kill a watt?

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at
Sun Mar 9 16:35:25 PST 2003

Radio Shack had these things on sale a few months back (possibly an
inventory clearance.).. Under the same brand name (Kill-A-Watt)

Claims 0.2% of reading accuracy, which is quite impressive. (typical...
worst case is 1%.. still impressive)
(specs are over this range: 90-125V, 0.2-15A)
47-63 Hz
active/apparent power 0-1875W or VA (0.5%typ/2%WC)
PF 0.00-1.00 (0.01 typ, 0.03WC)

I've seen web reports that it handles phase controlled SCR dimmer loads
correctly, so it will probably handle the weird current waveform
characteristic of a PC power supply.

Sure, it'd be nice if it had an external interface, but then it would cost
$500+, if only because it's a line connected device, and you'd have to
provide isolation, etc.  There's a web site out there where someone took it
apart... everything is floated at line voltage inside (which makes it muy
cheap) much like X-10 stuff.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Hahn" <hahn at>
To: <beowulf at>
Sent: Sunday, March 09, 2003 2:06 PM
Subject: kill a watt?

> the name is aweful, I know, but has anyone tried:
> it liiks like a nice (cheap) way to take the guesswork out of
> how much power a cluster node is drawing.  admittedly, it would
> be nicer if it had a serial/net/usb port, but...
> given that it apparently measures V, f and PF, does that mean it'll
> be hip to the true-rms thing?
> thanks, mark hahn.
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