The Arduino Nano is a versatile development board that essentially crams a fully fledge Uno into a small package, making it an excellent choice for IoT projects, or those with space constraints. As with any project, power is a primary concern in keeping things up and running; however when problems arise, we usually grab a multimeter (or oscilloscope) and start probing, but what if you need to continually monitor the projects power consumption?
Pandauino designed a handy power-monitoring platform that lets you monitor power consumption that replaces up to four multimeters, all within a tiny footprint (66mm x 18.2mm x 18.5mm). The PowMeter was created for use with the Arduino Nano and features a pair of INA219 ICs, an ATmega168 microcontroller, and an OLED display, all of which communicate over I2C. According to Pandauino, “Measurement is done through 100 mOhms 1% current sense resistors with a power of 1W despite their small 1206 package footprint.”
The PowMeter specs run a wide gamut and offers a current measurement error of less than 1% + 1 mA, a current band of 1mA — 2000 mA, and a current resolution of less than 1mA. It also has a voltage measurement error of less than 1% + 0.01V, voltage band range of 0V — 26V, and a voltage resolution of less than 10 mV.
As for additional functions, the PowMeter allows you to monitor USB voltage and current when using the USB port, as well as on the VIN MON pin if needed. All communication is done over I2C, doesn’t consume software resources, and draws less than 10mA of power.
Pandauino plans to crowdfund the PowMeter at some point soon. Those looking for updates or would like to be notified on when the campaign goes live can sign up on their Crowd Supply page.
UPDATE: The PowMeter is now live on Crowd Supply, with a price tag of $55 for a single unit.