I have been looking at measuring the extension/retraction of a piston to record and predict the life of the device. What would be the best way to measure the piston strokes?
So far, I have come up with following guesses/ideas:
LVDT in parallel. This is cost prohibitive.
Linear Pot. I like this idea, but I have not found a decent source for COTS solutions. No idea what price is.
Optical sensor on piston, stripe piston (encoder-like feedback and the environment is very clean). I imagine I would need to add limit switches and possibly calibrate this configuration. This seems overly complicated.
I figure there are other solutions out there, but I am currently ignorant to them.
Info for the piston/interface: - 8 inch stroke - Clean environment with some dust intrusion (think home office, not industrial) - Accuracy is acceptable to within 10% of stroke - Maximum actuation time of 1 stroke per second - Ambient temperature is 20C-25C without much variation - Time is not an issue, this is an experiment - The cheaper the solution the better. Ideal price point is $5-$10 though likely unrealistic - My goal is to test to 10,000 strokes - An absolute output is ideal, but not completely necessary