Needing a rotary sensor for its new paddle controlled sequential gearshift system, Life Racing turned to Variohm EuroSensor for the solution
When motorsport industry product provider Life Racing of Essex began looking to produce its own paddle controlled sequential gearshift system, it needed a rotary sensor to provide position feedback from the gear input shaft to the control unit. There were, however, a number of requirements for the sensor: it needed to be extremely compact, while being accurate, reliable and capable of withstanding the environmental challenges of motor racing.
Following testing of numerous sensors, the company selected the Novotechnik SP2800 series from Variohm EuroSensor. Early data analysis indicated that the electrical trace showed little noise due to vibration.
These contacting potentiometric sensors feature multiple layer conductive plastic tracks in combination with precious metal multi-fingered wipers arranged in a preloaded design that ensures reliable operation under characteristic motorsport shock and vibration conditions. The sensor elements are housed in a robust IP65 sealed high grade plastic housing, capable of withstanding continuously hot ambient environments up to 125°C with an intermittent rating to 150°C. Additional features that suited the sensor to the gearshift system included a choice of electrical angles up to 345°, single track or dual track redundant versions, a very low effective temperature coefficient, and a life of 50 million movements.
The resulting sequential gear shift system has seen success across the industry, from small single seat formula teams to large Le Mans prototype teams.
Since then, the quality and reliability of the sensors has seen a variety of them being used for other position sensing applications, including throttle angle and steering wheel angle.
In fact, the company supplies an extensive range of specialist sensors and transducers across the motorsport industry including Formula 1, A1GP, WTCC, GP2, Champ, Nascar, ALMS, Superbike, and many others. The complete range includes pressure and temperature sensor solutions for
fuel, oil, coolant and brakes as well as force, torque and position measurement sensors for suspension travel, steering angle, ride height, throttle and gearbox. Laser and infrared technologies are also supplied for ride height position and tyre condition.
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