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# Measurement of Resistance by Using

Wheatstone Bridge
Mohd Shaiful Iruan bin Mohd Aris, Quek Yeong Hua

## SEM 4722, Section 3, Group No. 5

Faculty of Electrical Engineering,
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

## Abstract - No text on electrical metering various form of the Wheatstone bridge

could be called complete without a section can be used to accurately determine the
on bridge circuits. These ingenious
value of an unknown resistance,
circuits make use of a null-balance meter
to compare two voltages, just like the capacitance and induction. For this
laboratory balance scale compares two experiment our objectives is to measure
weights and indicates when they're equal.
Unlike the "potentiometer" circuit used the resistance of unknown resistor by
to simply measure an unknown voltage, using \Wheatstone bridge and then
bridge circuits can be used to measure all determine the sensitivity of the quarter,
kinds of electrical values, not the least of
which being resistance. The standard half and full Wheatstone bridge.
bridge circuit, often called a Wheatstone Figure 1 show the standard
bridge. A requirement To measure
circuit for Wheatstone bridge:
resistance with a Wheatstone bridge the
system is to have a set of variable resistors
available whose resistances are precisely
known, to serve as reference standards. If
we connect a bridge circuit to measure an
unknown resistance Rx, we will have to
know the exact values of the other three
resistors at balance to determine the value
of Rx.

I. INTRODUCTION
Figure 1 Wheatstone bridge Circuit

## Wheatstone bridge circuit was

invented by Samuel Hunter Christie in When the voltage between point 1 and the
1833 and was improved and popularized negative side of the battery is equal to the
by Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1843. A voltage between point 2 and the negative side of
the battery, the null detector will indicate zero
and the bridge is said to be "balanced." To
measure resistance with a Wheatstone bridge, an
unknown resistance is connected in the place of
any R and labeled as Rx, while the other three
resistors are precision devices of known value.
Either of the other three resistors can be replaced
or adjusted until the bridge is balanced, and
when balance has been reached the unknown
resistor value can be determined from the ratios
of the known resistances.
Figure 1: Layout diagram required to set

## The value of Rx can be determined by up the null detector.

equation below:
2) Moving coil meter and amplifiers as
(R2 / R1) Ra = Rx shown in Figure 1 was initially
We also conduct the experiment connected with the + and inputs to
to determine the value of unknown the Differential Amplifiers short
circuited so that the input is zero.
resistor by using unbalance Wheatstone
bridge. The value of an unknown 3) Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE
resistance is determined from the value control was set to 10 and the GAIN
FINE to 1.0.
of bridge output voltage produce by
bridge imbalance. 4) Power supply was then switched ON
until zero was approximately
indicated in moving coil meter.
II. PROCEDURES
5) To be more exact, GAIN COARSE
control was tuned to 100 and
Initial Setting of DigiAC 1750 Trainer
zero output.

Procedure:

## 1) To adjust the OFFSET control so

that zero input produces zero output
when gain is set to maximum.
Experiment 1: on the moving coil meter.

## 3) GAIN COARSE control in

Objective: To determine the Resistance of
AMPLIFIER#1 was set to 100 to get
an Unknown Resistor (Rx) By Using a more precise reading.

## Balanced Wheatstone Bridge 4) 10-turn resistor control was

Procedure: meter (NULL) reading to balance the
bridge.
5) The resistance of Rx can be
1) With the switch on the Wheatstone calculated by using the following
bridge set to IN (connecting the formula:
unknown resistor in circuit),
Amplifier#1 GAIN COARSE control Rx = (R2/R1)*R3
was set to 10 and then circuit as
shown in Figure below was 6) The calculated result will be checked
connected. by using Multisim software.
7) The result is recorded.
Figure 3: Layout diagram to get a

## 10-turn variable resistor

Figure 2: circuit connection with the

## 2) The controller of the 10-turn variable Experiment 2

resistor was adjusted so that zero
Objective: Verification the accuracy of control was readjusted accurately
to get zero meter (NULL)
Wheatstone bridge reading to balance the bridge.

## 5) The value of dial reading is

Procedures:
recorded in the table.

## 1) With the Wheatstone bridge 6) Repeat step 3 to step 5 from 9kΩ

switch set to OUT (removing the to 1kΩ.
unknown resistor Rx from the
7) Calculate the Rx value from dial
circuit), 10 kΩ slide variable
resistor terminals A & B were
connected to the Wheatstone 8) Compare the calculated value
bridge circuit connection C & with actual value.
0V.
2) The complete circuit connection
is shown in figure below: Experiment 3: Determine the accuracy of
Quarter, Half and Full Wheatstone
bridge.
A) Quarter Wheatstone bridge

Procedure:
1. The circuit is connected as figure
below.

OUT

## 3) The resistance of slider (Rx) is 2. The Variable resistor, R4 is set to

set to 10kΩ. The circuit is then 2kΩ. The voltage shown on
potentiometer. voltmeter is recorded in a table.
4) GAIN COARSE control in 3. Step 2 is repeated by set the
AMPLIFIER#1 was set to 100 variable resistor (R4) with value
and 10 kΩ slide variable resistor
4kΩ, 6kΩ, 8kΩ and 10kΩ.
4. The graph of Voltage Versus
Resistance of R4 is plotted.
5. The accuracy of Quarter
Wheatstone bridge is determined
by the gradient of the graph.

## 2. The Potentiometer (R3) is set to

B) Half Wheatstone bridge
Procedure: 2kΩ. The voltage on voltmeter is

## 1. Connect the Circuit as figure recorded in a table.

3. Step 3 is repeated for
below:
Potentiometer, R3 value for 4kΩ,
6kΩ, 8kΩ and 10kΩ.
4. The graph of Voltage versus
Resistance of R3 is plotted.
5. The accuracy of Full Wheatstone
Bridge is determined by the
2. The Potentiometer (R3) is set
to 2kΩ. The voltage on
voltmeter is recorded in a table. I. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
3. Step 3 is repeated for
Potentiometer (R3) with value Experiment 1:
for 4kΩ, 6kΩ, 8kΩ and 10kΩ. From the experiment 1, the following data is
4. The graph of Voltage versus obtained:
Resistance of R3 is plotted. Resistance of R2 = 12kΩ
5. The accuracy of Half Dial Reading = 185
Wheatstone Bridge is Resistance of R3 = Dial
the graph. Resistance of R1 = 10kΩ - R3
C) Full Wheatstone bridge =
Procedure: 8.15kΩ
1. Connect the Circuit as figure
below:
Resistance of Rx = (R2/R1) x
R3 =
2.72kΩ

## The unknown value of Rx obtain in this

experiment is 2.72kΩ.Besides that, the result
also verify by simulation using Multisim
software.

## Set the Rx with 2.72 kΩ (calculated value)

It can be observed that the Real
Resistance(read from the slider) of Rx is are
slightly different from the measured value of
Rx. It can be concluded that the value of Rx
can be calculated by using Wheatstone
bridge. Some of errors occured in this
experiment that cause the values of real Rx
and calculated Rx were different. One of the
According to the simulation result, error is the reading at the slide does not
the voltage across the multimeter is represent the actual resistance of Rx. This
0.000573913 V which is ≈ 0V. In the because when slider is tuned to maximum
balanced condition, suppose there is no value (10kΩ) the value measured by
voltage across the multimeter. However this multimeter is 11.51kΩ which almost same
simulation result shown some voltage across with 11.3kΩ (calculated by using
the multimeter and this error might due to Wheatstone bridge).
the tolerance of resistance value of resistor.
Experiment 3:
The experiment 3 is mainly to measure the
Experiment 2: difference between Full, Quarter and Half
From the experiment 2, the following data is Wheatstone bridge in terms of accuracy. The
obtained: following results are obtained from the
experiment:
Quarter Bridge,
If the Measured Gradient nearer to the
Actual Gradient (±0.5mV/ Ω), then the
Wheatstone bridge is the more accurate in
measuring resistance.
Half Bridge, Half Bridge,
(1.278 – 0.006) / (6k -2k)

=0.318mV/Ω

Quarter Bridge,
(0.366 – 1.112) / (6k -2k)

## Full Bridge, =1.869mV/Ω

Full Bridge,
(1.41 – (- 1.487)) / (6k -0)

=0.483mV/Ω

## From the experiment, it can be seen that the

full Wheatstone bridge is the most sensitive
followed by half Wheatstone bridge and
quarter Wheatstone bridge. Thus, the quarter
The accuracy of the Wheatstone
Wheatstone bridge has 1 element in 1 leg is
bridge can be represented by the gradient of
the easiest to be influenced by the noises.
the graph. Therefore,
1-04k-2k II. CONCLUSIONS
The Wheatstone bridge can be used
to measure the resistance of an unknown
REFERENCES
resistor by using varies types of
configuration. However, the resistance
 www.efunda.com
measure might differ for the actual
 www.electronics2000.co.uk
resistance due to some error. Besides, it can
 En.wikipedia.org
be concluded that the accuracy of
Wheatstone bridge can be increased by
using different configurations. The most
accurate Wheatstone bridge is the full
Wheatstone bridge followed by half
Wheatstone bridge and quarter Wheatstone
bridge.

Recommendations

## The experiment can be more

accurate if the value of actual resistance is
the value read from the digital multimeter
and not from the dial or slider reading. The
huge different can be observed in
experiment 2 as the dial reading is 10kΩ
while the reading from digital multimeter is
11.51kΩ. It is also recommend to analyse
the data obtained by using Least Square
Method. The result analysed will be more
accurate.