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Digital Force Gauges

(AFG, BFG, Orbis, Tornado) - What baud rate should I use? How do I set up communication with a PC?

Firstly, you will need the correct lead to connect your gauge. Secondly, the baud rate of the gauge and the PC need to match, The Advanced Force Gauge (AFG) can be set to various baud rates, please see your manual. The Orbis and Tornado are set to 9600. If you have the Basic Force Gauge (BFG) communicating in single mode this uses a baud rate of 9600. The BFG changes it`s baud rate when going into continuous transmit. The baud rates are 9600 in single transmit and 57600 baud in continuous transmit. (This is detailed in the latest manual , on p9).

Can we adjust our own force gauge?

No. The adjustment procedures and specialist equipment required to calibrate the Mecmesin product range is proprietary and will not be issued to third parties.

Can you tell me the polarity of the charger?

Male pin positive

How can I display results from a Mecmesin instrument on a printer? How do I connect my force or torque gauge to a printer? (AFG, BFG, Orbis, Tornado, MultiTest-x, MultiTest-d, Digimatic)

Both the instrument and printer will need to be set up correctly and using the correct cable.

For older units prior to 1993 an interface is required for Digimatic use.

There are instructions for the DP1-VR and Mahr printer in the Technical Library.

How do I upload data from my gauge to a PC via the RS232 interface (i.e. the serial port)?

The operating manual for your gauge will give you the basic information. RS232 connecting cables are available from stock if required. Our supplementary Technical Advice Note (TAN-1), provides detailed instructions, please go to to our Technical Library section.

I require a new battery charger/mains adaptor for my Mecmesin force gauge and I need to know the technical specification?

Battery chargers are available for sale and you should contact our Sales Department or your local distributor for prices. Please remember to specify the instrument type and plug configuration required (UK 3pin square, Euro 2pin round, or USA 2pin flat). Never connect a non-Mecmesin charger (such as a 9 V dc PP3 battery charger) to one of our instruments as serious damage could occur.

I would like to know more about the External Trigger feature available in your AFG range of digital force gauges?

This feature is used to "freeze" the main display of the Advanced Force Gauge (AFG) when an external signal is received. The AFG can be configured to freeze when going either low 1-0 (LO) or high 0-1 (HI). It is particularly useful for applications where an event occurs ..e.g. when testing a switch.

My instrument switches off after a fixed time. Can this function be altered?

Yes. Your operating manual will give details of how to alter or disable the instrument auto-off function.

We are getting an `Error 2` message on our Basic Force Gauge (BFG) or Compact Force Gauge (CFG) Mk4 gauge. There is no reference to this in my manual - what can I do?

This fault was due to the crystal not stabilising quick enough upon boot-up and then falsely triggering an NMI (Non-maskable Interrupt) routine.
CFG - the CFG is a non-serviceable gauge so you will need a replacement CFG.
BFG - you will need to return the BFG gauge for repair.

What should I do if I spill liquid on my force gauge?

Wipe the gauge with a towel, then move it, wipe all surfaces thoroughly, and let it dry naturally. Do not open the case or attempt to accelerate the drying process by applying heat. If subsequently the gauge fails to operate correctly, you will need to arrange for the instrument to be serviced; if you are not based in the UK, your local distributor will be able to arrange this. If the liquid spilt upon the gauge was not water, please advise what it was.

Why does my instrument display ‘­OL-‘ continuously? (AFG, BFG, CFG and other gauges)

The ‘­OL-‘ symbol is usually displayed when the instrument has suffered an irreversible overload and will need to be returned to your nearest Service Centre for investigation.

Why is it not necessary for me to send back my AFTI display when having my “Smart” load cell calibrated? Why is it not necessary for me to send back my upper display portion when having my Advanced Loadcell Cartridge (ALC) calibrated?

This is because Mecmesin employs a `ratiometric` technique which means it is not necessary to match-calibrate the ‘Smart’ sensor to a specific display.

Smart Interchangeability.

The ‘Smart’ transducers are fully interchangeable without the need for additional calibration of either the display or the transducer. Mecmesin use standard mV/V sensors in all its instruments. These sensors are subjected to an excitation voltage from the host display (either AFTI or AFG) and the signal is amplified.

Due to the ratiometric principle, when the amplified signal is converted from analogue to digital, the excitation voltage (also known as reference voltage) appears on both sides of the conversion equation and therefore cancels itself out – in real terms, the absolute value of the excitation voltage is unimportant to the conversion. Any components, which are not subject to the ratiometric principle, have been specified within the design brief to be high precision and their allowable deviation falls well within the accuracy tolerance of the instrument.

What is the maximum transfer rate from an AFG Mk4? What is the latency between the data being recorded and transmitted? (AFG Mk4, Orbis Mk2 Tornado Mk2)

Applies to the latest AFG Mk4 & TORNADO Mk2 Software Only. The rate settings make no difference to the data transmission rates in the new software.

1. The maximum latency from request (e.g. receiving a ‘?’) to the start of data being transmitted is approximately 12ms, for both RS232 (all baud rates) and Digimatic. The data could be up to 20ms old before it is transmitted.

2. For RS232 transmission the maximum data rate depends on the format transmitted. If units and the sign are transmitted the data rate will be reduced as there is more to transmit.

At 9600, the guaranteed maximum rate is approximately 29Hz (continuous transmission function operates at 25Hz at this baud rate).

At 115200 this is increased to approximately 70Hz (continuous transmission function operates at 50Hz at this baud rate).

Note, however, that new data is only ‘available’ for transmission every 20ms, so sampling faster than 50Hz would result in the same data being repeated occasionally.

3. Determining the maximum data transmission rate for Digimatic is difficult as it depends greatly on the speed the connected Digimatic device can operate at (e.g. the Mahr printer can operate faster than some of the older Mitutoyo devices). From a Digimatic request to complete load transmission (regardless of connected device) takes a maximum of approximately 150ms. Therefore, theoretically, data could be transmitted approximately every 150ms (6.6Hz) if requested. If not requested, i.e. in continuous transmission mode, the transmission rate could be increased to a maximum of approximately 30Hz.

Is it possible to generate an overload signal in order to stop load increasing before the loadcell is damaged on the AFG or AFTI.

The AFG/AFTI series of instruments can send a flag to an external device at a given alarm point. Your AFG operating manual gives more information.

Please consider the matter of rate of increase of load. If you drive a loadcell into a solid object, the rate of increase of load will be nearly infinite, and no circuit will be able to respond sufficiently quickly to protect your loadcell.

We recommend that if your `true` overload point is, for example, 500 N, you should start experimenting with loads much lower than this (perhaps 100 N, depending on the rate of increase of load), then progressively increase this value until the peak actually observed is slightly less than the loadcell capacity.

I can't get Dataplot to work with my gauge, what can I do? (AFG,BFG,Orbis,Tornado)

1. Ensure you are using the correct cable with your gauge.

2. Try Factory Defaulting the gauge.

3. Check settings for comms are the same in Dataplot and your gauge.

4. Ensure you have the correct COM Port selected in Dataplot.

To take readings press "New Measurement" then "Start".

Dataplot is no longer sold and has now been replaced by Emperor™ Lite.

Important Note about AFG/AFTI Mk4 firmware v1.07 (I have an E-Err error message on my AFG Mk4 display with a Smart instrument connected).

If you are using AFG/AFTI Mk4 V1.07 we have found that this version of firmware causes Smart instruments to display E-Err if the Smart is also used with a AFG/AFTI Mk2.

The data can be restored by connecting the Smart to an AFG/AFTI Mk4 with V1.10. Please contact your local agent to upgrade the AFG/AFTI Mk4 gauge to V1.10 or later.

If you are not using the Smart with both an AFG/AFTI Mk4 v1.07 and an AFG/AFTI Mk2 this issue does not occur.