11 Jun 2024

The SparkFun HX711 is a precision 24-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) designed for weight sensing applications. When interfaced with an Arduino microcontroller, it can be used to accurately measure weight using load cells. This makes it an ideal solution for projects that require precise weight measurements, such as kitchen scales, industrial automation, and robotics.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of interfacing the SparkFun HX711 with an Arduino for weight sensing applications. By following these steps, you will be able to build your own weight sensing system and integrate it into your projects.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Components

Before getting started, you will need to gather the following components:

  • SparkFun HX711 breakout board
  • Load cell
  • Arduino (e.g. Arduino Uno or Arduino Mega)
  • Breadboard
  • Jumper wires

Step 2: Connect the SparkFun HX711 to the Arduino

To connect the SparkFun HX711 to the Arduino, follow these steps:

  1. Connect the HX711 breakout board to the Arduino as follows:

    • Connect the VCC pin of the HX711 to the 5V pin of the Arduino.
    • Connect the GND pin of the HX711 to the GND pin of the Arduino.
    • Connect the DT pin of the HX711 to digital pin 2 of the Arduino.
    • Connect the SCK pin of the HX711 to digital pin 3 of the Arduino.

  2. Connect the load cell to the HX711 breakout board:

    • Connect the white wire of the load cell to the A+ pin of the HX711.
    • Connect the black wire of the load cell to the A- pin of the HX711.
    • Connect the red wire of the load cell to the E+ pin of the HX711.
    • Connect the green wire of the load cell to the E- pin of the HX711.

Step 3: Install the HX711 Library

In order to use the SparkFun HX711 with the Arduino, you will need to install the HX711 library. You can download the library from the official Arduino website or from the SparkFun GitHub page. Follow the instructions provided with the library to install it on your Arduino IDE.

Step 4: Write the Code

Now that you have connected the SparkFun HX711 to the Arduino and installed the library, you can start writing the code to interface the two components. Here is a simple example code that reads the weight from the load cell and prints it to the serial monitor:

#include <HX711.h>

const int DT_PIN = 2;
const int SCK_PIN = 3;

HX711 scale;

void setup() {
Serial.begin(9600);
scale.begin(DT_PIN, SCK_PIN);
}

void loop() {
float weight = scale.getUnits();
Serial.print("Weight: ");
Serial.print(weight);
Serial.println(" g");
delay(1000);
}

Step 5: Calibration

Before using the weight sensing system in your project, it is important to calibrate the load cell. To do this, place a known weight on the load cell (e.g. a 100g weight) and measure the output. Adjust the calibration factor in the code until the measured weight matches the known weight.

By following these steps, you can easily interface the SparkFun HX711 with an Arduino for weight sensing applications. With this setup, you can now build your own weight measurement system for a variety of projects.

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