Assembly

The USB Power Gauge comes in kit form so that you can customize it to your needs. There are only 3 parts to the kit and basic assembly takes just a few minutes.

Basic Assembly

Assembling the USB Power Gauge is pretty simple. Just solder the male and female USB connectors on either end.

Solder the female connector.

This connector goes on the end marked "Device". Be sure to solder all pins, as well as the mounting tabs for a secure connection.

Solder the male connector

This goes on the end marked "Computer". Be sure to solder all pins, as well as the mounting tabs for a secure connection.
With a connector on each end, your gauge is ready for use. Proceed to the next page for usage instructions, or read-on for other assembly options.

In-Line Assembly

Optionally, the USB Power Gauge can also be spliced right into a cable for a more compact package without all the connectors.

Cut and strip the cable

Trim back the outer insulation and foil shield. Then strip and tin each of the 4 inner wires.

Wire in-line

Solder the cut and stripped cable ends to the board - taking care to assure that the wire positions correspond exactly to the pins on the connectors.

Caution: Standard USB color coding is shown in the diagram on the left. But it is best to verify conductivity with a multimeter because your cable may vary.

Some 1/2" clear shrink-wrap tubing can be used to protect your wiring while still allowing you to see the indicator LEDs.

Serial Data Monitoring

For real-time monitoring of voltage, current and wattage over a serial link, you can connect an FTDI cable, FTDI Friend or even an XBee using the breakout holes on the side of the power meter board. Connect at 9600 Baud - data will be spit out automatically!

Connect the USB/Serial Cable:

You can solder the wired directly to the breakout holes, or add a header as shown here: You will only need to connect a ground wire and a signal wire to your serial device.

Connect:
  • GND -> GND (Black wire on an FTDI cable)
  • Tx -> Rx (Yellow wire on an FTDI cable).
This guide was first published on Jan 02, 2014. It was last updated on Jan 02, 2014. This page (Assembly) was last updated on May 19, 2019.