I am glad to announce that the first version of my WattMeter plugin for the Piccolo Command Center is now ready for release!  It is my intention to make this software available as freeware.  However, ITAR restrictions prevent me from simply posting it online for anyone to download.  I hope to find a solution to this problem in the near future.

The WattMeter plugin is a tool for advanced battery management.  Using the analog inputs on the Piccolo autopilot it is possible to feed live current and voltage readings from an external device in to the PCC.  However, to be useful the readings must be calibrated to actual units (volts and amps).  In order to do this live on the flight line, this plugin was created.


With the voltage and amperage data collected it is possible to further manipulate the data to determine wattage and watt-hours drawn.  If the watt-hours capacity of the power source is known then the reserve capacity can be determined as well as an estimate of how long it will last.  This data is derived using the variables defined in the configuration panel which have automatically been loaded.

It is also important to note that the integration of the watt-hours starts as soon as the plug-in is loaded.

The “Configure” button on the display panel launches the configuration panel which gives the user complete access to the calibration variables.  This version of the WattMeter allows the user to select which of the four analog inputs to use as the data sources.  The relationship between the voltage/current and the readings is assumed to be linear.  Therefore the slope and intercept variables are all that is needed.   The section marked “Power Source” contains the maximum capacity of the power source as measured in watt-hours.  This variable can be changed at anytime without effecting the integrity of the data.  When the “Save” button is pressed, all settings are saved to disk as well as applied to the on-going calculations.  Note that an adjustment in the sensor calibrations will not be applied retrospectively to the data.


Upon launching the PCC the display panel will not be visible.  To view the display panel simply click the new “WattMeter” menu item under “Window”.

WattMeter Menu Item

WattMeter Menu Item