Question: I have a SteadyWeb tension controller with a digital meter. The meter reads out a steady 133 pounds when tension is applied and the web is stopped, but when running web it fluctuates rapidly through a wide range, e.g. 95-133, with the result that I don't see a useful tension reading. Is my running tension really changing that much that fast? Should I adjust the SteadyWeb?
Answer: It is difficult to be sure what the digital tension meter is reading if it shows rapid fluctuation. This phenomenon may indeed be caused by variation in your running tension. To identify whether or not the problem is from instability in your running tension, connect an analog volt meter (10 VDC scale) between connection points 42(-) and 44(+) on the terminal block TB204 of the SteadyWeb Power Board. On the volt meter you can observe the actual signal variation rather than the amplified "flicker" seen on the digital meter.
It should be possible to adjust the meter damping to help reduce the flicker. This is a process of "averaging" the tension signal over a longer time period. Regardless, even a stable tension reading on a digital meter is not truly representative of the actual tension signal at any given point in time. Very slight web tension changes cause continuous signal variation.