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I like to use regular panel meters for showing data. I would like to know if there's such a thing as a linear meter, say 10 cm long or so. By linear I mean that the indicator moves up some scale in a linear fashion - like a bar graph, or something similar. Such a meter would likely take up a bit less space on the front panel of a case, and would likely have a pleasing "look and feel".

Do such "linear" meters exist as a manufactured product?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You mention bargraphs and this, it seems is what you have described. The pleasing look and feel is open to judgement. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Jul 9 '13 at 21:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka is your comment missing a link? \$\endgroup\$ – John O Jul 9 '13 at 21:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JohnO I think Andy is wondering why you aren't simply using an LED bargraph. Does it have to be an analog meter? \$\endgroup\$ – us2012 Jul 9 '13 at 22:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean meters where the needle is "L" shaped and its pivot axis is parallel to the front of the display? I've seen those, but I don't know how common they are nowadays. They save space on the exterior of a case, but are somewhat bulky inside it. \$\endgroup\$ – supercat Jul 9 '13 at 22:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ I wasn't talking about hi-res LCD devices, but simple LED bargraphs: store.curiousinventor.com/blue-led-bargraph.html . Add a nice front plate to that, and you're fairly close - unless you want it to be 'smooth' (i.e. discrete LEDs don't have enough resolution), in which case an LCD with a nice front plate would be the way to go in my opinion. \$\endgroup\$ – us2012 Jul 9 '13 at 22:16
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They are sometimes called "edgewise panel meters"

enter image description here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, that's very close to what I was thinking of. Excellent. \$\endgroup\$ – John O Jul 9 '13 at 22:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ The really cool ones have an indicator that's stationary, and move the scale behind it. \$\endgroup\$ – Phil Frost Jul 10 '13 at 2:43
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You could use a graphic LCD, then you could draw whatever you want.

Products like the EarthLCD ez301 (no affiliation) make this pretty easy with built in scripts for drawing meters of all types. The unit can also accept low voltage analog signals and convert to digital (it has a microcontroller on-board).

Other companies make similar products in different sizes.

enter image description here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is certainly an option. But, aesthetically, my preference is for an electromechanical device if possible. \$\endgroup\$ – John O Jul 9 '13 at 22:04

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