Inline DC Panel Meter Kit

The Inline DC Panel Meter Kit has all the bits you need to create an elegant, seamless DC volt/ameter. Measuring current usually means interrupting the VCC or ground return path, and 'interrupting' usually means cutting. We designed the kit to be used 'inline' - no need to cut wires just plug your wall wart into the kit and the kit into your target device. We found it to be really handy to measure various 12V devices (routers, WiFi APs, etc) up to 10 amps.

DC Panel Meters are a great way to instantaneously see what the voltage and current requirements are of a device. But if you're like us, it's often hard to find a panel to mount the thing to! We designed the three PCBs to act as the 'panel' with plenty of clearance below the display. Anyone handy with a soldering iron and a screw driver will have this kit together in less than 10 minutes.

As this is a SparkX product, there's a few things you should note:

  1. Thermals: We designed the PCB for maximum current capacity and removed the thermals. This means all solder joints will take more heating time. Just be patient.
  2. The White wire from the display goes to the pin labeled 'Ylw'. Our DC Panel Meter supplier changed wire colors on us.
  3. Bonus: You'll receive 8 extra screws and 12 extra standoffs. We get our hardware in packs of ten so it just made sense to avoid breaking a bag of 10 standoffs down to four.
  4. Find a dead wall wart: The output is screw terminals so that you can attach a cable terminated with the barrel connector you need. We found it most handy to find an old/dead wall wart and cut off the 5' barrel cable, then strip and tin the internal stranded wire.

The DC Barrel Jack comes with the kit but the input footprint will also allow for a 2-Pin screw terminal so if you don't need a DC barrel for the input you can pick up an extra screw terminal and solder it instead.

We do not plan to regularly produce SparkX products so get them while they’re hot!

Experimental Product: SparkX products are rapidly produced to bring you the most cutting edge technology as it becomes available. These products are tested but come with no guarantees. Live technical support is not available for SparkX products. Head on over to our forum for support or to ask a question.


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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5

Based on 4 ratings:

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2 of 2 found this helpful:

Scant Data

There were more wires than holes. The assembly instructions (what there was of them) were scant. Found the meter on amazon where there were schematics and connection instructions. Would have been nice to have a single sheet with that information included.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Failed quickly

I used this twice over a few weeks and the display never lit up again. I carefully verified power is going in to the meter with the proper voltage and polarity.

Updated review: works great when wired correctly

Update: It helps if you wire it correctly. I had the thick black/red wires reversed, which caused current to always read 0. Corrected my mistake, and it works fine now. Changed from 1* to 5*'s. I've only used it a very short time, so can't comment on reliability.

Assembly was easy. Unfortunately, while the meter appears to read voltage accurately, current always measures 0. I tried with various supplies and various loads, and always measured 0A. Some of the tested loads were in the range of several amps, so far above the minimum reading of 0.01A.

I didnt really need the PCB but the meter is great

I didn't end up using the PCB so I could have saved some money but the product works very well. Remember that in order to measure amps one must generally interrupt the ground path. Follow the circuit diagram.