This was designed, keeping in mind, that sometimes we have few components available and we could be flat broke. Even that you could not carry your DMM somewhere, but you have to make some instrument for a quick need with what is available. If you are out of cash or feel like Robinson Crusoe, then this is a low cost measurement system. I designed it to practice on eagle, i am not sure how this circuit may work, it is not tested . But i have built, repaired and designed many DMMs. So there is a fair chance, parts of it may work :~)
IC3 LM555 is to generate -5V from 9V. That reminds me of a story, In 1986 while i was studying engineering – electronics, i got a chance to work part-time in a company that sold-serviced instruments. They were Racal-Dana, Genrad, Data I/O and so many more. Here i came across a Book called CMOS Hot Ideas of Intersil. I had a chance to observe, build and learn some things here. The ICL7107 circuit was the most fascinating, I also read the books of National Semiconductor here.
In those days small firms used to make DPM’s digital panel meters with 7107. In 1987 when i got a oppurtunity to design a DPM for a firm, I put the 555 clock in place CD4009 clock shown in intersil, to derive the -5.
Potentiometer Dial GIF for above circuit to be used to make a hand-held avo-meter is here.