I think this is the right area where to ask this question. I´v got a cattle mechanical scale like this ones here. I have to weigh around 300 cow every month and with this mechanical scale the work becomes very time consuming. I need to make my job faster and easier. But I live in Argentina where good technology is extremely overpriced.

Do any of you happen to know a way of modifying a mechanical scale and transforming it to electric without having to change the actual scales system?

I most sincerely apologies if this is not the right section, but you must understand that it is a very specific question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I am not totally clear on the type of scale you have. There were several models on that link. Do you have to slide weights on a bar for each animal to find the exact weight? \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith Feb 24 '16 at 16:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ The literature does say that it is easy to fit a load cell for electronic measurements, is that a possibility for you? \$\endgroup\$ – user1582568 Feb 24 '16 at 16:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes exactly. The slide and weights. Yes it is easy to load the cell. Thing is. I do not have the posibilities of finding one. \$\endgroup\$ – Pilo Basualdo Feb 24 '16 at 17:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since you have access to the internet you could easily look up a mail order electronic floor scale that could make the job much easier. You could likely place the while animal holding assembly onto the platform. Many retailers will also sell you a small printer to get print outs from the scale. Here is one from amazon.com: amazon.com/Prime-Scales-10000lb-48x48-Indicator/dp/B006ZA9G7C/… \$\endgroup\$ – Nedd Feb 24 '16 at 17:38

You could affix a force meter to the end of the weight slide, and calibrate it with a known weight. In theory, so long as you don't move the adjustable balance weights after calibration, the force meter would be correct.

Things to consider:

  • Determine the max rated weight of the scale, and calculate the maximum pull force on the slider arm. Choose an electronic force meter accordingly.

  • Alternatively, you could mount the force meter equidistant from the fulcrum, then no calibration would be necessary, though you probably would have to take the sliding weights off.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ An electronic force meter is, in this case, just a smaller scale. \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith Feb 24 '16 at 16:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, you're not wrong @mkeith \$\endgroup\$ – Brendan Simpson Feb 24 '16 at 17:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have a link? So as to know what I'm looking for? \$\endgroup\$ – Pilo Basualdo Feb 24 '16 at 17:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Something like this: goo.gl/pp74ax There are also mechanical versions that are a bit less expensive, but just output the measurement on a mechanical dial. You can get away with using a lower force rating meter by mounting it further from the fulcrum. If the pressure plate lever is 1cm from the fulcrum, and you mount this 10cm from the fulcrum, you'll effectively turn a 100kg force meter into a 1000kg force meter. \$\endgroup\$ – Brendan Simpson Feb 24 '16 at 17:43

Here is a a.PDF document showing one form of mechanical to electronic scale conversion:


These days you can buy low cost one piece electrical load cells to use with the above conversion (see the example in the document). Once you have a load cell installed almost any low cost industrial scale can be use. (It just needs to include wire inputs for an external load cell, these are also common.)


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