Getting Started with Load Cells

Contributors: Sarah Al-Mutlaq
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Combinator Basics

But what happens when you don't have a load cell with four strain gauges? Or you want to measure something really heavy on something scale like? You can combine four single strain gauge load cells (sometimes referred to as Load sensors) using the load sensor combinator breakout board!

Load Sensors from a Bathroom Scale

Bathroom scale using the Load Sensor Combinator to combine twelve wires into one wheatstone bridge

Using the same wheatstone bridge principle, you can use the combinator to combine the single strain gauge load cells into a wheatstone bridge configuration where the force applied to all four single strain gauge load cells is added to give you a higher maximum load, and better accuracy than just one. The combinator can be hooked up to the same amplifier for easier measuring.

Four Load Cells Connected to Combinator and HX711 Amplifier

Load cells connected to combinator and HX711 amplifier

This is the same layout that you would find in say your home scale. There would be four single strain gauge load cells hooked up to a combinator and an amplifier to give you your weight reading. For more information about setting up the four single strain gauges with the combinator, check out the combinator's hardware hookup for the HX711. This setup can also be used with the NAU7802.

Singe Strain Load Sensors Connected in Wheatstone Bridge Configuration using Combinator
Four Single Strain Gauges Arranged in a Wheatstone Bridge with the Combinator