Interfacing Encoder+Load Cell via Arduino for a torsion testing machine project


I'm relatively new to the arduino hardware (and the community). I've attended a session for arduino use which taught me most of the basics in one go. What I will be trying to do is feed load cell signal (and encoder signal) into a PC through the arduino. Both are part of a torsion testing machine which is a project I'm working on in a mechanical engineering course. The load cell's excitation is 10V, and it outputs 2mV, for which I will be using a DC amplifier (DR7DC). The amplifier provides 3 to 10 V output.

The encoder is a rotary encoder giving out 500 pulses per revolution. What I need is a reliable way of logging this data for the user to view (and potentially remove error by zeroing if needed). How would an encoder signal be acquired through a sketch?

Since the voltages are not too high, the signals will be read as analog through the arduino.... I'm not sure how the encoder and amplifier are to be hooked up to the arduino, though. Another problem is that ideally I want to make the data readable by a user who may or may not be familiar with programming in C or Java....

Any advice? Thanks in advance.


is it this one? i would use a voltage divider (10kR and 100kR or so) and the internal ADC reference (appr. 1.1V)...

i didnt understand where the pulses come from... but there is a function pulseIn() that can interpret PWM signals...

here is a reference of some functions that might be useful:

the measurements can be displayed easily via the serial interface of the arduino IDE... but that would be without graphix and without color... maybe u want to write a GUI that interfaces the serial interface on one end and the GUI on the other end...


Yeah, that’s the amplifier. Since I’m working on a tight budget, I can’t change the amplifier choice…but I’m assuming that there would be no problem with AREF on the arduino seeing as I can get the output to be from 0 to 3 V. The encoder apparently uses a system identical to PWM for measurement of rotation parameters.

I’m getting the load cell and amplifier soon and I’ll see how it works with the arduino. Thanks for the feedback.