Products > Crowd Funded Projects

Little Bee Current Probe

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I have mentioned in some previous posts I am working on a (relatively) low cost DC capable current probe. Since then the project has been accepted by Crowd Supply and as of today it has a pre-launch page!

I am still working on finalizing the final design for the crowd funded campaign, so I figured now would be a good time to post about it in case anyone has feedback.

The key specs are a bandwidth of DC-10MHz, a sensitivity of 0.25V/A and a maximum current of +/- 5A. It also can operate in a magnetic field mode, similar to the i-prober 520.

Feedback / commentary is welcome! I am hoping to launch the campaign in the next month or so. Right now I am in the process of finalizing the design and collecting price quotes for manufacturing. Final sales price should be between $100 and $200 USD.

Looks interesting!

I'm in two minds about the battery. Great that it is battery-powered but the 4-hour life is perhaps a bit short. That's going to mandate Ni-MH... presumably the lower 'full' voltage of these won't be a problem? Would having a built-in LiIon improve life? If so, the cost of a simple USB charge circuit may be worth it (to the user). I can appreciate that you might not want to run it when connected to a USB charger, but that situation isn't unusual enough to raise eyebrows.

Thanks for the feedback.

The last revision draws  ~0.35W from the battery, so 4h of battery life is probably on the conservative side. The last revision consumes more power than the previous ones because I am supplying a higher sensor voltage to increase the SNR. The boost converter runs down to ~0.7V, so a Ni-MH battery will work fine.

Lithium Ion batteries are a nightmare for small scale shipping, so that is out.

I am working on the final revision now and looking at adding a footprint for a small JST connector so people can use the probe with an optional external power adaptor.

Nice to see.

Is that front loop part 3D printed or some kind of cast? How does it open?

The front loop is a flux concentrator which allows for sensing the current in a wire with higher accuracy than field mode. It clips on the front tip. Its 3d printed plastic, same as the tip cover, and has a gapped ferrite torroid inside.

Before you clip it on, you can put it over a wire, so there is no need to thread the wire through / cut the wire to pass it through. The opening, which determines the maximum wire you can slide it over, is 4mm. I am still working on the geometry of the plastic parts, so it might change a bit, but it's going to be something close to 4mm for the final version.

Here is a close up:



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