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The Wheatstone Bridge Phidget uses a high-resolution analog-to-digital converter (ADC) to read up to two load cells, strain gauges, pressure sensors, piezoelectric sensors, or Wheatstone Bridge-based sensors. Wheatstone Bridge-based sensors are a common type of resistive sensor that produces a small voltage differential. This Phidget connects to your computer through a VINT Hub.
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.
The DAQ1500 reads two load cells, strain gauges or Wheatstone Bridge-based sensors. The Phidget reports results as a voltage ratio. To convert from voltage ratio to a quantity like weight or force, see the Calibration Guide in the Advanced Topics section.
You can use your Control Panel to explore your Phidget's channels.
1. Open your Control Panel, and you will find the following channels:
2. Double click on a channel to open an example program. Each channel belongs to the Voltage Ratio Input channel class:
In your Control Panel, double click on "Bridge Input":
The DAQ1500 has the option to change the bridge gain, which improves measurement resolution at the cost of reducing your effective range. We recommend starting at 128x gain and testing your load cell with the maximum load you expect to see in your system. If you get any saturation error events, you should lower the gain and test again. Here are the specifications that vary with gain:
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 is possible to use a multimeter to determine how to connect it, provided there are no electronics in the sensor. Measure resistance between the 4 wires. There are 6 wire combinations - two of the wire combinations will have a resistance 20-40% higher than the other four. Select one of the two 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 is 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, thickness, and temperature (as the temperature will change the resistance of the wires). The bridge inputs can be powered down, reducing power consumption with DAQ1500 sensors. Powering down the bridge inputs is also useful for preventing the heating of sensors, which can introduce errors. Due to the drift that occurs during self-heating, we recommend you operate your DAQ1500 in one of two ways:
Load cells output a small voltage proportional to the amount of strain they are currently experiencing. The rated output for most load cells at full load is in the order of millivolts, so when you’re only straining the load cell at a fraction of its full load, you will get very small values. In order to convert to meaningful units like grams or newtons, you need to calibrate the load cell.
For an in-depth guide on calibration, see Calibrating Analog Sensors.
The Change Trigger is the minimum change in the sensor data needed to trigger a new data event. The Data Interval is the time (in ms) between data events sent out from your Phidget. You can modify one or both of these values to achieve different data outputs. You can learn more about these two properties here.
Before you open a Phidget channel in your program, you can set these properties to specify which channel to open. You can find this information through the Control Panel.
1. Open the Control Panel and double-click on the red map pin icon:
2. The Addressing Information window will open. Here you will find all the information you need to address your Phidget in your program.
See the Phidget22 API for your language to determine exact syntax for each property.
|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 graph below for details.
|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|