One upcoming test-related product that may pique your interest is Joulescope, a precision dc analyzer that can measure current and voltage and then compute power and energy (Fig. 1). Joulescope was created by Jetperch, an engineering services company focused on hardware and software development for various industries.
1. The Joulescope energy analyzer represents the culmination of nearly two years of work.
Joulescope was developed so that users could quickly and easily optimize the energy consumption and battery life of a target device. Instantaneous voltage, current, power, and energy readings can be displayed when using Joulescope. And, like an oscilloscope, waveforms of voltage and current over time can be viewed (Fig. 2).
So what was the genesis of Joulescope? Matt Liberty, the creator of Joulescope, explains, “At numerous times during my career and across different projects, I struggled to accurately and affordably measure current and energy consumption. Having easy access to this information during product development is crucial, especially for battery-powered devices. Two years ago, I started to develop Joulescope to solve this problem.”
2. With Joulescope, it’s possible to make oscilloscope-like measurements.
Today, as the number of Internet of Things (IoT) products rapidly increases, it’s even more critical to accurately measure energy consumption. Specifically, many IoT products and other battery-powered devices have a high dynamic current range, meaning the devices consume current in the nanoamp (nA) or microamp (µA) range when “sleeping.” When active, these devices consume current in the milliamp (mA) or amp (A) range. Joulescope is well-suited for these scenarios, as it combines high-speed sampling with high dynamic range to make accurate measurements—even for devices with rapidly varying current consumption.
To use Joulescope, one must connect it to a PC with a USB cable. The Joulescope host software, which can be downloaded from the website and is open source on GitHub, will automatically detect the connected instrument. The IN port connects to the power source, while the OUT port connects to the device under test (DUT). Upon operating the DUT, measurements can then be displayed via the host software.
As mentioned earlier, Joulescope delivers high-speed sampling capability. Specifically, it can measure current and voltage two million times per second with a 250-kHz bandwidth. Another benefit of Joulescope is the total voltage drop is only 25 mV at 1 A, thereby allowing target devices to continue functioning correctly. And Joulescope’s fast current-range switching maintains a low voltage drop—even under rapidly varying current demands.
Joulescope launches February 19 on Kickstarter with a starting price tag of $399, a significant discount from the $799 retail price. Shipments will begin in June 2019.
Those interested can visit the Joulescope Kickstarter page.