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Vibration detection
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Vibration detection

by hlantz on Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:54 am

I need something that can sense vibrations in a surface, specifically a standard double-glazed window for a very rudimentary Arduino-based burglar alarm I'm building. My regular Piezo elements aren't sensitive enough (they do detect knocks, but not vibrations) so I need something else, preferrably something that can deliver an analog value to the Arduino so that I can enter a threshold at runtime.

I'm looking at SparkFun's Piezo sensors, for example http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9197. Does anyone have experience with these, or any other suggestions? I'm only doing this for fun at home, so nothing hyper-sensitive (and thereby hyper-expensive) is required, only enough to detect taps and shakes.

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Re: Vibration detection

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:03 am

Be careful how sensitive you make it. My neighbor has an alarm that goes off in any good thunderstorm.

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Re: Vibration detection

by hlantz on Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:10 am

...hence the threshold for calibration purposes. :-)

I plan to put the vibration sensor on the innermost window which should reduce immediate shakes from thunderstorms, and also allow for individual sensors to be disabled if need be - for example during storms. And with only a small piezo buzzer, it should be enough to wake me and(/or) the wife up (not to mention the guard cats!) without bothering the neighbours too much.

(Also, mental note - put any sensors out of the way of the guard cats.)

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Re: Vibration detection

by zener on Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:32 pm

There are commercial glass breakage detectors. You might look at some of those. I think some use fft analysis of the sound. But some mount on the glass I think.

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Re: Vibration detection

by hlantz on Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:19 am

Thanks - the commercial ones weren't as expensive as I thought they would be - I'll definitely look into those.

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Re: Vibration detection

by SuperUser320 on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:39 pm

Another way you could detect this very cheaply would be "the poor man's accelerometer" A.K.A. tilt ball switch found under the sensors page. You may also try using a flex/bend sensor which is also relatively cheap.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.