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Refer to Fig. 41.3 for a schematic showing how to use the ADXL150 as a general-purpose accelerometer suitable for measuring tilt, vibration, and, of course, acceleration. This circuit was adopted from the data sheet provided for the ADXL150, with the parts adjusted to the values appropriate for robotic endeavors. The heart of the circuit is the ADXL150, which is powered by 5 vdc. Capacitors C1, C2, and C3 are for power supply bypass, and you should include them to reduce noise on the output. IC2 is an Analog Devices OP196 rail-to-rail operational amplifier. Though the circuit calls for the OP196 op amp, most any single-supply (V+ only, V- voltage not needed) rail-to-rail operational amplifier will probably work. See Fig. 41.4 for a view of the prototype I built. Note the wire-wrap wires attached to the leads of the ADXL150. I mounted the 150 to a 14-pin wire-wrap socket using doublesided foam tape and attached the free ends of the wires to the pins of the socket. After inserting the socket into the prototyping board and soldering it in place, I clipped off the excess length of the socket pins since it was not needed. Note that in my prototype I soldered a wire to every pin on the 150 but this is not needed. Only pins 7, 8, 9, 10, and 14 need to be connected to anything. (Pin 9 is for the self-test function, which is not used in this project.) After constructing the ADXL150 sensor board, connect the power leads to a suitable 5 vdc power supply, and connect the output to a fast-acting meter or oscilloscope. While you
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686 EXPERIMENTING WITH TILT AND GRAVITY SENSORS
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ADXL150 Offset 8 null Gnd 7 C2 0.1
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OP196 3+ 4
FIGURE 41.3 A basic schematic diagram for using the Analog Devices ADXL150 singleaxis accelerometer.
FIGURE 41.4 My prototype of the ADXL150 accelerometer, which can be used for robotic tilt, motion, and vibration sensing.
CONSTRUCTING A SINGLE-AXIS ACCELEROMETER ROBOTIC SENSOR
slowly move the sensor board in different directions, adjust R2 and R4 for maximum voltage change.
ADJUSTING THE SENSOR
You will need to experiment with different settings to achieve the output you want for the application you have planned for the 150:
I As a level or tilt sensor, position the ADXL150 so it points arrow up ( 1 g setting).
Any tilt in any direction will then be registered as a negative-going voltage change. For this application, you want a low-g scale, so adjust R2 near its minimum and R4 near its maximum. I As a movement sensor, position the ADXL150 so it points arrow forward (arrow to the front of the robot). For a slow robot, a rather low-g scale is likely the best choice, but adjust as you see fit. Some small robots turn and spin on their axis very quickly, producing momentary forces of 2 or 3 g s! I As a shock or vibration sensor, position the ADXL150 in the horizontal or vertical position, as desired. Adjust the scale setting based on the sensitivity you need. If the robot is not supposed to be highly sensitive to minor bumps and grinds, for instance, set a high-g scale by increasing R2 and decreasing R4.
CONTROL INTERFACE AND SOFTWARE
Of course, the schematic in Fig. 41.3 still needs to be interfaced to a computer or microcontroller via an analog-to-digital converter to do your robot any good. 29, Interfacing with Computers and Microcontrollers, discusses in more detail how to use ADCs, so we will dispense with that discussion for this project. If you plan to use your PC to interface to the ADXL150, for example, you need just a basic ADC chip, such as the ADC0804. You input a single analog voltage, and the output is converted to eight data bits, which you can connect to your PC via the parallel printer pot. Conversely, you can use a microcontroller, such as the Parallax Basic Stamp II, which provides more than enough input/output lines from the ADC. Or perhaps an easier approach is to use a BasicX-24 microcontroller from NetMedia. As described in 32, the BasicX-24 (BX-24) is pin-for-pin compatible with the Basic Stamp II, but it includes an on-board analog-to-digital converter. This ADC is the multiplexing type, so you can use any (and all) of eight different data lines to read analog data. This feature of the BasicX-24 makes it particularly well suited for use with sensors such as the ADXL150 accelerometer, since there is no external ADC circuit. Listing 41.1 shows a test program for the BasicX-24 microcontroller and how to use the ADXL150 as a tilt sensor. You connect the amplified output of the ADXL150 to pin 13 (I/O line 7) of the BasicX-24. The main body of the code defined by the Main() subroutine is an endless loop that constantly collects data from the accelerometer. A software filter is employed to average out the values of the 150. I ve set the filter to average 254 samples of data from the accelerometer; you can select a lower value if you don t want to sample as many data points. When running, the program changes the color of the LED built onto the BasicX-24 carrier board. With the 150 pointing up so the output is at its highest level, the green LED
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