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BlueLink: Your First High-Tech Load Cell

BlueLink: Your First High-Tech Load Cell

This article covers the standout features of Crosby Straightpoint’s Bluetooth BlueLink load cell, popular with end users moving from more traditional equipment—such as the Dillon model AP mechanical dynamometer—to reading data on an iOS or Android smartphone. It was written by David Ayling, the former owner of Straightpoint, and now president of FAD Equipment Store.

  • Interestingly, when Ayling was designing this product, certain standout features were required so that the BlueLink would become an obvious choice over mechanical products…

What is BlueLink?

BlueLink is a 6.5t (14,300 lb.) capacity load cell, targeted at end users that remain loyal to traditional equipment but who might be receptive to enhanced technology and the clear safety and productivity advantages of reading data—via Bluetooth—on an iOS or Android smartphone installed with Crosby Straightpoint’s free (recently upgraded) HHP app.

Crosby Straightpoint BlueLink

Crosby Straightpoint manufactures many load cells and load monitoring technologies. It is at the cutting edge of its field. However, BlueLink does not mark the latest step in the ongoing technological progression of the range. Instead, it reflects the manufacturer’s ability to continue to provide tools for the many different types of users looking to understand the forces being applied.

This isn’t an alternative to the state-of-the-art systems—the best-selling Radiolink plus is an obvious example—but a move towards the latest wireless technology, perhaps for professionals only just beginning their migration from traditional solutions.

Crosby Straightpoint’s wireless load links, load shackles, and compression load cells are already Bluetooth 4.2 enabled, but BlueLink will sit further down the spectrum in applications for which a mechanical solution remains the instinctive choice but where the safety gains achieved by reading data at up to 328 ft. are accepted.

Using BlueLink

It is rigged using industry standard shackles, such as the Crosby G2130. The BlueLink has been designed to minimize headroom; it measures only 156mm from eye to eye. Meanwhile, its compact, lightweight design does not sacrifice on strength with a safety factor of over 500%. Constructed from aerospace grade and hard-anodized aluminum, the product also boasts an advanced internal design structure.

Crosby shackle G2130

The USA-manufactured Crosby G2130 carbon bolt anchor bow shackle used in rigging and lifting applications worldwide.

This design provides the product with an unrivalled strength-to-weight ratio, but also allows the use of a separate internal sealed enclosure providing the load cell's electronic components with NEMA6 or IP67 environmental protection—even with the battery cover plate missing. Even though BlueLink isn’t a fully-specced, top of the range load cell, its qualities still suit it to the harshest industrial or leisure environments.

The BlueLink is powered by four standard AA alkaline batteries that provide more than 500 hours transmission time and the internal antennae ensures that loads to an accuracy of 0.1% FS are transmitted safely.

New HHP app

As we have discovered, BlueLink is used for sending data to an iOS or Android smartphone installed with Crosby Straightpoint’s free, newly-upgraded app, called the HHP app. The app enables monitoring of loads in several additional applications, increasing productivity and safety. 

Crosby Straightpoint HHP2 app

The free-to-download app—the initial version was launched in 2018—takes its name from Straightpoint’s Handheld plus display unit.

The app allows you to connect wirelessly to up to four Bluetooth load cells on a single smartphone, versus one with the previous version. Another popular feature is the capability to set a lift threshold; when that is triggered the lift is effectively counted. For example, if a user has two cranes working alongside each other, they could data log how many lifts per day each one has completed and monitor productivity.

The app now also includes an analog load indicator on the main screen and is offered in English, Spanish, and other languages. The app also automatically adds GPS coordinates into data-logging reports and features updated overload and warning alarms to accommodate manual value entries.

Case study

In one recent application, an FAD Equipment Store customer installed a BlueLink load cell on a 3-ton capacity cargo lift to avoid overloading when transferring equipment between levels. The app also allowed the operator to log data versus time or on events such as over- or under-load, and the adjustable alarm alerted the operator on their smartphone if any overload was occurring.

Moving forward, the supervisor at this site now has no need to be constantly at the cargo lift to monitor it.

Crosby Straightpoint BlueLink

BlueLink in brief

  • Designed to replace outdated mechanical dynamometers.
  • The latest Crosby Straightpoint product to feature proprietary Bluetooth wireless technology.
  • Effortlessly connects to any iOS or Android smartphone that has the HHP app installed.
  • Wireless range of up to 328 ft.
  • Log data versus time or on events such as over- or under-load.
  • Adjustable alarm on smartphone if any overload is occurring.
  • Rigged using industry standard shackles (Crosby G2130).
  • Designed to minimize headroom (just 156mm from eye to eye).
  • Constructed from high quality aerospace grade aluminum and hard anodized.
  • NEMA6 or IP67 environmental protection—even with the battery cover plate missing.
  • Powered by four standard AA alkaline batteries (500 hours transmission time).
  • Internal antennae ensures loads to an accuracy of 0.1% FS.

Learn more about Crosby Straightpoint load cells and when to use them here.

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