Per-Simon Saal's PiPicoPowerMeter Turns a Raspberry Pi RP2040 Into a Power Measurement Powerhouse

Offering voltage, current, and power measurements up to 26V, the PiPicoPowerMeter is a compact alternative to multimeter juggling.

Engineer Per-Simon Saal has designed a device for power monitoring, having found that a single multimeter just wasn't enough: the Raspberry Pi RP2040-powered PiPicoPowerMeter.

"I needed a device to easily measure the power output of a power supply," Saal explains of the device's inspiration. "Normally, I needed to take two measurements with my one multimeter. [But] the PPPM [PiPicoPowerMeter] performs voltage, current, and power measurements in low voltage systems."

While the device's nomenclature would suggest it being powered by the popular Raspberry Pi Pico, the PPPM actually hosts the Waveshare RP2040-Zero, a considerably more compact RP2040 microcontroller board with USB Type-C connectivity. The remainder of the hardware is installed as a carrier board: a Texas Instruments INA219 DC current sensor, a compact OLED display, two LEDs, and a button for paging through the readings.

"With a max input voltage of 26V and a max current of 3.6A it is suitable for any 12V-powered device," Saal explains. "You can use it in your caravan, camper, boat, yacht, lab, and monitor the voltage of your system and the current drawn by the devices. With a bit of programming in MicroPython and soldering you can easily improve the functionalities and the max current."

Design files and source code for the project are published on GitHub under the permissive MIT license, with prebuilt hardware available on Saal's Tindie store for $25.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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