This Hackaday Prize entry will let you know know how much power your project is using.
The brainchild of Maker “MobileWill,” the USB Tester was designed as a simple way to monitor the current and voltage of any USB device.
The gadget, which also happens to be a recent entry in this year’s Hackaday Prize, works by being inserted in between both a USB device and the power source or computer. This enables you to not only ensure that you are getting a true 5V, but to read how much power a project is using as well. The base can be employed with a digital multimeter or with the USB Tester’s OLED backpack, which will provide you with the readout directly on the display. In default mode, the USB Tester reveals a graph of current usage, with the button cycling through the different modes.
What’s more, the Tester base can actually measure non-USB devices, too. With its 128×64 OLED, you can monitor up to 3.2A and 26V. The backpack connects to a computer either through the Java app or the Wizkers.io Chrome app. Both can graph and log the data which can be exported as a CSV file. MobileWill does note that Wizkers is easier to setup and can handle firmware updates.
In terms of hardware, the USB Tester is built around an ATmega32U4 along with an INA219B chip for power management, an indicator LED and a microUSB. Looking ahead, MobileWill is the process of developing a BLE-enabled model along with an Android app that will work on-the-go. The next iteration will replace the OLED with Bluetooth, an SD card and RGB LEDs, while its accompanying app will display all the different types of graphs and offer control to setup the RGB LED.