I'm working on a battery-powered data logger, using a bare Atmega 328. I'm using sleep between sensor readings, via the Narcoleptic library. Everything seems to work fine, until I connect my multimeter to check on the current.
The multimeter uses manual range-setting (i.e., not autoranging). If I set the multimeter to the 0-20 mA range, I can see that my idle current is about 0.250 mA, but the upper value is off-scale. If I try to get a reading on the 0-200 mA range, the circuit misbehaves, never goes into sleep, and doesn't record any data. The current stays constant somewhere around 14-20mA.
Do I need to do something special to accurately measure current in the range of 0.25-40+mA? Or do I need a different kind/quality of multimeter?
My multimeter is a $15 digital unit from Circuit Test, model DMR-1100A.