How to connect an industrial lenght transducer with arduino

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  1. The sensor

Recently, i received from my workplace a lenght transducer, wich is mecanical broken (a screw is damaged). I don’t know the type and neighter the output form (standardized 0-10 volts or 4-20 mA), but we can discover.

A picture of the transducer is presented below:


It has a 3 pin connector also standardized 1-Vcc (brown wire), 3-GND (blue wire) and 4 -signal (black wire).Because i dont have an m8 connector, i used wires – but not with the colors presented above. Also, those types of sensors are using around 24V on industrial machinery but also they have a range of voltage input; i use mine on 18 V.

The lenght of measurable distance is from 0 to 55 mm.

2.The output signal

Because i don’t know the type of my sensor i have to find the type, so after i connect the sensor with pin 1 of the connector at 18 V, pin 3 at GND, between the pin 4 and GND i measure the voltage. When i push the metal bar of the sensor the voltage remain constant so, it is not on the 0-10 volt output.

After i found that the output signal is 4-20mA, the question is how to measure this value with arduino? Between pin 4 and GND, i connected an 100ohms resistor, knowing that at 4mA we have a 0.4V voltage drop on resistor and at 20mA we have 2 volts, values that an arduino can read with analog read function.

Below is a simple schematic on how i connected the sensor:

lenght transducer

3. Conversion of the signal

We know that the leng is from 0 to 55 mm and the output signal is from 4 to 20 mA, so at 0 mm is 4 mA signal and at 55mm-20mA. To convert this current in lenght i used the next method:

The lenght interval beteween 4 to 20mA is equal to 16 mA(20-4).The lenght inteval betwen 0mm and 55 mm is equal to 55 mm(55-0), so on 16mA we have 55 mm.

Example (also in the picture below):

lenght transducer calculus

At 10.6mA we have an interval equal with 10.6-4=6.6mA, this values represent a percentage from the entire interval of 16mA, so 6.6/16mA=0.4125 from the entire interval.

Because we know that for 16mA we have 55 mm, 0.4125 from above is the corresponding distance which is 0.4125×55=22.68mm.

So, basically discover how much represents the tested value from the entire interval.

linear transducer

A video with simple check on the transducer:


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