Electronic – arduino – How to measure current to a DC motor

amperagearduinocurrentremote control

I'm trying to measure current to a DC motor on an RC car I took apart. The car is powered by 3 AA batteries and seems to be made of three different boards. Two of the boards are for switches and LEDs, the other is the main one in this shot that I'm trying to measure so I can replace it with my Arduino.


I am trying to measure the amperage to the motor, as well as that motor in the back of that shot. I have tried using my multimeter on 20mA, 200mA, and 10A with no sensible reading and it always stalls the RC car.

Shouldn't I be able to get a reasonable result?

Edit: All the pictures I have of it are in this page

I've tried connecting on the motor directly and on the wires leading to it both before and after that capacitor.

Edit: Thanks again for the help everyone. I'm going to give it another go soon and post some pictures of the configuration once I get it going

Best Answer

From the photos you provide it is clear that you try to measure current without disconnecting the motor by connecting the ampermeter in parallel to the motor.

An ampermeter will have very low resistance (a perfect ampermeter would have zero resistance so that it doesn't affect the measured current). So by doing that you short the motor (well, actually you short the circuit that drives the motor, but it doesn't matter). This of course stalls the car and btw puts extra load on the driving circuit which can damage it.

You have to connect the ampermeter in series with the motor - disconnect either of the wires and connect the ampermeter somehow like this: