7 Reasons why you should upgrade to FUTEK’s USB

USB Comparison between USB225 and USB220

7 Reasons why you should upgrade to FUTEK’s USB – the blog.  FUTEK have recently released their new USB225.  It is part of the USB Series of digital strain gauge signal conditioners.  These exciting new products have changed the way for measurement electronics.  But are they right for your needs?  Brandon King who is the Software Development Engineer at FUTEK – lays it out on the table in this blog.  To view the original article, click here.

7 Reasons why you should upgrade to FUTEK’s USB

  1. Ease of use with “Plug and Play”

Brandon says the first reason why you should consider the USB series is for its ease of use.  It is a plug and play system.  A traditional set up consists of a sensor, an amplifier and instrument to read the voltage – such as a data acquisition system or digital multimeter.  However, the USB replaces those components.  You just need a sensor and an USB module that connects directly to your computer.

USB Comparison between USB225 and USB220
  1. The USB makes your system streamlined and portable

By removing the traditional amplifier or data acquisition system and replacing with the USB system it makes your system very streamline and portable.  The USB has all that functionality in one small package.  Therefore, making it ideal for one-off type applications in a laboratory type environment.  A quick and convenient way to plug in and start taking measurements immediately.

  1. Other benefits include size, performance and quality

The USB is half or one third the size of comparable devices on the market.  Plus, they have a lot of capabilities such as built-in fault detection, enhanced accuracy, performance and stability with non-linearity of less than 0.002%.  FUTEK are the manufacturer and in complete control of the production process.  Their team designs the USBs, develops them, tests them and calibrates them.  They don’t outsource this aspect like many other manufacturers do. They have mapped out a chart which highlights the differences and capabilities between the USB models.

  1. The Chart

Key FeaturesUSB220 (previous version)USB225 (newest version)
Fault DetectionNoYes
On-Board Temperature MeasurementNoYes
Shunt (kὨ)60.443/60, 4/150
Min. Sampling Rate (SPS)52.5
Max. Sampling Rate (SPS)4,8004,800
Max. Noise Free Resolution Bits17.8 at 3.4 mV/V20 at 5mV/V
Input Range at Maximum Gain (mV/V)±3.4±16
Non-Linearity (% of FSR)±0.005%±0.002%
Temperature Stability / Drift (ppm/°C)105
  1. You can use the USB for other applications than testing measurements

The USBs can be used in applications that are in larger systems. For example, those that design automation or use some feedback and control.  However, in those cases you may not be able use FUTEK’s SENSIT Software.  USB225 requires the latest version of SENSIT Software which is currently SENSIT 2.7. You may need to develop a custom software to communicate with FUTEK devices.  Good News is that FUTEK have software libraries than you can use to communicate with the USBs.

  1. You don’t have to use FUTEK sensors to use the USB Series in your system

The USBs will take any millivolt per volt (mV/V) input, it doesn’t matter who the manufacturer is.

  1. It is easy to switch over from your existing system to this one

It is simple to switch over.  Firstly, your sensor connects directly to the USB module.

  • Connect sensor to the USB
  • Plug into the Computer
  • Computer should automatically recognise the USB device

Also, the USB225, comes with a mating connector – you can use this to integrate your sensor.  It is small and compact.  Even easier to work with than the USB220 Connector.  However, FUTEK also offer a service to do the integration for you.  They also provide system calibrations for more accurate results.

To find out more or learn how you can change over, contact us.