What sensor output should I choose to work with arduino? (easy answer i hope!!)

warning, complete noobie


I'm just new to using Arduino, I plan to use one to save sensor data to an SD card for a project I'll be working on that measures the movement of bike suspension over time.

This is the LVDT displacement sensor I'll be using : http://www.gpsandsensor.com/h-pd-1158-0_304_10_-1.html

Question : After speaking to the company, they said that the output can either be resistance, current or voltage output. If I plan to run 2 of these sensors into the Arduino what output should I choose???

Thanks for the help, any additional information too would be a great help. (I'm a mechanical engineer student, electronics is quite a new concept!!!)


Your link requires a log in, and that's not something I wish to do. Can you provide a different link the LVDT? Or attach a .pdf which you have downloaded to your post.

After speaking to the company, they said that the output can either be resistance, current or voltage output.

The Arduino can not read resistance or current directly, so voltage will have to be your input. But, whether you use the output voltage directly, or convert one of the other outputs to a voltage, will depend on the specifics of the device.

Bear in mind that you can apply a voltage to one of the analog pins, and use analogRead() to get a digital output representing (proportionally) the voltage. There are several ways to interpret that reading, based on how you select analogReference(). Also, if your sensor operates over a voltage range exceeding the supply voltage to the Arduino, you'll need a voltage divider to make sure that the input to the analog pin stays within arduino power supply range.

Probably voltage, but we can't see the specs on the sensor you're talking about without login info so it's really hard for us to say for sure.

Hello all, thank you kindly for your replies, I greatly appreciate it.

Apologies for the duff link, I have attached the only data sheet there is for the sensor to this message.

Page 13 of the pdf (or page 12 of the actual document) shows the specifications available for the “WYJ micro hinged type linear displacement sensor” I wish to use. There is no output information I can find, but the options of resistance, current and voltage are available as noted before.

I hope this answers some of your questions. As far as I understand so far, as long as the voltage input isn’t too great for the board it can be used. If not the current or resistance may have to be specified, then transformed to a voltage the board can handle.

I appreciate your time helping, thank you!!


Displacement Sensor Catalog.pdf (623 KB)

If the resistance is a 3 pin connection, that would be a good choice. Ground, 5VDC and the center tap or wiper to an analog input. Your resolution will be fully dependent upon the resolution of the analog input in any way that you choose but using 4-20 mA, you loose some resolution due to the 0 to 4 mA. The resistance will give you more accuracy than the voltage out due to having to do having to make a voltage divider divider in my opinion.

Cross-posted in "Sensors".


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