Smart Anode Meter

IMG 6003 clipped rev 1  Anode Meters (Pot Rods)

C-Born Software Systems originally developed a light-weight electronic anode meter (also known as a “Pot Rod”) some 20 years ago, to replace the heavy and inaccurate analog meter in use for the 30 years before that. The new automatic meter, developed over the last two years at Point Henry, is a significant leap forward, offering great benefits in productivity and ease of use.



Advanced Anode Meter

IMG 6013 clipped rev 2

The meter is a light weight device used to measure the voltage drop across a short section of anode rod. From this measurement the current flowing through the anode rod can be calculated.
Developed and extensively tested during 2011/2012, the new meter features automatic high-accuracy reading, on-board storage (8GB or more), 16x2 LCD display, head-mounted LEDs (good/bad reading indication), and USB connection for automatically downloading reading schedules and uploading readings to the database, as well as charging the onboard Lithium Ion battery. WiFi is also available as an option.

The meter is available for purchase.



  • Increased productivity (½ second to read voltage drop )
  • Improved accuracy
  • No transcription errors
  • Reduced operator fatigue
  • Lower operating costs

Key Features

  • Fully automatic operation
  • High accuracy, high resolution reading
  • Simple operator interface
  • Full database integration
  • Customizable, field upgradeable firmware
  • Modern USB interface
  • Site configurable for head size, pot layout, number of anodes, use of schedules

 AnodeMeterV2.1 015


The meter is normally left attached to the host PC via the USB port, which charges the Li-Ion battery, and allows automatic download of the current shift measurement schedule as required. The operator can also manually select pots to be measured.
In operation the probe tips are pushed against each anode rod in turn. The voltage drop is determined automatically from an internal algorithm that is fast and efficient.
At the end of the measurement session, the meter is reconnected to the PC's USB port where the data is automatically uploaded and stored in the database.
All data is available for viewing and reporting through APG.


Measurement Methodology

The analogue input is constantly being sampled. When disconnected the input floats to ~1.4v, this allows automatic detection of when the meter is in use.
The measurement algorithm operates as follows:

  • Six successive input values must be in a acceptable range
  • The difference between the minimum and the maximum value must be < 0.5mV
  • The average of the last 4 good readings are used as the result
  • A burned-off anode (no load) will generate a 0mV measurement


IMG 6000 clipped rev 1Operator Feedback

Successful Measurement - The Green LED is turned on.
Measurement Incomplete – The Red LED is flashed, the operator is expected to retake the measurement.
Abnormal Value - The Red and Green LED are flashed for a second, the operator is expected to review the value and optionally, retake the measurement.



The meter is available for purchase from C-Born.
Build options include different shaft lengths and site customized software.
Other variations, such as different probe spacing or head type, will be considered on a cost/volume basis.



Anodemeter Specifications 

pdf icon  Downloadable PDF brochure, including device specifications (Updated 16 November 2017)



A Short Video of a Prototype Meter in Action



Downloadable Support Material

Anode Meter Wiki (Currently only available within Alcoa Intranet)