If you are in the market for an accelerometer, you might be tempted to simply select the first one that you come across in an effort to get back to your project as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, there are a few variations in the different types of accelerometer out there that you should certainly take into consideration.
Most of the deciding factors that should be considered before you make your purchase concern the type of project that you are working on. You need an instrument that will perform the most accurate job based on your specific needs. Here are just a few of those factors for you to bear in mind while you are shopping around for the right accelerator for your project.
The first and most obvious point that you will need to think about when looking for the right accelerometer concerns the application that you will be using it for. Is your project engineering based or are you looking to construct a navigation device? Since there are a number of accelerometers out there to choose from that vary in sensitivity and size, you will need to find one that is appropriate for the field in which you are working.
Piezoelectric Effect Versus Capacitance Sensor
The two main forms of accelerometer that you will come across are the piezoelectric effect and the capacitance sensor. Although they are both accelerometers, there is a key difference in the functionality of both of these devices. The piezoelectric accelerometer is the most common form of this type of device and has more applications across various industries.
Piezoelectric accelerometers, through the use of piezoelectric crystals, can output an accurate reading when the crystals are placed under detectable levels of acceleration. Capacitance accelerometers contain tiny plates. Because some of these are fixed and others are on springs, the device can output a reading when acceleration changes the capacitance between them.
Both forms of accelerometer have multiple applications, so you should be able to determine which option is best based on the type of project you are working on.
Analogue, Digital, or Pulse-Width Modulation?
Another factor that you should consider when looking for an accelerometer is the communication interface that you are after. Analogue devices will be, for the most part, more affordable than their digital counterparts. The output reading will be displayed on a voltage gauge.
Digital accelerometers tend to be more popular than analogue despite the higher price that generally accompanies them. This is because they have more applications than analogue accelerometers and are less prone to having their readings disrupted by noise.
As with all aspects of your project, the price of the devices and parts that you use and implement needs to be taken into consideration. While you want to invest in a quality product that suits your needs, you don’t want to overspend unnecessarily. You should make a list of retailers and products to compare so that your accelerometer fits into your overall budget.
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