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The Hall Effect – Practical Transducers, And Their Characteristics

In order to understand how a Hall Effect sensor, probe, or transducer works, you don’t only need to know what it is used for, but the characteristics that makes it work. We’re going to talk about the two major components of a successful Hall Effect sensor, or practical transducer to give it another name, but it’s important to know that there are other characteristics besides.

We know that a Hall Effect probe works to measure a magnetic field, and it is used in many different areas, including compasses, fuel ignition, and even in smartphones. How all of this is measured is by a Hall Effect sensor, but in order for this to be a high quality sensor, it needs to meet certain criteria.

We will now list the main characteristics of a Hall Effect transducer/sensor, but it’s worth noting that these are mainly considered when actually designing the sensor from the get-go.

Main characteristics of a Hall Effect sensor, or transducer

• Sensitivity
• Temperature coefficient of sensitivity
• Ohmic offset
• Temperature coefficient of ohmic offset
• Linearity
• Resistance of input and output
• Temperature coefficient of resistance
• Electric output noise

These are the main characteristics of a Hall Effect sensor, and when these are put together, it’s important to keep these in perspective. All of these characteristics give information into how high quality the sensor is, and how it behaves. If these characteristics are ticked off, this means the sensor has the chance to be built into a bigger system in the future.

We are now going to talk about two of the main characteristics we have just listed.

Sensitivity

Generally speaking, the more sensitive a transducer is, the better. This is because, of course, that makes it more accurate. A sensitive piece of equipment increases the signal that it can use and work with, and gives better information back.

The sensitivity that a Hall Effect probe has really depends largely on the current it works with. To give a slightly scientific explanation, sensitivity is described in two main ways:

• Volts per field unit, which are per unit of basic current
• Volts per field unit, which are per unit of bias voltage

The better option is always the first one, because this is much more general, and less complicated to use.

Temperature coefficient of sensitivity

Temperature and sensitivity are two characteristics which make up how well a Hall Effect sensor works. If a sensor has a constant sensitivity level when it is used with a current source of electricity which is pretty constant, with no major ups and downs, it will only have a slightly varied temperature. This temperature shouldn’t peak and trough too much. These variations however will need to be explained and measured, in order to give correct readings.

When using a voltage bias source, e.g. in DC voltage equipment, the temperature variations are usually slightly more than the other option. For this reason, if measurements are being taken on a piece of equipment which is slightly temperature sensitive, a constant current is always better for stability.

These two characteristics are perhaps the most important because they affect the workings of a Hall Effect sensor the most. Having said that, the other characteristics that we mentioned are still important in their own right. When designing a Hall Effect sensor, designers take all of these areas into account, in order to product the highest quality transducer available. This means that in those pieces of equipment which rely upon these sensors to give information and provide movement, there are going to be no issues in terms of performance over time.