# Transducer terminology question

• StonieJ
In summary, the output signal of the transducer in this scenario is voltage, which is measured by a DMM. The transducer is the "big picture" and the sensing system is the potentiometer, which changes its resistance. There are various types of output signals, but the most common are voltage and current, with the output signal in this case being voltage.
StonieJ
If you have a rotary potentiometer that measures the amount of angular displacement, what would you say the output signal of the transducer is? I'm unsure if it's resistance or voltage. A change in angular displacement changes the point of contact within the potentiometer, which directly affects its resistance. However, in our case, we are measuring the change in voltage over the potentiometer with a DMM. Actually, there is a list of parameters we need to figure out, and this is what I've come up with.

Input Signal to Transducer: angular displacement
Output Signal from Transducer: voltage
Output device: DMM
Output of the sensing system: resistance

I'm mainly just confused with the many different types of output. I would think the transducer is the "big picture" (of which our important quantity is voltage), while the sensing system is the potentiometer itself, which changes its resistance. Then I just figured that the output device is whatever your measuring the change with.

StonieJ said:
I'm mainly just confused with the many different types of output. I would think the transducer is the "big picture" (of which our important quantity is voltage), while the sensing system is the potentiometer itself, which changes its resistance. Then I just figured that the output device is whatever your measuring the change with.

You're pretty much correct. Even though the pot. is a variable resistor, you power it so that you get a variable voltage as the actual output signal. The voltage has a lot of benefits, especially if you have to carry that signal over a distance or if you don't have resistance measuring devices.

The two transducer outputs you'll see the most of are voltage and current outputs. The standard current output is a 4-20 mA signal. There are others such as a frequency outputs.

To answer your original question, the output signal is a voltage signal. The signal you actually measure is what that refers to, not the physical "thing" you are measuring, like angular displacement.

It seems like you have a good understanding of the different components involved in this transducer system. The output signal from the transducer is indeed voltage, as this is what is being measured with the DMM. The resistance of the potentiometer is a crucial aspect of the transducer, as it is what is being changed by the angular displacement and ultimately affects the output voltage. The DMM is simply the device used to measure the output voltage, so it can be considered the output device. Overall, it is important to understand the different parameters and components involved in a transducer system in order to accurately interpret and utilize the output signal.

## What is a transducer?

A transducer is a device that converts one form of energy into another. In the context of electronics, a transducer converts a physical quantity, such as temperature or pressure, into an electrical signal.

## What are the different types of transducers?

There are several types of transducers, including resistive, capacitive, inductive, and piezoelectric. Each type uses a different mechanism to convert energy, and is suitable for different applications.

## What is the difference between a sensor and a transducer?

A sensor is a type of transducer that measures a physical quantity and converts it into an electrical signal. However, not all transducers are sensors, as some transducers may convert energy into other forms besides electrical signals.

## What is a transducer's sensitivity?

A transducer's sensitivity refers to its ability to accurately detect and measure small changes in the input physical quantity. It is typically measured in units of volts per unit of input, such as volts per degree Celsius or volts per pound.

## What is the difference between analog and digital transducers?

Analog transducers output a continuous signal that varies in response to changes in the input physical quantity. Digital transducers, on the other hand, output discrete signals that represent specific values or ranges of the input quantity. This can make digital transducers more precise and less susceptible to noise, but they may also require additional processing to convert the signal to a usable form.

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