Early inclinometers or clinometers were made up of two basic parts, one of which is a
flat side, or base, on which it stands, and the second a hollow disk just half filled with
some heavy liquid. The glass face of the disk is surrounded by a graduated scale that
marks the angle at which the surface of the liquid stands, with reference to the flat
base. The line 0, being parallel to the base, when the liquid stands on that line, the flat
side is horizontal; the line 90, being perpendicular to the base, when the liquid stands
on that line, the flat side is perpendicular or plumb. Intervening angles are marked,
and, with the aid of conversion tables, the instrument indicates the rate of fall per set
distance of horizontal measurement, and set distance of the sloping line.
The earliest electronic inclinometers used some form of a weight, an extension, and a
potentiometer. Early in the 1900s precision curved glass tubes filled with a damping
liquid and a steel ball were introduced to provide accurate visual angle indication.
Common sensor technology for electronic tilt sensors includes accelerometers, liquid
capacitives, electrolytics, gas bubbles in liquid, and pendula.
Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems technology is fast becoming the new standard due
it's tiny size and low cost. Inclinometers and clinometers generate an artificial horizon
and measure angular tilt with respect to this horizon. They are used in cameras,
aircraft flight controls, and automobile security systems. The tilt angle range is the
range of desired linear output measured in degrees.
Richard Hedgecock started R& B Mfg. Inc.in 1996 with the intent of providing state
highway mowing tractors with a device that could warn the operator of a danger tilt
limit on hillsides being mowed. It has grown to now provide a similar device for
numerous kinds of equipment. You can visit his website at .