May the force sensor be with you
December 13, 2006 8:50 AM   Subscribe

What is this handheld "force sensor" Jamie Hyneman yields in the "concrete glider" episode of Mythbusters?

At some point in the "concrete glider" episode of Mythbusters, Hyneman tests the strength of a sheet of concrete using is "trusty" handheld "Force sensor" (or strain gauge or probe?). Looked a bit like an oversized electronic meat thermometer. What is the exact name of that apparatus? Looking for links to manufacturers/retailers (although these should be easy to come by once I know what to call it).
posted by bluefrog to Technology (10 answers total)
Was it a (spring-balance) newton meter?
posted by alby at 9:21 AM on December 13, 2006

probably a Schmidt Hammer
posted by Rumple at 9:33 AM on December 13, 2006

Response by poster: It looked a bit like this but interesting feature was that it had a display ("standalone", no need to plug it on a computer)
posted by bluefrog at 10:22 AM on December 13, 2006

Was it a "push pull force gauge"?

Google Images
posted by TheAnswer at 11:45 AM on December 13, 2006

Best answer: Adam Savage here- Jamie's Co-host. The "Meters" cabinet is right next to my desk, and I just took a look, but unfortunately, both force gauges are with the other team right now.

We use two. Both are digital, both are push-pull types. One goes to 40lbs, the other to several hundred. I've broken both, but by and large, they're pretty resilient.

I'm sorry I don't have specs on the big one, but our small one is this:

runs a bit over 300 bucks.

The big one is considerably more expensive.

Hope this helps.

posted by asavage at 1:04 PM on December 13, 2006 [8 favorites]

Response by poster: Well, straight from the horse's mouth! (Can't say I wasn't hoping for it) Thanks asavafge (and the others for your suggestions). The potential use for thing would be to help high schoolers explore the issues of tension and compression in material resistance. The fact that it is standalone makes it very flexible (although obviously pricier than the computer sensor kind).

As an aside: how to call this phenomenon of getting a comment/answer from s'one directly or closely related to a post/question? Pulling a Woz ?
posted by bluefrog at 4:12 PM on December 13, 2006

I would call it an "authoritative answer". It doesn't need a stupid name.
posted by trevyn at 4:30 PM on December 13, 2006

Adam's on MeFi!
posted by fixedgear at 5:29 PM on December 13, 2006

Response by poster: Yes, so I realized (Well I'd seen some of his comments around, but now realize that he has a very high level of activity on Askmefi, both side of the fence). Anyway, sorry if my comment seemed stupid to some... Didn't mean any offense...
posted by bluefrog at 8:48 PM on December 13, 2006

I understand. Pet peeve. Apologies.
posted by trevyn at 9:47 PM on December 13, 2006

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