What are the disadvantages to using Arduino's internal pullups with a force force sensitive resistor (FSR) sensor?

All the wiring examples I see for FSRs place the sensor on the high side and use a 10k pulldown resistor. Searching Google, I can find virtually no one who places the FSR on the low side and uses the internal pullup. Since this would reduce complexity by using one less wire and resistor, I have to assume there's some big downside I'm not seeing. Why shouldn't you use the internal pullup?

I've worked with conventional potentiometers in the 100k ohm range, and I've found that with values that high, the Arduino's ADC finds a lot of noise, resulting in a sensor value that jitters and drifts. I found that the only reliable way to get a stable ADC value is to use a potentiometer with a maximum value of 10k or less. Since the FSR's range is up to 1M ohms, I'm worried I won't be able to get a stable reading. Does wiring it via the high side or low side effect this? What can I do to minimize noise from the FSR, other than shielding the sensor cable or adding a capacitor between the signal a and ground wire?

1 Answer 1


There is probably no practical difference concerning high side vs low side (except the Arduino Uno only has a pullup, and no pulldown).

The issue would be the accuracy of the pullup (graphs in the datasheet show variations of 10% with temperature) vs the accuracy of the resistor (1% is now commonplace).

The pullup is usually a current source, not a specific resistor value. Even if the supply voltage is not known, the maths involved with solving a known resistor is series with an unknown resistor is quite straightforward.

Short answer, using the pullups would probably work, but you would have to confirm accuracy, calibration and even repeatability, while this is already well known for a resistor.

Datasheet, see graphs on p412:


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