Throttle Position Sensor, Contactless - Dual Output - TPS280DP

Throttle Position Sensor, Contactless - Dual Output - TPS280DP

Throttle position sensors, otherwise known as TPS, are designed to track the throttle position of a vehicle. This sensor is able to closely monitor the throttle as it is typically directly positioned on the butterfly spindle, or shaft, of the vehicle.

A variant of the popular, contactless rotary throttle positioning sensor range, this dual output throttle position sensor uses a factory programmable non-contact, Hall-effect sensor system.

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Throttle Position Sensor, Contactless - Dual Output - TPS280DP

Throttle Position Sensor Features & Benefits 

  • Electrically interchangeable with potentiometers 

  • More than 9x the life of a potentiometer 

  • Extremely low signal noise, for the life of the sensor 

  • Will operate from -40 to +140°C, with excursions to +170°C 

  • Sealed to withstand high-pressure wash-downs (IP69K) 

  • Mechanically interchangeable with potentiometers on 32mm mountings 

  • Standard output is dual channel 

  • Configurable output direction, for left or right fitment 

  • Measurement ranges from 20 to 360° in 1° increments 

  • 12-bit resolution (0.025%) over the angular range 

  • Analog (0.5 - 4.5 or 0.1 - 4.9Vdc) or PWM outputs 

At Curtiss Wright, you will find a variety of different industrial products including sensors, solenoids, joystick controls, faders, and legacy products. To find out further information on any product read the related documents provided, alternatively, these can be found in the library. 

Throttle Position Sensor: Design & Performance 

The TPS280DP is designed as a modern alternative throttle positioning sensor, to the rotary potentiometers fitted on a high-performance race car and motorcycle induction systems. It replaces a potentiometer as it will eliminate premature failure due to electrical noise – caused by potentiometer wear. The TPS280DP is life tested to 30-million cycles (60 million operations), more than NINE TIMES that of a potentiometer in this application. 

Design options 

  • 200 or 500mm cable lengths  

  • Sealing to IP69K, able to withstand high-pressure wash-downs 

  • Operates from 5Vdc (and 9-30Vdc) 

  • Connector: Not fitted (C0) or Mini Sure Seal MSS4R fitted (C1) 

  • Factory programmed to allow a wide range of configurations 

  • Output direction: Both clockwise, both anticlockwise and one CW, one ACW 

The TPS280DP is mechanically interchangeable with most existing throttle position sensors using 32mm mounting centers and is designed to interface with the most common throttle body D-type spindles.  

Throttle position sensor: mechanical & electrical specification 

The TPS280DP provides contactless technology with a range of electrical features and output options.  

Electrical Features 

  • Supply voltage Vdc: 9 to 30 (unregulated) and 5 ±0.5 (regulated) 

  • Over voltage protection Vdc: Up to 40 (-40 to +60°C) 

  • Maximum supply current mA: <25 

  • Reverse polarity protection: Yes 

  • Output to GND: Yes 

  • Output to supply: In 5V regulated mode only 

  • Power-on settlement time S:<1 

  • Resolution: % 0.025 of measurement range (12 bit) 

  • Non-linearity: * % <±0.4 

  • Temperature coefficient ppm/°C <±30 in 5V supply mode: <±90 in 9-30V supply mode 

  • *Non-linearity is measured using the Least-Squares method on a computerized calibration system 

OEM Options 

Outputs can be programmed to provide non-linear laws; switch outputs; clamp voltages; different output phasing CH1/CH2; faster input/output delay; extended analogue range; and output mapping for potentiometer replacements. 

Throttle Position Sensors Applications 

Throttle position sensors are used in a variety of applications including automobiles and racing, designed to suit the most rugged applications. 

See TPS in use here: 

  • Chalmers Formula Student is using this product here. 

  • Jenvey Dynamics is using this product here. 

  • UH Racing is using this product here. 

  • Active Technologies is using this product here. 

Throttle Potentiometer 

What does a Throttle Potentiometer do? 

A throttle potentiometer or throttle position sensor is used to monitor the air intake of an engine. It’s located on a butterfly spindle/shaft so it can monitor the position of the throttle. It measures the throttle valve angle and sends a proportionate voltage signal to let the engine control module (ECM) know the throttle valve’s position. From the signal received, it’s able to calculate the injection quantity.  

Throttle Potentiometer Applications 

Throttle potentiometers are primarily used in the auto industry for cars and other vehicles, such as electric bikes and even mobility scooters. 


Throttle Position Sensors 

What are the symptoms of a bad throttle position sensor? 

You should keep an eye out for some key signs when trying to spot a bad throttle position sensor. If your sensor has any of the following symptoms, it’s gone bad and should be repaired or replaced.  

Malfunction indicator lamp illuminates 

Increased fuel consumption 

The engine accelerates poorly, stalls, and or splutters. 

What are the causes of a bad throttle position sensor? 

While the sensor can fail in several ways, all of them result in poor fuel economy, performance limitations, and even a safety hazard for yourself and the other motorists. These are the main reasons a throttle potentiometer can fail: 

  • Mechanical damage caused by heat and vibration  

  • Frictional wear of moving parts 

  • Contact fault and external circuit damage 

  • Fuel trims are incorrect and cause fuel consumption issues. 

  • Internal short circuits caused by fluid contamination and humidity. 

How do you test a throttle potentiometer? 

If your potentiometer has symptoms, as mentioned above, then it’s likely it’s failed. However, you can test it to confirm your suspicions using a simple multimeter. The most common test is to measure resistance (ohms) or voltage at various positions. To carry out the test, follow the steps below: 

Step 1 

Disconnect the sensor connector. There should be three wires going to the sensor body, the negative ground, the +12 Volt input, and the variable output. 

Step 2 

Insert the clip test leads into the appropriate jacks and set the "Range Switch" to the 20K Ohm scale. Connect one of the test leads to the center connector, the computer output connector, and the other leads to either the +12 volt or the – Ground connector on the throttle potentiometer connector. 

Step 3 

Move the throttle through its full range of movement from its "closed" position to its "fully open" position while observing the multimeter’s digital readout. It should increase or decrease as the throttle linkage is moved. If it drops or increases suddenly, it indicates a failed sensor that must be replaced.  

What problems can a throttle position sensor cause? 

It’s important to recognize the important signs that indicate your throttle position sensor needs replacing. When the sensor is not functioning as it should you might experience the following. The car might accelerate itself, hesitate to accelerate, or lack power when you are trying to accelerate. It may also be difficult to change gears. It’s also possible for there to be a dramatic drop in your car’s fuel economy because of a faulty throttle position sensor. 

How do you fix a throttle position sensor? 

If you are attempting to fix a throttle position sensor, follow the steps below to remove the faulty one and install a new one. 

Removing the faulty throttle position sensor 

Step 1: Locate the sensor. 

Step 2: Disconnect the negative battery cable. 

Step 3: Remove the electrical connector by pushing down on the tab and sliding it off. 

Step 4: Remove the sensor mounting screws. 

Step 5: Remove the sensor from the engine. 

Installing the new throttle position sensor 

Step 1: Mount the new sensor in place. 

Step 2: Install the sensor mounting screws by hand one at a time. Then tighten using a screwdriver. 

Step 3: Reinstall the connector the same way you removed it. 

Step 5: Adjust the throttle position sensor if they require adjustment. 

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