DIY Powerpole voltage and current meters

Powerpole voltage and current monitoring is quite nice to have. One can buy commercial meters, but due to the availability of nice and cheap modules, it is very easy to make them oneself.

To the right you’ll see my combined voltage and current meter as well as my volt-meter on top of the power supply.

Both of the modules have been bought on Ebay:

  • Miniature 0-30 V DC LED 2 wire Digital voltmeter (371333527599) where the display is 22 by 10 mm. Cost slightly more than $1
  • 0-100 V, 0-10 A Dual Voltmeter Ammeter (262455987311) costing less than $3. The module size is 48 x 29 x 26 mm and the letters are 7 mm tall just like the miniature voltage display.
The wires to the voltmeter are connected directly to PowerPole connectors as shown in the second figure (upper right). Then the voltmeter itself is enclosed in transparent shring-wrap tubing of diameter approximately 20 mm like the one you also can buy on Ebay (252004328030).
The voltage-current meter is a little more complex to connect. First the volt meter has a power lead (4-30 V) and a measurement lead (0-100 V) which are connected together as I will only be using it for 12 Volts. The current measurement loop is between the negative, black, PowerPole connectors. The positive, red, PowerPole connectors are wired together.
I hope this can inspire others to make something similar. And if you do, then please let me know in the comments field!

The post “DIY Powerpole voltage and current meters” first appeared on the LA3ZA Radio & Electronics page.
Sverre Holm, LA3ZA, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Norway. Contact him at [email protected].

3 Responses to “DIY Powerpole voltage and current meters”

  • Pat N8PN:

    Have a similar DC Voltmeter/Ammeter in the shack as well as an AC version for the Generator/Inverter.

  • Dave G8KBV:

    Measuring the current in the -ve lead, is OK when the PSU or rig is otherwise isolated, but take care when mobile, as the multiple grounds will bypass the shunt, and give you bad readings.

    Portable, powered from a single battery is probably OK.

    It’s easy to measure the -ve side (read cheap!) But not difficult to measure current in the +ve side, just needing the appropriate components, and some inginuity.

    73.

    Dave ‘kbv

  • Sverre LA3ZA:

    You can get the meters in different colors and sizes, but I’m not sure if one can select current metering in the +ve lead as an option. But, thanks for the reminder, it may be important sometimes.

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