LONGMONT - Tech startup CMicrotek LLC in Longmont plans to begin manufacturing in April its first product, a device that measures currents of battery-powered products.

Founder and president Mike Lease said the uCP100 can measure much lower currents than traditional measurement instruments, which will help engineers develop battery-powered products that will use less energy, which in turn will lengthen the life of a battery.

Lease, a contract engineer who has 35 years of engineering experience, said there currently isn't a measuring device that can measure low currents this accurately. He explained, for example, that a wireless radio in sleep mode has extremely low currently fluctuations, but when it is turned on the current draw can jump more than 100,000 times higher.

"With a small enough resistor to measure the current when the radio is on you can't see the small fluctuations when the micro transitions between operating and sleep modes," Lease said. You can't measure what you can't see, and developing new and innovative products is hard enough without trying to guesstimate power consumption based on static current measurements."

He said the device can measure currents of products in sleep mode and different power-settings, and also measure how much power is used by software operating in the background.

The first 25 units of the uCP100 will be manufactured at Premier Manufacturing in Frederick at the end of April. Cost per unit is $595.

Lease founded the company in February 2013 and is working out of his house. He has a part-time employee who works on marketing and a company website.

Lease has funded the startup with his own money. He said an attempt at crowdfunding failed. "About the only people who can get excited about this product are engineers."