, and collector.

Kudos to Shawal SI for the fantastic video