Signals from sensors such as strain gages, thermocouples, accelerometers and RTDs are small, often noisy and always hard to measure. Signal conditioning instruments improve accuracy by filtering, amplifying and linearizing these sensor outputs. When excitation is needed — as for strain gages and RTDs — a signal conditioner delivers a clean input to help maximize output signal quality.
Building on decades of experience with strain gages, S. Himmelstein and Company has engineered a range of high-performance single- and dual-channel signal conditioners. These will maximize the quality of results from any data-acquisition system.
Understanding Signal Conditioning Equipment
Many measurement devices output very small current, voltage or frequency signals. A signal conditioner brings these outputs within a range that the acquisition equipment can handle. That usually involves amplification, though sometimes attenuation is needed. At the same time, conditioning removes spurious or unwanted noise without adding to or subtracting from the signal. This improves signal quality to better ensure accurate and repeatable data capture and analysis.
The Wheatstone bridge arrangement used in strain gages is an example. Without conditioning, accurate and repeatable measurement would be impossible. In addition to sensor excitation, the strain gage conditioner provides amplification and filtering that boosts the signal to usable levels.
Other Applications for Signal Conditioning Instruments
Any sensor producing a small output needs signal conditioning. Examples include pulse output speed pickups, flow meters, LVDTs, and rotary and linear encoders. These are widely used in process control and often form a key component of PID systems. Load cells are another example — as is any voltage output transducer or current output device.
The Strain Gage Signal Conditioner
While useful in numerous instrumentation and data-acquisition applications, our signal conditioners incorporate the experience gained through decades of strain gage engineering. The heart of torque measurement systems — precise control over excitation voltage — is essential, as this drives the change in output voltage.
S. Himmelstein and Company torque measurement systems use non-contact signal transfer techniques (rotary transformers, optical transmission, wireless digital) to provide excitation voltage to the torque sensor and receive the data output signals. With the extremely low voltages involved, this requires a highly specialized strain gage signal conditioner for accurate torque measurement.
Precision Signal Conditioning Instruments
We design and build a range of single- and two-channel signal conditioners. These feature clear displays for ease of setup and built-in data acquisition and control functions. Our signal conditioners support an extensive range of measurement devices through features such as:
- Auto-scaled selectable voltage and current analog output
- Serial communications interface
- User-assignable logic I/O
Contact us today to learn more.