What is DCA on a Multimeter

What is DCA on multimeter

As a beginner, I was unfamiliar with the multimeter symbols, and many of you may not know what is DCA on a multimeter. Direct Current Amps(DCA) measure current passing from the battery to a circuit. This blog post will explain DCA and measuring DC amps with a multimeter. 

By measuring DCA, you can determine the amount of current flowing through a circuit and identify potential problems. We measure the amperage of a circuit to evaluate the current flowing through a circuit and avoid overloading and potential fires. As such, we are learning how to measure a DCA properly is essential to working with electrical circuits.

What is DCA on a multimeter?

The amperage(current) of a direct current source such as a battery is known as direct current amperage or DC amps

, and a multimeter represents DC amps setting as DCA. Direct current amperage (DCA) measures the electric current in a direct current (DC) circuit.

In simple words, DC means Direct current, and amperes is the measure of the volume of electrons passing through a circuit. DC amps, such as a battery, mean current from a DC power source. DCA is the short form of Direct current amperage. 

DCA setting(sign) is selected when we have to measure the amperage of a DC circuit(battery-based circuit).

The SI unit of direct current is DC, while the unit of amperes is A. DCA is short for direct current amperage. A direct current does not change direction and travels in a specific path. Such as current from a battery doesn’t change its direction, and voltage remains constant throughout the circuit.

To measure DC amperes, you must select the range under the DCA sign by rotating the knob. Multimeters can have different amperage ranges, such as 200 microamps(µA) to 10 amps(A) max.

By selecting DCA on a multimeter, you’ll get the amperage of a DC circuit and can evaluate whether the circuit has enough current.

DCA setting in multimeters checks whether a circuit carries enough current to function correctly. A DC circuit must have enough current to power the connected devices. If the amount of current is too low, the devices will not work properly. Conversely, if the amount of current is too high, the devices may be damaged.

On the other hand, the amperage of the alternating current source (home supply) is known as AC amps, and the multimeter displays this setting as ACA. 

How to measure dc amps with a multimeter?DC amp sign on multimeter

It is necessary to measure the amount of current flowing through it using a DCA meter to ensure that a DC circuit is functioning correctly. This will help determine whether or not the circuit needs to be repaired or replaced.

If there is too little current, the circuit may not work. On the other hand, if there is too much current, then it could cause a fire.

  1. Set your multimeter to DCA or A to measure amperage in a DC circuit.
  2. Set a range above the circuit’s amperage to measure 1amp and adjust the multimeter dial to the 10A sign below the DCA.
  3. Now connect the red probe to the live wire(facing the battery’s positive pole) and the black probe to the circuit’s ground wire(that goes to the negative battery terminal).
  4. If you are testing the amperage of a battery, connect the red probe to the positive battery terminal and the black probe to the negative battery terminal.
  5. If the tested circuit is fine (has a continuous path), the multimeter will display the amperage of that DC circuit.
  6. Any circuit wire is damaged and leaks the current if the multimeter reading is below the ideal range.
  7. However, if the multimeter reads OL(open loop), the circuit is broken(incomplete path).

This is how to measure DC amps safely.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is DCV on a multimeter?

DCV is the symbol for the Direct current voltage setting on the multimeter. To measure the voltage of a direct current source (battery), we select the DCV sign (setting) on the multimeter.

Voltage is the pressure or potential of electrons flowing in a circuit. When voltage is supplied through a battery, it is known as DC voltage because the battery is a direct current source. To measure DC voltage, you’ll have to rotate the multimeter dial on the DCV symbol and select a range such as 200 V or 600 V. 

  1. What is ACA on a multimeter?

AC means Alternating current, and A represents amperes. To measure the amperage of an AC power source (home supply), we select ACA settings on the multimeter.

  1. What is hFE on a multimeter?

hFE measures the voltage increase and decrease (frequency) between two points. A transistor can store maximum current before it breaks.

  1. What is the continuity symbol on a multimeter?

A diode sign () is the symbol of continuity on the multimeter. However, some other multimeters use a volume sign ‘⋅)))‘ as continuity.


So what is DCA on a multimeter? In short, DCA is the symbol for direct current amperage and is selected while measuring amps of a battery-based circuit(where the battery is the power source).

This’s why to be safe, it’s important to measure the DCA before working with any electrical device.

Now that you know all about it be sure to test out your new knowledge by putting it into practice! 

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