I am interested in purchasing some accelerometers for use in my research project in Western Australia. I am hoping to attach them to cage traps to quantify the movement of animals inside the traps (on a basic level just activity, and then I will also potentially differentiate behaviours based on the quality of the data). Ideally I would have a model that could be programmed when to switch on, and ideally a battery life of ~80 hours, and would be looking at needing about 30 units.
I have never used accelerometers, and am very new to electronic boards. I am looking for recommendations of products that would suit my project?
I have found the ADXL345 Triple Axis Accelerometer (GY-291) as an option. Would this be suitable? What other equipment do I need in addition to the accelerometer to obtain my data?
It might be a little bit overkill but the PiicoDev Motion Sensor MPU-6050 is an Inertial Measurement Unit which includes an accelerometer for about the same price and we’ve got some guides with example code and instructional videos to go along with it.
A Raspberry Pi Pico should be great for battery operation so I’d recommend that microcontroller to run it.
We’ve also just released our Nano Power Timer which can help you save power by only running the microcontroller intermittently.
Thank you for the suggestion Trent! That seems to cover my needs well.
I have read the Core Electronic’s tutorial on Arduino vs Raspberry Pi and I think that for our purposes and the fact I have little experience in this field, it seems the Arduino units might be simpler for me to use than Raspberry Pi? Would you agree with Arduino also being a suitable and simpler option for my project?
Is there a similar guide for Arduino to the one you linked me above for Raspberry Pi Pico? Or do you have recommendations of the equivalent products I would need if using Arduino?
The Raspberry Pi Pico is actually in the same boat as the Arduino. At the moment RasPi foundation have a few lines of boards out, some being full fledged computers (eg, Pi 4, Pi 3A+, Pi Zero) and a microcontroller (The Pico).
The Pico is a bit easier to get started with, reason being it can run micropython. You dont have to keep track of syntax as much and code reads a lot closer to English than another language.
Ok thanks Liam, that’s very helpful!
Have just started with the Pi Pico, so far it is excellent and very similar to Arduino.
With Micropython loaded on the Pi Pico and Thonny (Python IDE) running on a PC, very easy to program and get stuff working.
I started with an Arduino UNO a number of years ago and the Arduino IDE.
Gotta say the Pi Pico has been a much better experience.
Suggest using the PiicoDev expansion board and Pi Pico with headers soldered in.
The JST socket on the expansion board allows immediate LiPO connection for battery operartion. A really nice feature of the Pi Pico is the on board regulator which will handle anywhere from 1.8V to 5.5V on the JST connector, allowing use of many battery options.
Thanks for your help and input Jim, good to know other people’s experiences!