Force sensor monitors brake-pedal pressure

Sept. 8, 2009
Pedal-force load sensor has no need of external analog amplifiers, power supplies, or display equipment — it’s all handled through a USB computer port.

Edited by Robert Repas
[email protected]

Key points:
•  The LAU220 sends measurement data via a USB connector.
•  USB computer-based measurements are less affected by noise and temperature variation, nor need a separate power supply.

Resources:
Futeck Advanced Sensor Technology Inc., www.futek.com

Pedal-force load cells are commonly used in cars and trucks to measure brake-pedal force measurement and as a high-precision trigger for brake-testing equipment. Though specifically designed to measure the force needed to operate a vehicle’s brake, clutch, or floor-mounted emergency brake pedals, the LAU220 Pedal Force Load Cell by Futek Advanced Sensor Technology Inc., Irvine, Calif., is adaptable to measure any pedal-based pressure. It comes with two different mounting plates to ease installations, along with a shunt cal resistor and carrying case.

The LAU220 sends its measurement data via a USB connector. The USB output eliminates the need for external analog amplifiers, power supplies, and display equipment, thus simplifying usage. The plug-and-play device also provides direct computer-based measurements less affected by noise, temperature, or the need of a separate power supply. The load cell comes with Futek’s USB software that lets technicians monitor sensor output in real time.

The low-profile design, which weighs 16 oz (454 gm), features a stainless-steel, one-piece construction and an off-center loading error of less than ±1%. Its metal-foil strain gage is compensated from 60 to 160°F, but has an operating temperature range that spans −60 to 200°F. The LAU series is also available with a TEDS/IEEE 1451.4 option.

About the Author

Robert Repas

Robert serves as Associate Editor - 6 years of service. B.S. Electrical Engineering, Cleveland State University.

Work experience: 18 years teaching electronics, industrial controls, and instrumentation systems at the Nord Advanced Technologies Center, Lorain County Community College. 5 years designing control systems for industrial and agricultural equipment. Primary editor for electrical and motion control.

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