Why USB Load Cells?


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Advantages of USB load cells over conventional analog load cells.

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Why USB Load Cells?

  1. 1. Why USB Load Cells? During the 1980s the advent of PCs and PDAs made computing power ubiquitous and affordable. Billions of PC and PDAs are now in use. During the 1990s - the arrival of the Internet revolution made communications between PCs and PDAs and mobile phones possible. In a matter of a decade, billions of users are now connected to the Internet via PC and other hand held devices. Some manufacturers believed that sensors that can be easily connected to PCs and the Internet will become more powerful and help 'sense' the world and provide usable data to make the world a better place. For e.g. temperature sensors that turn and off heaters/coolers to optimize energy use. Loadstar Sensors were the first company to offer digital load cells with high level PC friendly digital output! Loadstar’s USB load cells were the first one to offer connectivity to a PC using a USB port of a PC in 2006. The USB Protocol was developed to make it easier to connect external devices to a PC replacing the earlier serial and parallel ports provided at the back of a PC. The USB protocol simplified the task of connecting and configuring various peripheral devices such as a keyboard, mouse, webcam and other devices. The simplicity and plug and play nature of the protocol led to wider adoption by non computer oriented applications as well. This became even more important when the RS-232 Serial ports that were common - became outdated and PC manufacturers stopped making PCs with Serial ports. Conventional analog load cells require the following steps before it can be connected to a PC: Power regulation Amplification Digitization Software Calibration Digital Protocol conversion Conventional analog load cells tend to be expensive and difficult to use. Compared to resistive load cells Loadstar Sensors products offer: End to end solution (hardware and software integrated into a single package) Power supplied by PCs USB port Sensor shows up as COM port on a PC Calibrated load information from the sensor (no need for conversion by end user) Results shown in Lbs in ASCII format ASCII command set for ease of software integration LoadVUE software with logging/plotting capability
  2. 2. Loadstar digital load cells with USB or wireless outputs include: iLoad Low Profile load cells iLoad TR Tilt Resistant load cells iLoad Mini Miniature load cells iLoad Pro Professional grade load cells In addition, Loadstar offers DI-100U and DI-1000U digital load cell interfaces that work with conventional resistive load cells with mV/V outputs and provide the same kind of digital output as capacitive load cells. Loadstar wireless load cell solutions further improve the usability of load cells in field applications. Readings can be taken in a remote location and read by a computer located away from the test site. With a wireless hub, measurements can be taken from several locations and viewed from a different location halfway around the world!