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My personal poor-man's ground tester is a single filament turn-signal bulb with a couple of very long pieces of wire soldered to it; one (I like red) to the positive tip of the bulb and the other (any color but red) to the side of the bulb base. Wrap a little electrical tape around it and go. This lets me check the ground against a known-good ground point, and alternately check the positive against a known good source. Alligator clips are a nice addition to the tool.

Yes, I have a genuine Harbor Freight Voltmeter or two, but for this kind of stuff the 'Bright, Dim, Nuthin' test is good enough. I save the Voltmeter for searching for 11.9 volts et al.
 
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