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Steering angle sensor

Discussion in 'Misc Electronics' started by Chump, Oct 23, 2004.

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  1. Chump

    Chump Guest

    I'm looking to make a steering angle sensor for my data acquisition
    system in my race car. I basically need to translate the movement of
    the steering wheel into voltage read by the logger unit.

    The logger provides a 5v reference signal so I figured I could send
    that signal through a potentiometer then back to the unit.

    most commerical units available ($$$) use a system of pulleys driven
    off of the movement of the steering shaft itself.

    some questions -

    what type of pot would be good for this application. I understand
    audio ones are not linear enough?

    Anyone have any idea where I can get different sized pulleys to go on
    the end of the pot?

    any other tips advice or different ways of doing it?


  2. You could linearise with a microcontroller; if the potentiometer
    has _repeatable_ non-linearity.
    Optical or reluctance encoding off the steering shaft.

    You could also do it "indirectly" by measuring the linear
    translation of the steering rack, with potentiometer, linear encoder
    using optical, potentiometer, inductive, or capacititative
  3. Gerard Bok

    Gerard Bok Guest

    Wouldn't go that way. Potmeters are just not suitable for neither
    the job nor the environment.

    Other options:
    - Magnet on the steering wheel axis and some hall sensors.
    - Slit disk mounted / coupled to the steering wheel and 2 optical
    Drive carefully :)
  4. Al

    Al Guest

    Try this. Print out a strip of paper with alternating black bars on it.
    It should be long enough to fit around your shaft. You need two sets of
    bars which are shifted by 90 deg from each other.

    You use two optical sensors to detect the bars as they pass under them.
    You count the transistion to find out where you are with respect to your
    zero or rest point. You use the phase differences between the two sets
    of bars to determine direction of rotation.

    The only physical things you need to do are to attache the paper strip
    to the shaft and to affix the sensor securely. There will be no physical
    interference between your shaft and a complex mechanical system of
    pulleys, therefore it will be safe.

    Oh, and the thickness of the bars will depend upon the resolution you

  5. CWatters

    CWatters Guest

    or just strap a mouse to it.
  6. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

    To get the reliability you need you'll probably have to go to an
    environmentally sealed precision pot which can stand to live in an
    automotive environment.

    Bourns comes to mind, and you might want to check|7163299|3132787

    for some likely candidates.
  7. tango4

    tango4 Guest

    For curiousity sake.... how much do these commercial units go for? Why?
    Lots - several thousand dollars to 10's of K ( Formula 1 style )

    Small market. Heavy environment.
  8. tango4

    tango4 Guest

  9. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

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