What are those slots on the multimeter "EBCE" ?

SgtWookie

Joined Jul 17, 2007
22,220
Yes, it's for testing transistors. You can use the slots to figure out whether it's an NPN or PNP transistor, which leads are E, B, C, and what the approximate gain (hFE) is at some fixed current (low current, in the mA range).
 
Last edited:

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
22,114
It is to test the hFE of a single transistor. They provide 4 connections to the 3 leads on the transistor so that you will be able to match any of all the possible different pinouts of transistors.

edit: (Almost beat Wookie this time... but not quite.)
 

Thread Starter

zero_coke

Joined Apr 22, 2009
294
Whats the hFE?? And I don't get how to use them...the slots are smaller than the transistors' pins so how would I be able to connect it to test?

And how would you know if its an NPN or PNP by using it??
 

SgtWookie

Joined Jul 17, 2007
22,220
hFE is "the small signal forward current gain of a bipolar junction transistor".
It's often abbreviated simply as "gain".

If your transistors' pins are too large for the slots, then you will need to use some wire jumpers.

To start off with, you look up a datasheet for the transistor. They usually have the transistor terminal connections documented in some fashion. Then try that combination and see if it works (you get some positive number greater than 5 on the meter display).

If you can't find a datasheet, then just try every combination of the three terminals, on both the PNP and NPN sides.
 

Thread Starter

zero_coke

Joined Apr 22, 2009
294
So how can I find out if two transistors are "matched" using my multimeter? And also, which setting do I dial my multimeter to to even test this thing on? The resistance, voltage, or current?
 

Audioguru

Joined Dec 20, 2007
11,249
Turn the dial on the multimeter to "transistor test" or something similar.
Plug in a transistor with its pins according to the label on the multimeter (look at the datasheet of the transistor to see which pin is which) and record the hFE number. Then plug in more transistors and do the same.

When you have two transistors with the same or similar number then their hFE are matched at that tested current.
 

Thread Starter

zero_coke

Joined Apr 22, 2009
294
But there's no writing on my this stupid cheap multimeter I have...which symbol is for "transistor test"? There's a whole bunch of symbols but I'm only familiar with mainstream voltage, current, ohms, and a couple others but that's all.
 

Audioguru

Joined Dec 20, 2007
11,249
But there's no writing on my this stupid cheap multimeter I have...which symbol is for "transistor test"? There's a whole bunch of symbols but I'm only familiar with mainstream voltage, current, ohms, and a couple others but that's all.
Post a clear photo of the front of your multimeter.
 

Adjuster

Joined Dec 26, 2010
2,148
I have seen some meters with a single switch position marked hFE, the meter being provided with separate socket positions for NPN and PNP transistors.

It seems very strange though if the meter has no markings - perhaps they have worn off, or are in a foreign language (Chinese?).
 

thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,359
Meter should have a roatary position for \(H_{FE}\), usually hidden around the diode check/continuity.

Some meters only have 3 pin sockets, unlabled, and will auto identify (NPN, PNP), show pin out (EBC, CBE, etc), then show gain, giving about 1 second to each display and cycling through them until you remove the transistor.
 

samin

Joined Oct 14, 2011
32
It is marked with a hFE sign. Rotate your Multimeter’s pointer and make it point toward hFE sign. Then put the transistor in the according space and you will get the beta value at display.

Also, the only way the hFE test could be useful is that you check the hFE for each transistor (the parameters of your multimeter are ok) before and after your experimentation, if you get a very different value probably your transistor is fried.
 

Thread Starter

zero_coke

Joined Apr 22, 2009
294
Thanks but I already have figured it out. I have an hFe marking on my multimeter but it doesn't seem to work...it just displays 0.00 for any transistor I use anyway so I dunno, maybe its my transistors that are crappy (I'm testing TIP29C, TIP30C, MJE172, and MJE182's).
 
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