I'm having trouble finding a specific component for a project I'm working on. What I need is a sensor that can act as a hinge (or can measure the rotation of a hinge) and tells the degree of rotation between the two planes on either side of the hinge. It needs to read from 0-100ish degrees. I've looked at various sensors with knobs, and I don't think they could solely support the weight being put on the hinge. Has anyone ever worked with a piece like this? Any tips or workarounds are greatly appreciated.
Your answer pretty much depends on your precise mechanical arrangement. If you can work it out such that a potentiometer can be turned as your hinge opens, that might be your easiest bet. A rotary encoder, either absolute, or relative (with some mechanism to track where zero is) would be another fair option.
If there is no way to work a potentiometer or encoder in to your mechanical arrangement, then perhaps you can build some mechanical arrangement where you can measure how much string gets pulled from a string potentiometer.
It short, your options are limitless, and really come down to the mechanical situation. I think to get a meaningful answer, photos or drawings of the specific situation are necessary.