I need to read 4 load cells with relatively low resolution (12 bit is OK) and frequency (10 SPS is sufficient). The prototype used 2 ubiquitous HX711 breakouts with each powering two load cells in parallel (I've asked about this arrangement here and can confirm that it works).
In the final product I would like to use one 4-channel ADC and I've narrowed the choices down to two chips, AD7794 and MCP3428. I am also thinking about using current excitation sources to reduce the effect of 1.5m wires.
Now, AD7794 has two differential reference inputs that can be connected to excitation voltage to negate the noise in supply. But this means at least two load cells will be on a same current source. They do work just fine with constant voltage excitation. What I am worried about is rather big variance in load cell input impedance (8% per datasheet) and how they may affect each other on constant current excitation.
I am looking at the following choices:
- Use 2 current sources, each supplying a pair of load cells and providing voltage for one reference input;
- Use one current source for all 4 cells and a single reference input;
- Use relatively stable board supply voltage for excitation and a single reference input;
- Use much simpler MCP3428 chip with its internal reference.