Multimeter connects to your smart phone

Multimeter design has been somewhat of a stagnant craft, the basic look and layout being maintained for a several decades. The shape has been pretty much the same, and they are typically stand-alone instruments that don’t usually connect to any other device (although some meters have had PC connectivity typically through RS-232 or USB). Now there seems to be starting a new trend to connect the multimeter functionality to smart phone. When the data is in the smart phone, it can be analyzed and shared through internet connection to coworkers at other location or stored to cloud. Smart phone is smaller device to carry and quicker to set-up than PC (which needs to be booted and connected to Internet). What are the options to do multimeter measurements with smart phone?

VoltSet: A Smart Multimeter For Smart Phones article shows a multimeter design that connects to a smart phone. VoltSet company mission to make the multimeter sexy, modern, and accessible.  His line of VoltSet multimeters accomplishes this by reducing the size of the hardware and connecting to a smartphone which provides a friendly user interface. The VoltSet comes in two flavors and both versions are able to connect to a smartphone via USB, through which measurements can be stored and analyzed.

If you are looking for oscilloscope functionality that connects to smart phone, check out LabNation SmartScope that is on Kickstarter. It looks really interesting.

Mooshimeter Is the Multimeter We Always Wanted article tells about Mooshimeter by Mooshim Engineering. Like the Voltset, the Mooshimeter plans to take advantage of modern smart devices to expand the capabilities of traditional multimeters. By shifting the burden of display and control to another device, the Mooshim team could afford to make improvements in other areas of the Mooshimeter. One of the main innovations in the Mooshimeter is a 24-bit analog to digital converter (average multimeter comes with a 16-bit ADC for 4.5 digit multimeter). The Mooshimeter is capable of taking voltage and current measurements at the same time, giving you a real-time I-V curve or a real time power measurement, not possible with a traditional multimeter. One twist to the design is that the Mooshimeter connects to smart devices via a Bluetooth Low Energy wireless connection with a 50 meter range. Mooshimeter crownfunding campaign has really taken off and is almost certain to be successful.

It seems that those start-up ideas have made big-name companies to notice this option. Fluke Connect: A Cool Concept That Begs for More article tells that this week, Fluke Corp. introduced Fluke Connect, a technology that links handheld instruments to smartphones. It lets iOS 7 or Android 4.4 phones share measurement data anywhere in the world through an app. Fluke Connect lets you share measurements from multimeters, infrared thermometers, and AC/DC current meters. A local phone connects over BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to a meter or over WiFi to an infrared thermometer. If the local phone has internet access through a WiFi or cellular connection, it can send the data to a remote phone through the app, assuming that phone has internet access. Such connectivity could be be a great time saver because you can see what’s happening on equipment without being there.

What else would you like to do once you have that data in your phone?



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    $199 wireless oscilloscope needs a few enhancements

    Over the past several years, we at EDN have seen a proliferation of offbeat oscilloscopes. They plug directly into iPhones and iPads, connect over WiFi, fit in your pocket, hold an iPad, and wrap around your wrist. At $199, the Aeroscope 100A comes in just under $200, which is critical for makers and hobbyists. With a few more software features, the Aeroscope 100A would certainly be worth the money.

    This single-channel, 20 MHz, 100 Msample/s pen-shaped instrument connects to iOS phones (4S or later) and iPads (3 or later) over a Bluetooth Low Energy (BT 4.0) connection. That’s enough for you to remotely monitor a machine or walk around and show others the signals on your circuits. The pen-shaped design is easy to hold or mount.

    When Aeroscope engineers Jonathan Ward and Alexander Lee first showed their prototype, they had planned to give it 100 MHz of bandwidth. Alas, the cost of the A/D converter drove the price too high so they backed off on bandwidth to meet the sub-$200 price.

    Getting started with the Aeroscope 100A is easy. Simply download and install the app for your iOS or android device.

    Operating the Aeroscope 100A was also easy. A simple menu screen provides access to the oscilloscope functions such as triggering and normal/auto/single capture.

    Because the Aeroscope 100A has only one channel, there’s no need for channel math

    The Aeroscope 100A is a useful tool for home projects and for mounting in a device to monitor performance. At $199, it won’t break the bank. With a few more features in the app such as frequency measurement, FFT, auto setup, cursors, and data recording it will be more appealing.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Is iPad scope worth professional pricetag?

    Here’s a new scope module that recently caught my eye. The packaging is slick, and it uses an iPad for its UI. But as I delved into the published specs, I became somewhat incredulous at the design and cost.

    The Moku:Lab from Liquid Instruments retails for USD 4,990, and is positioned as a professional instrument – obviously. They currently include an iPad in that price, but that may be an introductory offer only.

    The key specs are:

    2 channels
    200 MHz 12-bit input at 500 MSa/s
    DDS: 2 channels, 200 MHz sine (100 MHz others) 16-bit at 1 GSa/s
    External (TTL) trigger (5 MHz bandwidth)

    No, that’s not a typo: 5 MHz external trigger bandwidth, and fixed threshold. The current version of the app doesn’t seem to have a setting for external trigger anyway, so, not a problem! Two-channel scopes are bearable when they have a good external trigger…especially if you can view it. This has neither. At least the app is pretty slick.

    There is a single “Math” channel which can compute the four basic math functions, integrate, differentiate, and FFT. I can’t see any way to control the FFT parameters though!

    The DDS is admittedly superior to what’s normally found in scope “add-ons”, though only the basic waveshapes are available. There are AM/FM/PM modes, but no sweep. A Bode Analyzer feature does sweep up to 120 MHz, so I guess that could be used in a pinch, though presumably sans sync pulse.

    Another instrument is a spectrum analyzer. At first, it appeared to be implemented using traditional SA architecture, but no, it IS an FFT. This standalone FFT does have a very limited set of controls (like window selection), but like I mentioned above, when FFT is used in scope mode, there are no controls, nor do the settings from SA mode carry over

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tryout: Aeroscope Bluetooth Oscilloscope

    Senior technical editor Martin Rowe got his hands dirty with An Aeroscope Model 100A pen-shaped oscilloscope that connected to an iOS device. With a little improvement, it will be well worth the $199 price.

    The latest entry from Aeroscope meets what I consider the critical $200 price point. It just needs a few software enhancements to be a great product.

    Aeroscope, the brainchild of Jonathan Ward and Alexander Lee, has completed an initial round of funding through Kickstarter. Now, the result of that project is here: the Aeroscope Model 100A, a pen-shaped, single-channel, 20 MHz/100 Msample/s oscilloscope. Through an iOS app (Android coming), the Model 100A connects to iPhone (4S or later) or iPad (3 or later) over a Bluetooth Low Energy (BT 4.0) connection. That’s enough for you to remotely monitor a machine or walk around and show others the signals on your circuits. Of course, you can take screen images as well.

    See the full review $199 wireless oscilloscope needs a few enhancements

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Digilent’s Portable Wireless Oscilloscope Module

    Introducing the OpenScope MZ from Digilent. This instrument can be used as an oscilloscope, a function generator, a power supply, a logic analyzer, and even a data logger, depending on your configuraiton. Best of all, the OpenScope MZ is completely open source, so all of the firmware and software is readily available to you.

    Even though the OpenScope MZ is a multi-functional instrument right out of the box, it can also be programmed to run standalone like an Arduino or Raspberry Pi, but with high-speed precision analog and digital I/O. The OpenScope MZ runs with a powerful Microchip PIC32 MZ Processor that enables all of the functionalities found on the module. It also comes with WaveForm live, which is a free, open-sourc, JavaScript-based software run in a browser allowing you to wirelessly configure the device as you see fit.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hybrid Interface Brings Touchscreen to Rigol Scope

    With pervasive smartphones and tablets, the touch interface is assumed for small LCD screens, and we’ve likely all poked and pinched at some screen, only to find it immune to our gestures. Manufacturers have noticed this and begun adding touch interfaces to instruments like digital oscilloscopes, but touch interfaces tend to be an upgrade feature. But thanks to this hybrid oscilloscope touchscreen interface, even the low-end scopes can get in on the action.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The world’s smallest multimeter, DSO and logger

    Pokit is the world’s smallest integrated multimeter, Digital Storage Oscilloscope and logger.

    Pokit fits on your keychain! With leads that retract at the press of a button, Pokit is convenient and small enough to take anywhere!

    Pokit connects wirelessly to your smartphone and app.

    Pokit is a full-featured Multimeter that accurately measures AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, resistance and ambient temperature. It also includes a continuity and diode checker. Measurements are displayed directly on your smartphone in real-time.

    200kSamples/sec, 14-bit sampling
    Voltage: 10mV to 60V DC, 60Vp AC +-0.5%
    Current: 1mA to 2Amax, +-0.5%

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EEVblog 121GW Multimeter

    A fully custom EEVblog Electronics Multimeter designed by Dave & UEI, with many exclusive features like SD card logging & Bluetooth!

    A unique, feature packed Multimeter which has been developed with electronics designers and hobbyists in mind. This multimeter represents two years of collaboration between EEVblog and UEI.

    This is not a re-badged meter, nor a modification of an existing meter design. It was designed from the ground up to be a unique electronics oriented meter in the sub US$250 class price category.

    Designed for electronics use, with unique features such as:

    Bluetooth connectivity (multi-device capability)
    Open Source Cross Platform application software (Android + Windows, and more soon)
    15V Diode Test Voltage (useful for Zeners + LED strings etc)
    VA Power measurement
    Low Burden™ voltage
    Unique burden voltage display
    Micro SD Card data logging + firmware updating

    Other major features include:

    Dual 50,000 count display with bargraph
    0.05% + 5 Basic DCV Accuracy
    Auto-Hold measurement
    600V CAT-III with independent UL 61010 certification by ETL
    Safe operation through HRC fuse + TVS + PTC + MOV + Diode Bridge protection

    Hardware Features:

    AD8436 >100KHz True RMS
    4 x AA battery powered with 500+ hr battery life
    Compact design – 84 × 165 × 59 mm (W × L × H)
    Hackable ST ARM Cortex M3 processor (S-LINK/V2 programmer interface inside)
    Hycon HY3131 chipset
    MAX4238 Low Offset Amplifier for current ranges
    SD Card firmware update
    Full Open Schematic available
    8ppm ADR3412 voltage reference

    The meter is manufactured by UEI Test Instruments, a reputable US based designer and manufacturer of high quality test gear. The design work was primarily done by UEI, but with a great deal of design input and direction from Dave. The meter is manufactured in South Korea.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *