Today we moved another big step closer to running an experiment by connecting strain gauges to the sample. Ted affixed various kinds of gauges along the business edge of the sample in order to measure strain that is parallel, perpendicular, and at 45 degrees to the frictional surface. The gauges are then soldered to a rainbow of wires that lead to that little green breakout box. Coming from the box are wired connectors that will plug into individual signal conditioners.
We were getting a little interference from the rainbow of wires and the output connections in the back were hard to reach, so Ted reconfigured it as below, with the strain wires now hiding safely inside the silver mesh tube. Although it looks a bit hectic this way, it works really well.
And "how on earth do we plug all those things into the computer?" you may ask. Well they first get connected to this BNC box. Then the BNC box is connected to a thing called a chassis (more on that later) that is, in turn, connected to a card in the back of the PC.