Strip Chart Recorder

It records one or more variables with respect to time. It is a X-t recorder.

A strip chart recorder consists of:

1.    A long roll of graph paper moving vertically.

2.    A system for driving a paper at some selected speed. A speed selector switch is generally provided. Chart speed of 1-100 m/s are usually used.

3.    A stylus driving system which moves the stylus in a near exact replica or analog of the quantity being recorded.

A range selector switch is used so that input to the recorder drive system is with in the acceptable level.

A. Paper drive system:
The paper system should move the paper at a uniform speed. A spring would may be used but in most of the recorder a synchronous motor is used for driving the paper.

B. Marking Mechanism:
There are many types of mechanism used for making marks on the paper. The most commonly used ones are:
1.    Marking with ink filled stylus. The stylus is filled with ink by gravity or capillary actions. This requires that ihe pointer shall support an ink reservoir and a pen, or capillary connection between the pen and a pen reservoir. In general red ink is used but other colours are available and in instrumentation display a colour code can be adopted.

2.    Marking with headed stylus. Some recorders use a heated stylus which writes on a special paper. This methods overcomes the difficulties encountered in ink writing systems.

3.    Chopper Bar. If a chart made from a pressure sensitive paper is used a simple recording process is possible. A V-shaped pointer is passed under a chopper bar which presses the pen into the paper once per second thus making a series on the special paper. In fact this system is not purely continuous and hence is suitable for recording some varying quantities.

4.    Electric stylus marking. This method employs a paper with a special coating which a sensitive to current. When current is conducted from the stylus to the paper, a trace appears on the paper. It is clear that the electric stylus marking method has a wide range of marking speeds, has low stylus friction and a long stylus life. The disadvantage is that the cost of paper is very high.

C. Tracing system. There are two types of tracing system used for producing graphic representation.

1.    Curvilinear system. In the curvilinear system, the stylus is mounted on a central pivot and moves through an are which allows a full width chart marking. If the stylus makes a full range recording, the line drawn across the chart  will be curved and the time intervals will be along the curved segments.

2.    Rectilinear system. It is notices that a line of constant time is perpendicular to the time axis and therefore this system produces a straight line across the width of the chart. Hence the stylus is actuated by a drive cord over pulleys to produce the forward and reverse motion as determined by the drive mechanism. The stylus may be actuated by a self-balancing potentiometer system, a photoelectric deflection system, a photoelectric potentiometer system, or a bridge balance system. This system is usually used with thermal or electric wiring.

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