It's easy to use the INA260 sensor with Python and CircuitPython, and the Adafruit CircuitPython INA260 module.  This module allows you to easily write Python code that reads the current, voltage and power from the sensor.

You can use this sensor with any CircuitPython microcontroller board or with a computer that has GPIO and Python thanks to Adafruit_Blinka, our CircuitPython-for-Python compatibility library.

CircuitPython Microcontroller Wiring

First wire up a INA260 to your board exactly as follows. Here is an example of the INA260 wired to a Feather using I2C:

  • Board 3V to sensor Vin
  • Board GND to sensor GND
  • Board SCL to sensor SCL
  • Board SDA to sensor SDA
  • Sensor Vin+ to supply for high side current sensing or to load ground for low side sensing.
  • Sensor Vin- to load for high side current sensing or to board ground for low side sensing
Note: This breakout includes pullup resistors on the I2C lines, no external pullups are required.

Python Computer Wiring

Since there's dozens of Linux computers/boards you can use we will show wiring for Raspberry Pi. For other platforms, please visit the guide for CircuitPython on Linux to see whether your platform is supported

Here's the Raspberry Pi wired with I2C:

  • Pi 3V3 to sensor VIN
  • Pi GND to sensor GND
  • Pi SCL to sensor SCL
  • Pi SDA to sensor SDA

CircuitPython Installation of INA260 Library

You'll need to install the Adafruit CircuitPython INA260 library on your CircuitPython board.

First make sure you are running the latest version of Adafruit CircuitPython for your board.

Next you'll need to install the necessary libraries to use the hardware--carefully follow the steps to find and install these libraries from Adafruit's CircuitPython library bundle.  Our CircuitPython starter guide has a great page on how to install the library bundle.

For non-express boards like the Trinket M0 or Gemma M0, you'll need to manually install the necessary libraries from the bundle:

  • adafruit_ina260.mpy
  • adafruit_bus_device
  • adafruit_register

Before continuing make sure your board's lib folder or root filesystem has the adafruit_ina260.mpy, adafruit_bus_device, and adafruit_register files and folders copied over.

Next connect to the board's serial REPL so you are at the CircuitPython >>> prompt.

Python Installation of INA260 Library

You'll need to install the Adafruit_Blinka library that provides the CircuitPython support in Python. This may also require enabling I2C on your platform and verifying you are running Python 3. Since each platform is a little different, and Linux changes often, please visit the CircuitPython on Linux guide to get your computer ready!

Once that's done, from your command line run the following command:

  • sudo pip3 install adafruit-circuitpython-ina260

If your default Python is version 3 you may need to run 'pip' instead. Just make sure you aren't trying to use CircuitPython on Python 2.x, it isn't supported!

CircuitPython & Python Usage

To demonstrate the usage of the sensor we'll initialize it and read the current and voltage from the board's Python REPL.

Run the following code to import the necessary modules and initialize the I2C connection with the sensor:

import time
import board
import busio
import adafruit_ina260

i2c = busio.I2C(board.SCL, board.SDA)
ina260 = adafruit_ina260.INA260(i2c)

Now you're ready to read values from the sensor using these properties:

  • current - The current in milliamps.
  • voltage - The voltage in volts.
  • power  - The power in milliwatts

For example to print current, voltage, and power levels:

print("Current:", ina260.current)
print("Voltage:", ina260.voltage)
print("Power:", ina260.power)

For more details, check out the library documentation.

That's all there is to using the INA260 sensor with CircuitPython!

Full Example Code

# SPDX-FileCopyrightText: 2021 ladyada for Adafruit Industries
# SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT

import time
import board
import adafruit_ina260

i2c = board.I2C()  # uses board.SCL and board.SDA
# i2c = board.STEMMA_I2C()  # For using the built-in STEMMA QT connector on a microcontroller
ina260 = adafruit_ina260.INA260(i2c)
while True:
        "Current: %.2f mA Voltage: %.2f V Power:%.2f mW"
        % (ina260.current, ina260.voltage, ina260.power)
By default power and voltage measurements are only accurate for high side current sensing

To get accurate measurements when calling readVoltage and readPower for low side sensing you will need to cut the VB jumper on the right side of the breakout and connect the VBus pin to your bus.

This guide was first published on May 01, 2019. It was last updated on Jul 18, 2024.

This page (Python & CircuitPython) was last updated on Jul 18, 2024.

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