Advice on a load cell sensor

I want a pinion-style load cell to tell if a mast has been placed at a station. If enough weight is applied I want a signal to be broadcasted (digital signal) to know when the mast is there. If this makes sense. I do not know if this type even exists. The picture is a little blurry but it is the silver pinion in the picture normally used to control the height of the arms. Mast (gray) is sitting on top. image

1 Like

A pinion-style load cell sensor is an ideal solution for determining whether a mast has been installed at a station.

Here’s an extensive overview to help you understand the procedure and choose the proper load cell for your application:

Understanding Pinion-style Load Cells

Pinion-style load cells are intended to measure force (or) weight at a specified spot, making them excellent for applications that require accurate weight measurement. In that case, the load cell will identify when the mast is positioned by measuring the weight applied to the pinion.

Key Features

Capacity & Range

Make sure the load cell can support the weight of the mast. Check the maximum load capacity and choose a load cell that can easily measure the mast’s weight without going over its limit.

Accuracy & Sensitivity

It is crucial to identify whether the mast is in place. Check for a load cell with high precision & sensitivity that can detect even little weight changes.

Digital Signal Output

Because you require a digital signal to show the mast’s presence, select a load cell with the digital output capabilities. This enables the load cell to transmit a clear signal to your monitoring system if the mast is installed.

Environmental Conditions

Consider the conditions in which the load cell will operate. Check if it is resilient and can endure any exposure to factors such as moisture, dust, (or) temperature changes.

Installation & Setup

Mounting the Load Cell

Securely attach the load cell beneath the pinion, where the mast will rest. To precisely measure weight, ensure that it is properly positioned.

Wire & Connectivity

Connect the load cell to your control system utilizing the necessary wire. If you use a digital load cell, be sure it meets your system’s input criteria.


Calibrate the load cell to achieve precise measurements. Follow the manufacturer’s calibration instructions, which often include applying known weights & adjusting the output.

Before full deployment, thoroughly test the load cell to ensure it accurately identifies the mast’s location and transmits the correct digital signal.

Recommended Load Cell Models

Several manufacturers provide load cells appropriate for this use.

Here are some preferred models:

Honeywell Model 53

Known for its precision & dependability, it has digital output options and is designed to survive extreme conditions.

Vishay Precision Group (VPG) Model 1242

This load cell provides high precision and digital output, making it perfect for weight monitoring applications.

Interface SSMF

A reliable option with digital signal capabilities, ideal for industrial applications that require high precision.


Utilizing a pinion-style load cell to detect mast installation is a potential option. Reliable detection & signaling can be achieved by taking crucial elements such as capacity, precision, & digital output into account, as well as assuring correct installation and calibration. Consult with load cell manufacturers to determine which product is best suited to your application.

I am trying to find a solution where the pinion itself is the load cell.