Ixthus Instrumentation has expanded its range of force and load cell instrumentation accessories with two high performance digital strain gauge signal conditioning modules from its USA distribution partner Strainsert Inc. Aimed at measurement tasks where accuracy, resolution, and stability are essential, the new products include a single channel option with USB connectivity and a model for single or multichannel strain gauge signal conditioning with optional RS-232, RS-485 or CAN outputs and a choice of ASCII, Modbus or CAN protocols. Both new products are supported with comprehensive software tools allowing straightforward interfacing, configuration and calibration including a Windows DLL for building custom applications.
The DSC digital strain gauge module, supplied as a single channel PCB format package or combined in customised enclosures for multiple sensor measurement tasks, provides up to 500 readings per second. With a user programmable signal filter, the module is suitable for 4-wire bridge measurement with a nominal 5 V excitation voltage, and bridge resistance from 320 to 5000 Ohms (350 Ohms typical) with a typical sensitivity 2.5 mV/V. Standard single and multichannel modules are available for RS232 and RS485 output with ASCII or Modbus protocols, or CAN output using the CAN 2.0B protocol Single modules require an external 12 V DC power source at 450 mW typical for a 350 Ohm bridge.
The USB interfaced version, (DSCUSB) is powered from its USB port and a simple ‘plug and measure’ feature allows direct connection to a PC, appearing as a virtual COM port. Where multiple USB ports are available, multi-channel use is possible. At 200 samples per second at 18 bits noise free resolution, the module outputs an ASCII protocol. In combination with the software toolkit, the module can cater for correction of non-linear sensors. The compact ABS plastic enclosure (71 x 51 x 20 mm) has an IP50 rating and is also available with a DIN-rail mounting kit.
Both DSC and DSCUSB digital strain gauge modules share common specifications for temperature stability, linearity and resolution. Detailed specification sheets are available from Ixthus Instrumentation who can assist UK and Ireland customers with application engineering and customised system integration for multi-channel measurement tasks.