Saturday, March 20, 2010

Connecting a load cell to my Arduino

Arduino is an open source hardware which allow many people with a little knowledge about electronics (like me) to design their electronic applications and convert ideas to reality.
 I got my Arduino from Sparkfun, last December it is very good and it will encourage people to love electronics and dive deep in. it has 14 digital I/O (In / Out) pins, and 6 analog input pins and 6 analog outputs (Nos. 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 of the digital ones (they can be used as digital or analog)), the different between analog and digital is that digital means 0 or 1, but analog means 0 or .01, .001, 0.002, …, 1.
So the analog value may change from a moment to another, let’s now think the load cell has analog output or digital output?!
Yes it has an analog output because it converts weight to signals the lower weight has a lower signal; the more weight the stronger signal. Note that we are now talking about very small amount of analog signal.
I lunched the Arduino application in my computer (you can get yours from here it is open source and free: selected File> Examples > Analog > AnalogInSerial.
Arduino IDE opened an example was written by Tom Igoe, after changing the delay time from 10 to 250 I verified and uploaded the program (Arduino Community call it Sketch) to Arduino and open the serial monitor in the Arduino IDE, I put some loads at the end of the load cell the Arduino was reading the signals that came from the load cell (Actually I were getting strange values because I think there might be a wrong in the wiring on at any step of connecting the load cell to Arduino).
About the wiring; I connected the power inputs of the load cell to the power outputs of the indicator so I can get a 10V from the indictor, but I connected the signal + to Arduino analog pin 0, and connected the signal – to the Gnd in Arduino.


  1. Load Cells and Ardiunos, please see here

  2. This unit is very useful tool to interface load cell as an input to the Indicators, controllers, PLC having industry standard analog inputs: current or Voltage.

    Load cell Amplifier

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  4. Load cells are transducer which transforms force into a considerable electrical outcome signals. There are mainly 3types of load cells strain gauge load cell, hydraulic load cell, and Pneumatic Load cell. Strain gaugeload cells are the generally used types. This transformation is oblique and happens in two levels.

  5. Load Cells Peripherals are always necessary for any weighing machines or system... One manufacturer Alectronic scale provides load cells in a variety of configurations that are made from mild & stainless steel that are built to last. Also get truck scale score boards & unmanned weighing systems too. Thanks