How To: Use an Open Collector Output

All new Gill level sensors come with a secondary output function which operates as a high or low level switch. So what is it and how do I use an Open Collector switch output?

Essentially the level sensor has an on board electronic switch (a Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor or MOSFET, if you are interested) that can be set-up to open or close at given liquid level conditions. Its exact switch point can be configured by the GS Level configuration tool available for download from their website

When combined with other components, the Open Collector Output can drive an LED to indicate reserve fuel level, a relay to switch on a pump or an Opto-Isolator to drive any number of other devices.

How do I choose the right value for ‘R’? 

Resistor Value – R

R = (Vindicator- VLED) / ILED

VLED = Voltage drop across LED (Volts)

ILED = Current flowing through LED (Amps)

Vindicator = Supply Voltage (Volts)

Resistor Power Rating 

W = (Vindicator – VLED)² / R

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