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What is DVM(Digital Volt Meter)?
  • Last Updated : 22 May, 2020

As human needs to expand and grow, different commodities and goods are made and designed for us to meet those needs. Most of the things that we use today require electricity to operate and hence, the role of the Digital Volt Meter becomes all the more crucial in that regard. A Digital Volt Meter, as the name suggests, is used to measure the voltage at which various appliances – like, air conditioners, computers et al – operate and function. We also need a Digital Volt Meter so that we can plan our energy consumption accordingly. Thus, a Digital Volt Meter enables us to plan our finances and electricity consumption as well.



In 1954, Andrew Kay of Non-Linear systems who designed the world’s first digital voltmeter. Andrew Kay had received inspiration for this idea whilst working for a company called Jack and Hernitz and that inspiration came from the unlikeliest of sources. He had seen the troubles plaguing unskilled production line workers who cursed their fates because they had to use large analog voltmeters to do the same thing. Furthermore, these workers were not good at handling the readings of the voltage and messed up frequently by way of blowing things up. Additionally, the large analog voltmeters were very expensive and were not all that handy to use. This also created room for logistical problems. The first digital voltmeter used a mechanical chopper to switch between a resistive divider and a stack of batteries. The first commercial digital voltmeter featured a four-digit accurate display of the voltage – offering readings that were accurate to one decimal point.


  • A Digital Voltmeter is used to measure AC or DC voltage consumed by an appliance and for displaying the value directly in numeric form instead of using a pointer deflection.
  • It is thus, a voltage-sensitive device. It measures the input voltage by first transforming the analog voltage to digital voltage and then using a convertor to display it in a number format.
  • A digital voltmeter is usually designed around a special type of analog-to-digital converter which is popularly known as an integrating converter.
  • Normally, the input range of a digital voltmeter is from 1V to 1000V.

Types of DVM

The various types of digital voltmeters available in the market include a ramp type digital voltmeter, an interacting voltmeter, a continuous balance digital voltmeter, a potentiometer digital voltmeter, and a successive approximation digital voltmeter. All of these different types of voltmeters have their own different specifications and can be used for a variety of needs.


  • Firstly, they eliminate the human error which plagued earlier systems and as such, the readings that a digital voltmeter offers are more accurate and fast as compared to analog meters.
  • Secondly, digital voltmeters are more stable and hence, more reliable than earlier systems. They can measure both AC and DC voltage systems.
  • Thirdly, the advanced digital voltmeters that are available in the market are built with microcontrollers which ensures that the readings are also stored for future reference and processing.


  • A digital voltmeter is bound to get damaged or faulty if the voltage is increased beyond a particular limit.
  • Furthermore, as a machine, it is dependent on an external power source in the form of electricity or even a battery.
  • A digital voltmeter despite its amazing capability to read the voltage and the enabling effect that that has, can make it difficult to read the transient voltage spikes.
  • On top of that, the rate of operation is also limited due to the digitizing circuit that a digital voltmeter has.

However, in spite of its difficulties, a digital voltmeter has made life easy for a lot of people and it would not be too far of a stretch to say that includes perhaps everybody who lives today. It has certainly gone a long way in easing the manner in which we conduct our operations. Indeed, a digital voltmeter is here to stay for as long as us – so deeply it has ingrained itself into our collective being.

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