Home Forums General Discussion Energy Gizmos – what\'s best?

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    Scott Willis

    Hello all,
    Has anyone got tips for simple data logging devices that are off-the-shelf and work? What brands do you like, what works? I found this http://centameter.co.nz/collections/all and am hoping that people will drop their favourites in here.


    I have one of the Centameter Owl units and found it to be very, very good.

    I haven’t set it up since moving to my new house but it’s very much plug and play and can be up and running in a few minutes.

    The thing I really liked about it was that I could turn appliances & entire circuits off and monitor the change in power usage in real time – with updated figures being displayed within a few seconds. I found it really interesting to test various electronic devices in standby mode vs operational mode to see how much power was saved (often not much)

    With the main display unit being portable it’s super easy to wander around the house and test areas of interest for instant feedback. Plus the unit tracks power usage and cost each month as well.

    Unfortunately I don’t have the USB version – it would be great to capture that data in real time too.

    Scott Willis

    Thanks Phil, I appreciate your feedback on this. I do know that there’s alot of interest in data logging relating to establishing a Smart Grid, localised but expandable, but it seems to me that we need simple ‘entry level’ tech to garner more general interest.
    It sounds as if we should invest in the USB version. When you say you haven’t set it up yet, can you tell me what is required to set it up? Does it require an electrician? Any small challenges you encountered? I’m anticipating that no, it is indeed plug and play, but any more detail appreciated too as our aim would be to share the tech around.


    Hi Scott,

    Sorry I wasn’t clearer in my previous post. What I meant is that it’s still packed up in a box somewhere from when I moved recently – I need to find the box and then I can set it up at the new house.

    Setting it up couldn’t be much easier. 🙂 The transmitter consists of a small box and a a sensor that is opened, placed around around the active / phase cable and then clipped shut. The instructions recommend it is done by an electrician but it’s just as easy, if easier than changing a fuse. There is no changes to wiring – it’s simply clipping the sensor around the plastic coated cable. Anyone can do in seconds as long as they are taking care around active power cables at the house electrical board.

    Very plug and play.

    You can see the sensor clip here:


    After installing the sensor you push a button on both the transmitter and receiver to sync up the wireless signal and it’s active.

    The manual for the OWL+USB is missing from the centameter.co.nz website at the moment but you can see the OWL micro manual here to get the full picture.



    Hey Phill, I got the first digest when Scott posted the original message, but didn’t get anything to alert me to your follow ups. Can you please check it out?



    I’ll be continuing to test the notification this week. Definitely odd that it is coming through some times and not others.

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