Hacking the DC Magnetometer

21 09 2009

Today I hacked the Alpha Labs magnetometer to add an interface for the DAQ. Here is the finished product:

IMG_4072

Here is how:

First I got some info from the manufacturer:

DCM output instructions

Easy! Now we cut a shape out of prototype PCB by scoring and snapping:

IMG_4052

I used a small circle file to remove the corners we cannot score and snap:

IMG_4054

Here is the finished PCB fragment:

IMG_4058

Next we solder in some jumpers, mount the piece and solder the cable tie-downs to secure the assembly:

IMG_4062

And wire it all up:

IMG_4070

I plugged it into a differential channel on the DAQ and…

SUCCESS!

We have a DC magnetometer sending data to the computer. Regarding interpreting the results, Andrew from Alpha Labs says:

The Gauss conversion to output voltage is 200mV at full scale. So if you are in the 20,000 range and you are reading 5000 Gauss, your output should be 50mV. If you are in the 2000 Gauss range reading 1500 Gauss, your output should be 150mV. So the output jack gains by 10 WITH the range control switch.

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