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Electronics Analouge temperature/HDD/CPU/etc meter?

Discussion in 'Modding' started by razerz, 21 Apr 2010.

  1. razerz

    razerz What's a Dremel?

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    I just read though fflow's StackArt log and very much liked his analogue meters to display fan voltage.
    That got the ball rolling for me and, so I wanted to ask if anyone have seen or made an analogue meter that can read and display information such as temperature, CPU load, hard drive activity, etc.

    I have found this tutorial, but wanted to see what other people might have done.
    (And if I follow the tutorial in the link, I will need some help with programming the microchip, as I don't have the necessary equipment for that.)
     
  2. Fractal

    Fractal I Think Therefore I Mod

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    Using a microcontroller involves going analog to digital and back to analog, this is an overly complicated way of doing it (for one meter).

    The simplest application of such a meter is a current loop. A current loop involves taking what is usually an analog voltage source and transforming it into a current that is proportional to the voltage source. The current is then fed down a line into instrumentation such as a moving-coil meter. Such a system is reasonably simple, requiring only a small analog circuit, and has been used in industrial applications for decades.

    http://www.discovercircuits.com/DJ-Circuits/tempsen1.htm is a link to one circuit that I found using Google (search 'current loop circuit') for a remote temperature sensor.

    Other than its simplicity, one of the main advantages of a current loop is that most moving-coil meters are designed to work from 4mA (minimum) to 20mA (full scale deflection) as they are designed for current loop operation. Such meters are inexpensive and if one looks further afield then premade circuits to support them can be found as well (try industrial electrical suppliers or non-consumer electronics stores).

    To display only a couple of statuses I'd go the fully analog route. On the other hand, for multiple inputs/multiple outputs systems a microcontroller may prove to be more scalable (would take up less space).
     
  3. capnPedro

    capnPedro Hacker. Maker. Engineer.

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  4. razerz

    razerz What's a Dremel?

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