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Homework Help: Resistive Wire Selection For Linear Potentiometer

  1. Aug 31, 2012 #1
    I'm trying to build a ball and beam balance control system. I was thinking of using a metallic ball and two wires to make a linear potentiometer to give the ball's position. I'm not sure what to use as the resistive wire. Most wire I find doesn't seem to provide a sizable amount of resistance. I know I can amplify the output but I also want my system to be less susceptible to noise and accurate. I would also be open to other suggestions as to what I can use as a position sensor for the ball on the beam. Could someone post a link to some good material to use for the resistive wire? The length of the beam is only 8 inches and the ball has a 5/16" diameter. Thank you for any help.

    REF: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_and_beam
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Maybe look into graphite rods (pencil leads).

  4. Sep 1, 2012 #3


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    Gold Member


    but check the minimium range for this sensor as your beam is shorter.
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