Low-cost DC Panel Meter Displays Voltage, Current & Power


New DCM20 DC panel meter from Murata claims to pack a mighty punch with a combination of high performance and economical cost in a miniature size

Murata Power Solutions’ DCM20 series of multifunction panel meters display the most critical measurements in DC-powered equipment: voltage, amperage and power. The meters calculate power up to 96 kW, and display values either manually selected or continuously cycling.

The unit can be self-powered from the measured voltage or powered separately from an external power supply, which can range from 9 to 72VDC. When self-powered, the input voltage range that can be measured is 9 to 72VDC and when externally powered the lowest measurable input voltage extends down to 0.5V.

Main Applications:


One interesting benefit of the product is its compact footprint. The product is packaged in a rugged, one-piece polycarbonate housing, with dimensions of 2.1”(h) x 1.43”(w) or 53.3 x 36.3 mm, ideal to fit in ‘0U’ and ‘1U’ racks and making it perfect for laboratory instrumentation as well as industrial and telecom equipment.

According to Murata, key applications for the product include, but are not limited to, real-time monitoring and display of DC power in telecom power distribution systems, battery management/backup systems, laboratory instrumentation and alternative energy and marine installations.

Product Specs:

  • Input voltage range of 0.5 to 72VDC, with 10mV of resolution.
  • The meter also supports current measurement ranges from 5A to 1200A when used with an external user-supplied resistive shunt.
  • Targeted for use in 12V, 24V or 48V systems, out-of-the-box accuracy of the product is +/-1 % for voltage and +/-2 % for current.
  • Threaded mounting studs and caged terminal blocks for application wiring ensure reliable operation in harsh environments.
  • The DCM20 features a large (0.36”/9.2 mm) bright red display easily readable at 15 feet (5 meters), with green or blue displays a future option.
  • A front-panel capacitive touch sensor is incorporated for selection of operating mode, avoiding wear-out issues possible with a membrane of other mechanical switches.
  • Using the touch sensor control, the user may configure the unit to display voltage, current or power, or set the unit to continually cycle between the three measurements.
  • Current consumption of the DCM20 is generally negligible compared with the measured current being typically 6 mA at 12V and only 2 mA at 72V input.
  • A DIP switch on the DPM20 allows selection of 16 different full-scale current readings from 5A to 1200A providing compatibility with a wide range of external shunt resistors, available both from Murata and other manufacturers.
  • A fine adjustment potentiometer is also provided to calibrate the unit to compensate for shunt resistor tolerance for improved system measurement accuracy.

For more information on the product, click here. 




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