Mikroe AC Current click - MCP3201 12 Bit SAR Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) w/ SPI

  • Product ID: 7766
  • MPN: MIKROE-2523
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The Click board™ comes equipped with the 3.5mm jack connector which is used to attach the sensing probe. The sensor input is filtered and amplified so that the readings can stay reliable and protected against EMI and radio-interferences. The low-noise 12-bit SAR A/D converter (ADC) converts the sensor voltage, providing conversion data via the industry-standard SPI interface. Besides the onboard A/D converter, there is an analog signal path available to the users, allowing the Click board™ to fit into various usage scenarios. Featuring a high precision ADC and a low noise, rail to rail dual operational amplifier, designed to work with the contactless non-invasive current sensor, AC Current click is an ideal solution for measuring AC Current through mains and other cables with otherwise dangerous voltages, current consumption monitoring, and similar applications.

How does it work?

AC Current click is equipped with the MCP3201, a 12bit SAR analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with SPI interface, from Microchip. The reference voltage for the conversion is 2.048V, and it is provided by the MCP1501, a high-precision, buffered voltage reference IC, also from Microchip. It is used to sample the input voltage, generated by the contactless, non-invasive current sensor, attached to the 3.5mm jack connector.

As already mentioned, the sensor output voltage is a result of the electromagnetic induction of the magnetic field generated by the cable, through which the AC current runs. The split core of the sensor can be clamped over the cable, providing a closed path for the magnetic flux through the core that way. This will result in generating the voltage in the secondary coil within the sensor. This generated voltage depends on the sensor type and the maximum current it is supposed to measure. AC Current click allows measuring up to 30 A / 1 V, using a sensor that outputs 1 V for the full-scale reading of 30 A. Note that only the AC current can be measured, since the DC current does not have the ability to generate the alternating magnetic field, so the sensor can be used only for the AC current measurement.

The voltage at the input is filtered by the RC filter in order to prevent any additional EMI influences or radio-interferences. The signal is then amplified by the MCP607, a rail-to-rail operational amplifier with a very low offset voltage and biasing current. This allows a minimal distortion of the input. The amplification ratio (G) is calculated by using the formula for the non-inverting operational amplifier configuration: G = 1 + R4 / R3. Knowing the maximum voltage of the sensor (for 30A current), the reference voltage of 2.048V for the ADC and the gain factor of the op-amp, it is easy to calculate the value for the measured current. The Click board™ comes with the library functions that do all the necessary calculations, providing a simple and quick solution for the application development. A user can also easily develop his own methods and functions by utilizing the existing ones if some other sensor with different nominal values is used. However, this Click board™ also comes as the part of the AC Current click - bundle, which also contains the current measuring sensor, calibrated and well suited to work with the AC Current click (30A - 1V).

Besides the onboard ADC, it is possible to use an external converter, by using the AN pin of the mikroBUS™. The preconditioned voltage from the first (non-inverting) operational amplifier is routed to both the onboard ADC and another op-amp, which acts as the buffer with unity gain. It is used to provide a buffered analog voltage at the AN pin, which can be used externally, bypassing the onboard ADC. The MCP607 consists of two integrated op-amps so the same IC is used both for the input pre-conditioning and the output buffer.

The Click board™ can use both 3.3V and 5V as the power supply, so it is able to directly interface with both 3.3V and 5V MCUs. To select the desired operating voltage, it is enough to switch the onboard SMD jumper, labeled as the PWR SEL.

Please note that the product described on this page does not include the non-invasive current measurement sensor. To get both the AC Current click and the non-invasive current measurement sensor, which is calibrated and well suited for use with the AC current click, please visit the AC Current click - bundle product page for more information and ordering.

Note that although the Click board™ is meant to be used for measuring current without making any contact, by using galvanically isolated sensor over an isolated cable, a special care should always be taken when working with dangerous and harmful voltages. Any operation which involves high voltage should be performed by trained personnel.


Type Measurements
Applications One phase measuring from the power line (110/220V) or some other alternating voltage/current source, power consumption measurement, current monitoring (over the analog output).
On-board modules MCP3201, MCP607
Key Features Non-invasive measurement, 12-bit resolution MCP3201 ADC converter, the click measures alternating currents up to 30A , MCP607 CMOS Op Amp
Key Benefits Non-invasive measurement
Interface Analog,SPI
Input Voltage 3.3V or 5V
Compatibility mikroBUS
Click board size M (42.9 x 25.4 mm)

Pinout diagram

This table shows how the pinout on AC Current click corresponds to the pinout on the mikroBUS™ socket (the latter shown in the two middle columns).

Notes Pin Mikrobus logo.png Pin Notes
Analog OUT AN 1 AN PWM 16 NC
SPI Chip select CS 3 CS TX 14 NC
SPI Clock SCK 4 SCK RX 13 NC
Serial data OUT MISO 5 MISO SCL 12 NC
Power supply +3.3V 7 3.3V 5V 10 +5V Power supply
Ground GND 8 GND GND 9 GND Ground

Onboard jumpers and settings

The table below shows information about onboard jumpers:

Designator Name Default  Description
LD1 PWR - Power LED indicator
JP1 PWR SEL Left Power Supply Voltage Selection 3.3V/5V, left position 3.3V, right position 5V

Software support

We provide a demo application for AC Current click on our Libstock page, as well as a demo application (example), developed using MikroElektronika compilers. The demo can run on all the main MikroElektronika development boards.

Key functions:

  • void accurrent_init ( ); - Click initialization setting CS to High
  • float accurrent_getmA( ); - Gets the current value of AC Current in mA
  • float accurrent_getA( ); - Gets the current value of AC Current in A

Example description

The application is composed of three sections:

  • System Initialization -  GPIO and SPI module initialization
  • Application Initialization - SPI driver and slick initialization
  • Application Task - (code snippet) - reading the value of current and displaying it via UART N
void applicationTask()
ac_current = accurrent_getmA();
mikrobus_logWrite("Current value: ",_LOG_TEXT);
mikrobus_logWrite(" mA",_LOG_LINE);

The full application code, and ready to use projects can be found on our Libstock page. 

Other MikroElektronika libraries used in the example:

  • UART
  • SPI

Additional notes and information

Depending on the development board you are using, you may need USB UART clickUSB UART 2 click or RS232 click to connect to your PC, for development systems with no UART to USB interface available on the board. The terminal available in all MikroElektronika compilers, or any other terminal application of your choice, can be used to read the message.


This click board is supported with mikroSDK - MikroElektronika Software Development Kit. To ensure proper operation of mikroSDK compliant click board demo applications, mikroSDK should be downloaded from the LibStock and installed for the compiler you are using.

For more information about mikroSDK, visit the official page.

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