DCell
DSC
DCell & DSC
Strain Gauge or Load Cell Embedded Digitiser
Module – 2nd Generation
Software Version 3 onwards
User Manual
mantracourt.com
Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction ................................................................................................................. 4
Overview ................................................................................................................................... 4
Key Features ............................................................................................................................... 4
Special Facilities .......................................................................................................................... 5
Version 3 Additions and Enhancements ............................................................................................... 5
Version 4 Additions and Enhancements ............................................................................................... 6
The Product Range ....................................................................................................................... 6
Which Device To Use ..................................................................................................................... 6
Additional DCell & DSC Variants Available ........................................................................................... 7
Some Application Examples ............................................................................................................. 8
Chapter 2 Getting Started with the Evaluation Kit ............................................................................... 9
The Evaluation Kit ........................................................................................................................ 9
Contents .................................................................................................................................... 9
Checking the Device Protocol Type and Station Number ......................................................................... 10
Connecting Up The Evaluation Kit For RS485 ....................................................................................... 10
Connecting Up The Evaluation Kit For RS232 ....................................................................................... 10
Initial Checks ............................................................................................................................. 11
Instrument Explorer ..................................................................................................................... 11
What Can Instrument Explorer Do? ................................................................................................... 11
Installing Instrument Explorer ......................................................................................................... 11
Running the Instrument Explorer Software .......................................................................................... 11
Instrument Explorer Icon ............................................................................................................... 12
Instrument Explorer Window .......................................................................................................... 12
Instrument Settings...................................................................................................................... 13
Viewing Device Data .................................................................................................................... 14
Instrument Explorer Parameter List .................................................................................................. 14
Connecting a Load Cell ................................................................................................................. 15
DSJ1 Evaluation Board Sensor Connections ......................................................................................... 16
Performing A System Calibration ..................................................................................................... 17
Sys Calibration, Table method ........................................................................................................ 18
Sys Calibration, Auto Method .......................................................................................................... 19
Chapter 3 Explanation of Category Items ......................................................................................... 22
Communications ......................................................................................................................... 22
Station Number, STN .................................................................................................................... 22
Baud rate Control, BAUD ............................................................................................................... 23
Reset: New For Version 4 (DSC Only) ................................................................................................. 23
DSC Issue 3 pcb or Higher .............................................................................................................. 23
Communications Failure Count, CFCT ............................................................................................... 24
Output Format Controls, DP and DPB (ASCII ONLY) ................................................................................ 24
Information ............................................................................................................................... 24
Software Version, VER .................................................................................................................. 24
Serial Number, SERL and SERH ........................................................................................................ 24
Strain Gauge .............................................................................................................................. 25
mV/V output, MVV....................................................................................................................... 25
Nominal mV/V level, NMVV ............................................................................................................ 25
mV/V Output In Percentage Terms, ELEC ........................................................................................... 25
Temperature Value, TEMP ............................................................................................................. 25
Output Rate Control, RATE ............................................................................................................ 25
Dynamic Filtering, FFST and FFLV .................................................................................................... 25
Cell ......................................................................................................................................... 27
Temperature Compensation In Brief ................................................................................................. 27
Cell Scaling, CGAI, COFS ............................................................................................................... 27
Cell Limits, CMIN, CMAX ................................................................................................................ 28
Linearisation In Brief .................................................................................................................... 29
System ..................................................................................................................................... 29
System Scaling, SGAI, SOFS ............................................................................................................ 29
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
System Limits, SMIN, SMAX ............................................................................................................. 30
System Zero, SZ .......................................................................................................................... 30
System Outputs, SYS, SOUT ............................................................................................................ 30
Reading Snapshot, SNAP, SYSN ........................................................................................................ 30
Control..................................................................................................................................... 31
Shunt Calibration Commands, SCON and SCOF ..................................................................................... 31
Digital Output, OPON and OPOF ...................................................................................................... 31
Flags ....................................................................................................................................... 31
Diagnostics Flags, FLAG and STAT .................................................................................................... 31
Latched Warning Flags (FLAG)......................................................................................................... 31
Dynamic Status Flags (STAT) ........................................................................................................... 32
Output Update Tracking ................................................................................................................ 33
User Storage .............................................................................................................................. 33
USR1…USR9 ............................................................................................................................... 33
Reset ....................................................................................................................................... 33
The Reset command, RST .............................................................................................................. 33
WARNING: Finite Non-Volatile Memory Life ......................................................................................... 33
Chapter 4 The Readings Process .................................................................................................... 34
Flow diagram ............................................................................................................................. 34
Cell and System Scaling................................................................................................................. 35
Calibration Parameters Summary and Defaults .................................................................................... 36
Chapter 5 Temperature Compensation ............................................................................................ 37
Purpose and Method of Temperature Compensation .............................................................................. 37
Temperature Module Connections and Mounting (DTEMP) ....................................................................... 37
DCELL connections to DTEMP .......................................................................................................... 37
DSC connections to DTEMP ............................................................................................................. 37
Control Parameters ...................................................................................................................... 38
Internal Calculation ..................................................................................................................... 38
The Temperature Measurement ....................................................................................................... 39
How to Set Up a Temperature Compensation ...................................................................................... 39
Parameter Calculations ................................................................................................................. 40
Chapter 6 Linearity Compensation ................................................................................................. 41
Purpose and Method of Linearisation ................................................................................................ 41
Control Parameters ...................................................................................................................... 41
Internal Calculation ..................................................................................................................... 41
How to Set Up Linearity Compensation .............................................................................................. 42
Parameter Calculations and Example ................................................................................................ 42
Chapter 7 Self-Diagnostics ............................................................................................................ 44
Diagnostics Flags ......................................................................................................................... 44
Diagnostics LED .......................................................................................................................... 44
Chapter 8 Communication Protocols ............................................................................................... 45
Bus Standards............................................................................................................................. 45
Serial Data Format ...................................................................................................................... 45
Communications Flow Control ......................................................................................................... 45
Communications Errors ................................................................................................................. 45
Choice of Bus Formats .................................................................................................................. 45
The RS232 Bus Standard ................................................................................................................ 45
The RS485 Bus Standard ................................................................................................................ 46
Communications Protocols ............................................................................................................. 46
Choosing a Protocol ..................................................................................................................... 46
Communications Software for the Different Protocols ............................................................................ 46
Common Features of All Protocols .................................................................................................... 47
Data Type Conversions and Rounding ................................................................................................ 47
The ASCII Protocol ....................................................................................................................... 48
Continuous Output Stream (ASCII ONLY)............................................................................................. 50
New for Version 4 ........................................................................................................................ 50
The MODBUS-RTU Protocol ............................................................................................................. 50
The Mantrabus-II Protocol .............................................................................................................. 52
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Chapter 9 Software Command Reference ......................................................................................... 55
Commands in Access Order ............................................................................................................ 55
Chapter 10 Installation ................................................................................................................ 57
Before Installation ....................................................................................................................... 57
Physical Mounting ........................................................................................................................ 57
Electrical Protection .................................................................................................................... 57
Moisture Protection ..................................................................................................................... 57
Soldering Methods ....................................................................................................................... 58
Power Supply Requirements ........................................................................................................... 58
Cable Requirements ..................................................................................................................... 58
Strain Gauge Input (DSC) ............................................................................................................... 58
Power and Communication............................................................................................................. 58
Temperature Sensor ..................................................................................................................... 59
Identifying Strain Gauge Connections ................................................................................................ 59
DCell Input Connections ................................................................................................................ 59
DSC Input Connections .................................................................................................................. 59
Identifying Bus-End Connections ...................................................................................................... 60
DCell Bus Connections .................................................................................................................. 60
DSC4-RS485 Versions-Bus Connections ............................................................................................... 60
DSC2-RS232-Bus Connections .......................................................................................................... 60
Strain Gauge Cabling and Grounding Requirements ............................................................................... 61
DCell Strain Gauge Wiring .............................................................................................................. 61
DCell Strain Gauge Wiring Arrangement ............................................................................................. 61
DSC Strain Gauge Cabling Arrangement ............................................................................................. 62
Communications Cabling and Grounding Requirements ........................................................................... 62
DCell Power and Communications Wiring ........................................................................................... 62
DSC4-RS485 Versions- Power and Communications Wiring ....................................................................... 63
DSC2-RS232 Versions Bus-End Arrangement ......................................................................................... 63
Suitable Cable Types .................................................................................................................... 64
DCell/DSC4-RS485 Versions-RS485 Bus Cable ....................................................................................... 64
Warning: Special Problems with Portable Computers ............................................................................. 64
To Avoid These Problems ............................................................................................................... 64
RS232 Bus Layout ........................................................................................................................ 64
RS485 Bus Layout ........................................................................................................................ 64
RS485 Bus Connections for Multiple DCells .......................................................................................... 65
RS485 Bus Connections for Multiple DSC RS485 Versions ......................................................................... 65
RS232 & RS485 Bus Converters ........................................................................................................ 66
Strain Gauge Sensitivity Adjustment (DSC ONLY) .................................................................................. 67
Identifying the DSC ‘Rg’ Resistor ..................................................................................................... 67
Chapter 11 Troubleshooting ......................................................................................................... 68
LED Indicator ............................................................................................................................. 68
No Communications ..................................................................................................................... 68
Bad Readings ............................................................................................................................. 69
Unexpected Warning Flags ............................................................................................................. 69
Problems With Bus Baud Rate ......................................................................................................... 70
Recovering a ”lost” DCell/DSC ........................................................................................................ 70
Chapter 12 Specifications ............................................................................................................. 71
Technical Specifications DSC/DCELL High Stability ................................................................................ 71
Technical Specifications DSC/DCELL Industrial Stability ......................................................................... 72
Mechanical Specification for DSC ..................................................................................................... 73
Mechanical Specification for DCell ................................................................................................... 73
CE Approvals .............................................................................................................................. 73
Warranty .................................................................................................................................. 74
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
Chapter 1 Introduction
This chapter provides an introduction to DCell/DSC products, describing the product range, main features and
application possibilities.
Overview
The DCell and DSC products are miniature, high-precision Strain Gauge Converters; converting a strain gauge sensor
input to a digital serial output. They allow multiple high precision measurements to be made over a low-cost serial
link. Outputs can be accessed directly by PLCs or computers, or connected via various types of network, telephone
or radio modem, all without compromising accuracy.
Key Features
Ultra-miniature
The DCell ‘puck’ format can be fitted inside most load cell pockets, and similar restricted spaces. The DSC cards
are similarly very small, optimised for mounting as a component onto custom PCBs.
High-precision
Industrial Version.
25ppm basic accuracy (equates to 16 bit resolution)
High Stability
5ppm basic accuracy (equates to 18 bit resolution) with comparable stability – far exceeds standard instrument
performance.
Low-power
Low-voltage DC supply (5.6V min), typically 40mA for RS485 &.52mA for RS232 (including 350R strain gauge).
Adjustable sensitivity
Configured for standard 2.5mV/V full-scale strain gauges as supplied.
A single additional resistor configures the input between 0.5 and 100 mV/V full-scale.
Temperature sensing and compensation (optional)
An optional temperature sensor module is available and advanced 5-point temperature-compensation of
measurement.
Linearity compensation
Advanced 7-point linearity compensation.
Serial output
Lower-cost cabling, improved noise immunity, and longer cable runs with no accuracy penalty.
Device addressing allows up to 253 devices on a single bus, drastically reducing cabling cost and complexity.
Two-way communications allow in-situ re-calibration, multiple outputs and diagnostics.
No separate measuring instruments needed.
Digital calibration
Completely drift-free, adjustable in-system and/or in-situ via standard communications link.
Two independent calibration stages for load cell-and-system-specific adjustments.
Programmable compensation for non-linearity and temperature corrections.
Calibration data is also transferable between devices for in-service replacement.
Self-diagnostics
Continuous monitoring for faults such as strain overload, over/under-temperature, broken sensors or unexpected
power failure.
All fault warnings are retained on power-fail.
Multiple output options
Choice of two communications standards: RS232 (DSC only) or RS485.
Choice of three different protocols: ASCII, MODBUS or MANTRABUS, for ease of integration.
All variants provide identical features and performance.
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Special Facilities
Output Capture Synchronisation
A single command instructs all devices on a bus to sample their inputs simultaneously, for synchronised data
capture.
Output Tare Value
An internal control allows removal of an arbitrary output offset, enabling independent readings of net and gross
measurement values.
Dynamic Filtering
Gives higher accuracy on stable inputs, without increased settling time.
Programmable Output Modes
Output rate control enables speed/accuracy trade-off.
ASCII output version provides decimal format control and continuous output mode for ‘dumb terminal’ output.
Unique Device Identifier
Every unit carries a unique serial-number tag, readable over the communications link.
Communications Error Detection
An interruption of normal communications due to drop-outs or noise is detected as badly formatted receive data,
which triggers a communications failure counter to be incremented.
External Temperature Sensing (optional)
An external temperature module for improved accuracy (especially tracking changing temperature conditions).
Software Reset
A special communications command forces a device reboot, as a failsafe to ensure correct operation.
Version 3 Additions and Enhancements
The following are an outline only more detail will be found further on in this manual
DCell



Easy mounting via a 2mm screw
Connection via solder holes to either side of PCB
Lower profile, single PCB construction
DSC


Additional I/O
Easier shielding connection at load cell connector end
DCell & DSC
 Baud Rates to 230400. Higher baud rate allow faster polling of groups of devices on a single bus, also faster
measurement sampling requires faster communications for individual devices allowing the higher sampling
to be realised over the communications link.
 Higher sampling rates. Sampling to 500Hz can now be achieved. Also more sampling rates are available as
follows 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 60, 100, 200, 300 & 500Hz.
 Lower cost. With new technology and further use of miniaturisation the cost is now lower.
 ESD protection to +/-15KV (RS485 version). Higher ESD voltage rating reduces the possibility of damage by
static.
 Real mV/V calibration. Instead of % full scale the base measurement is in mV/V and is factory calibrated to
within 0.1%. the % of FS output “ELEC” is still available.
 Extreme Noise Immunity, 5 x heavy industrial level.
 Diagnostics LED. An LED is used to indicate that the device is powered and working correctly. The LED is also
used to indicate which protocol the device is.
 Remote shunt cal. A 100K 1% 50ppm/Deg C resistor can be switched across the bridge to allow load cell
integrity to be established.
 Peak & Trough Measurements. Added to allow the faster rates to hold a peak or trough readings. These are
stored in volatile memory & are therefore reset on power up.
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual





Programmable dynamic filtering. The filtering is the same as used on Version 2 but with the advantage of
being able to set the characteristics using the communications.
Wide Operating Voltage. The operating voltage is now 5.6 to 18V allowing the device to be powered from a
wider range of available system supplies.
DC Excitation. DC excitation has now been employed allowing longer cable lengths for the load cells which is
particularly useful for DSC. This is a 4 wire measurement.
Defaults have been changed so that the device is shipped with a baud rate of 115200 and station number of
1.
Scaling implementation has been changed for both “CELL” and “SYS”. The gain is applied before the offset
thus following the more standard approach. This allows for an offset change to be made easily as the offset
is not a component of gain.
Version 4 Additions and Enhancements
DSC

Reset to default communication parameters. A pair of pads on the underside of the DSC, when shorted
together at power up will reset Station no. to 1 and baudrate to 115200
Note: This is only for issue 3 pcb and higher. Please refer to underside for issue marking.
DCell & DSC
 For ASCII versions. Setting Station No. to 998 gives continuous output streaming as version 3, except that,
on powering on streaming starts without requiring an XON character
The Product Range
Devices are available in two physical formats.
The DCell (puck) products consist of a Digital Strain
Gauge Signal Conditioner with RS485 bus output in
double sided component population format.
This is suitable for installation in very small spaces,
including load cell pockets.
External connections are made by wiring to through
hole pads. Mounting is via a 2mm mounting hole to
accept M2 screw or American equivalent #0-80.
Important Note: DO NOT USE #2 screw size.
The DSC (card) products are very similar to the DCell
but in a different physical form for mounting standalone or on a board.
The DSC is also available with an RS232 output.
External connections are via header pins which can
plug into connectors, or be soldered to wires or into a
host PCB. DSC has an open collector output and volt
free digital input.
Which Device To Use
It



is important to select the correct product for your application.
First choose DCell or DSC based on your physical installation needs
Choose the communications protocol depending on performance/integration requirements
the RS232 output option may be simpler if your system only uses a single DSC card
Common Features
Both physical formats offer identical control and near-identical measurement performance
Both are available in all three output protocols: MODBUS, ASCII or MANTRABUS
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Differences
Only the DSC (card) is available with the RS232 output option and has the digital Input & output.
Special Aspects To Consider
The DCell fits neatly into a strain gauge pocket
The DSC lends itself to PCB mounting
The RS485 output version must be used for multiple devices on the same bus
Additional DCell & DSC Variants Available
A separate variant is available with CANbus output. Refer to DCell & DSC CAN - 2nd Generation - Manual.
(These variants are sufficiently different to require their own manuals).
The following order codes are supported by an earlier version manual ‘DCell & DSC Version 2’
DLCPKASC, DLCPKMAN, DLCPKMOD, DSC2AS, DSC2MA, DSC2MB, DSC4AS, DSC4MA, DSC4MB
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
Some Application Examples
Simple Distributed Measurement
Pressure loads are taken at a number of keys points in a manufacturing process, distributed over a large area.
Each pressure sensor contains a DCell unit, and all the sensors are connected by a single cable carrying power and
RS485 communications. A central PC allows continuous display, monitoring and logging of all values from a central
control room. This displays a control-panel and current display window, and logs information to an Excel
spreadsheet for future analysis.
Further monitoring checks and displayed information can easily be added when required to the system where up to
253 ‘nodes’ can be installed.
Low Cost Dedicated Weighing Station
A basic load cell weighing-pad device has a cable leading to a wall mounted weight display.
Digital Load Cell
Load cell products are offered with a high-precision digital communications option.
A DCell is fitted into the gauge pocket of each load cell in manufacture. During product testing, each unit undergoes
a combined load test and temperature cycle. Each unit is then programmed with individually calculated gain, offset,
linearity and temperature compensation tables. All units perform to a very tight specification without the use of any
trimming components.
High Reliability Load sensing
A road bridge has a dedicated load monitoring and active control computer system. System calibration adjustments
are only established during construction, so sensors must be replaceable without recalibration.
Each load monitoring point has a digital load cell fitted, with calibration values set during construction. Selfdiagnostics aid detection of failures.
When a failed load cell is replaced it will produce identical force measurements. The old load cell set-up data
values are programmed into the separate user-level calibration store in the unit, to produce an identically
performing replacement.
Remote Radio Weigher
A variety of lifting machines in a loading yard can be used with a weighing link to display weight in tonnes on a
remote hand-held readout.
A heavy duty strain gauge load-link is fitted with a battery-powered radio modem and DCell. The independent
handheld display unit communicates with the DCell over a transparent radio link, providing a simple LCD readout
and tare button operation.
Load Balance Monitor
A lorry loading weighpoint monitors left/right load balance and sounds a warning if loading is too uneven for safety.
A drive-on weighing platform is provided with load cells at each of four corners. Each cell is wired to a DSC unit, and
these are cabled to a 3rd party LCD display and control unit, producing a complete turnkey system. A digital I/O card
is wired to the same bus to control the warning alarm. Application software running on the control unit provides a %
left/right balance readout with a graphical tipping display, and a total weight indication.
The balance indication is calculated by comparing the different corner readings. If it exceeds a programmed limit, a
command to the I/O card turns the relay on.
Total weight is calculated by summing the individual results mathematically.
Automatic re-zeroing occurs when the total is near zero for more than a few seconds.
A control button enables a set-up mode for recalibration (protected by operator password), which displays individual
readings and total. Corner compensation can be checked by observing the changing total as a weight is moved
around. Simple button presses control two point recalibration for any cell.
Weighing Subsystem For Process Control
Several strain gauge loads are monitored as part of a larger data acquisition/monitoring system, based around a
high-speed Profibus network. The load measurements occur in groups of physically related signals which relate to
specific ‘area modules’ along with a number of other measurements and control outputs. The strain gauges are
wired to DSC cards, controlled and interrogated via MODBUS protocol commands on an RS485 bus. The DSCs and
other 3rd party MODBUS-compliant devices which govern the area module are all connected to a single RS485 ‘spur’.
The devices in each area-module spur are controlled from the main Profibus backbone, using an off-the-shelf bus
gateway unit.
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Chapter 2 Getting Started with the Evaluation Kit
This chapter explains how to connect up a DCell/DSC for the first time and how to get it working. For simplicity,
this chapter is based on the standard DCell/DSC Evaluation Kit, which contains everything needed to communicate
with a puck or card from your PC.
It is advised that first time users wishing to familiarise themselves with the product use the Mantracourt Evaluation
Kit. This provides a low cost, easy way to get started.
If you do not have an Evaluation Kit, the instructions in this chapter mostly still apply, but you will need to wire up
the device (and possible bus-converter) and have some means of communicating with it. See Communications
Protocols in chapter 10 as appropriate to the protocol type.
The Evaluation Kit
Contents
DSJ1 mount board
A 8 way screw connector for the strain gauge & Temperature sensor
A 5 way screw connector for power & RS485 comms
A 9 way ‘D’Type for direct RS232 connection to PC, CAN & RS485
Link headers for RS232 or RS485 comms selection
Terminating resistor for CAN & RS485
ON board Temperature Sensor for easy evaluation of Temperature compensation
LED for power indication
LED for digital output (DSC only)
Push Switch for digital input (DSC only)






An Evaluation DCell or DSC of your choice
A CD ROM containing Instrument Explorer software
A 9 to 25 way ‘D’Type adaptor for the PC comms port
A 9 way ‘D’Type extension lead
For RS485 ONLY an RS232 to RS485 converter and connecting cable
For RS232 ONLY a power connection cable
Other Things you will need
 A regulated power supply, capable of providing 10 –18V at 100mA (10V is minimum requirement for RS485
converter)
 A PC running Windows 98 or above, with a spare RS232 communications port and 45Mb free disk space
and, ideally
 A strain gauge, load cell or simulator typically 350-5000 ohms impedance. (Refer to specifications Chapter 12)
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
Checking the Device Protocol Type and Station Number
Before running the communications application, you will need to know both the protocol to use and the station
number of the device.
For DSC the product label shows the product code which determines the protocol and its serial number.
For the DCell the serial number is it’s only means of identification. The serial number must be used to cross
reference the dispatch note to identify the protocol of the device.
For a DCell, the Product Code is one of the following 6 types
DLCSASC
Industrial Stability ASCII output
DLCSMAN
Industrial Stability MANTRABUS output
DLCSMOD
Industrial Stability MODBUS output
DLCHASC
High Stability ASCII output
DLCHMAN
High Stability MANTRABUS output
DLCHMOD
High Stability MODBUS output
For a DSC card, the Product Code is one of the following 12 types
DSCS4ASC
Industrial Stability RS485 output card with ASCII protocol
DSCS4MAN
Industrial Stability RS485 output card with MANTRABUS protocol
DSCS4MOD
Industrial Stability RS485 output card with MODBUS protocol
DSCS2ASC
Industrial Stability RS232 output card with ASCII protocol
DSCS2MAN
Industrial Stability RS232 output card with MANTRABUS protocol
DSCS2MOD
Industrial Stability RS232 output card with MODBUS protocol
DSCH4ASC
High Stability RS485 output card with ASCII protocol
DSCH4MAN
High Stability RS485 output card with MANTRABUS protocol
DSCH4MOD
High Stability RS485 output card with MODBUS protocol
DSCH2ASC
High Stability RS232 output card with ASCII protocol
DSCH2MAN
High Stability RS232 output card with MANTRABUS protocol
DSCH2MOD
High Stability RS232 output card with MODBUS protocol
NOTE: For evaluation purposes, the electrical output standard RS485 or RS232 is not important: Your kit should
contain the correct equipment to connect the device to a PC.
The product code should match your original order.
The serial number of the device is also shown.
The station number of a New DCell/DSC device is factory set to 1
This can be changed if required but for ease of evaluating it is suggested that you use this default value.
Connecting Up The Evaluation Kit For RS485
Connect the PC using the 9 way ‘D’Type to the RS232/RS485 converter. Plug the cable provided into the converter
and connect the other end to the 5 way connector marked J1 on the DSJ1 PCB.
Ensure LK1 & LK5 are set to “CAN/RS485”. Fit LK2 which terminates the RS485 comms. Connect the power cable
(Red & Black twisted) to your power supply, which has been set to deliver between 10 & 18 volts. Switch on, the
Green Power LED should be on.
Connecting Up The Evaluation Kit For RS232
Connect the supplied power cable (Red & Black twisted) to the 5 way connector marked J1. Connect the 9 way
‘D’Type extension lead to the 9 way ‘D’Type socket marked J3 of the DSJ1 and the other end to the comms port of
the PC.
Ensure LK1 & LK5 are set to “RS232” see PCB ident for the markings of these links.
Now connect power cable to your power supply, which has been set to deliver between 10 & 18 volts. Switch on, the
Green Power LED should be on.
Note that if your PC serial port has a 25 way serial port connector, you should use the 9 to 25 way ‘D’ type adaptor
provided to connect to the evaluation hardware.
Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
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Initial Checks
With no load cell connected The LED of the DCell or DSC should flash OFF for 100ms every 0.5, 1 or 2 seconds
depending on protocol. See following table.
Protocol
ASCII
MODBUS
MANTRABUS II
LED Flash Period
0.5 seconds
1 second
2 seconds
Note: If a Load cell is connected and there are no errors then the LED will Flash ON for 100mS then Off for the
above period. This being the normal healthy state
Another check that the device is working okay is by noting the current drawn from the supply. For RS232 variants
this should be about 33mA for RS485 Variant about 30mA.
Instrument Explorer
Instrument Explorer is Mantracourts own communication interface for our range of standard products. It provides
communications drivers for the DCell/DSC products. A complimentary copy is provided on CD-ROM with the
DCell/DSC Evaluation Kit. Instrument Explorer can also be downloaded from Mantracourts website
www.mantracourt.co.uk/products_software.html
Instrument Explorer is a software application that enables communication with Mantracourt Electronics
instrumentation for configuration, calibration, acquisition and testing purposes.
The clean, contemporary interface allows full customisation to enable your Instrument Explorer to be moulded to
your individual requirements.
What Can Instrument Explorer Do?





Save and restore customisable user workspace
Read and Write individual instrument parameters
Save and restore parameter configurations
Log data to a window or file
Perform calibration and compensation
Installing Instrument Explorer
Install the Instrument Explorer software by inserting the CD in the CD ROM drive. This should start the ‘AutoRun’
process, unless this is disabled on your computer.
(If the install program does not start of its own accord, run SETUP.EXE on the CD by selecting ‘Run’ from the ‘Start
Menu’ and then entering D:\SETUP, where D is the drive letter of your CD-ROM drive).
The install program provides step-by-step instructions. The software will install into a folder called
InstrumentExplorer inside the Program Files folder. You may change this destination if required.
Shortcut icons can be created on your desktop and shortcut bar. After installation you may be asked to restart the
computer. This should be done before proceeding with communications.
Note about CAN drivers
It is not necessary to install the optional CAN drivers which are selected by default.
Running the Instrument Explorer Software
Having installed Instrument Explorer you can now run the application, which the rest of this chapter is based
around.
From the Windows ‘Start’ button, select Programs, then Instrument Explorer or click on the shortcut on your
desktop.
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
Instrument Explorer Icon
The application should open and look like the following screen shot.
Instrument Explorer Window
The layout of Instrument Explorers Window and child windows allows the user full customisation to their
requirements. If the application show a different arrangement of child windows than the above screen shot, then
load one of the default workspaces as follows:
Click File on the menu and select Open Workspace. From the file dialogue window select Layout – Standard.iew.
This will ensure your application layout matches this document.
A list of available instruments is displayed in the Select Instrument pane of Instrument Explorer. Select the relevant
device and protocol, to match the device you are working with, by clicking on the required device icon.
Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
12
Instrument Settings
One of the following dialogue windows will be displayed:
Modbus




MantraASCII
MantraBus
Select the serial port to which the device is connected.
Select the baud rate to which the device is set. The factory default is 115200.
Select the Station No. / Node. The factory default is 1.
Now click the ‘OK’ button…
The above assumes factory defaults. If your device is known to have different settings use these instead of the ones
stated above.
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Viewing Device Data
The following main parameter list should now appear in the central pane.
Instrument Explorer Parameter List
When an instrument has been selected from the Select Instrument Window this parameter list window will become
populated.
The parameters and commands which are available for the selected device will appear in this list in a structured
hierarchic manner enabling the user to expand or contract categories by clicking the and buttons on the left of
the list.
There are four types of parameters and commands:
Read/write Numeric – These parameter values are displayed in the right
hand column and can be edited by clicking the value.
The value can then be changed and pressing the Enter key or moving away
from the edited value will cause the new value to be written to the
device. There are no checks on the data entered and it is up to the user
to enter the correct data.
Read-Only – These parameter values are displayed ‘greyed out’ and
cannot be changed.
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Read/write Enumerated – These parameters can only be changed by
selecting the new value from a drop down list.
Clicking in the right hand column will display a down arrow button which
when clicked will display the parameter value options in a list.
Note that all enumerated data (apart from on/off) will be displayed with
a numeric value, hyphen then the description of the value.
The numeric value is the value of the parameter and the description is
just there to help.
Commands – These commands have ‘Click to execute…’ displayed in the
right hand column. Clicking here will display a
button. Click this to
issue the command to the device.
As parameters are changed the communications traffic is displayed in the Traffic Pane.
If any errors occur these will be shown in red in the Error Pane. Once an error occurs it will need to be reset before
any more communications can take place. Reset errors by either right-clicking the Error Pane and selecting Reset
Errors from the pop-up menu or select the Communications menu and click the Reset Errors item.
To manually refresh the parameter list click the
menu.
button on the toolbar or select Sync Now from the Parameters
Now you have successfully established communications with your evaluation device the next step is to perform a
simple calibration.
Connecting a Load Cell
You can now connect a strain gauge bridge, load cell or simulator to the DCell/DSC.
A suitable strain gauge should have an impedance of 350-5000ohms and (at least for now) a nominal output of
around 2.5mV/V.
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DSJ1 Evaluation Board Sensor Connections
Next, we will set Instrument Explorer to automatically update dynamic parameters from the device so
that we can see values such as SYS changing on the screen. To do this either click the
button on the
toolbar or click on the Parameters menu and select the Auto Sync item. Note that these options toggle
so be sure to leave your selection in the active state.
From the Parameter List click the
as follows:
next to the System heading to expand this level. The Parameter List should look
This now exposes more levels that can be expanded as
required by clicking the next to the heading name.
Dynamic values (such as SYS and SRAW) will now be updating in real-time from the device.
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Once you have connected the load cell, you should see ‘believable’ output values, in the “SYS” parameter displayed
in the parameter list pane. These values should correspond to mV/V assuming the device is in it’s factory default
state.
For diagnostics the device has two sets of flags. One being latched and held within the devices non volatile memory
(FLAG parameter), the other being dynamic and volatile (STAT parameter).
Instrument Explorer provides a simple method of displaying and resetting of individual flags although these are held
within the device in FLAG and STAT parameters.
To quickly clear all the flags simply write zero to the FLAG parameter. Now if no problems exist all flags should in
their off state.
If any flags remain on then refer to Chapter 8 for flag definitions.
Performing A System Calibration
The values obtained so far are in mV/V units, these are factory calibrated and fixed to within 0.1% accuracy.
The device also contains two separate user-adjustable calibration parameter groups, these are termed “Cell” and
“System”. Cell being used to convert from mV/V to a calibration value and System to convert this calibration value
to the required engineering units. The use of “CELL” is optional. We shall be using “System” for the following
exercise where we rescale the output value to read in units of your choice, and to calibrate precisely to your load
cell / system hardware.
Instrument Explorer provides Wizards to allow quick and simple calibration operations to be undertaken without the
use of a calculator. Wizards can be activated by simply selecting the required item from the Wizard menu.
Since we are now calibrating at system level we have a choice of two calibration methods:
Sys Calibration Table – This technique is used when a manufacturers calibration document is available for the
connected strain gauge. This normally gives mV/V to engineering unit values.
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Sys Calibration Auto – This technique is used when the input can be stimulated with real input values. For example
you have access to test weight / forces.
We will now describe each of these techniques with an example.
Sys Calibration, Table method
A 10 tonne load cell manufacturer gives the following data:
mV/V output
2.19053
-0.01573
Force
10 tonne
0 tonne
Start the wizard by selecting Sys Calibration Table from the Wizard menu
Click the Next button and enter the low values as shown below.
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Click the Next button and enter the high values as shown below.
Click Next the following window will be displayed showing the calibrated SYS value which is dependent on the
current input values.
The device is now calibrated. However you may find SYS has been ‘clamped’ if the resultant SYS is greater than
SMAX or less than SMIN. If this is the case then change these values to suitable limits. In this example we may set
SMIN to –0.5 (tonne) and SMAX to 12.0 (tonne). This would then provide clamping of SYS to these values and also a
flags being set in FLAG and STAT.
Sys Calibration, Auto Method
Assume we require to calibrate for Kg output and we have available a known accurate 10 Kg and 100 Kg test
weights.
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Start the wizard by selecting Sys Calibration Auto from the Wizard menu
Click Next.
Apply the low known test weight and enter the required SYS value for this weight. In this case it will be 10 as we
want the units of SYS to be Kg. Click Next to continue
Apply the high known test weight and enter the required SYS value for this weight. In this case it will be 100. Click
Next to continue.
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The device is now calibrated. However you may find SYS has been ‘clamped’ if the resultant SYS is greater than
SMAX or less than SMIN. If this is the case then change these values to suitable limits. In this example we may set
SMIN to –0.5 (Kg) and SMAX to 110.0 (Kg). This would then provide clamping of SYS to these values and also a flags
being set in FLAG and STAT.
For detailed information about calibration calculations please refer to chapter 3.
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Chapter 3 Explanation of Category Items
Instrument Explorer shows the categories to which parameters and generated variables belong. This provides a
convenient method for describing the functionality and purpose of each. The categories can be seen from
Instrument Explorers Parameter List pane and are as follows.
Communications
This allows the devices station number / node and baud rate to be changed and also to monitor and reset the
communications failure counter CFCT. For the ASCII protocol there are DP and DPB controls which set the format of
the ASCII string returned by the device. See Chapter 12
Care should be taken when changing the station number or baud rate as communications can be lost with the host.
Also note that some commands require the reset (RST) command to be sent or a power cycle before the new values
take effect. STN, BAUD, DP and DPB are such commands.
When using Instrument Explorer to change either the STN or BAUD parameter, communications with the device will
be lost after the RST command has been issued as the software will be using the previous settings. In this case you
need to change the device settings in Instrument Explorer by selecting Change Settings from the Communications
menu.
Station Number, STN
The STN parameter controls the ‘station number’, which specifies the device address for bus communications.
As supplied, devices have the station-number factory set to 1, as described previously in Version 3 Additions and
Enhancements, Chapter 1.
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Checking the Device Protocol Type and Station Number.
To connect multiple devices on the same bus, it is first vital to set all the station numbers to different values.
This is because if two devices with the same station number are connected to the same bus, it is not possible to talk
to them individually: So in particular, you cannot correct the problem by changing the station number of one of
them!
If a bus connects to two devices with the same station number, the only solution is to remove one of them and
connect it to a one-to-one link to change its station number.
The new value of STN does not take effect until the RST command is issued or the device is power cycled.
To Change the Station Number of your Device
1. First set STN to a suitable new value (making sure that no other device of the same number is also connected!)
2. Send a RST command or power cycle the device.
3. Change the device settings in Instrument Explorer by selecting Change Settings from the Communications menu.
NOTES:
 The valid range of STN depends on the protocol, but it is always at least 1-253
 All the protocol types have a ‘bus address’ type device identifier, which is known as the ‘station number’ for
MANTRABUS, ‘address’ for ASCII and ‘node id’ for MODBUS.
 The valid ranges for different protocols are: 1-253 for MANTRABUS, 1-999 for ASCII and 1-255 for MODBUS.
 In all cases, if STN is set outside the valid range, it behaves as if set to a default of 1.
Baud rate Control, BAUD
The BAUD parameter is a read/write byte value specifying a standard communications baud rate according to the
following table –
BAUD
value
baud rate
(bps)
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
2400
4800
9600
19K2
38K4
57K6
76K8
115K2
230K4
460K8
BAUD can only take the values shown above. If set <0 or >9, the baud rate defaults to 9600
Warning: When changing this setting it is possible to lose communication with the device. As well as keeping
track of the correct baud rate, it is also essential in this case to be sure that your hardware supports the rate
you are changing to.
The evaluation kit supports all possible DCell/DSC baud rate settings UPTO 115200
ReSet: (New For Version 4 (DSC Only))

With version 3 pcb and higher. A reset to comms defaults is available. This will return Station No. to 1 and
baudrate to 115200. This is achieved by powering off the DSC shorting the 2 pads together whilst powering
on.
DSC Issue 3 pcb or Higher
Ensure issue 3 or Higher
2 unmasked pads
The new value of BAUD does not take effect until the RST command is issued or the device is power cycled.
To Change The Baud Rate, follow a similar sequence to changing the STN value
1. First set BAUD to the new value
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2. Send a RST command or power cycle the device.
3. Change the device settings in Instrument Explorer by selecting Change Settings from the Communications menu.
Select new baud rate.
Communications Failure Count, CFCT
The Communications Failure Count, CFCT, can be used to indicate the quality off the communications bus. Each
time there is a UART framing error or a data overrun error the count is incremented. This is a read/ Write
parameter so resetting is by writing the value 0. This value is not saved on power fail and is reset to zero on power
up.
Output Format Controls, DP and DPB (ASCII ONLY)
The parameters DP and DPB are used to control the formatting of floating-point values in the ASCII protocol.
DP controls the number of decimal places after the point and DPB controls the number of decimal places before the
point. Values of 1..8 are appropriate in both cases.
All output values are then transmitted in this same format. As values are limited to a normal 4-byte accuracy
(about 7 digits), it may sometimes be necessary to alter the formatting for best accuracy in reading/writing values.
eg. if DP=5 and DPB=2, the value 1.257 is output as “+01.25700”
The new value of DP and DPB does not take effect until the RST command is issued or the device is power
cycled.
It is important to ensure that when settings DpB the maximum number expected to be formatted does not
exceed the number of integer digits. i.e. DpB = 3 cannot display numbers greater than or equal to 1000. Failure
to observe this will lead to non-numeric ASDCII codes after the polarity character.
Information
Reports the current version of the devices software and the devices unique serial number. Note that VERSION is the
read able item derived from the devices internal value of VER and SerialNumber is derived from SERL and SERH.
Software Version, VER
The VER parameter (read-only byte) returns a value identifying the software release number, coded as 256*(majorrelease)+(minor-release)
eg. current version 3.1 returns VER=769
Serial Number, SERL and SERH
SERL and SERH are read-only integer parameters returning the device serial-number.
This is decoded as = 65536*SERH + SERL.
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Strain Gauge
This is where the measurement process starts. If the optional temperature module is fitted then TEMP will display
actual temperature in Degree C. Otherwise TEMP will display 125 Degree C.
RATE is the parameter that selects measurement cycle update rate.
mV/V output, MVV
MVV is the factory calibrated mV/V output and it is this value that all other measurement output values are derived
from. Factory calibration is within 0.05%.
Nominal mV/V level, NMVV
This is used to represent the nominal mV/V value representing 100% of full scale. This value is used solely for the
generation of ELEC. It is factory set for 2.5mV/V. If the electronic gain is adjusted by changing the gain resistor
then if ELEC is used NMVV value must be changed to represent the new nominal mV/V.
mV/V Output In Percentage Terms, ELEC
This is mainly for backwards compatibility with Version 2. It is the mV/V value represented in percentage terms,
100% being the value set by NMVV.
Temperature Value, TEMP
If the optional temperature module is fitted, DTEMP then TEMP will display actual temperature in Degree C.
Otherwise TEMP will display 125 Degree C. TEMP is used by the temperature compensation. See chapter 5
Output Rate Control, RATE
The RATE parameter is used to select the output update rate, according to the following table of values –
RATE value
update rate (readings per
second)
0
1
1
2
2
5
3
10
4
20
5
50
6
60
7
100
8
200
9
300
10
500
The default rate is 10Hz (RATE=3): The other settings give a different speed/accuracy trade-off.
Invalid RATE values are treated as if it was set to 3.
The underlying analogue to digital conversion rate is 4.8Khz. These results are block averaged to produce the
required output rate.
To Change The Output Rate
1. Set RATE to the new value
2. Click on the ‘RST’ button to reboot the device
3. Wait for one second for the reset procedure to complete and measure cycle to start
With RATE set to 0, you should be able to see the SYS update rate slow to once a second, and the noise level should
also noticeably decrease.
All the main-reading output values are updated at this rate. Rate does not change the rate at which temperature
output TEMP is updated.
Dynamic Filtering, FFST and FFLV
The Dynamic filter is basically a recursive filter and therefore behaves like an “RC” circuit. It has two user settings,
a level set in mV/V by FFLV and a maximum number of steps set by FFST, maximum value FFST can be is 255. If a
difference between a new input value (RMVV) and the current filtered value (MVV) is greater than FFLV then the
fractional amount of the new reading added to the current reading is reset to 1, that is to say that output of the
filter will be equal to the new input reading. If the difference is less than FFLV then the fractional amount added is
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incremented until it reaches the maximum level set by FFST.IE if FFST = 10 then after a step change the fractional
part of a new reading is incremented as follows
1/1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6…. 1/10, 1/10, 1/10
This allows the Filter to respond rapidly to a fast moving input signal.
With a step change, which does not exceed FFLV, the calculated new filtered value can be calculated as follows
New Filter Output value = Current Filter Output Value + ((Input Value - Current Filter Output Value) / FFST)
The time taken to reach 63% of a step change input (which is less than FFLV) is the frequency at which values are
passed to the dynamic filter, set in RATE, multiplied by FFST.
The table below gives an indication of the response to a step input less than FFLV.
Update Rate is 1/table value of RATE see Chapter 3 Output Rate Control.
% Of Final Value
63%
99%
99.9%
Time To settle
Update Rate * FFST
Update Rate * FFST * 5
Update Rate * FFST * 7
For example, If RATE is set to 7 = 100Hz = 0.01s and FFST is set to 30 then the time taken to reach a % of step
change value is as follows.
% Of Final Value
63%
1%
0.1%
Time To settle
0.01 x 30 = 0.3 seconds
0.01 x 30 x 5 = 1.5 seconds
0.01 x 30 x 7 = 2.1 seconds
The following table shows the number of updates x FFST and the error % New Filter Output value will differ from a
constant Input Value.
x FFST
% Error
1
36.78794412
2
13.53352832
3
4.97870684
4
1.83156389
5
0.67379470
6
0.24787522
7
0.09118820
8
0.03354626
9
0.01234098
10
0.00453999
11
0.00167017
12
0.00061442
13
0.00022603
14
0.00008315
15
0.00003059
16
0.00001125
17
0.00000414
18
0.00000152
19
0.00000056
20
0.00000021
Remember that if the step change in mV/V is greater than the value set in FFLV then
New Filter Output value = New Input Value.
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And the internal working value of FFST is reset to 1, being incremented each update set by RATE until it reaches
the user set value of FFST.
Cell
Provides the level where the integration between the DCell/DSC and the strain gauge bridge takes place. Features
include, when the optional temperature module is fitted, 5-point temperature compensation to produce a
temperature compensated value CMVV. Scaling using a gain and offset, CGAI and COFS respectively, producing a
value known as CRAW. Linearisation, using up to 7-points, producing the final output from this section known as
CELL. Over load and under load values can be set in CMIN & CMAX to alert the user of forces less or greater than
the integrator has intended the unit to be operated. These features allow the output CELL to be in force units which
can be used by ‘System’ to convert to units of weight.
Temperature compensation and Linearisation are covered in detail in their own chapters.
Temperature Compensation In Brief
When the optional temperature hardware module DTEMP is connected the temperature compensation is available.
The temperature compensation facility can remove the need for the fitting of compensation resistors to the strain
gauges. This compensation can apply for gain and offset with up to 5 temperature points.
The input for the temperature compensation is MVV and the output from the process is CMVV. If not temperature
compensation is invoked the CMVV is equal to MVV
A Detailed explanation is given in chapter 5
Cell Scaling, CGAI, COFS
The temperature compensated value CMVV is scaled with gain and offset using CGAI and COFS respectively. The
gain is applied first and the offset then subtracted. This would be used to give a force output in the chosen units,
this output being termed CRAW.
CRAW = (CMVV X CGAI) – COFS
Two Point Calibration Calculations and Examples
Examples are given here for two point calibration, as this is by far the most common method.
Cell Calibration
The scaling parameters are CGAI and COFS
CGAI is in cell-units per mV/V’
COFS is in cell units
The cell output calculation is (in the absence of temperature and linearity corrections) –
CRAW = (CMVV  CGAI) – COFS
If we have two electrical-output (MVV) readings for two known force loads, we can convert the output to the
required range. So if –
test load = fA  CMVV reading = cA
test load = fB  CMVV reading = cB
– then calculate the following gain value
CGAI = (fB – fA) / (cB – cA)
and the offset is
COFS = (cA x CGAI) – fA
The outputs should then be CELL = fA, fB true force values, as required.
Calibration Methods
There are a number of ways of establishing the correct control values.
Method 1 - Nominal (data sheet) Performance Values
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This is the simplest method, where the given nominal mV/V sensor output is used to calculate an approximate value
for CGAI.
Example.
A 50 kN load cell has nominal sensitivity of 2.2mV/V full-scale.
So to get 50.0 for an input of 2.2mV/V, we set CGAI to 50/2.222.7273. This assumes the output for 0kN is
0mV/V.
Method 2 - Device Standard (Calibration) Values
With some load cells you may have a manufacturer’s calibration document. This gives precise cell-output gain and
offset specifications for the individual cell. These values can be used to set the SGAI and SOFS values to be used.
Example.
A 10 tonne load cell has a calibration sheet specifying 2.19053mV/V full-scale output, and -0.01573mV/V
output offset.
CGAI is set to 10 / (2.19053- -0.01573)  4.532557.
COFS is set to –0.01573 x 4.532557 -0.0071297
NOTE:
Methods 1 and 2 require no load tests. This means that systematic installation errors cannot be removed, such as
cells not being mounted exactly vertical. The accuracy is also limited by the DCell/DSC electrical calibration
accuracy, which is about 0.1%.
The remaining methods require testing with known loads, but are therefore inherently more reliable in practice, as
they can remove unexpected complicating factors relating to installation.
Method 3 - Two-Point Calibration Method
This is a simple in-system calibration procedure, and probably the commonest method in practice (as in the previous
example).
Two known loads are applied to the system, and reading results noted, then calibration parameters are set to
provide exactly correct readings for these two conditions.
eg. a 10kN (1-tonne) load cell has a CELL reading of +0.120721mV/V with no load, and –2.21854mV/V with a
known 100Kg test-weight.
To calibrate this to read in a –1.0 to +1.0 tonne range,
Calculate CGAI as 0.1 / (2.21854 - +0.120721) = 0.047669.
Set COFS= 0.120721 x 0.047669 = 0.005755.
Method 4 - Multi-point Calibration Test
For ultimate accuracy to a whole series of point measurements may be taken to determine the best linear scaling of
input output: Effectively, a ‘best line’ through the data is then chosen, and the calibration is set up to follow the
line.
Testing of this sort is also used to establish linearity corrections, and similar tests at different temperatures are
used to set up temperature compensation (see Chapters on Temperature Compensation and Linearity
Compensation).
Note: Instrument Explorer provides “wizards” for easy calibration of the Cell stage. There are two wizards, ‘Cell
Calibration Auto’ and ‘Cell Calibration Table’ these can be found under the menu item “Wizards”.
Cell Limits, CMIN, CMAX
These are used to indicate that the desired maximum and minimum value of CRAW have been exceeded. They are
set in Force units. On CRAW being greater than the value set in CMAX the CRAWOR flag is set in both FLAG and
STAT. On CRAW being less than the value set in CMIN the CRAWUR flag is set in both FLAG and STAT.
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Linearisation In Brief
Linearisation allows for any non-linearity in the strain gauge measurement to be removed. Up to 7 points can be set
using CLN. The principle of operation is that the table holds a value at which an offset is added. The point in the
table that refer to CRAW are named CLX1..CLX7. The offsets added at these point are named CLK1.. CLK7 and are
set in thousandths of a cell unit. The output from the Linearisation function is CELL. If no Linearisation is used (CLN
< 2) the CELL is equal to CRAW.
A Detailed explanation is given in chapter 6
System
System is where the “Force” output, CELL, is converted to weight when installed into a system. Other features such
as SZ offers a means of zeroing the system output SYS. Peak and Trough values are also recorded against the value
of SYS, these are volatile and reset on power up. A command SNAP records the next SYS value and stores in SYSN,
this is useful where more than 1 device in a system and to prevent measurement skew across the system the SNAP
command can be broadcast to all devices ready for polling of their individual SYSN values.
System Scaling, SGAI, SOFS
The cell output value CELL is scaled with gain and offset using SGAI and SOFS respectively. The gain is applied first and the offset the
subtracted. This would be used to give a force output in the chosen units, this output being termed SRAW.
SRAW = (CELL X SGAI) – SOFS
If we have two cell-output (CELL) readings for two known test loads, we can convert the output to the required
range. So if –
Test load = xA  CELL reading = cA
Test load = xB  CELL reading = cB
Then we calculate the following gain value
SGAI = (xB – xA) / (cB – cA)
And then the offset
SOFS = (cA x SGAI) - xA
The outputs should now be SRAW = xA, xB true load values, as required.
Example of calculations for SGAI and SOFS
Example:
A 2500Kgf load cell installation is to be calibrated by means of test weights.
The cell calibration gives an output in Kgf ranging 0–2000.
A system calibration is required to give an output reading in the range 0–1.0 tonnes.
Calculations
Take readings with two known applied loads, such as –
For test load of xA = 99.88Kg :
CELL reading cA = 100.0112
For test load of xB = 500.07Kg:
CELL reading cB = 498.7735
Calculate gain value. In this case put SGAI = (xB – xA) / (cB – cA)
= (0.50007 – 0.09988) / (498.7735 – 100.0112)
 0.001003580 = 1.003580x10 -3
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Calculate offset value. In this case SOFS = (cA x SGAI) – xA
= (100.0112 x 1.003580x10-3) – 0.09988
 0.00048924
Check
Putting the values back into the equation, results for the two test loads should then be —
For x = 99.88Kg, CELL = 100.0112, so
SRAW  (100.0112  1.003580x10-3) – 0.00048924  0.09988
For x = 500.07Kg, CELL = 498.7735, so
SRAW  (498.7735  1.003580x10-3 ) – 0.00048924  0.5006987
The remaining errors are due to rounding the parameters to 7 figures.
Internal parameter storage is only accurate to about 7 figures, so errors of about this size can be expected in
practice.
System Limits, SMIN, SMAX
These are used to indicate that the desired maximum and minimum value of SRAW have been exceeded. They are
set in weight units. On SRAW being greater than the value set in SMAX the SRAWOR flag is set in both FLAG and
STAT. On SRAW being less than the value set in SMIN the SRAWUR flag is set in both FLAG and STAT.
System Zero, SZ
SZ provides a means of applying a zero to SYS and SOUT. This could be used to generate an Net value making SRAW
in effect a gross value.
SYS = SRAW – SZ
Care should be taken on how often SZ is written to, see “WARNING: Finite Non-Volatile Memory Life” later in this
chapter.
System Outputs, SYS, SOUT
SYS is considered to be the main output value and it is this value that would be mainly used by the master. SOUT is
for backwards compatibility with Version 2
Reading Snapshot, SNAP, SYSN
The action command SNAP samples the selected output by copying SYS to the special result parameter SYSN.
The main use of this is where a number of different inputs need to be sampled at the same instant.
Normally, multiple readings are staggered in time because of the need to read back results from separate devices in
sequence: By broadcasting a SNAP command at the required time, all devices on the bus will sample their inputs
within a few milliseconds. The resulting values can then be read back in the normal way from all the devices SYSN
parameters.
Note: Instrument Explorer provides “wizards” for easy calibration of the System stage. There are two wizards, ‘Sys
Calibration Auto’ and ‘Sys Calibration Table’ these can be found under the menu item “Wizards”.
Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
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Control
Shunt Calibration Commands, SCON and SCOF
The Device is fitted with a “Shunt” calibration resistor whose value is 100K.This can be switched across the bridge,
using SCON, giving an approximate change of 0.8mV/V at nominal 2.5mV/V. The command SCOF removes the
resistor from across the bridge. It is important for the user to remember to switch out the shunt calibration resistor
after calibration has been confirmed.
Digital Output, OPON and OPOF
For DSC ONLY an open collector output is available. This can be switched on using OPON and off by the command
OPOF. This output is capable of switching 100mA at 30v (TBC)
Flags
Diagnostics Flags, FLAG and STAT
All the self-diagnostics rely on the FLAG & STAT parameters, which are 16-bit integer register in which different
bits of the value represent different diagnostic warnings. FLAG is stored in EEPROM and is therefore non-volatile,
STAT is stored in RAM and reset on power-up to 0. FLAG is latching requiring reset by the user where as STAT is
non-latching showing current error status.
Latched Warning Flags (FLAG)
The flags are normally used as follows:FLAG is read at regular intervals by the host (like the main output value, but generally at longer intervals)
If some warnings are active, i.e. FLAG is non-zero, then the host tries to cancel the warnings found by writing
FLAG= 0
The host then notes whether the error then either remains (i.e. couldn’t be cancelled), or if it disappears, or if it
re-occurs within a short time, and will take action accordingly.
The warning flags are generally latched indicators of transient error events: By resetting the register, the host both
signals that it has seen the warning, and readies the system to detect any re-occurrence (i.e. it resets the latch).
What the host should actually do with warnings depends on the type and the application: Sometimes a complete log
is kept, sometimes no checking at all is needed.
Often, some warnings can be ignored unless they recur within a short time.
Warning flags survive power-down, i.e. they are backed up in non-volatile (EEPROM) storage.
Though useful, this means that repeatedly cancelling errors which then shortly recur can wear out the device nonvolatile storage – see Chapter 3 Basic Set-up and Calibration.
Meaning and Operation of Flags
The various bits in the FLAG value are as follows
Bit
Value
Description
0
1
(unused – reserved)
1
2
(unused – reserved)
2
4
Temperature under range ( TEMP)
3
8
Temperature over-range (TEMP
4
16
Strain gauge input under-range
5
32
Strain gauge input over-range
6
64
Cell under-range (CRAW)
7
128
Cell over-range (CRAW)
8
256
System under-range (SRAW)
9
512
System over-range (SRAW)
10
1024
(unused – reserved)
11
2048
Load Cell Integrity Error (LCINTEG)
12
4096
Watchdog Reset
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
Name
Unused
Unused
TEMPUR
TEMPOR
ECOMUR
ECOMOR
CRAWUR
CRAWOR
SYSUR
SYSOR
Unused
LCINTEG
WDRST
11
14
15
8192
16384
32768
(unused – reserved)
Brown-Out Reset
Reboot warning (Normal Power up)
Unused
BRWNOUT
REBOOT
NOTE:
The mnemonic names are used by convenience properties in Instrument Explorer, but are otherwise for reference
only –the flags can only be accessed via the FLAG parameter.
The various warning flags have the following meanings
TEMPUR and TEMPOR indicate temperature under-and over-range. The temperature minimum and maximum
settings are part of the temperature calibration, fixed at –50.0 and +90.0 ºC. Only active when optional
Temperature module fitted.
ECOMUR and ECOMOR are the basic electrical output range warnings. These are tripped when the electrical reading
goes outside fixed 120% limits: This indicates a possible overload of the input circuitry, i.e. the input is too big to
measure.
The tested value, ECOM is an un-filtered precursor of ELEC
CRAWUR and CRAWOR are the cell output range warnings. These are tripped when the cell value goes outside
programmable limits CMIN or CMAX.
The tested value, CRAW is the cell output prior to linearity compensation.
SYSUR and SYSOR are the system output range warnings. These are triggered if the SYS value goes outside the SMIN
or SMAX limits.
LCINTEG indicates a missing or a problem with the Load cell. It is based on the common mode of the –SIG being
correct. NOTE This flag will also be set when the shunt calibration has been switched on.
WDRST indicates that the Watchdog has caused the device to re-boot. If this error continually occurs consult
factory.
BRWNOUT indicates that the device has re-booted due to the supply voltage falling below 4.1V, the minimum spec
for supply voltage is 5.6V and this must include any troughs in the AC element of this supply.
REBOOT is set whenever the DCell/DSC is powered up and is normal for a power up condition. This flag can be used
to warn of power loss to device.
Dynamic Status Flags (STAT)
Status are “live” flags, indicating current status of the device. Some of these flags have the same bit value &
description from “FLAG”.
Meaning and Operation of Flags
The various bits in the STAT value are as follows
Bit
Value
Description
0
1
Setpoint output status
1
2
Digital Input status (DSC ONLY)
2
4
Temperature under range (TEMP)
3
8
Temperature over-range (TEMP
4
16
Strain gauge input under-range
5
32
Strain gauge input over-range
6
64
Cell under-range (CRAW)
7
128
Cell over-range (CRAW)
8
256
System under-range (SRAW)
9
512
System over-range (SRAW)
10
1024
(unused – reserved)
11
2048
Load Cell Integrity Error (LCINTEG)
12
4096
Shunt Calibration Resistor ON
Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
Name
SPSTAT
IPSTAT
TEMPUR
TEMPOR
ECOMUR
ECOMOR
CRAWUR
CRAWOR
SYSUR
SYSOR
Unused
LCINTEG
SCALON
32
11
14
15
8192
16384
32768
Stale output value (previously read)
(unused – reserved)
(unused – reserved)
OLDVAL
Unused
Unused
SPSTAT indicates the state of the Open collector output, 1 being output on 0 being output off.
IPSTAT indicates the state of the digital input (Only available on DSC model). Bit set indicates input is ‘closed’ to 0v
(-V or GND).
SCALON Used to indicate that the Shunt Calibration command, SCON, has been issued & therefore the shuntcal
resistor is now in circuit with the strain gauge bridge. SCOF command resets this bit. Note that when Shunt
Calibration is active the “Load Cell Integrity Error” will also be generated.
OLDVAL is set when the device is read via the communications. Thus indicating this value has already been
sampled. It is reset when a new result has been made available.
Output Update Tracking
The OLDVAL flag can be used for output update tracking
This allows sampling each result exactly once: To achieve this poll the STAT value until OLDVAL is cleared to
indicate a new output is ready, then read SYS, this reading will set the OLDVAL flag in STAT.
This scheme works as long as the communications speed is fast enough to keep up. With faster update rates and
slower baud rates, it may not be possible to read out the data fast enough.
User Storage
USR1…USR9
There are nine storage locations USR1 to USR9. These are floating point numbers which can be used for storage of
data. This data could be calibration time and date, operator number, customer number etc.
This data is not used in anyway by the DCell or DSC.
Reset
The Reset command, RST
This command is used to reset the device. This command MUST be issued if the following parameters are changed
before the change will take effect. Alternatively the power maybe cycled.
RATE, STN, BAUD, DP & DPB.
The reset action may take up to about a second to take effect, followed by the normal start-up pause of 1 second.
WARNING: Finite Non-Volatile Memory Life
The DCell and DSC use EEPROM-type memory as the storage for non-volatile controls (i.e. all the settings that are
retained even when powered down).
The device EEPROM itself is specified for 100,000 write cycles (for any one storage location), although typically this
is 1,000,000. Therefore –
When automatic procedures may write to stored control parameters, it is important to make sure this does not
happen too frequently.
So you should not, for example, on a regular basis adjust an offset calibration parameter to zero the output value.
However, it is reasonable to use this if the zeroing process is initiated by the operator, and won’t normally be used
repeatedly.
For the same reason, automatically cancelling warning flags must also be implemented with caution: It is okay as
long as you are not getting an error recurring repeatedly, and resetting it every few seconds.
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
Chapter 4 The Readings Process
This chapter gives an account of the reading process except for the linearity-and temperature-compensation
processes (which have their own chapters later on).
Flow diagram
Electrical
Cell
System
SGAI x
MMV
MMV/NMVV x 100%
ELEC
*OPTIONAL MODULE
* TEMP
*CTGx (Ctx) x
SOFS
*CTOx (Ctx)
SMIN
<
SRAWUR
SMAX
>
SRAWOR
CMVV
SRAW
CGAI X
SZ
COFS
CMIN
<
CRAWUR
SYS
CMAX
>
CRAWOR
SOUT
CRAW
CLKx (CLXx) +
CELL
The underlying analogue to digital conversion rate is 4.8Khz. These results are block averaged to produce the
required output rate set by the RATE control This block averaged result is then passed through the dynamic filter at
the same rate and then into the ‘chain’ of above calculations.
The named values shown in the boxes are all output parameters, which can be read back over the comms link.
The diagram shows three separate calibration stages, called the ‘Electrical’, ‘Cell’ and ‘System’.
This allows independent calibrations to be stored for the device itself, the load cell and the installed system
characteristics –
Electrical
The ‘Electrical’ calibration produces corrected electrical readings from the internal measurements.
This is factory-set by Mantracourt during the production process.
The main outputs from this are –
 MVV is the factory calibrated output, in mV/V units.
 ELEC is the mV/V in % terms. Where the 100% value is set using NMMV. This is for backwards compatibility only.
 TEMP is a device temperature measurement, in C and requires an optional module.
There are also two flags, ECOMUR and ECOMOR (not shown on the diagram), which indicate an input electrical
under- or over-range.
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Cell
The ‘Cell’ calibration converts the mV/V output into a cell-force reading.
This can be used by an OEM sensor manufacturer to provide a standard, calibrated output in force units, which could
be based on either typical or device-specific calibration data.
(This stage also includes the temperature- and linearity-corrections, not covered here)
The outputs from this are
 CMVV is the temperature compensated mV/V (MVV).
 CRAW is the scaled temperature compensated value CMVV
 CELL is a load cell force reading in “Force” units (e.g. kN)
 CRAWUR and CRAWOR are two flags indicating under or, over range for the force measurement.
System
The ‘System’ calibration converts the Cell output into a final output value, in the required engineering units.
This is normally be set up by a systems installer or end user, to provide whatever kind of output is needed,
independently of device-specific information in the Cell calibration.
(Making this split allows in-service replacement without re calibration).
The Outputs From This Are
 SRAW is a re-scaled and offset adjusted output derived from CELL
 SYS is the final output value, after removing a final user output offset value (SZ) from SRAW
 SRAWUR and SRAWOR are output warning limit flags.
In practice, SRAW and SYS can be used to represent something like gross and net values.
Cell and System Scaling
Both the Cell and System calibrations are simply linear rescaling calculations –i.e. they apply a gain and offset.
In both cases, four parameters define the scaling, offset and min and max limit values. These calculations are
applied in the following way:
Output = (Input  GAI) – OFS
Output = min (output, MAX)
Output = max (output, MIN)
(In addition, if the value exceeds either limit, one of two dedicated error flags is set)
The control parameters thus have the following characteristics: –
 GAI is the multiplying factor, set in “output-units per input-unit”
 OFS is the value that gives zero output, set in “output units”
 MAX and MIN are output limit values, set in “output units”
The units and functions of the main scaling controls can thus be summarised as –
Cell Calibration
CGAI
Force/mV/V
mV/V gain factor
COFS
Force
CELL Offset Value
CMIN
Force
Minimum value for CRAW
CMAX
Force
Maximum value for CRAW
System Calibration
SGAI
Eng/ Force
SOFS
Eng
SMIN
Eng
SMAX
Eng
SZ
Eng
SYS/CELL gain factor
SRAW value offset
Minimum value for SRAW
Maximum value for SRAW
SYS value offset
(MVV is mV/V, “force” is force units, and “eng” is engineering units)
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
Calibration Parameters Summary and Defaults
The various control parameters are listed for each stage.
This also includes the compensation parameters, not covered in this chapter, but shown in the flow diagram
The ‘default’ values shown set the device back to its nominal default calibration (mV/V)
Cell Control Defaults
Command
Action
FFLV
Filter dynamic level
FFST
Filter Steps (max)
NMMV
Nominal 2.5mV/V
RATE
Rate 10Hz
CGAI
basic cell gain
COFS
basic cell offset
CTN
number of temp points
CT1..5
temp points (Deg C)
CTO1..5
offset adjusts
CTG1..5
gain adjusts
CMIN
CRAW min limit
CMAX
CRAW max limit
CLN
number of linearity points
CLX1..7
linearity raw-value points
CLK1..7
linearity adjusts
Default Values
0.001
100
2.5
3
1.0
0.0
0
0.0, 0.0, 0,0…
0.0, 0.0, 0,0…
1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0…
–3.0
+3.0
0
0.0, 0.0, 0,0…
0.0, 0.0, 0,0…
System Control Defaults
Command
Action
SGAI
basic gain
SOFS
basic offset
SMIN
SRAW min limit
SMAX
SRAW max limit
SZ
output zero offset
Default Values
1.0
0.0
–100.0
+100.0
0.0
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Chapter 5 Temperature Compensation
This chapter explains how to use the Temperature Compensation facilities, to compensate for changes in the
measurement with ambient temperature.
Temperature compensation is only provided when an optional module consisting of a digital temperature sensor is
wired to the DCell or DSC.
Purpose and Method of Temperature Compensation
Most measurement methods are affected by changes in temperature, and (uncompensated) load cells are especially
sensitive, having a large overall temperature coefficient.
Temperature compensation adjusts the measured value in a way that depends on a temperature measurement, so
that (ideally) the output does not depend on the current temperature.
In practice, it is usual to refer to a calibration ‘reference’ temperature: The ideal output value is then what the
reading ‘would have been’ if made at the reference temperature.
The DCell/DSC temperature compensation facilities make adjustments to the ‘Cell’ calibration parameters (i.e. gain
and offset) which depend on temperature, according to a digitally programmed curve.
These adjustments are automatically applied, based on the current device temperature measurement. With some
care, this can remove the need for the usual electrical compensation components altogether.
Note that the temperature compensation will also remove the temperature drift of the DCell/DSC itself if the
temperature compensation data is collected when the DCell/DSC and strain gauges are tested together as a system.
Temperature Module Connections and Mounting (DTEMP)
The temperature module is a connected using only two wires. The temperature sensor is the Dallas “1-Wire” digital
device DS18S20.
DCELL connections to DTEMP
One connection is ground for which –EXC is used and the other is the 1 wire “DQ” connection which provides the bidirectional data line.
DSC connections to DTEMP
For the DSC “TS” on the I/O connector is connected to “DQ” of the DTEMP module and “GND” of the DSC is
connected to “-EXC”
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
The temperature module is a small double sided PCB with an 8 pin SOIC integrated circuit mounted to it. The
dimensions are 10.5 x 7.6 x 2.5mm. There are two solder pads for connection to the DSC or DCell. A 2mm hole is
used for fixing the temperature module to the body of the load cell. The module should, ideally, be positioned as
close as possible to the strain gauges. The IC on the temperature module must also be in good thermal contact to
the load cell body so the strain gauges and temperature sensor see the same temperature.
Control Parameters
The temperature compensation parameters define a pair of lookup tables that contain adjustments to the cell
calibration gain and offset over temperature.
The parameters
CTN
CT1…CT5
CTO1…CTO5
CTG1…CTG5
concerned are
[-]
[C]
mV/V
ppm
the following
Number of temperature table points
Indicated TEMP value at table point
MV/V (x104) Offset adjustment at Offset table point
Gain (x106) at Gain table point
CTN sets the number of points in the gain & offset table’s. A CTN value of less than two effectively switches off
temperature compensation. The maximum number of point is 5, values greater than 5 reset CTN to 0 switching off
temperature compensation.
CT1 to CT5 sets the temperature in degree C of the correction points. The table must be filled from CT1 up to &
including CT(CTN) and must be entered in order of increasing temperature value.
CTO1 to CTO5 provide the offset adjustment in mV/V x104. The reason for the multiplication is due to the
limitation set by the ASCII protocol of only being able to enter up to 6 decimal places. The CTOx value is subtracted
from the uncompensated value.
CTG1 to CTG5 provide the gain adjustment in ppm terms. The actual gain value used is calculated as
1 + CTGn x 10-6
Internal Calculation
The temperature compensation calculation is described as follows:The GAIN correction is applied first. The current measured temperature is checked against the table values CT1 to
CT(CTN) to establish an index value if the measured temperature is below that of CT1 then CT1 is used as the index,
If the temperature is above CT(CTN-1) then CT(CTN-1) is used.
This can be represented as follows:A working table index, i, is derived from the current measured temperature, T, as follows —
(n = number of points used, as set by CTN)
When (T < CT1)
then i = 1
When (T > CTn-1)
then i = (n–1)
Otherwise
i is chosen so that Ti  T  Ti+1
Once an index into the table has been established the gain value to be used is extrapolated between the index value
and the value above. If the temperature is above CT(CTN) or below CT1 then the calculated temperature gain value
is extrapolated from CT(CTN-1) to CT(CTN) or CT1 to CT2 respectively.
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This can be represented mathematically as follows:CALC_CTG = CTGi + (CTGi+1 – CTGi)  (T – CTi) / (CTi+1 – CTi)
The actual gain value used is 1 + CALC_CTGO x 10-6 and is multiplied by the uncompensated value MVV.
The offset correction is then applied. Using the same temperature index “i” as found for the GAIN index above.
The Offset value is extrapolated between the same two temperature points.
This can be represented mathematically as follows:CALC_CTO = CTOi + (CTOi+1 – CTOi)  (T – CTi) / (CTi+1 – CTi)
The actual offset value used is CALC_CTO x 10-4 and is subtracted from the above gain adjusted value.
The output from the temperature compensation (CMVV) is then calculated as
CMVV = MVV x (1 + CALC_CTGO x 10-6) - (CALC_CTO x 10-4)
The Temperature Measurement
The temperature sensor used is a Dallas (MAXIM) DS18S20 Digital Thermometer using the “1-Wire” bus technology.
This gives a temperature measurement accuracy of +/-0.5 Degree C over the temperature range –10 to +85 degree C
and +/-2.0 Degree C over temp range –55 to +125 Degree C. The resolution of the measurement is 0.0625 Degree C.
The temperature is sampled and the TEMP variable updated every 5 seconds.
How to Set Up a Temperature Compensation
There are a number of ways of obtaining a temperature compensation curve.
The best possible compensation for a given piece of physical hardware can only be achieved by performing
experiments on that particular unit (DCell/DSC and associated strain gauges), to characterise the measurement
output at a variety of different, stable temperatures in the required operating range.
The basic choice of methods depends on trading off ideal accuracy against the complexity of the calibration
procedure.
Method 1
Apply a simple linear drift correction (i.e. for known constant gain and offset changes per degree), by specifying
zero correction at the calibration temperature, and appropriately adjusted correction values at extreme
temperatures above and below this.
This can be used when the measurement or sensor has known temperature coefficients.
Method 2
Where the temperature characteristics of the measurement are known, but not linear, a similar scheme to Method 1
can be used, with a multi-point table defining an approximation to the known, ideal temperature curves of offset
and gain variations.
NOTE: Both of the above methods are based on ‘known’ characteristics, which could come from datasheets but
these methods would not compensate for the DCell/DSC.
Method 3
Do a series of measurements at different temperatures and install the appropriate correction values to give exactly
correct results at those same temperatures –i.e. calculate ideal gain and offset corrections at the tested
temperatures.
(This method is the most common). There is a ‘wizard’ available in Instrument Explorer which will enable this
method to be easily completed by calculating the gain and offset corrections for you.
Method 4
Use a set of test results to plan a ‘best correction’ curve (not necessarily perfect at test temperatures, but slightly
better overall).
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
NOTES:
All of these methods can be applied either to data from individual devices or to an ‘average’ correction for a
particular type of sensor hardware.
During testing, temperatures should be measured using the internal TEMP measurement, as this is the measurement
used to do the corrections.
For in-system tests, the environment of the DCell/DSC must always be as near as possible to the exact conditions of
the eventual in-system use.
Parameter Calculations
Instrument Explorer provides a “Wizard” for the calculation of the parameters required by the DSC/DCell. This is
based on Method 3 where data is collected. The wizard allows for small changes in the sampled temperature point
that may occur when taking a set of results for gain and offset. Also taken into account is any variation in the test
weights at different temperatures. This is a complex mathematical procedure which is best solved by a PC
programme such as the wizard.
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Chapter 6 Linearity Compensation
This chapter describes the Linearity Compensation features and how to use them.
Purpose and Method of Linearisation
Load cell sensor outputs are never precisely proportional to the input (applied load).
If the graph of the measurement output against the true value shows slight deviations from the ideal straight-line,
then slight errors remain even when the basic calibration (offset and gain) is as good as possible.
Linearity compensation adjusts the raw measurement by a small amount that is calculated as a function of the raw
measurement value itself. Ideally this will adjust the output response, for any given input load, by exactly the right
amount to place the final result onto the ideal straight line.
The DCell/DSC non-linearity compensation uses a single ‘lookup table’, similar to those used for temperature
compensation (see previous chapter). This provides a linearly-interpolated compensating value with up to 7 control
points, which is then added to the output result.
Generally, linearisation is a finer level of compensation than temperature compensation.
It should only be applied after the basic Cell calibration and temperature compensation (if any) have been set up.
Although the tests are generally simpler than testing over temperature, the accuracy requirement is often greater.
See below for notes of possible difficulties to be avoided.
Control Parameters
Refer to Chapter 9 for command numbers
The lookup table (based on parameters CLXi, CLKi) defines an offset adjustment based on the CRAW value, which is
then added in to give the final CELL output.
(So linearity correction is applied after any temperature compensation.)
The Parameters Involved Are :
CLN
Sets the number of linearisation points (from 2 up to 7)
CLX1..7
Raw input (CRAW) value points
CLK1..7
Output (CELL) adjustments to apply at these points
They are used like this :
 The number of calibration points is set by CLN (from 2 up to 7)
 Raw input value points are set by CLX1, CLX2 .. CLX7 (or up to the number set by CLN)
These must be arranged in order of increasing input value.
 The output corrections at these points are set by CLK1, CLK2 .. CLK7
 Corrections are specified in “thousandths of a cell unit”. So a CLKi of 1.0 actually adds 0.001 to the CELL
output). This due to a limitation in the ASCII conversion to floating point numbers.
Internal Calculation
This uses the same basic ‘interpolated table lookup’ method as for temperature compensation.
First, a working table index, i, is derived from the current raw input CRAW=x, as follows :
(n = number of points used, as set by CLN)
When (x < CLX1)
then i = 1
When (x > CLXn-1)
then i = (n–1)
Otherwise
i is chosen so that CLXi  x  CLXi+1
The resulting interpolated adjustment value is then calculated as –
ofs = CLKi + (CLKi+1 – CLKi)  (x – CLXi) / (CLXi+1 – CLXi)
Then the compensated cell value is calculated as –
CELL = CRAW + ofs
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
How to Set Up Linearity Compensation
A linearity correction can be set up either from sensor specification/calibration data, or more commonly from insystem testing results.
Assuming we do not have any prior information on linearity errors, the usual approach is to do a series of controlled
tests with accurately known test loads.
Just as with temperature compensation, it is possible to obtain a detailed graph of linearity error and then choose a
‘best-fit’ piecewise linear curve for the compensation table.
However, it is generally good enough, and much simpler, to simply test at several different points and then apply an
exact correction at those points. If the error curve is reasonably smooth, this should give exact results at the test
points, and reasonably accurate values in between.
NOTES:
Linearisation tests should only be done after the cell calibration is set, because the correction values are dependent on the cell
calibration.
Similarly, linearisation testing should only be done at the calibration ‘reference’ temperature, or after temperature
compensation is installed, to avoid temperature effects from distorting the results.
The linearisation tests should not reveal any significant remaining linear trend in the errors.
If errors do appear to lie on a definite line, this could drastically reduce the accuracy of the correction.
If this does happen, it shows that the cell calibration is wrong and should be redone.
The table points must always cover more-or-less the whole range of output values to be used, because corrections are
extrapolated outward beyond the first and last points.
It is always worthwhile including more test-points than will be used in the correction table, because this gives confidence that
no regions of rapidly changing error have been missed.
Tests should be done both with steadily increasing and decreasing load values, as hysteresis effects (for load cells) are often of a
similar size to non-linearities.
Parameter Calculations and Example
Based on the simple method outlined above, we suppose that we have obtained test results for a series of precisely
known load values –
test loads Xi give readings of CRAW = Ci, for (i = 1..n)
Then calculate the errors that need to be removed at these points –
Ei = Xi – Ci
Now just enter these values into the correction table, remembering to scale the errors –
CLN = n
CLXi = Xi
CLKi = 1000  Ei
Example
Suppose we have a load cell and Cell calibration giving a result in the range 0-500 KgF.
The following test results were obtained using a series of known test loads –
For test load of x1 = 0Kg
:
CELL reading c1 = 0.0010
For test load of x2 = 100.13Kg :
CELL reading c2 = 100.44
For test load of x3 = 199.72Kg :
CELL reading c3 = 200.57
For test load of x4 = 349.97Kg :
CELL reading c4 = 349.75
For test load of x5 = 450.03Kg :
CELL reading c5 = 449.98
We choose these precise test points as our linearisation reference points, so
CLN = 5
CLX1 = 0.0010
CLX2 = 100.44
CLX3 = 200.57
CLX4 = 349.75
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CLX5 = 449.98
(Note that these are the raw reading values, not the known true values.)
Now calculate all the residual errors, and set up the correction factors –
CLK1 = 103(x1 – c1)  1000(000.00–0.0010) = –1.0
CLK2 = 103(x2 – c2)  1000(100.13–100.44) = –310.0
CLK3 = 103(x3 – c3)  1000(199.72–200.57) = –850.0
CLK4 = 103(x4 – c4)  1000(349.97–349.75) = +220.0
CLK5 = 103(x5 – c5)  1000(450.03–449.98) = +320.0
The CELL output values will now have the required values at all these 5 points.
Note on the Example
If you graph the errors from the above example, the results look like this
0.4
0.2
0
-0.2
0
100
200
300
400
500
-0.4
-0.6
-0.8
-1
This doesn’t show any very definite linear trend, so the calibration is okay.
However there is a big jump between points 3 and 4, which might be worth a more detailed investigation: Some
important features of the error curve could have been missed by the test.
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Chapter 7 Self-Diagnostics
Diagnostics Flags
The main diagnostics facilities are by means of the flags. See chapter 3 Flags for a full description of the flags and
their meaning.
The flags are normally used something like this.
FLAG is read at regular intervals by the host (like the main output value, but generally at longer intervals)
If some warnings are active, i.e. FLAG is non-zero, then the host tries to cancel the warnings found by writing
FLAG= 0
The host then notes whether the error then either remains (i.e. couldn’t be cancelled), or if it disappears, or if it
re-occurs within a short time, and will take action accordingly.
The warning flags are latched indicators of transient error events: By resetting the register, the host both signals
that it has seen the warning, and readies the system to detect any re-occurrence (i.e. it resets the latch).
What the host should actually do with warnings depends on the type and the application: Sometimes a complete log
is kept, sometimes no checking at all is needed.
Often, some warnings can be ignored unless they recur within a short time.
Warning flags survive power-down, i.e. they are backed up in non-volatile (EEPROM) storage.
Though useful, this means that repeatedly cancelling errors which then shortly recur can wear out the device nonvolatile storage – see WARNING: Finite Non-Volatile Memory Life in chapter 3.
Diagnostics LED
A new feature for Version 3 is the addition of an LED to indicate the current status of the device and also it’s
protocol. If all is healthy the LED should flash ON for a period of 100mS , The rate at which the LED flashes is used
to indicate the protocol as indicated in the table below.
Protocol
ASCII
MODBUS
MANTRABUS II
LED Flash Period
0.5 seconds
1 second
2 seconds
If an error conditions occurs which is based on any of the following error flags being set then the operation of the
LED will invert. IE the LED will flash off for 100mS at the rate set in the table above.
These flags Being, TEMPUR, TEMPOR, ECOMUR, ECOMOR, CRAWUR, CRAWOR, SYSUR, SYSOR & LCINTEG.
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Chapter 8 Communication Protocols
This chapter gives details of communication protocols and bus connections.
There are effectively three ‘layers’ to DCell/DSC communications
1. Internally, all devices support the same ‘command set’, as described in earlier sections.
2. Command-accesses are coded into actual byte sequences according to a communications protocol. Several
different protocols are available.
3. Serial communications are carried out over a bus, which operates according to the usual RS232 or RS485
standards.
The bus standard and protocol type are fixed for a given device during production.
The communications baud rate and station number (the “bus address”) are configured for each device by the
ordinary control parameters STN and BAUD (see Chapter 2 Getting Started with the Evaluation Kit).
Bus Standards
Serial Data Format
Serial data formatting is the same for all the protocols and is fixed to
 one start-bit
 one stop-bit
 8 data bits
 no parity
Communications Flow Control
Bus flow control is managed as part of the protocol (managed differently by each).
No hardware or software flow control signals are to be used for any of the bus standards.
Communications Errors
Serial data which does not conform to the expected format causes a ‘serial framing error’ to be registered, which
increments the Communication Failure Counter CFCT.
What this actually means is that, following a starting (1 to 0) transition, a ‘stop’ (1) bit was not seen in the
expected place. This is obviously baud rate dependent; the commonest cause being data transmitted at a lower
baud rate than the unit was configured for.
Choice of Bus Formats
Essentially, the RS232 bus is only suitable where the application will only ever need a single DCell/DSC device.
The only real advantage of RS232 output is that no data converter is required to connect the device to a PC.
The RS485 bus is the simplest and most flexible choice from the wiring point of view. It enables multi-drop
operation and much longer cable lengths.
However, it usually requires a bus converter, which must be chosen to suit the equipment in use.
The RS232 Bus Standard
RS232 has separate, dedicated transmit (Tx) and receive (RX) wires. Each wire is permanently driven by the sending
end, with no transmit enable/disable controls, so RS232 is only suitable for one-to-one communications.
The connection is basically three-wire, in that the Tx and RX signals are related to a common ground potential. For
DCell/DSC connections, this ground is shared with the power return (VIN–).
(It is therefore especially important for RS232 devices to connect the ground at the device end, to avoid noise from
communications degrading the reading accuracy).
The RS232 standard specifies operation over line lengths of 15M (50 ft) or less, more or less independent of baud
rate.
The drive capability of RS232 compatible hardware varies a great deal, but most exceed this comfortably, at least
at the baud rates used by DCell/DSC devices.
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The RS485 Bus Standard
RS485 differs from RS232 in two important respects:
1. It uses differential signalling on pairs of signal wires. With small voltage detection thresholds and a large amount
of common-mode rejection, this improves performance over longer distances.
2. It uses driver enable/disable controls to allow the same wires to be shared between several devices. This enables
multi-drop operation.
The RS485 standard is a two-wire bus. For good noise immunity, the two wires are normally twisted together and
shielded.
There is no defined ground connection: All attached devices load the A and B lines so as to normally pull the grounds
of floating devices to within a few volts of each other. The common-mode tolerance (effectively about +/–7 Volts)
then allows communications without any further grounding provision.
An RS485 bus of any length also behaves like a transmission line, and so must be terminated to avoid reflections.
This is done by connecting a 120 Ohm resistor between the A and B lines at each end of the bus.
The RS485 standard is specified for operation up to 4000 feet (1200 metres) at any rate below 9600 baud, and
proportionately less at higher rates.
However, this assumes an ideal straight cable run with termination at both ends.
In practice, a bus with many devices along its length can fall short of this, especially if any connected devices are
on long ‘stubs’ leading off the main bus. This may mean that the bus has to run at a slower speed than expected for
reliable communications.
Communications Protocols
All communications take place according to a specific protocol. All devices on a bus must use the same protocol to
avoid confusion.
The protocol specifies the structure and meaning of data exchanged, and how access is controlled so as to avoid
collisions.
The various DCell/DSC variants support a variety of different protocols, allowing integration with various other
types of devices on a network.
Choosing a Protocol
The current choices are
ASCII
printable characters, easy to drive, direct output to printers/displays
MODBUS RTU
binary industry standard, inter-compatible with other devices such as PCBs
MANTRABUS-II
efficient binary protocol, checksums give better security than ASCII
Communications Software for the Different Protocols
To access a DCell/DSC, you will need a communications application running on your PC or PLC, in addition to the
appropriate hardware connections.
The simplest approach for initial experiments is to use the Instrument Explorer evaluation application.
Other Simple Ways Of Using The Different Protocols Are As Follows :
1. The ASCII protocol only uses basic printable characters, and so can be accessed with a simple terminal program
like Windows ‘HyperTerminal’.
2. The MODBUS protocol can be accessed via a proprietary generic MODBUS application.
For evaluation purposes, we suggest the free shareware demo of ‘ModScan32’ from Win-Tech software (visit
www.win-tech.com).
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Common Features of All Protocols
The communications protocols are all of the master/slave type: A central ‘host’ device (normally a PC or PLC) acts
as a bus master, in control of all communications.
Communications consist of the master transmitting command messages addressed to particular DCell/DSC ‘slave’
devices. The target slave may then transmit a ‘response message’ back to the master.
Because there is only one bus master, and slaves never initiate communications, the master is in control of all
communications. This enables multi-drop operation, i.e. a single master can control any number of slave devices at
a time.
In practice, the master usually ‘polls’ the attached slaves, interrogating them in a fixed rotation.
Command Types
A single command sent to a device can instruct it to read from or write to an internal ‘parameter’ value, or to
execute a ‘Control Action’.
The device responds by returning data (for a parameter read) or a simple acknowledge (for write or action): Precise
details depend on the protocol in use.
Each Command Message Contains the Following Information:
1. The intended slave address (or broadcast)
2. The command to access
3. The access type, one of read / write /execute
4. (For write accesses only) the write value
The Command Response will then be one of the Following Three Types:
1. An error indication
2. A simple acknowledge
3. A read data-value (implicit acknowledge)
The various protocols differ quite a lot in the available types of error and acknowledgements. The distinction
between different access types is also protocol-dependent; in that some use a dummy read or write command for
execute access.
Slave Addressing and Broadcast
Every slave device on the bus is identified by a unique address value, known variously as its ‘station number’, ‘node
id’ etc. depending on the protocol.
Each command message contains an address specifying to which slave device it is directed. A slave will ignore all
communications that are not addressed to it.
All the protocols also define a special address value (normally 0) which is reserved for broadcast commands, which
all slaves act on.
No response is allowed to broadcast commands, as multiple replies would collide with one another.
Parameters
Parameters are the values used for all control settings and output values. They have an associated storage type
(byte, integer or real-value), and may be either read/write, read-only or write-only.
Output or ‘result’ values are mostly read-only.
Configurable parameters are held in non-volatile storage, so control settings are retained permanently even when
power is removed.
Data Type Conversions and Rounding
Type Conversion
Depending on the protocol, an integer/byte parameter may need to be converted to or from a floating-point
representation for reading or writing.
The rules are as follows
For reading, integer and byte parameters are treated as unsigned, and never read negative
– i.e. read value ranges are 0 to 65535.0 and 0 to 255.0
For writing, values written to integer and byte parameters are truncated to the nearest integer, and negative or
positive values are acceptable
NOTE: Floating-point data is not always exact, even when reading integral data
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E.G. could get 3.999974 instead of 4
eg. for a byte write 240, 240.1 and 239.66 are all the same value
Rounding
Although rounding is applied when writing to integral values, data read from a device is not rounded off.
The ASCII Protocol
The ASCII protocol uses only printable characters and carriage-return (‘<CR>’), which allows a “dumb” terminal
device or a PC programme like Hyper-Terminal to interrogate the device. Host Command Message Format
The basic command request structure is shown in the following example, illustrating the message
“!001:SGAI=123.456<CR>”, meaning write 123.456 to parameter SGAI on station 1:
Framing
Station
Separator
Command
Access
Data
End of
Character
Address
Identifier
Code
frame
!
001
:
SGAI
=
-99.9999
<CR>
An Explanation of Each Field is as Follows:
 Framing Character A “!” character is used to signal the start of a new message. This character is only ever
transmitted by the host, for framing purposes
 Station Address A three-digit ASCII decimal number (0-999), determining which slave device(s) the command is
intended for. All three digits must be sent.
Address 000 is reserved for broadcast addressing.
 Separator always present. As no checksum or message verification technique is used, slaves use this as an extra
check on message validity
 Command Identifier. Up to 4 alpha-numeric characters, case insensitive, giving the name of the required
command.
 Access Code. Defines what sort of response is expected :–
’=’ means write data is expected to follow
’?’ means the host is expecting to receive read data back
<CR> (i.e. nothing more before end) means the command is an action type (execute)
 Data. An ASCII decimal-formatted number, can include 0..9, ‘+’,’–‘, ‘.’ and spaces.
This field can have a maximum length of 15 characters
 End of frame. A <CR> is always present to indicate the end of the message
Summary
 A command message begins with ‘!’, followed by a three-digit station address, then a ‘:’, and finishes with a
<CR>.
 The ‘!’ and <CR> only appear at the beginning and end of commands respectively
 From the ‘:’ to the final <CR> is the command ‘instruction’ (of read, write or execute type)
 All instructions begin with an alphanumeric command identifier of up to 4 characters, and end with a nonalphanumeric (which may be the final <CR>).
Slave Response Message Formats
Each slave monitors the bus for command messages. It responds to any message that is addressed to it by sending a
response message.
To be accepted by a slave device, a message must start with ‘!’, the correct three-digit slave address and ‘:’, and
end with <CR>, with no intervening extra ‘!’.
The slave will then always respond.
There are Three Possible Types of Response: acknowledge (ACK), acknowledge with data (for a read), and notacknowledge (NAK)
ACK is a single <CR> character. This confirms an execute or write command.
ACK-with-data is a decimal number, followed by <CR>. This confirms a read and returns the data value.
NAK is an ‘?’ <CR> sequence. The device rejected the command.
There Are Several Possible Reasons For A NAK Response
Command identifier not recognised
Badly formatted command: Missing command identifier, unrecognised access-code character, or unexpected
character somewhere else
Access attempted not supported by this command.
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NOTES:
 From receipt of the host’s terminating <CR> to a response from the device (if any) will be at most 50mS. After
this, it can be assumed there is no response.
 There is no value-checking: A slave can not NAK a command because a write data value is ‘unsuitable’ in some
way, only if write access itself is disallowed.
For the Ack-with-data (i.e. a successful read command), the returned value consists of printable ASCII characters
finishing with a <CR>, formatted according to the DP and DPB settings as follows
Write Command
If the device accepts the command then a <CR> is transmitted. There is no error checking on the data received by
the device.
Example:
A command to set the BAUD parameter to three on station 1 could look like this –
!001:BAUD=3<CR>
assuming a device with STN=1 is present, it will respond with –
<CR>
Read Command
Returns the requested value specified by the command.
The returned value is formatted according to the DP and DPB values: The response consists of a sign character (±),
DPB decimal digits before a decimal point, DP digits after the point and a terminating <CR>:
The length of the response is thus fixed at DP+DPB+3 characters.
Example:
A command to read the SOUT output could look like this –
!001:SOUT?<CR>
if the value=32.1, and format settings are DP=3 and DPB=5, the response string will be –
+00032.100<CR>
Action Command
If the device accepts the command then a <CR> is transmitted.
Example:
A command to reset device 14 would look like –
!014:RST<CR>
the response string will be just –
<CR>
Broadcast Commands
If the station address in a command message is “000”, this means a broadcast command:.
All slaves act as normal on a broadcast command, but do not respond.
Example:
A command to all devices on the bus to sample their inputs would look like this –
!000:SNAP<CR>
- there is no response
Bad Commands
If any command is not understood by the device then a “?” is transmitted followed by a <CR>.
Example:
A unrecognised command, correctly addressed to station 173 –
!173:XYWR?<CR>
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produces the general error response –
?<CR>
Continuous Output Stream (ASCII ONLY)
For the ASCII protocol only, there is a ‘continuous output’ mode:
The SOUT value is continually broadcast at the output rate. The maximum output rate is 300Hz with minimum
baudrate of 115200.
The output is switched on and off by sending the standard ASCII ‘XON/XOFF’ control bytes (ctrl-Q = 0x11 and ctrl-S =
0x13).
This feature is intended for output to a single, simple serial display devices and printers.
It Has Certain Special Limitations As Follows:
 It can only be used in one-to-one operation, i.e. only one unit on a bus otherwise collisions will occur.
 On a RS485 bus it is not always easy to switch off, as the stop instruction must be transmitted when the device
itself is not transmitting: If the output rate is limited by communications speed, then output is virtually
continuous and may be impossible to stop.
(N.B. this does not apply to RS232, which has separate transmit and receive connections)
 The operation does not start automatically, i.e. an initial Ctrl-Q must be sent. This means that if there is (for
instance) a brief power interruption, output will stop.
To avoid possible problems, continuous-output operation is only enabled when the station-number (STN) is set to the
special value of 999.
New for Version 4
 When Station No. is set for 998 the continuous output streams starts automatically from power up.
The MODBUS-RTU Protocol
MODBUS is a proprietary standard of Modicom Inc.
The full specification is quite complex, including a timeout-based framing strategy and polynomial CRC calculation,
so full details are not given here. Refer to Modicom documentation. Knowledge of the MODBUS protocol is therefore
assumed.
The MODBUS protocol is a partial implementation of the “RTU” (binary) form of the MODBUS standard, sufficient to
allow DCell/DSC units to coexist on a serial bus with other MODBUS-compliant devices.
NOTE:
Third-party applications for MODBUS communications are readily available (e.g. ModScan from Win-Tech software,
www.win-tech.com, who offer a free trial version).
Modbus Messages
All messages and responses are formatted and checksummed according to the normal RTU rules.
The slave number is the device station number: Slave ‘0’ may also be used for broadcast writes.
The device command-set is mapped into the MODBUS ‘Output’ or ‘Holding Registers’ –
Parameters (read or write) are mapped onto a pair of registers containing a 4-byte floating-point value
Action Commands are implemented as dummy parameters: Writing activates the command and reading returns a
dummy value (with no action)
Only Two Valid Message Function Codes Are Supported
Function 03
‘Read Holding Registers’
- to read a register-pair
Function 16
‘Preset Multiple Registers’
- to write a register-pair
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The start address must always be a valid parameter address, which is always an odd number (see the following).
The only permitted data length is two registers, i.e. 4 bytes.
Registers cannot be read or written singularly, in larger groups or using other addresses (i.e. even-numbered
registers cannot be addressed directly).
Parameter Addresses
All MODBUS parameter addresses are derived from the equivalent MANTRABUS register number by a simple “times 2
plus 1” calculation.
For example, the ‘FLAG’ parameter is Mantrabus register#14, so this occupies MODBUS holding registers 29 and 30
(because 214+1 = 29).
See the command table in for the starting register numbers.
Parameter Values
All exchanged values (read and write parameters) are in the standard IEEE 4-byte floating-point format:
The 32 Bits Of The Number Are Distributed As Follows
MSB
31
Sign bit ,
1=negate
30-23 Exponent,
7-bit excess-127
LSB
22-0
Mantissa,
23-bit fraction with implicit 1
The value of the number is thus
{ (-1)Sign * 2(Exponent-127) * 1.Mantissa },
Note the ‘assumed 1’ before the mantissa. The exception to this is the special value 0.0, which is represented as 4
zeroes.
eg. a floating point number of -12345.678 is represented as – [hex] C6 40 E6 B6
These 32 bits are mapped onto a register pair in the following way: The lower register holds bits 15-0 and the upper
register bits 31-16.
These values are coded according to normal Modbus conventions, so the actual byte sequence in a read/write
message is thus –
R1hi, R1lo, R2hi, R2lo
– Which in terms of bits is–
15:8, 7:0, 31:24, 23:16
Error Codes
Only Three Modbus Error Codes Are Supported, Which Are Used As Follows
01
‘Illegal Function’
request for function other than 3/16
02
‘Illegal Data Address’ attempt to read an unsupported register address
03
‘Illegal Data Value’
attempt to write a read-only parameter, or message too long for buffer (valid
messages have a known maximum length)
Write Command Example
Write value 1.23 (represents as hex 3F9D70A4) to registers 57,58 on slave#4
by sending
[hex] 04
station address
10
function code
00 38 start-reg hi,lo (NB h38=56 addresses register 57)
00 02 quantity = 2 registers
04
byte-count = 4
70 A4 first=lower register (17) value = hi,lo
3F 9D second=upper register (18) value = hi,lo
6B AB checksum = hi,lo
A Correct Response Would Then Be
[hex] 04
station address
10
info copied from command ...
00 38
00 02
C0 50 checksum = hi,lo
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Read Command Example
Read a value from registers 13,14 on slave#52
by sending –
[hex] 34
station address
03
function code
00 0C start-reg hi,lo (NB h14=20 addresses register 21)
00 02 quantity = 2 registers
01 AD checksum = hi,lo
A Correct Response, With A Value -55.2317 (Hex C25CED51) Would Then Be
[hex] 34
station response
03
function
04
byte-count
ED 51 C2 5C
data
AA D4 checksum = hi,lo
Execute Command Example
Execute command 101 on slave#17
by sending –
[hex] 11
station address
10
function code
00 64 start-addr h64=100  register 101
00 02 quantity = 2 registers
04
byte-count
00 00 00 00 data (value irrelevant)
A0 B4 checksum = hi,lo
The Acknowledge Response Is Then
[hex] 11
station response
10
info copied from command ...
00 64
00 02
02 87 checksum = hi,lo
The Mantrabus-II Protocol
Mantrabus-II is a two-wire system where data is transmitted & received over a common pair of wires. For this reason
the framing character must not be sent in a reply from the responding DCell.
The protocol ensures this does not occur by splitting byte data into nibbles with the exception of the framing
character & station number.
Framing Character
The framing character for Mantrabus-II is FEh, (this being different from the older Mantrabus-I FFh to allow the two
protocols to be mixed on one bus).
Checksum
Both Host & Device send their EXOR checksum of all data sent, excluding framing character, in nibble format the MS
nibble being first.
eg. EXOR Checksum of data is A7h. Checksum characters sent = 0Ah, 07h
Data Transfer
Data is both sent and received as 4 bytes split into 8 nibbles following the station number, plus two nibbles of
checksum.
Floating-Point Data Format
All data sent & received in Mantrabus-II is in the IEEE floating-point format, this being a 4-byte floating-point
number. The byte containing the sign & exponent is sent first, with the LS byte of the mantissa being last.
The Memory Layout Of The 4-Byte Floating-Point Numbers Is:
MSB
31
Sign bit ,
1=negate
30-23 Exponent,
7-bit excess-127
LSB
22-0
Mantissa,
23-bit fraction with implicit 1
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The value of the number is thus
{ (-1)Sign * 2(Exponent-127) * 1.Mantissa },
Note the ‘assumed 1’ before the mantissa. The exception to this is the special value 0.0, which is represented as 4
zeroes.
eg. a floating-point number of -12345.678 is represented as – [hex] C6, 40, E6, B6
This is transmitted in nibble format as – [hex] 0C, 06, 04, 00, 0E, 06, 0B, 06.
End of Data Identifier
As the protocol has no fixed length or length identifiers the last nibble of data sent to the device has its MS nibble
set. This indicates to the device that all data has been received & the next two bytes will be checksum data.
ACK & NAK
Mantrabus-II supports ACK & NAK, sending ACK (06h) at the end of a successful operation, and NAK (15h) for an
unknown command or failed operation. These are always preceded by the station number (see examples below).
N.B. Mantrabus-II will not transmit a NAK for invalid checksum data, but instead remains silent. (This is different
from the behaviour of the older Mantrabus-I).
Writing to Variables
Station number and command number are followed by 8 bytes of nibble data (the last having its MS bit set),
followed by the two checksum nibbles.
eg. To write the value 100.0 (Floating point 100.0 = 42h, C8h, 00h, 00h) to variable CGAI (command number
40) at station 20, send the following
FEh,
14h,
28h,
|
[EXOR CS]
|
Frame
number
Station
number
04h, 02h, 0Ch, 08h, 00h, 00h, 00h, 80h,
|
the response is then –
14h, 06h
[
Cmd
0Bh, 0Eh
DATA
MS bit
of last Byte set
|
]
char
i.e. ‘station number’, ‘ACK’.
Reading of Variables
To read an individual variable, the command number is sent with the MS bit set (i.e. no data following).
eg. To read CGAI (command number 40) from station number 20, send the following –
FEh,
|
14h,
A8h,
|
[ | ]
Frame
Station
Cmd with
char
number
MS bit set
0Bh, 0Ch
[EXOR CS]
of last byte
Assuming the value was -12345.678 (coded as C640E6B6h, representing -1 * 213* 12345.678 / 8192), the
response will be –
14h,
|
0Ch, 06h, 04h, 00h, 0Eh, 06h, 0Bh, 06h,
[
DATA
Station
number
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]
01h, 0Fh
[EXOR CS]
Action Commands
These are transmitted like read commands, i.e. no data sent. The response is as for write commands.
eg. To reset station three (command 100), send the following.–
FEh,
03h,
|
|
E4h,
|
Frame
Station
Cmd with
char
number
MS bit set
0Eh, 07h
[EXOR CS]
The response is then –
03h, 06h
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Chapter 9 Software Command Reference
This chapter contains tables of all DCell/DSC commands, with brief details of each.
Commands in Access Order
ASCII name
description
datatype
access
MB reg
MD reg
CMVV
STAT
MVV
Temp Compensated mV/V
Status
Filtered & factory calibrated
mV/V
selected output
main output
temperature
raw system output
cell output
error flags
raw cell output
electrical output
system zero
snapshot result
Peak value
Trough value
Communications failure count
software version
serial number low
serial number high
station number
baud rate select
Output Control (Value select)
reading rate select
digits after point
digits before point
Nominal mV/V for scaling ELEC
cell gain
cell offset
cell range min
cell range max
lin n-points
lin raw-values
lin corrections
system gain
system offset
system range min
system range max
g.p. storage values
Dynamic Filter Level
Dynamic filter steps
reboot
take snapshot
Reset peak & trough
Shunt cal ON
Shunt cal OFF
Digital Output on
Digital output off
float
int
float
RO
RO
RO
5
6
8
11
13
17
float
float
float
float
float
int
float
float
float
float
Float
Float
Float
byte
int
int
int
byte
byte
byte
byte
byte
float
float
float
float
float
byte
float
float
float
float
float
float
float
Float
Float
–
–
–
–
–
-
RO
RO
RO
RO
RO
RW
RO
RO
RW
RO
RO
RO
RW
RO
RO
RO
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
RW
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
22
23
24
25
26
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
44
45
50
51..57
61..67
70
71
74
75
81..89
92
93
100
103
104
105
106
107
108
19
21
23
25
27
29
31
33
45
47
49
51
53
61
63
65
67
69
71
73
75
77
79
81
83
89
91
101
103..115
123..135
141
143
145
151
163..179
185
187
201
207
209
211
213
215
217
SOUT
SYS
TEMP
SRAW
CELL
FLAG
CRAW
ELEC
SZ
SYSN
PEAK
TROF
CFCT
VER
SERL
SERH
STN
BAUD
OPCL
RATE
DP
DPB
NMVV
CGAI
COFS
CMIN
CMAX
CLN
CLX1..7
CLK1..7
SGAI
SOFS
SMIN
SMAX
USR1..9
FFLV
FFST
RST
SNAP
RSPT
SCON
SCOF
OPON
OPOF
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
CTN
CT1..5
CTG1..5
CTO1..5
tempco
tempco
tempco
tempco
n-points
Temp points
gain-adjust
offset-adjust
byte
float
float
float
RW
RW
RW
RW
110
111..115
116..120
121..125
221
223..231
233..241
243..251
Table Key
“..” - Denotes a range (e.g. CLK1..7 means “CLK1” to “CLK7”)
Access RW/RO/WO/X = read-write / read-only / write-only / execute
Datatype float/int/byte/– = 4-byte real / two-byte integer / 1-byte integer / none
MB reg = register number for MANTRABUS protocol
MD reg = start register address (always odd) for MODBUS protocol
NOTES:
All Modbus accesses are in register pairs, Modbus addresses are just (2*MANTRABUS)+1
Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
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Chapter 10 Installation
This chapter gives detailed information on integrating DCell and DSC devices into a production system – including
mounting, protection, adjustments, wiring and electrical requirements.
Before Installation
Carefully remove the DCell/DSC device from its shipment box. Check that the device is complete and undamaged.
Check the Product Type Code – on the product label is that which you ordered.
The DCell/DSC can operate in any industrial environment providing the following limits are not exceeded
Operating Temperature
Humidity
Storage temperature
-40 ºC to +85 ºC
95% non condensing
-40 ºC to +85 ºC
For precise details of Environmental Approvals, see chapter 15.
It




Is Advisable To Follow The Following Installation Practice Where Possible
Minimise vibration
Do not mount next to strong electrical or magnetic fields (transformers, power cables)
Install electrical protection device as the unit is not internally fused
Always ensure the package is secure and protected
Physical Mounting
DCell is normally sealed in the pocket of the load cell, which provides mechanical and moisture protection, and
electrical shielding.
The DCell should be mounted using a 2mm screw to the body of the load cell. This should be a “Good”
electrical connection to obtain maximum performance.
Connecting wires are soldered directly to the pads on the top and/or bottom of the PCB. Care must be taken to
electrically insulate the connection pads from the surrounding metal.
DSC is normally installed in a protective enclosure, such as a metal box.
The pins can be plugged into standard (0.1” pitch) PCB header sockets, or soldered directly into a host board or to
connecting wires.
It can be mounted either way up. Unwanted pins projecting on one side may be cropped off.
For extra vibration resistance, the 3 mounting holes provided can be used.
If not required, the protruding end with the single hole can be cut off to make the board smaller.
Electrical Protection
No additional electrical shielding is normally needed.
Electrostatic protection is sufficient for installation purposes only.
Devices are protected against shorting of communications lines to power supply, and shorting of sensor inputs.
No over-current protection is provided in case of faults, so the supply arrangements should ensure adequate power
limiting or fusing.
NOT PROTECTED AGAINST REVERSE POLARITY OF SUPPLY.
Moisture Protection
Both DCell and DSC must only be operated in a dry environment, as moisture can dramatically degrade the
measurement performance.
DCell
Will normally be sealed into a load cell pocket.
While flexible silicone sealant can be used to completely embed the unit, this is not adequate moisture protection
in itself.
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
If required, the entire unit can be embedded in a potting compound: A two-part epoxy compound can be used, but
bubbles and gaps must be avoided to prevent mechanical stresses which could break the device.
The compound used must be specified for electrical use, and have sufficient thermal conductivity to cope with the
heat given off (up to 1W on a 15V supply).
DSC no additional electrical shielding is required, but moisture and/or mechanical protection are often required.
Any simple box or enclosure can be used. If metal, the enclosure should be grounded to the SH connection (see
Communications Cabling and Grounding Requirements below).
Soldering Methods
Take care soldering cables to the pads. Use a temperature controlled soldering iron set to a maximum 330ºC, for no
longer than 2 seconds per pad. Excessive heat or increased soldering time may result in damage to the PCB.
NOTES:
1. Solder with water-soluble flux should not be used (even low-residue), as this can leave a surface film which
attracts atmospheric moisture, degrading measurement performance.
2. DCell units can be damaged by poor soldering, due to the small nature of the circuit boards: Overheating or
applying any pressure to a pad can de solder components on the other side of the board, or cause the pad itself
to become detached.
Power Supply Requirements
The power supply needed is nominally 5.6 to 18V DC, but any possible droop or ripple must be included: The
devices contain ‘brown-out’ detection, which may trigger if the supply voltage at the device drops below the 5.6
volts.
A single device consumes typically 40mA with a 350 gauge connected (except RS232-output units, which use about
10mA more).
An installation should therefore assume at least 60mA per unit, and allow for extra current being taken at power-on
(though supply voltage can safely drop temporarily), and for possible voltage drops in long cables.
Any power-supply ripple should be below 100mV, and supply arrangements should provide current limiting for fault
conditions (see Electrical Protection, above).
Cable Requirements
Strain Gauge Input (DSC)
For optimal performance twin twisted pair with individual shields is recommended, this gives good noise immunity.
Maximum length should not exceed 20m. Normal 4 core shielded cable can be used in areas of low electromagnetic
noise.
Power and Communication
Again, twin twisted pair cable is recommended for this. The cable should have the following characteristics.
 Twisted-pair with independent shields
 Characteristic impedance 50-150 ohms
 Core to core and core to shield capacitance below 300pF/m
A suitable type is BICC Brand-Rex BE56723 (also equivalent to Belden type 8723).
In the UK, this is available from Farnell, part number 118-2117
Normal 4 core shielded cable can be used in areas of low electromagnetic noise.
For RS232 operating at high baud rate on longer distances a triple twisted pair cable is recommended. A suitable
type is BICC Brand-Rex PD3003 (also equivalent to Belden type 8777).
In the UK, this is available from Farnell (enter ‘Belden 8777’ for real length options).
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Temperature Sensor
A shielded twisted pair is recommended, with a maximum length of 10m the shield being connected to the load cell
body or (SH if DSC). For short lengths (< 2m) in a low noise environment (inside load cell body for example) then
normal cable can be used.
Identifying Strain Gauge Connections
DCell Input Connections
The Optional Temperature sensor has two connections, “DQ” which provides the bi-directional data line and –EXC
which provides the 0v connection.
Care must be taken with connections to the temperature sensor as erroneous values, typically 85°C, can occur
if the cables are too long or in noisy electrical environments.
Please ensure, if using own supplied temperature sensor is either DS18S20Z or BS18S20.
DS18B20 MUST NOT be used.
DSC Input Connections
Strain Gauge Bridge Connections Are As Follows
 EXC+/– positive/negative excitation (supply)
 SIG+/– positive/negative output signal
 SH Shield connection for shield of strain gauge cable
 GND can be used as the ground connection for the temperature sensor
Other Connections (DSC ONLY)
Resistor RG and track-cut TC are used to adjust the mV/V sensitivity (see Strain Gauge Sensitivity Adjustment, next
page).
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
Identifying Bus-End Connections
DCell Bus Connections
-V
+V
RS485- (B)
RS485+ (A)
DSC4-RS485 Versions-Bus Connections







+V and -V are the DC power-supply and return connections
RS485+ (A) and RS485- (B) are RS485 communications connections
GND is a communications ground connection
SH is the shield connection
OP is the open collector digital output
IP is the volt free digital input
TS connects to DQ of the optional temperature sensor
DSC2-RS232-Bus Connections




+V and -V are the DC power-supply and return connections
RX and TX are RS232 communications connections. RX being the DSC’s receive
GND is a communications ground connection
SH is the shield connection
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Strain Gauge Cabling and Grounding Requirements
To achieve full performance specifications and conform to environmental approvals, it is important to follow
the wiring procedures outlined in this section.
DCell Strain Gauge Wiring
The following diagram illustrates how to wire up a DCell to a strain gauge
DCell Strain Gauge Wiring Arrangement
M2 Screw to Metal Body
- Exc
+ Sig
Load Cell Body
STRAIN
GAUGE
- Sig
+ Exc
Load Cell Body is Grounded
Key Requirements
All the load cell wires should be kept as short as feasible, at most 20cm.
The EXC+/– wires should be twisted together, also the SIG+/– pair, and the two pairs kept apart. It is also
recommended to secure the wires from moving due to shock or vibration. If the DCell is mounted outside the body
of the load cell then, for optimal performance, twin twisted cable should be used, although standard 4 core
shielded cable can be used in low noise environments.
The M2 mounting hole must be grounded via an M2 screw to the load cell body for specified performance to be
met. (The 2mm mounting hole to accept M2 screw or American equivalent #0-80. Important Note: DO NOT USE #2
screw size.)
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
DSC Strain Gauge Cabling Arrangement
*Shield
EMC Gland
STRAIN
GAUGE
Note shield terminated
at EMC gland using
360° termination
*Tail length must be kept
to a mimimum
Note: The specified cable above shows a yellow wire this will be replaced with a white wire.
Key Requirements
The Strain Gauge cable should be a twin twisted pair with independent shields, with the two pairs used for the EXC
and SIG signal-pairs.
For specified performance, the load cell must be grounded to the SH.
Communications Cabling and Grounding Requirements
To achieve full performance specifications and conform to environmental approvals, it is important to follow
the wiring procedures outlined in this section.
DCell Power and Communications Wiring
The following diagram illustrates how to connect a puck to the communications and power supply (“bus”) cable.
DCell Bus-End Arrangement
M2 screw to metal body
EMC Gland
2 x Twisted Pair
(G)Data -
RS485
‘B’
+ Power
-
CH
Note shield terminated
at EMC gland using
360° termination
NuDam
ND-6520
(RS-232 IN)
‘A’
A
B
(B)GND
+
PSU
Body is Grounded
Note: The specified cable above shows a yellow wire this will be replaced with a white wire.
Key Requirements
The cable must enter the load cell via an EMC cable gland, which connects the cable shield to the load cell body.
This must be a 360 Degree connection
The cable should be a twin twisted pair with independent shields, with one pair used for the communications and
the other for the power wires.
There MUST be a common connection from the PSU and the RS485 ground to ensure the RS485 stays within the
required common mode voltage of +/- 7v.
The shield should be connected to the grounded enclosure of the power supply.
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DSC4-RS485 Versions- Power and Communications Wiring
The following diagram illustrates how to connect a DSC4 card to the communications and power supply (“bus”)
cable.
DSC4-RS485 Versions-Bus-End Arrangement
(G)Data -
NuDam
ND-6520
(RS-232 IN)
‘A’
RS485
‘B’
+ Power
-
HOST
(B)GND
+
PSU
Note: The specified cable above shows a yellow wire this will be replaced with a white wire.
Key Requirements
The cable should be a twin twisted pair with independent shields, with one pair used for the communications and
the other for the power wires.
The cable shield must be connected to the SH pin at the DSC end, and not at the host end.
Any further metal housing should also be connected to the DSC SH pin, and should not be connected to the bus cable
shield (or the sensor cable).
The cable shield should also be connected to the grounded enclosure of the power supply.
There MUST be a common connection from the PSU and the RS485 ground to ensure the RS485 stays within the
required common mode voltage of +/- 7v
DSC2-RS232 Versions (RS232 output) Power and Communications Wiring
The following diagram illustrates how to connect a DSC2 card to the communications and power supply (“bus”)
cable.
DSC2-RS232 Versions Bus-End Arrangement
3 x Twisted Pair
PSU Ground
Note: The specified cable above shows a yellow wire this will be replaced with a white wire.
Key Requirements
The cable should be a triple twisted pair with independent shields. Each of the Rx, Tx and VIN+ wires is paired with
a VIN- wire. For short cable lengths at low baud rates in a low noise environment then 4 core shielded cable can be
used with the RS232 GND and PSU –V being common.
The cable shield should also be connected to the grounded enclosure of the power supply. The cable shield must be
grounded to the SH pin at the DSC end, and not at the host end.
Any further metal housing should also be grounded to the DSC CH pin, and should not be connected to the bus cable
shield (or the sensor cable).
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
Suitable Cable Types
DCell/DSC4-RS485 Versions-RS485 Bus Cable
Requires
 2  twisted-pair with independent shields
 Characteristic impedance 50-150 ohms
 Core to core and core to shield capacitance below 300pF/m
A suitable type is BICC Brand-Rex BE56723 (also equivalent to Belden type 8723)
In the UK, this is available from Farnell, part number 118-2117
DSC Sensor Cable and DSC2-RS232 Versions RS232 Cable
Both of these require 3  twisted-pair version, otherwise similar to the above.
A suitable type is BICC Brand-Rex PD3003 (also equivalent to Belden type 8777)
In the UK, this is available from Farnell, part number 148-540
Warning: Special Problems with Portable Computers
Many portables use double insulated power supplies with no ground connection, and in this case a considerable
voltage can appear on the port pins/chassis when the PC is powered off the mains.
When such a system hosts a DCell/DSC bus, the whole arrangement may be connected to the mains ground only via
the external power-supply or the ground connections to the data-converter or the DCell/DSC units.
Electrical damage due to the brief presence of high voltages can easily occur when such a system is connected up.
Permanent harm can easily be done to the PC serial port, the data converter and/or DCell/DSC devices.
This is not simply a theoretical risk. We have seen several converters, and some DCell devices, destroyed in this
way.
Also note that this kind of damage may often not be immediately obvious, appearing as erratic operation rather
than outright failure.
To Avoid These Problems
1. Any portable should be separately grounded (e.g. via the converter supply) before connecting it to the mains
supply, or to a DCell/DSC bus.
2. We always recommend the use of externally powered rather than port powered data converters (see below for
details of suitable converters)
RS232 Bus Layout
Essentially, the only limitation here is on the cable length.
As described in The RS232 Bus Standard in chapter 8, this is supposedly up to 15m independent of baud rate.
This is not a very realistic figure for typical modern hardware: For genuine RS232 compatible hardware, the length
might be at least twice this at 9600 baud, and perhaps more at lower speeds.
However, some PCs have serial ports that are not truly RS232 hardware compatible, and may not have sufficient
drive for specified operation.
In these cases, the port will probably still be usable with a “short enough” cable. It would be far safer, though, to
replace the suspect hardware with something more suitable.
RS485 Bus Layout
See also the general discussion of RS485 characteristics, The RS485 Bus Standard in chapter 8
Multiple devices are connected “in parallel” to the communications and power supply wire pairs, as shown in the
following diagrams.
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64
RS485 Bus Connections for Multiple DCells
A B +V -V
A B +V -V
A B +V -V
EMC Gland
360° Terminating
Twisted
Pair
120R
Terminating
Resistor
120R Terminating
Resistor
Twisted
Pair
A+
RS485
BDevice GND
PSU
+
-
Note: The specified cable above shows a yellow wire this will be replaced with a white wire.
RS485 Bus Connections for Multiple DSC RS485 Versions
+V
-V
B
A
+V
-V
B
A
+V
-V
B
A
SH
GND
SH
GND
SH
GND
Twisted
Pair
120R
Terminating
Resistor
120R Terminating
Resistor
Twisted
Pair
A+
RS485
BDevice GND
PSU
Note: The specified cable above shows a yellow wire this will be replaced with a white wire.
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Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
+
-
Key Requirements
 The main bus cable must be terminated at either end.
 Where the bus does not go directly to each attached device, each ‘stub’ cable connecting to the bus should have
just one device on it.
 Stub branches should be kept as short as possible, less than 10m at most.
 The ‘stub’ cables should be grounded at each device, and the main cable grounded at the data-converter end.
None of these should connect.
 Stubs are not terminated.
 When using multiple devices on an RS485 bus, assign different station numbers to each device.
Bus Layout and Termination
The ideal bus is a single length of cable, terminated at either end. Each end connects to a communicating device;
while other devices are connected as near as possible directly to the main bus as it passes them (i.e. not on long
side-branches).
The bus must be terminated at both ends to avoid reflections. Connecting a 120 Ohm resistor between the A and B
lines does this.
Loading
In addition to reflections, each connected device places a load on the bus. According to the RS485 standard, a
maximum of 32 ‘standard-load’ devices can be simultaneously connected. The DCell/DSC devices are each one
quarter standard load, so a maximum of 128 devices may be connected at once to a single length of bus.
It is possible to increase this with bus repeaters, but the bi-directional nature of RS485 means it is usually simpler to
add extra communications ports at the host, driving completely separate busses.
Grounding
The RS485 standard does not specify any particular ground connection.
If two external devices are both externally grounded (i.e. not floating), the grounds must be within the bus
common-mode range (±7 volts) to connect safely and communicate. Beyond this, an isolating converter may be
needed.
2 Wire & 4 Wire Connections
DCell/DSC devices only use two wire RS485 connections.
A 2 wire RS485 connection uses the same pair for transmit and receive, so the master has no special rights to the
bus, and only the rules of the protocol used prevent two devices transmitting at once.
RS232 & RS485 Bus Converters
Typical DCell/DSC applications use a PC or PLC host, connecting via an RS232 port. This then requires an RS232 to
RS485 bus converter to communicate with the bus.
The following features are of importanceTwo Wire RS485 Connection
Baud rate Support
Must support at least the rates to be used
Driver-enable Control
Can be either hardware control-line driven (normally via DTR), or automatic (host transmitting enables driver).
For Automatic Control
The converter detects host transmissions: It usually needs to be set to the correct baud rate, and may only support
certain specific baud rates.
Power Options
Can be self-powered (i.e. from the RS232 port, maybe RTS, DTR or TX data-pin), or require an external powersupply.
Although a self powered converter seems attractive, it will usually have a limited drive capability: It will thus only
drive a reasonably short bus with a few devices on it.
The RS232 & RS485 bus converter Mantracourt supplies as standard is an externally powered device, supporting all
the DCell/DSC data rates up to 115200.
It features completely automatic data-rate detection (no set-up switches), and automatic enable-control switching
with opto-isolation.
GND PSU must be connected to GND of the RS485 device.
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66
Strain Gauge Sensitivity Adjustment (DSC ONLY)
Standard unit suitable for inputs up to 3m/V. Beyond this strain gauge sensitivity adjustment please consult factory.
If your strain gauge does not deliver a 2.5mV/V full scale output, you may want to adjust the sensitivity of the
electronics (hardware) and/or the software gain controls.
If you want to test with an input of more than 2.5mV/V, you will have to adjust the hardware sensitivity to avoid
saturating the input. If it is less, you can correct in software alone, but increasing sensitivity will generally improve
accuracy.
To adjust the mV/V for DSC, an extra resistor ‘Rg’ is fitted across the pads RG, as shown above, in
Identifying the DSC ‘Rg’ Resistor
RGG
TC
Identifying Sensor End Connections
The link across TC can be cut to disconnect the internal 100R gain resistor: This is needed for lowering the
sensitivity.
The resistor is 0805 size surface mount chip.
A 0.1%, 5ppm/Deg C resistor for the high stability version & 25ppm/ Deg C for the Industrial must be used to
maintain performance.
Reducing Sensitivity
To accommodate a maximum sensor output larger than 2.5mV/V, it is necessary to reduce the electrical sensitivity
of the input circuitry.
To decrease sensitivity, the link TC is cut, and the value of the resistor fitted, in , should be –
Rg = (required
mV/V) x 40
Example: For 10mV/V
Rg = 10
x 40 = 400
Increasing Sensitivity
When the full-scale output is smaller than 2.5 mV/V, it may be desired to increase sensitivity. However, it is often
possible instead to compensate partly or entirely in software, by increasing a software gain control CGAI or SGAI
To increase sensitivity, TC is left in place, so that the fitted Rg appears in parallel (this gives better temperature
stability). Its value should then be
RG = 1 / (( 0.025 / rqd m V/V ) – 0.01)
Two effects should be noted
1. The purpose of increasing sensitivity is to reduce reading noise, which governs the effective resolution. Using
software gain alone obviously gives reduced performance.
2. The sensitivity should, however, not be set greater than typically 1mV/V: Beyond this, input noise usually
dominates and no extra benefit can be achieved.
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Chapter 11 Troubleshooting
This chapter gives a quick guide to problem solving for DCell/DSC devices.
Bear in mind that the quickest way to pin down problems is to usually replace items with ‘known good’ alternatives.
This also applies to cables, power supplies, devices etc.
LED Indicator
The LED is used to indicate the protocol selection, the device is powered and the Device is
Operating. For correct operation the LED should Flash ON for 100mS then repeat at a rate depending on the
protocol. See table below. If this is not the case then follow the instructions below.
Protocol
ASCII
MODBUS
MANTRABUS II
LED Flash Period
0.5 seconds
1 second
2 seconds
If the LED is OFF check the power supply polarity & voltage. The voltage including any troughs should be above 5.6V
and less than 18V. If the supply polarity and voltage is correct then switch off, remove the strain gauge from circuit
and switch on. If the LED is still off check the current drawn by the device. With no strain gauges should be approx
30mA.
If the LED is permanently ON then contact factory.
If The LED is ON for the majority of time then Flashes OFF for 100mS then a fault exists. This Fault can be read back
using the communications. Likely causes of this are Strain Gauge Integrity error or Limits reached for MVV, CRAW,
SRAW or TEMP. First check the connections to the strain gauge are correct. Next check the input is not over-range
or the limits set for CMIN, CMAX, SMIN or SMAX have not been exceeded.
No Communications
The majority of problems involve a failure to communicate, as there are a fair number of optional settings that
must be set the same at both ends of the link.
For this reason, any communications application should always check command responses, and flag a problem when
there these responses are not activated.
Possible problems can be categorised according to where in the ‘chain’ of communication the problem may be. The
typical chain runs as follows,






PC software (port connection, baud rate, station number, protocol)
PC serial port (working)
Serial lead to converter
RS232/RS485 data converter (power supply, PC port, wiring, transmit enable, baud rate setting)
Bus wiring
Device (wiring, station number, baud rate, protocol, working)
A quick checklist elaborates on these requirements, in the case that you are using the Instrument Explorer
evaluation software (other software may have different requirements at the PC end): Check that –
PC End
1. PC software settings: right serial port, baud rate and protocol
(standard data setup is 1 start bit+ 1 stop bit, no flow control)
2. PC serial port okay: check with other serial device, e.g. wire 2 PCs together with Hyperterminal running on both
(RS232 Versions) RS232 Evaluation Cable
3. Evaluation Kit cable: on right serial port; end without power supply wires connects to PC
(RS485 Versions) Cable + Data Converter
4. Cable to data converter: right serial port, standard 9 pin straight-through cable (not ‘null modem’ type, with
Tx/Rx crossed).
5. Power connected to data converter
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68
6. Data converter baud rate setting (if not Evaluation Kit type): DIL switches for this, may be essential for
automatic enable-switching
7. Data converter enable switching (if not Evaluation Kit type): If done by control line, check the serial port
connects this correctly. If by transmission detect, how is baud rate set?
Evaluation Board or Device
8. Power reaches the device
9. (RS485) connections the right way round.
With comms idle, ‘B’ should be a few tenths of a volt higher than ‘A’
10. Device settings: correct station-number, baud rate
(How do you know these are correct? A substitute device is very useful here!)
11. Device protocol: double-check product label
12. Device running okay:
LED is flashing.
devices take 20-30mA supply current without sensor attached, 30-50 with.
Bad Readings
The cause can be either hardware or software related.
Software
1. Check the MVV reading first and ensure it is correct. This figure is the RAW input and is not affected by the user
configurable calibration settings.
2. If MVV looks correct, check the calibration settings step by step.
Consider resetting all the calibration controls to default values – see Chapter 4 The Readings Process. This
should make SOUT=MVV at all times.
Hardware
3. Load Cell problem should be indicated by flags in STAT, LCINTEG
4. Genuine hardware problems usual show up as total failure – i.e. no reading = always unchanging, usually near
zero, sometimes always full-scale.
Check wiring, take voltage level readings and again if possible use a known good device and set up.
5. Check the sensor is connected properly, and has some resistance across excitation wires, and around 350 Ohms
across output wires (when disconnected from device).
6. Check for damaged DCell/DSC device by replacement
Unexpected Warning Flags
Remember that all warning flags in FLAG must be explicitly reset –they do not clear themselves when a problem is
resolved.
If a flag cannot be cleared, the cause must be persistent –i.e. it keeps happening again. This can be immediate,
regular (every few seconds) or irregular (occasional).
See Self Diagnosis for precise details of how the individual warnings operate.
Bear In Mind The Following Possible Problems
1. REBOOT or an increasing CFCT may indicate intermittent connections.
2. Where ECOMUR/OR or EXCUR/EXCOR are triggered, suspect input wiring.
3. Various ‘range’ errors (CRAWUR/OR, SRAWUR/OR) are also likely to be set if the excitation was interrupted
(EXCUR/OR).
4. For range errors, check the associated limit parameters (CMIN/MAX, SMIN/MAX).
5. Problems are likely if any calibration MIN/MAX parameters are set the wrong side of zero
(i.e. MIN>0 or MAX<0).
69
Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
Problems With Bus Baud Rate
There are a number of special difficulties to be considered here
 Systems with very long cabling may not work with higher baud rates
 When using an RS232/RS485 converter, it may be necessary to change some converter settings when changing
baud rate. Certain converters may not support some baud rates.
 Always remember you need to reboot devices before the change takes effect
 A bus with two devices talking at different baud rates may become unusable.
So always change all at once by powering down or issuing a broadcast reset command (RST).
Difficult problems can always be overcome, if necessary, by isolating individual devices and trying the different
baud rates in turn. This deals with all possible problems, as long as your hardware can deliver all the supported
baud rates.
Recovering a ”lost” DCell/DSC
For baud rate problems, see previous section.
You can try all 3 protocols if confused (but this should be indicated by the product code on the product label, if it
has not been removed).
If a station number is unknown, it can be reset via broadcast command, as long as the device is the only one on the
bus.
If two devices on the same bus end up set to the same ‘bus address’, they can no longer be commanded separately:
The only solution is to remove one device from the bus and connect it exclusively to a PC to change its STN.
Always remember that a reboot (power-off or RST command) is needed to change STN and BAUD settings!
Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
70
Chapter 12 Specifications
Technical Specifications DSC/DCELL High Stability
Set for 2.5mV/V sensitivity.
Parameter
Strain Gauge Excitation System
Strain Gauge Excitation Voltage
Strain Gauge Drive Capability
Strain Gauge Sensitivity
Offset Temperature Stability
Gain Temperature Stability
Offset Stability with Time
Gain Stability with Time
Non Linearity before Linearization
Internal Resolution
Resolution @ 1Hz readings (Noise stable) over 100s
Resolution @ 10Hz readings (Noise stable) over 100s
Resolution @ 100Hz readings (Noise stable) over 100s
Resolution @ 500Hz readings (Noise stable) over 100s
Signal Filter
Optional Temperature Resolution
Temperature Measurement Resolution
Temperature Measurement Accuracy (-10 to 85)
Temperature Measurement Accuracy (-55 to 125)
Temperature update Speed
Electrical
Power Supply voltage
Power Supply ripple
Power Supply current (350R Bridge)
Power @ 10v (350R Bridge)
Environmental
Output Data terminal
Data transmission rate
Output cable length (speed dependant)
Operating temperature range
Storage temperature
Humidity
PCB Dimensions DSC
PCB Dimensions DCell
Min
Typical
Max
4 Wire
5
5.25
5000
2.5
3
1
4
3
5
20
80
30
4. 5
320
-3
VDC
Ohms
mV/V
ppm/C
ppm/C
ppm of FR (1)
ppm of FR
(2)
5
25
ppm of FR
16 Million
Counts/divs
200,000
Counts/divs
120,000
Counts/divs
50,000
Counts/divs
18,000
Counts/divs
Dynamic recursive type user programmable
0.0625
0.5
2.0
5
5.6
12
45
450
2,400
-40
-40
0
18
100
60
V dc
mV ac pk-pk
mA
mW
bps
m
C
C
%RH
87.4 x 20 x 8.5mm
Diameter 20mm, Height 5.3mm
The DSC digital output is an open collector transistor rated at 100mA @ 40v
Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
Deg C
Deg C
Deg C
Seconds
RS485 (DSC offers RS232)
230,400
1000
+85
+85
95
Notes.
1. From original offset at any time
2. 1st Year
3. Dependent on cable type and is for RS485, For RS232 max length is 20m
71
Units
Technical Specifications DSC/DCELL Industrial Stability
DSC Conditioner is nominally set for 2.5mV/V sensitivity.
Parameter
Strain Gauge Excitation System
Strain Gauge Excitation Voltage
Strain Gauge Drive Capability
Strain Gauge Sensitivity
Offset Temperature Stability
Gain Temperature Stability
Offset Stability with Time
Gain Stability with Time
Non Linearity before Linearization
Internal Resolution
Resolution @ 1Hz readings (Noise stable) over 100s
Resolution @ 10Hz readings (Noise stable) over 100s
Resolution @ 100Hz readings (Noise stable) over 100s
Resolution @ 500Hz readings (Noise stable) over 100s
Signal Filter
Optional Temperature Resolution
Temperature Measurement Resolution
Temperature Measurement Accuracy (-10 to 85)
Temperature Measurement Accuracy (-55 to 125)
Temperature update Speed
Electrical
Power Supply voltage
Power Supply ripple
Power Supply current (350R Bridge)
Power @ 10v (350R Bridge)
Environmental
Output Data terminal
Data transmission rate
Output cable length (speed dependant) Note 3
Operating temperature range
Storage temperature
Humidity
PCB Dimensions DSC
PCB Dimensions DCell
Min
Typical
Max
4 Wire
5
5.25
5000
2.5
3
5
10
30
50
35
160
300
4. 5
320
-3
Units
VDC
Ohms
mV/V
ppm/C
ppm/C
ppm of FR (1)
ppm of FR
(2)
5
25
ppm of FR
16 Million
Counts/divs
66,000
Counts/divs
40,000
Counts/divs
10,000
Counts/divs
5,000
Counts/divs
Dynamic recursive type user programmable
0.0625
0.5
2.0
5
5.6
12
45
450
2,400
-40
-40
0
Deg C
Deg C
Deg C
Seconds
18
100
60
V dc
mV ac pk-pk
mA
mW
RS485 (DSC offers RS232)
230,400
1000
+85
+85
95
bps
m
C
C
%RH
87.4 x 20 x 8.5mm
Diameter 20mm, Height 5.3mm
Notes.
1. From original offset at any time
2. 1st Year
3. Dependent on cable type and is for RS485, For RS232 max length is 20m
The DSC digital output is an open collector transistor rated at 100mA @ 40v
Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
72
Mechanical Specification for DSC
Note: Viewed from top-side (CAN/label as photo on front cover of manual)
Mechanical Specification for DCell
DCell : Diameter 20mm, Height 5.3mm and has an 2mm mounting hole to accept M2 screw or American equivalent
#0-80. Important Note: DO NOT USE #2 screw size
Hole centre positions taken
All dimensions are in mm.
x
Mounting hole
0.0
-V
+6.2
+V
+7.9
RS485-(B)
+5.8
RS485+ (A)
+3.6
Temp sensor DQ
-1.3
+EXC
-7.5
+SIG
-8.8
-SIG
-8.0
-EXC
-6.3
CE Approvals
European EMC Directive
73
2014/30/EC
BS EN 61326-1:2006
BS EN 61326-2-3:2006
Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
from pcb centre.
y
+7.9
+6.1
+3.8
-6.6
-8.1
-8.8
-4.9
-1.5
+3.9
+6.1
Hole diameter
2.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.7
Warranty
All DCell & DSC products from Mantracourt Electronics Ltd., ('Mantracourt') are warranted against defective material and workmanship for a
period of (3) three years from the date of dispatch.
If the 'Mantracourt' product you purchase appears to have a defect in material or workmanship or fails during normal use within the period,
please contact your Distributor, who will assist you in resolving the problem. If it is necessary to return the product to 'Mantracourt' please
include a note stating name, company, address, phone number and a detailed description of the problem. Also, please indicate if it is a
warranty repair.
The sender is responsible for shipping charges, freight insurance and proper packaging to prevent breakage in transit.
'Mantracourt' warranty does not apply to defects resulting from action of the buyer such as mishandling, improper interfacing, operation outside
of design limits, improper repair or unauthorised modification.
No other warranties are expressed or implied. 'Mantracourt' specifically disclaims any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a
specific purpose. The remedies outlined above are the buyer’s only remedies. 'Mantracourt' will not be liable for direct, indirect, special,
incidental or consequential damages whether based on the contract, tort or other legal theory.
Any corrective maintenance required after the warranty period should be performed by 'Mantracourt' approved personnel only.
In the interests of continued product development, Mantracourt Electronics Limited reserves the right to alter product specifications without prior notice.
Code No 517-153
Mantracourt Electronics Limited DCell & DSC User Manual
Issue 3.7
20.07.17
74
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