µCurrent

µCurrent GOLD

µCurrent™ GOLD

A Professional Precision Current Adapter for Multimeters.
The only low cost industry solution for multimeter burden voltage and nanoamp level current measurement.


The uCurrent™ is the only commercially available solution to the problem of burden voltage on a multimeter. See the article below to see why this little known problem can be a real big issue, even with your “precision” 0.05% Fluke multimeter. It also turns your multimeter into a powerful and precise nanoamp level measurement tool!

Thousands are in use all around the world, and it has quickly become the industry standard low cost tool for low power current measurement in modern low power microcontroller based digital electronics.

The µCurrent™ GOLD is the latest design with greatly improved specs over the original. Improvements have been made in basic accuracy, bandwidth (now you can measure fast changing “sleep” modes), current handling, and an added shorting mode to ensure uninterrupted power to your device under test while changing ranges. The µCurrent can rival 5 1/2 digit multimeters in accuracy, it is truly a precision instrument.

For increased battery life and greater potential output voltage swing, 3 x AAA batteries in series can be used instead of the coin cell. No modifications are required, just wire in parallel with the existing coin cell holder. A 3 x AAA holder fits in the existing box.

As published in the April 2009 issue of Silicon Chip Magazine.

Specifications – µCurrent™ GOLD

  • 3 Current ranges:
    • +/- 0-1250mA (20µV / mA burden voltage typical) * switch contact resistance plays a role here. 10uV due to the shunt resistor.
    • +/- 0-1250µA (10µV / uA burden voltage)
    • +/- 0-1250nA (10µV / nA burden voltage)
    • NOTE: Higher currents are available by increasing the battery voltage, to a maximum of 5.5V, which would give +/-2250mA/2250µA/2250nA maximum)
  • Output Voltage Units:
    • 1mV/mA
    • 1mV/µA
    • 1mV/nA
    • NOTE: You simply read your mV multimeter range as if it were mA/µA/nA
  • Resolution (nA range): 100pA (3.5digit meter), 10pA (4.5 digit meter), 1pA (5.5 digit meter)
  • Accuracy (typical): <+/-0.05% on µA and nA ranges, <+/-0.1% on mA range.
  • Output Offset Voltage: <50µV (essentially insignificant on 4.5 digit meter)
  • Bandwidth: >300KHz (-3dB)
  • Temperature Drift: <10ppm / degC (µA/nA), <15ppm / degC (mA)
  • Noise: < -90dBV
  • THD: < -60dB
  • Battery: CR2032 Lithium coin cell (optional 3 x AAA’s)
  • Battery Life: >50 hours (battery good LED ensures accurate measurement when LED is on). 2.65V cutout voltage.

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to need to keep the burden voltage low, overload protection is NOT INCLUDED in the design. That means NO FUSES. Care is required in using the unit to prevent overloads.

uCurrent GOLD Noise on the nA range
uCurrent GOLD Noise on the nA range

 

Read the FULL ARTICLE (Description, Design, How it Works, Parts List, Testing  etc, as published in Silicon Chip magazine) NOTE: This is the old design.

View the SCHEMATIC

View the BOM

Download the original Gerber, Altium PCB and Schematic files HERE.

NOTE: The old model is now discontinued.

BUY ONE in the EEVblog Shop

In Europe you can buy one HERE

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    • David Rcg Simal

      Hi Dave, could you please add Thailand to the shipping destinations? I tried to contact you twice by email and once by PM on the forums over the last 6 months. Thanks

    • NICKB

      Why are there strange tracks towards the outside on this Gold version (NetC4_2, VGND, B+ and V-)? Can’t find a answer on google regarding this question for the µCurrent Gold.

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    • Pedro Ferreira

      Hi Dave,
      The stocks here in Europe are out. Have you stopped making these? Or are you keeping them all for your self? 🙂
      Cheers,
      Pedro

    • I found this article very useful for AC current measurement http://microcontrollerslab.com/alternating-current-measurement-using-pic-micocontroller/

    • Pedro Ferreira

      The stock here in Europe is out (http://www.sparkylabs.co.uk), any news when it starts chipping again?

      • S3rgb1

        Did you find to one in the end ?

        • Pedro Ferreira

          yeah I got one from Simon Turner (SparkyLabs)

    • LogicalDave

      Since 3x alkaline AAAs exceeds the voltage monitor limits, has anyone tried with 3x NiMH long-shelf-life (like Eneloop) batteries? They have a pretty flat discharge curve from 1v3 down to around 1v1. It would be nice to have something that lasts longer than the 2032 batteries, especially because the plastic case surely wasn’t meant for lots of screw/unscrew cycles. You could easily build in a charger+jack and never have to open it again.

    • shantanu raj

      Hi,

      The process which you uses for mesuring current is ok i am able to measure it but can you suggest me some solution so that without using any switches with only one resistor we can measure micro amps and milli amps.

      Thanks,
      Shantanu

    • Ben Hencke

      Hi Dave,
      Thanks so much for this! I couldn’t find any to buy anywhere so I created a single sided PCB for home manufacture, and created a 3d printable case. Shared here: https://github.com/simap/ucurrent
      Really cool stuff and thank you for open sourcing it!

    • Jeroen de Bruijn

      Stock is still out in Europa (http://www.sparkylabs.co.uk/shop/product_info.php?cPath=30&products_id=146).
      Any idea on when a new batch will be made and if they’ll be available in Europe, Dave?
      Cause I really want one.
      If it will take too long I’ll just order the PCB’s and components and assemble them myself

      • Ubi de Feo

        I just ordered one, so there’s one left in stock, I guess.
        Run!

      • S3rgb1

        Did you manage to buy one or decided to assemble one yourself. I can’t seem to find one either.

        • Jeroen de Bruijn

          No, I decided to assemble them myself

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    • prasannakumar goli

      Hi, for my application, I need to measure the current from my Photo Detector which varies between 0.01 to 0.64 Micro Amps and control the voltage of ring resonator until I get mmaximum current. So I thought of using USB 6002 or a small controller with 2 analog channels (1 input and 1 output). Input reads current and output controlls the voltage until I get max current. Since micro amp level current measurement is difficult and my usb expects voltage input (-10V – +10V) I have decided to convert this micro amp current to a high voltahe using some device before giving to controller as input. Is ucurrentgold best option for me or not?

    • jochez

      Hi,

      Why is R12 (input) 270ohm?

      Thanks
      Joachim

    • pas96965

      Hmm, wondering what a blinking LED means on the uCurrent gold? Put in a fresh battery and still get the blink, is it disco mode?

    • Chris Koch

      Sorry if off-topic, but when the uCurrent is out of stock, is there any way to gage lead time or be notified when back in stock?

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    • Robert Gill

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0d0cf4bc7aad265d5f9d3ee4d9796846aac48f48bc3bc70fe3d4a3750f5040c3.jpg

      I recently purchased the uCurrent Gold and was testing it with a sawtooth waveform across a 100 ohm precision resistor (f=0.01Hz, symmetric 6 Vpp = -3V to +3V sweeps) in series with the uCurrent device. I was surprised to see a lot of noise (±25% around the median) on the output from the uCurrent output voltage signal when I captured the I-V sweep using a NI USB-6002 DAQ. Any thoughts on where this noise comes from? See attached jpg figure plotted in Excel.

    • עמית מיוחס

      Hello,
      The uCurrent gold is out of stock, is there any way to order it?
      Thanks,

    The EEVblog Store generally ships twice a week, on Tuesdays & Fridays, Sydney time.