Electricity meter logger

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by frankwas, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. frankwas

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 28, 2010
    Hi All.

    I am an electrician working on a commercial site. We have had a few electricity meters installed on the site (I installed a few myself) and I noticed that the meters have a digital output that sends a pulse at 1000 imp/kWh.

    My question is is there a simple circuit that I can build to capture the pulses and interface with a PC? I have quite a good knowledge of electronic circuits as well as programming and if I can be put on the right track, I should be able to get going with it.


  2. t_n_k

    AAC Fanatic!

    Mar 6, 2009
    Provided the pulse is of suitable duration and level (TTL?) you could do this through the PC parallel port - if your PC has one.

    Such as this approach ...

  3. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    If you simply want to keep track of the pulses without using a PC, you could use almost any digital counter to do so. It would be as simple as plug the counter into power, connect the pulse cable to the counter, adjust the sensitivity, and start counting. Of course, this requires manual data logging, so might not be what you want.

    My little PC doesn't have a parallel port or a serial port, so I need other choices. I can access serial devices through a USB to serial adapter ($15), so that lets me talk to serial instruments. You can also look for USB-based instruments. A general-purpose data acquisition box could be made to work if the power pulses are long enough (easy enough to do with a pulse stretcher). Here's one for $25: http://www.dataq.com/products/startkit/di194rs.htm. I took a quick look at the manual and they didn't give any programming information (I never care for the software that vendors provide, so I like to write my own). But this thingy might be suitable for what you want and you can't argue with the price.
  4. frankwas

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 28, 2010
    Thanks so much for getting back. That data logger starter kit looks pretty good. The first suggestion also looks good because it uses only 2 pins. I will get cracking with this!

    Thanks once again.