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Loadstar Sensors Blog

Short Updates on interesting applications using our sensor solutions.

DS-3000U Pro - Touch Screen Display for Digital Load Cells and USB Load Cell Interfaces

DS-3000U Pro - Touch Screen Display for Digital Load Cells and USB Load Cell Interfaces

Loadstar Sensors offers a variety of digital load cells, weight sensors or weight scales with USB or Wireless output.  The iLoad Series and the iLoad Series offer direct USB Output through out S2U UART to USB miniB to USB A adapters.  The DI-100U/DI-1000U USB Load Cell Interfaces can be mated to any of our resistive load cells to obtain calibrated USB output. 

Although any Windows Tablet (e.g. Surface 3, Surface 4 or Surface Pro) or All-In-One PC can be used as a very effective and rich display with a GUI environment using our LV-1000/LV-4000/SensorVUE/ControlVUE software, a number of customers have asked us for a simple, dedicated Touch Screen LCD display for use in factory and laboratory settings where use of PCs may not be appropriate.

In order to meet our customer requests, we have developed a display solution - the DS-3000 Pro - using a Raspberry Pi 3 (RPi3) controller and Touch Screen display as shown below. Our solution comes ready to use out of the box, all you need is to plug in the sensor and power our display using the provided power supply.

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Measuring thrust forces exerted by quadcopter rotors

Measuring thrust forces exerted by quadcopter rotors

Are you a drone or quadcopter enthusiast?  Trying to build your own kick-ass quadcopter that will soar high and move fast?  Then you need to really understand the thrust characteristics of your motors and make sure it can generate enough thrust to provide sufficient lift and forward movement.  

Jim Grubb, the VP of Emerging Technologies Marketing and Chief Demonstration Officer at Cisco Systems is one such enthusiast, who uses our iLoad TR USB load cell system to characterize the thrust applied by the motors and uses the iLoad Mini load cells to measure the weight and balance of the quadcopter to make sure it is properly balanced so the motors do not have to do extra work to rectify the imbalance resulting in reduced fuel efficiency.

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Load Cells with USB, UART, & Analog 0-5V Output shown in various configurations

Load Cells with USB, UART, & Analog 0-5V Output shown in various configurations

The iLoad Pro load cell is one of the family of load cells that use capacitive measurement techniques to measure forces or loads.  Unlike traditional strain gauge load cells, these capacitive load cells do not use resistive strain gauges that are bonded to a metal member.  Instead it uses two capacitive plates separated by a gap as the sensing element.  When the load/force is applied, this gap changes changing the capacitance.  This change is measured and transmitted as a digital signal directly from within the sensor and can be in the UART or USB format.  In addition, an analog voltage (0-5 V DC) can also be output as an option simultaneously making it easy to use for a wide variety of application!  

 

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Digital load cells used for measuring thrust forces acting on Hovercraft

Digital load cells used for measuring thrust forces acting on Hovercraft

Michael Mercier has been crazy about hovercrafts since he was a little boy.  Protoytping and building model after model of increasing sophistication from high school through college he refined his knowledge and skills for over a decade.  Finally as a young man, he decided to convert his passion into a profession by deciding to start a company to produce a commercially viable hovercraft that could run on water as well as on the streets!

When he needed to measure the thrust generated by his revolutionary new propulsion system and the forces acting on a hovercraft, he reached out to Loadstar Sensors which provides revolutionary digital force measurement products that can be used to capture force information easily on a PC.  The S-Beam USB Load Cell Kit he selected came with all the items needed to quickly be up and running - including the RAS1 S-Beam Load cell, matching eye bolts to fasten the load cell to the test rigs, the 24-bit DI-1000U USB Load Cell Interface and the LV-1000 LoadVUE Pro software.

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