Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology
Tech Info Library

Force Plate Troubleshooting and FAQs

Force Plate, order code FP-BTA, $289
Specifications and User Guide

TROUBLESHOOTING
-Primary Test: Set the range switch, located on the same side of the force plate as the cable, to the 3500 N range. Reset the data-collection program by starting a new experiment file to access the appropriate calibration equation for the range setting. Does the plate read approximately zero? Choose Zero in software. Stand on the plate; using F=mg, does the reading make sense?
-Secondary Test: Changing the physical orientation of the sensor will change the reading when no force is applied. Reset the data-collection program or zero the sensor.

The most common failure mode is to have the plate not respond to changes in the force. This may be seen as a constant -1000N or +4000N reading when on the 3500 N range. If the force plate does not respond at all to a change in force, check that the range switch is moved all the way to the side on the 3500 N range, and not in the middle. If plate still does not respond, contact technical support.

It is common for the force plate to exhibit some hysteresis (on the order of a few newtons) after hard impacts.

RELATED TIL ENTRIES
TIL 1582: What activities are available for the Force Plate?
TIL 2472: My Force Plate reading does not change.
TIL 553: Can I use your equipment for a bridge-building contest?
TIL 1298: How short an impulse can I measure with the Force Plate?
TIL 1834: What does the Force Plate measure?
TIL 1241: The force plate handle does not line up with the mounting holes in the force plate.

SPECIFICATIONS
-Force range: -850 to +3500 N or -200 to +850 N, where positive value is a compression force
-Maximum non-damaging force: 4500 N (1000 lb) compression or 900 N (200 lb) pull evenly distributed
-Minimum impulse duration for reliable data: 20 ms
-Dimensions: 28 cm by 32 cm by 5 cm

CALIBRATION
-Calibrate? No. The sensor is set to the stored calibration before shipping.
-If you wish to calibrate the sensor, you will conduct a two-point calibration. The first point is zero. Set the Force Plate on a level surface and remove all force from the Force Plate. Enter 0 (zero). Second point: apply a known force (known mass) to the Plate. To obtain a good calibration, the weight should be at least 25% of the range used for the plate (200 or 850 N). Enter the weight of the mass (note: 1 kg weighs 9.8 N). Be careful not to exceed the selected range setting during the calibration.

RELATED VERNIER PRODUCTS
-Extra Force Plate Handles, order code FP-HAN, $25

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