Potentiometers and tilt angle measurement

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by pleeds, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. pleeds

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 20, 2016
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    Hi,

    I'm a PhD student in Design and I'm looking to construct a platform which tilts and the angle of its rotation to be measured. I know very very little about electronics and cannot figure out how I'd use a potentiometer to read the angle of the tilt (apart from translating its voltage to an angle). Any ones explanation or help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. jpanhalt

    Expert

    Jan 18, 2008
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    A digital rotary encoder may give finer measurements, more reproducibility, and be easier to implement.

    John
     
  3. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
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    "Apart from translating its voltage to an angle?" IMHO, that would be the most direct method.

    Are you manually tilting the platform? If not, what controls it's movement?

    How would you measure the pots value (and hence the tilt in degrees)? With a microcontroller? What do you want to do with the output?

    Can you code?

    Can you provide more detail at a block level as to what you see so far?

    I would use a microcontroller and two analog pins. First, I'd write a short program to calibrate the pots in angles. Secondly, I'd attach an LCD screen to display the results. The formula to convert the reading to an angle is developed the same as determining the formula of a line through two points. High School math.
     
  4. pleeds

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 20, 2016
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    Hi, thanks. I can't code! I'm trying to find externally someone who can and can help. The platform will be tilting with a 0.9 deg stepping motor and I want to use the tilt platform to measure the angle at which water droplets roll off fabric. I'm just trying to find out how the tilt angle could be measured and what other items I might need.
     
  5. jpanhalt

    Expert

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Are you talking about tilt in one dimension or multiple dimensions? I should have asked that question first. Your comment about using a pot for a tilt table made me assume you meant just one dimension, as for example a single-axis tilt table used by a machinist. If you are talking about tilt in free space, then you may want to consider an accelerometer which reads tilt relative to gravity. Smart phones typically have such a sensor built in.

    While a pot and voltage source are simple in concept, it is quite easy to get 14-bit accuracy with a rotary encoder. That would probably be harder to get with a pot.

    What accuracy do you need?

    John
     
  6. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Just attach a smartphone to it. They all contain 3 dimensional accelerometers these days and angle-reading apps are available.
     
    GopherT likes this.
  7. Bernard

    Expert

    Aug 7, 2008
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    Another choice would be to count stepper pulses. If finer than .9 deg. / step, the stepper can be geared down to say 10 pulses / deg. A micro switch would indicate a horizontal table , providing a counter reset.
     
  8. BR-549

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 22, 2013
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    What is to size of the platform?
     
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