Introduction: USB Voltage and Current Tester!! (version 1)

About: Ex-Navy Gunner Learned to repair I.T. equipment because nobody local knew what the hell they were doing!


Since it's sometimes necessary to check your USB ports for voltage or if you are curious on what kind of Current draw your devices might be pulling, it would be great to have something to check these.

Now you can.

Instead of just hacking apart USB cables and checking these readings with a Multimeter or one of the Pen Drive style voltage checkers, this instructable will give you a tool that is painless to use.

Moving onward.....


Step 1: Parts!

The pics for this step did NOT turn out.
What you need:

Soldering Iron & solder (duh)
Epoxy, aquarium sealant or hit glue (optional)
1 PC Bay Cover any size will do
3 finishing nails or similar items to make into "posts"
1 USB Extender cable, or pieces from other projects ;)
1 Binder or Bankers Clip shown below. (unpainted)

It might not be a bad idea to coat the handles of the clip with a rubber coating, something along the lines of PLASTIDIP.

Step 2: Assemble+TEST

Drill 3 holes into the Bay Cover.

Two on one side about 1/2 inch apart

One on the far side of the Bay Cover, across from the other two, preferably between them.

We are only using the RED (5v) and the BLACK (GND) wires for this.

Cut the BLACK wire and strip a length of it on both sides of your cut (just enough to solder).

Cut the RED wire and do the same.

Now, place the finishing nails (or whatever you are using) through the holes from the bottom of the Bay Cover.

Solder both ends of the BLACK wire to the solitary nail.

Solder each of the RED wires to ONE of the nails.


Step 3: Glue That Puppy!

Just in the case the wires get pulled or the nails come out, let's fill the "body" of the Bay Cover with with glue of your choice.

That bugger isn't going anywhere now!

Step 4: Almost Done!

Now that it's mostly together, it looks kinda boring...

Let's work on that!

Step 5: Looks

I added a piece of RED electrical tape to the side that has the pins for VOLTAGE. (just in case I am not the one using the unit)

And a label, I also hot glued a piece of BLUE foam to the bottom.

Step 6: Usage-Voltage

Ok, now that it's put together, here is the info on how to use it!

To check VOLTAGE, use the binder clip ACROSS the TWO pins that you attached the RED wires to (see why I put RED tape on them?)

Then place one of your MULTIMETER clips/hooks/whatever on one of the RED pins and on the BLACK pin.

In case you didn't know, make sure your testing leads are in the correct ports.

Step 7: Usage-Current

Set your MULTIMETER ports, and attach your leads to the TWO pins, doesn't matter what color goes to which one.

BTW, it doesn't matter if the USB devices are plugged in at any of these stages or not.

Have fun testing your PORTS and DEVICES!!!!