[volt-nuts] Cheap Oscilloscope measurement of small current?

J. Forster jfor at quik.com
Thu Nov 4 23:18:27 UTC 2010

A current sampling resistor, low offset amplifier (like an IC
Instrumentation amp, and an A/D to a PC with a simple data acquisition SW.
The SW often comes w/ the A/D or is freeware.

You could also use a commercial Hall Effect current sensor.

Once you have the data, a simple addition program or Excel will integrate
up the A-H.




> Hello, all. I'm working (very slowly, but working) on some designs that
> will be battery (and possibly solar) powered sensors with a wireless
> data backhaul (likely 433 or 915MHz).
> As part of my never ending quest for more tools, I'm starting to educate
> myself on what I may need to get measurements on current usage over time
> for these devices. I want to be able to quantify power usage while it is
> asleep, sensing, sending data, etc..."does changing this code shorten
> the radio on time?"
> I'm sure Agilent would be happy to sell me a fancy oscilloscope current
> probe for more than my condo cost, but I'm looking for something more
> cost effective.
> Suggestions from the hive mind?
> Thanks.
> -Pete
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