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Using a sensor to measure an angle.

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Using a sensor to measure an angle A potentiometer or potential divider is a device, which can be used to measure certain type of data. It consists of a moving contact, which can pass along a surface of high resistance. When it does this the resistant output changes and as a result this can be used to measure things, such as distances or angles, as long as the device can be applied to either a rotary potentiometer or liner potentiometer. Current I = V/R V=voltage R= resistance I have researched that radio and hi-fi systems rely on potentiometers to adjust volume levels. On an old radio there is often a scratchy sounds as you turn the volume knob. This is because the signal from the radios is controlled by tapping off part of it with a sliding contact moving along the surface of high resistance. It works by having the signal from the radio - a varying potential difference - across the whole resistance, but the signal to the speaker is then taken from across only a part of the whole resistance. The scratchy noise on an old radio may come from dirt on the surface of high resistance, which briefly spoils the contact as the slider moves. ...read more.


However I then realized that my sensor had slipped slightly making my results in accurate. I then re-adjusted my equipment and took down the results again. This time it was clear to see a positive and similar measure of results. Its is clear to see that from my results I managed to achieve constant readings between to angle of 40 and 160 with a difference of 20 volts of each change of 10 degrees making it a very measure reading. Between 0 and 20 I was un-able to achieve a reading this is most likely because the high resistance wire within the device was no longer in contact with the sliding contact. As a result the circuit was incomplete so I got no reading. From looking at the graph I have drawn it is easy to see a correlation between voltage and degrees. Between 1.4 and 3.9 volts I have come up with a formula of (2.8 - the voltage reading) x 50 to give you the angle of degrees from vertical. Therefore you are now able to tell at what angle you have pivoted the device by looking at the voltage reading then reading the angle off the graph or by calculating it using the formula. ...read more.


One major thing I would like to have improved with my experiment and result was the amount of possible human error. Though I a class room this is hard to avoid I believe I could have taken a lot more measurements to check my results. Though all together I believe the experiment went well and my results are good reflections of that. In conclusion, I have managed to construct a calibration graph that would enable me to work out the angle at which an object is leaning by knowing the voltage. An example of a device like this being used in commercial industry or construction could be at the top of cranes or tall buildings. Current uses of devices similar to this are likely to be found at the top of tall skyscrapers to measure the amount of sway due to wind. In modern skyscrapers they are now linked up computer that in turn is linked up with counterbalancing weights that try to prevent excess lean. If the builds where to lean to much then they would be likely to put the structure under to much stress and as a result they may fall over. ...read more.

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