IoT Industrial Scale
What does a baby elephant weigh?* How much impact force does a jump have?? How can you tell if a rain barrel is full without looking inside??? Answer all these questions and more by building your very own Internet of Things (“IoT”) industrial scale using the SparkFun OpenScale board!
This project is intended for folks with a lil' bit of background using Arduino or other microcontrollers. But, whether this is your first or 137th project, check out the links in the Suggested Reading section below (and throughout the tutorial) or leave a comment if you have any questions!
Read time: ~ 15 min.
Build time: Approx. 2 - 3 hours
*To weigh a baby elephant, you might need to be a zookeeper or otherwise have an elephant friend.. but you could always weigh Fido and/or kitty!
For all you visual learners, check out a video of the project below:
To follow along and build your own scale, all the parts used have been listed for your convenience.
- Open Scale (+ mini USB to USB cable)
- Four (4) Load Cells (or strain gauges depending on needs and budget)
- Particle Photon microcontroller or other data logger (+ micro USB to USB cable)
- Breadboard (or PCB board)
- 22 gauge stranded wire (breadboard wires also work)
To make the system wireless:
All these parts can be found in the wish list below.
Scale and Casing
- Terminal blocks (5)
- Three (3) M3 screws per load cell (total of 12)
- One (1) project case (to protect the electronics)
- One (1) base board, and one (1) top board (for the scale platform)
- My base board was ~ 16" x 16" and my top board was ~ 12" x 14".
- Both boards should be sturdy and not flex or dent.
- Wood slats to frame the sides of the top board to hold it in place.
- Four (4) feet for base
Before getting started with this project, you may want to read up on some of the components and tools used throughout.
Serial Terminal Basics
OpenScale Applications and Hookup Guide
Getting Started with Load Cells
As usual, don’t forget to read the Datasheet for the Load Cells and any other components you with to use in your project.