DMM Current Measurements Could Be Affecting Your Circuit Operation Big Time!

Taking current measurements with your expensive and precise DMM could be affecting your circuit operation especially with lower voltage digital systems.  An inexpensive and open source solution called the µCurrent is a professional grade precision amplified current adapter to use with the DMM to practically eliminate the problem.

You may be aware that many of the multi-meters that you use to measure current have a parameter called burden voltage that could affect the tested circuit operation, even some expensive, precise and well respected multi-meters!  David Jones of EEVblog and The Amp Hour fame not only identifies the problem but has designed an inexpensive and open-sourced solution called the µCurrent.  Jones discusses the µCurrent device in this online video.

David L. Jones Discussing the µCurrent Device

Jones has assembled and tested devices that sell in the US for about $60 from  David graciously made the design open-source and the schematic, PCB assembly, and component overlay are available at    Jones also did an article on the uCurrent  in the April 2009 issue of Silicon Chip Magazine and posted it on the web.  It explains the problem, how it is solved, and the operation and use of the µCurrent.  

You have to love the open-source access and the detail provided.  Not only can you make the device but you also get the documentation and a detailed explanation thrown in.

Engineers can follow David Jones who blogs on engineering topics on the mentioned sites.  His posts are excellent, informative (unedited and sometimes lengthy), and he has quite a bit of energy.  I remember David taking Microchip to task on a blog entry for going backward on their PICkit3 design, the replacement of the PICkit2 programmer.   His input had an effect on the changeover and the Microchip engineers and management created a humorous video retort.

The µCurrent is a needed accessory for measuring current accurately with your current DMM while not affecting the operation of the circuit.