MightyWatt Revision 3: Brand New and Seriously Improved

I have developed a new version of MightyWatt, the R3! It looks almost the same on the outside but is very different on the inside. It addresses shortcomings of the revision 2 and adds some new functions. But first, what is MightyWatt R3 (skip to Hardware changes if you already know…): MightyWatt R3 is a programmable electronic load. That means you can use it for testing batteries, power supplies, fuel cells, solar cells and other sources of electrical power. You can also make a programmable power supply from a fixed-voltage power supply and MightyWatt R3 and use it for example as an intelligent battery charger. MightyWatt R3 is made as an Arduino shield. Simply put it on an Arduino, upload the control sketch, open Windows control program and you are ready to go. In its heart, MightyWatt R3 has a special FET designed for linear operation that acts as a programmable resistor. It is controlled by an analog feedback loop that is able to keep either constant current or constant voltage (constant power and resistance is kept by a software loop). The current or voltage is set using a DAC, the actual voltage and current is read by an ADC so MightyWatt R3 has an integrated ammeter and voltmeter, both of which have two ranges with very fast autoranging. For the voltage measurement to be as precise as possible, MightyWatt R3 offers 4-wire (Kelvin) measurement where voltage is sensed by a dedicated pair of connections. This removes the effect of cable resistance from the measured value. It is of course possible to measure the voltage at the input terminals too (2-wire measurement). The power is dissipated in a force-cooled heatsink that is able to, with its fan, dissipate up to 70 Watts continuously. Current range is up to 24A and voltage up to 30V. MightyWatt R3 is 100% open source – hardware, firmware, software – so you can make your own one.”

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