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Bridge-based sensors are are a common type of resistive sensor that produce a very small voltage drop. Load cells, strain gauges, pressure sensors, and piezoelectric sensors are all examples of sensors that usually operate in this way. In order to measure these tiny voltage changes, you need a Wheatstone bridge input. The Wheatstone Bridge Phidget uses a high-resolution ADC to to read up to two of these signals and plugs into any VINT port. See the Connection & Compatibility tab for a list of VINT Hubs.
This board is equipped with a 24-bit analog to digital converter, resulting in accurate measurements at resolutions as high as 59.6 µV/V. The bridge gain can be changed in software to 1, 2, 64, or 128, allowing you to get the best resolution for the range of the sensor you use. An error event will be launched whenever the measurement value saturates, so your program can dynamically change the gain when necessary.
This Phidget is a smart device that must be controlled by a VINT Hub. For more information about VINT, have a look at the VINT Primer. You can use a Phidget Cable to simply and easily connect the two devices. Here's a list of all of the different VINT Hubs currently available:
|Image||Part Number||Price||Number of VINT Ports||Controlled By|
|HUB5000_0||$60.00||6||Local Network (Ethernet or Wi-Fi)|
You can connect up to four load cells to the DAQ1500 in order to measure the amount of strain in the cell. See the product page or manual for your load cell to learn how to hook it up. We have a variety of types available to measure different types of strain: shear, compression, and tension. See the Load Cell Primer for more information.
|Image||Part Number||Price||Sensor Type||Weight Capacity Max||Creep||Zero Balance||Cell Repeatability Error Max||Cell Non-Linearity Max||Cell Hysteresis Max|
|3132_0||$6.00||Shear Load Cell||780 g||1.6 g/hr||± 11.7 g||± 390 mg||390 mg||390 mg|
|3133_0||$7.00||Shear Load Cell||5 kg||5 g/hr||± 75 g||± 2.5 g||2.5 g||2.5 g|
|3134_0||$7.00||Shear Load Cell||20 kg||20 g/hr||± 300 g||± 10 g||10 g||10 g|
|3135_0||$7.00||Shear Load Cell||50 kg||50 g/hr||± 750 g||± 25 g||25 g||25 g|
|3136_0||$45.00||Compression Load Cell||50 kg||20 g/hr||± 500 g||± 100 g||100 g||—|
|3137_0||$45.00||Compression Load Cell||200 kg||* 40 g/hr||* ± 2 kg||* ± 200 g||* 400 g||—|
|3138_0||$45.00||Compression/Tension Load Cell||100 kg||—||—||—||—||—|
|3139_0||$7.00||Shear Load Cell||100 g||—||—||± 50 mg||50 mg||50 mg|
|3140_0||$50.00||Compression/Tension Load Cell||500 kg||—||—||—||—||—|
|3141_0||$50.00||Compression Load Cell||1 Mg||—||—||—||—||—|
Strain gauges are ideal for situations where you want to monitor the strain in a material that's already a part of your project. By attaching strain gauges in a strategic way, you can effectively turn a load-bearing member into a custom load cell. You can read strain gauges using the DAQ1500 by connecting them as described in the Strain Gauge Primer.
|Product||Sensor Properties||Electrical Properties|
|Image||Part Number||Price||Sensor Type||Strain Gauge Mount Type||Resistance Value|
|3142_0||$12.50||Torque Half-bridge Strain Gauge||Steel||(per quarter-bridge) 1 kΩ|
|3143_0||$12.50||Torque Half-bridge Strain Gauge||Aluminum||(per quarter-bridge) 1 kΩ|
|3144_0||$15.00||Half-bridge Strain Gauge||Steel||(per quarter-bridge) 1 kΩ|
|3145_0||$15.00||Half-bridge Strain Gauge||Aluminum||(per quarter-bridge) 1 kΩ|
|3146_0||$17.50||Full-bridge Strain Gauge||Steel||(per quarter-bridge) 1 kΩ|
|3147_0||$17.50||Full-bridge Strain Gauge||Aluminum||(per quarter-bridge) 1 kΩ|
Use a Phidget cable to connect this device to the hub. You can solder multiple cables together in order to make even longer Phidget cables, but you should be aware of the effects of having long wires in your system.
Welcome to the DAQ1500 user guide! In order to get started, make sure you have the following hardware on hand:
Next, you will need to connect the pieces:
Now that you have everything together, let's start using the DAQ1500!
In order to demonstrate the functionality of the DAQ1500, the Phidget Control Panel running on a Windows machine will be used.
The Phidget Control Panel is available for use on both macOS and Windows machines.
To open the Phidget Control Panel on Windows, find the icon in the taskbar. If it is not there, open up the start menu and search for Phidget Control Panel
To open the Phidget Control Panel on macOS, open Finder and navigate to the Phidget Control Panel in the Applications list. Double click on the icon to bring up the Phidget Control Panel.
For more information, take a look at the getting started guide for your operating system:
Linux users can follow the getting started with Linux guide and continue reading here for more information about the DAQ1500.
After plugging the DAQ1500 into your computer and opening the Phidget Control Panel, you will see something like this:
The Phidget Control Panel will list all connected Phidgets and associated objects, as well as the following information:
The Phidget Control Panel can also be used to test your device. Double-clicking on an object will open an example.
Double-click on the Voltage Ratio object, labelled Bridge Input, in order to run the example:
General information about the selected object will be displayed at the top of the window. You can also experiment with the following functionality:
Before you can access the device in your own code, and from our examples, you'll need to take note of the addressing parameters for your Phidget. These will indicate how the Phidget is physically connected to your application. For simplicity, these parameters can be found by clicking the button at the top of the Control Panel example for that Phidget.
In the Addressing Information window, the section above the line displays information you will need to connect to your Phidget from any application. In particular, note the Channel Class field as this will be the API you will need to use with your Phidget, and the type of example you should use to get started with it. The section below the line provides information about the network the Phidget is connected on if it is attached remotely. Keep track of these parameters moving forward, as you will need them once you start running our examples or your own code.
You are now ready to start writing your own code for the device. The best way to do that is to start from our Code Samples.
Select your programming language of choice from the drop-down list to get an example for your device. You can use the options provided to further customize the example to best suit your needs.
Once you have your example, you will need to follow the instructions on the page for your programming language to get it running. To find these instructions, select your programming language from the Programming Languages page.
|Gain||Resolution (nV/V)||Noise Floor (nV/V)||Output Range (mV/V)|
Load cells are pressure sensors that can be used with the DAQ1500. For more information, see our Load Cell Primer.
If no documentation is available for your strain gauge, it’s possible to use a multimeter to determine how to connect it, provided there are no electronics in the sensor. First, measure resistance between the 4 wires. There are 6 combinations - two combinations will have a resistance 20-40% higher than the other four. Choose one of these high-resistance combinations, and wire it into 5V and G on the DAQ1500. Connect the other two wires into +/-. Apply a load, if the V/V responds in the opposite way to your expectations, flip the +/- wires.
The DAQ1500 is designed to measure voltages as a ratio of the supply voltage - it’s not practical to make measurements of absolute voltages with this product.
For maximum accuracy, all wires from the DAQ1500 to the sensor should be the same length and thickness. Changes in temperature will change the resistance of the wires - if they are all the same, the errors will cancel out.
The bridge inputs can be powered down, reducing power consumption with DAQ1500 sensors, and useful for reducing heating of sensors, which can introduce errors.
The amount of current consumed by the DAQ1500 varies based on the data interval you select:
Use the following equation to approximate the relationship between current consumption and data interval (up to a maximum data interval of 60000ms):
This figure is the no-load current, so to estimate total current consumption, you'll need to measure the current consumption at a known data interval so you can determine the offset, which should be no higher than 50mA.
|Number of Bridge Inputs||2|
|Bridge Voltage Resolution||59.6 nV/V|
|Sampling Interval Max||60 s/sample|
|Sampling Interval Min||20 ms/sample|
|Bridge Current Max||50 mA|
|Input Voltage Limit Min||Ground + 0.25V DC|
|Input Voltage Limit Max||5V Supply - 0.25V DC|
|Current Consumption Min||25 μA|
|Current Consumption Max||*bridge current plus 1.5 mA|
|Recommended Wire Size||16 - 26 AWG|
|Operating Temperature Min||-40 °C|
|Operating Temperature Max||85 °C|
* - The extra 1.5mA of current consumption varies depending on the data interval selected. See the technical section of the User Guide for details. Additional gain-sensitive specifications can also be found there.
|Date||Board Revision||Device Version||Comment|
|June 2017||0||104||Product Release|
|Bridge Input||VoltageRatioInput||0 - 1|
|VoltageRatioInput||Visual Studio GUI||C#||Windows||Download|
|VoltageRatioInput||Load Cell Calibrator||C#||Windows||Download|
|VoltageRatioInput||Visual Basic .NET||Windows||Download|