Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 27, 2009

Power Monitoring using a Hacked Kill-a-Watt

at 11:18 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Limor has documented the process she used to expand the functionality of one of those off the shelf Kill-a-Watt power monitoring devices. Hacking into the Kill-a-Watt circuitry she added a wireless transmitter that is now able to sent data to a central collection receiver.

"This project documents my adventures in learning how to wire up my home for wireless power monitoring. I live in a rented apartment so I don’t have hacking-access to a meter or breaker panel. Since I’m still very interested in measuring my power usage on a long term basis, I will build wireless outlet reporters. Building your own power monitor isn’t too tough and can save money but I’m not a fan of sticking my fingers into 120V power. Instead, I’ll build on the existing Kill-a-watt power monitor, which works great and is available at my local hardware store. My plan is to have each room connected to a 6-outlet power strip which powers all the devices in that room (each kill-a-watt can measure up to 15A, or about 1800W, which is plenty!). That way I can track room-by-room usage, for example "kitchen", "bedroom", "workbench", and "office". "