In the case of ammeters intended for very small currents, the whole current can be sent through the coil, but for larger currents it is necessary to provide in the instrument a shunt which carries the main current, the movable coil being connected to the ends of this shunt so that it takes a definite small fraction of the current passed through the instrument.
The magnetic shunt (which is connected Magnetic across the receiving instrument) consists of a low resist- shunt.
Again the shunt circuit must have practically zero inductance and the series or current coil must be wound or constructed with stranded copper wire, each strand being silk Covered, to prevent the production of eddy currents in the mass of the conductor.
On setting the dynamo in operation, a current passes through the shunt coil of the ohmmeter proportional to the voltage of the dynamo, and, if there is any sensible leakage through the insulator to earth, at the same time another current passes through the series coil proportional to the conductivity of the insulation of the wiring under the electromotive force used.
Its principle is as follows: Suppose there are two pendulum clocks, one having an ordinary pendulum and the other having a pendulum consisting of a fine coil of wire through which a current is passed proportional to the potential difference of the supply mains - in other words, a shunt current.
The current to be measured passes through the fixed field-coils, whilst through the armature passes a shunt current obtained by connecting the brushes across the supply mains through a constant resistance.
The current in the shunt coil lags 90 degrees behind the impressed electromotive force of the circuit to be measured; hence if the main current is in step with the potential difference of the terminals of the supply mains, which is the case when the supply is given wholly to electric lamps, then the field due to the main coil differs from that due to the shunt coil by 90 degrees.
A common source of trouble is the short circuiting of the shunt coils owing to the shellaced cotton covering of the wire becoming moist.
The amplitude of the signals can be varied in several ways, either by a shunt across the electromagnet, or by altering the tension of the controlling springs or by altering the air gap between electromagnets and armatures.
It is possible so to arrange the value of the shunt and of the high resistance R' that the same or nearly the same deflection of the galvanometer is obtained as when it is used in series with the battery and the insulation-resistance.