Example of Using sigrok-cli to Take a Mesurement with a Multimeter

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In another blog post I explained how to install sigrok on a Raspberry Pi.

That post contained a link to a script available from this site.

This post shows some examples of using sigrok-cli to take a measurement, or multiple measurements from a supported multimeter.

Supported Meters

To begin with, you will need access to one of the multimeters which are supported by sigrok-cli.

Get a list of supported hardware like this:

$ sigrok-cli -L

Note that is an uppercase L.

You can capture the output to a file for review.

The first part of the output shows a list of supported hardware.

It is not obvious which of these hardware items are meters. But you will recognise yours if you have a supported meter. Or can visit the sigrok.org Web site to find and identify supported meters.

Uni-T UT60A Meter Example Command

My Uni-T UT60A is one of the meters on the list.

By making a note of the name of the sigrok device driver from the above list, and by knowing the connection details, we can get a single measurement like this:

sigrok-cli -d uni-t-ut60a-ser:conn=/dev/ttyUSB0 --samples 1

Let’s break down the above command-line into its parts:

-d uni-t-ut60a-ser

This is the name of the driver.


Is the part of the command which controls the port to which the multimeter is connected. Note it is appended to the driver name, separated with a colon.

All options provided to the driver are in the form of key=value and all pairs are separated by a colon.

In the case of my UT60A, I am currently using the serial lead which has an RS232 DB9 connector on the computer end. So I use an FTDI serial to USB adapter, hence the ‘-ser’ part of the driver string.

The use of such a serial to USB adapter makes ‘/dev/ttyUSB0’ appear in the devices of the host (Linux) machine when it is plugged in.

If you are using Windows, a COMn port will appear. Note that the n part depends on whether your Windows machine already has some or one COM ports. For Windows you may need to install a driver for your USB to serial adapter.

A USB cable (ut-d04) is also available for the UT60A meter. If you are using this, drop the ‘-ser’ suffix from the driver name. These are commonly available from China.

--samples 1

Instructs sigrok-cli to just take a single measurement.

You could also specify more than one measurement, or:


For continuous measurements.

Example Output

Issueing the command:

sigrok-cli -d uni-t-ut60a-ser:conn=/dev/ttyUSB0 --samples 1

With the meter switched to DC volts and a battery pack of six AA batteries connected across the test clips, the output is:

P1: -9.56 V DC AUTO

It should be obvious from this string what is what.

And it should be relatively easy, if scripting sigrok-cli, to parse this output string and record the data in any way you desire.