ATORCH USB PD Power Meter Comes with USB type-C, type-B, and type-A Ports

Orange Pi Development Boards

Most smartphones are charged over a USB port, and many single board computers are powered by a micro USB or USB type-C port, and USB power meters such as USB Charger Doctor can be useful to evaluate phone chargers, as well as measure power consumption of SBCs.

With the launch of the USB type-C connector and features such as USB PD (Power Delivery), old USB power meters are not adapted to the new standard since the connector and most importantly voltages are different, so we need USB PD compatible meters like Satechi USB Type-C power meter. Today, I decided to look for more options on Aliexpress, and you’ll find many USB-C power meters with the cheapest models going for under $5 shipped. However,  ATORCH J7-c model caught my attention since it supports both USB type-C, micro USB type-B, and USB type-A power sources, so you can keep using the same meter for all your USB testing needs.

USB PD Power Meter USB Type-C USB type-A

ATORCH J7-c USB-PD power meter specifications:

  • Display – 128×64 Dot matrix display with backlight
  • USB Ports
    • USB type-C input and output ports
    • USB type-A input and output ports
    • Micro USB input
  • Fast Charging Standards – USB PD, Qualcomm QC 2.0 & QC 3.0, Android BC1.2, MTK-PE (5V / 7V / 9V / 12V), etc…
  • Voltage Measurement Range – 3.6V to 32V
  • USB D+/D- Voltage Range – 0 to 2.9V
  • Current Measurement Range – 0 to 5.1A
  • Energy Accumulation Range – 0 to 999,999 mAh
  • Power Consumption Range – 0 to 999,999 mAh
  • Time Range – 0 to 999 hours 59 minutes 59 seconds
  • Dimensions – 6 x 6 cm

ATORCH J7-c

The display supports different display modes, as well as English and Chinese languages. If you are interested in ATORCH J7-c power meter, it’s currently sold for $7.22 including shipping.

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tkaiser
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tkaiser

Unfortunately not really suitable for Micro USB measurements.

Vincent B
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Vincent B

I guess it could work with micro usb to usb cable …

tkaiser
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tkaiser

Unfortunately not since you can only measure at the wrong end of the cable.

The ‘powered by Micro USB’ sh*t show is mostly related to a) the voltage drop happening in average (AKA crappy) Micro USB cables and b) normal users only looking at amperage ratings and being not familiar with such phenomenons like cable/contact resistance and Ohm’s law…

Take an average (crappy) Micro USB cable of 2m length and power something that needs 5W. On the irrelevant end of the cable the powermeter would show ‘5V @ 1A’ but on the only important other end of the cable it will be 4.4V or even lower depending on diameter of power lines in the USB cable used. You need a powermeter that can be directly inserted into the device’s Micro USB receptacle. Otherwise you are not able to measure the voltage drop caused by the cable. And this voltage drop is usually the culprit…

More details: https://www.cnx-software.com/2017/04/27/selecting-a-micro-usb-cable-to-power-development-boards-or-charge-phones/ — just looking at the voltage drop tables, especially with a 2A load, should be sufficient to get why measuring cable resistance is essential to understand in which way Micro USB powered devices suffer from ‘underpowering’ usually.

theyguyuk
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theyguyuk

For understanding cables and voltage drop for sbc , I recommend Andreas Spiess #177 Avoiding suprises YouTube video from 6th Jan 2018.

FransM
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FransM

If I click on the link I get a price of $ 8.35

Adam
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tkaiser
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tkaiser

> aliexpress.com/store/product/RD-TC64-Type-C-color-LCD-USB-Voltmeter-ammeter-voltage-current-meter-multimeter-battery-PD-charge/923042_32911231718.html

This one can only measure at the wrong end of the cable (no way to measure the influence of cable resistance)

> aliexpress.com/item/POWER-Z-USB-PD-Tester-PD-Quick-Charger-Voltage-Current-Ripple-Dual-Type-C-KM001-Meter

404 — dead link but searching for ‘POWER-Z USB PD Tester KM001 Professional’ is sufficient.

Adam
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Adam

Oops, thanks

DurandA
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I’m not sure what USB-PD compatibility means for such a device. I believe it only measures the voltage between VCC and GND and the Quick Charge/USB-PD negotiation is up to the connected device and the USB supply.