Streacom VU1 Dials

A new era for innovative PC monitoring

For the past couple of years, we’ve seen the statistics display or monitor being redressed over and over again, it’s the same display, usually LCD or IPS in a new shell.  Vendors charging from as little as £30 for a 7 inch panel or as much as £150 from the likes of EKWB.  These panels usually sporting a USB C connector and some bulky HDMI connection which you would then need to route to the back of your GPU to act as an additional display.

Now, in a new era we have Streacom’s VU1 Dials, a hybrid of Analogue and Digital technology.  Inspired from analogue dials from the 80’s usually found in the Audio market to represent volume.  The project was co-developed with Saša Karanović who is the original creator of modified Analogue dials to work with PC.  Streacom has reinvented them and added an E-ink display background which can display an image of your choosing to represent anything you want.  They can be configured to display any sort of statistic for instance, Load and Temperature.  

Streacom has sent us the Starter Kit which includes 3 Dials and a hub unit.  Each unit comes with a short USB C interconnector to daisy chain each Dial together.  The hub acts as the main unit which connects to your PC.  On the back of the hub unit you’ll find 3 USB C connections, 1 for connecting to your PC and 2 for daisy chaining. The Dials have 2 USB C connectors for daisy chaining.  You’ll also find a stand for each dial that is secured into place by a single screw and washer at the rear of each unit.

At the time of writing, the following prices are (Quoted from QuietPC):

  • Starter Kit Silver or Black – £119.99  
  • Single Dials Silver or Black – £32.99

Initial setup was relatively easy, it’s mostly plug and play.  The Virtual COM Port drivers installed by themselves once we plugged the Hub to the PC and following Streacom’s instructions on their website, we downloaded the API server and Demo program.  It is advised you follow the steps outlined by Streacom on their website linked here to avoid any issues. 

Even though we followed the instructions, we did have a slight issue detecting the 2 additional Dials when we connected them.  It took quite some time for them to register in the server and demo program.  As it’s a demo program, it’s not 100% perfect.  There are a lot of quirks with it and you may find them slightly delayed in registering information or not saving settings correctly.  We noticed that, although we can set the colour in the demo program, it would not save and on restart the Dial lights would remain off.  Yes! They have RGB but not in the sense of just being Gamer.  They actually have a real function to help light up the displays since E-Ink inherently is not backlit. 

The whole infrastructure is open source which means it relies on 3rd party software to write and implement any functions or use for them.  We’re hoping that Aida64 will join soon and create a thriving community for these to really shine.  The Server Software allows for basic configuration of the dials including dial identification which is wholesomely handy since all the dials look the same!  The identification setting allows you to set a colour and once set will use that colour to identify the dial in question by lighting it up.  There is also a setting for dial behaviour which sets the sensitivity or smoothness of the dials in how quickly they react to data changes.  The server software also allows you to generate API keys for control over different software/programs.  

Note that the server program must be running at all times for this to work.  It is or can be configured as a startup program so you don’t need to run it every time you start your pc. 

You’ll notice the Thank You message on each brand new dial and at the bottom a bunch of numbers and letters which corresponds to the Dials serial number.  This serial number is what is displayed when the dials are first detected in the server program and you can correspond them to see which dials are connected if you have connection issues. 

One of the great things about these Dials are the E-Ink display panels.  Whatever is displayed will remain displayed until you change it… even when there is no power (One of the features of E-Ink Displays).  This is awesome for keeping an aesthetic alive when your PC is off.  The Analogue needles will show real time data but will also rely heavily on the connection between the server and the dials.  Though I do believe these can also be used standalone once third-party vendors start releasing programs for them.

The build quality with anything Streacom is top notch.  The finish is near perfect, we couldn’t find any marks or imperfections on our review sample.  There are no sharp edges, something I tend to look out for on metal finishes.  Packaging is compact and intuitive once you break the seal, there’s no overcomplicated unboxing.  Machined from extruded aluminium and finished with their signature sandblasted & anodised surface for a great premium finish. 

A quick run down of the dimensions can be seen here that each unit is relatively small and will fit nicely even into SFF (Small Form Factor) PC projects.  We’re currently implementing these into our DA6 XL project, we’re excited to see what else we can do with these in the near future.


In Conclusion, these are a fantastic piece of innovation and technology although massively limited by its software and real world use right now.  The rather retro and clean design will no doubt work with a lot of today’s builds and attract fans from all over the PC Enthusiast Community.  Even with it’s somewhat laggy demo program for its limited functionality, would still be useful enough to some to include in a build.  

We can only hope that 3rd party developers will take this on over the coming months as it requires more working and functional software for it to be more useful in the mass market.  The lack of included software would be enough to put off the general user… however this isn’t a product that is marketed as such and is more for the enthusiast tinkerer.