In this technical brief, we investigate the feasibility to use a cost-effective system for the study of frictional losses in hydro- and magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) flows. Experiments are performed in rectangular channels with different aspect ratios, whose dimensions range from 500 to . Fabrication is done with conventional technology, and characterization by commercial sensors and open-source electronic prototyping platforms. Water and GaInSn are used as working fluids. GaInSn experiments are performed for one aspect with and without external magnetic field. For these experiments, Reynolds number varies from 80 to 1000. Characterization is performed in terms of the Darcy friction factor. Uncertainty associated with this common fabrication and characterization methodology is presented.