Accelerometer on a JSS car

A special forum for teachers and mentors of students designing, building, and racing cars for Junior Solar Sprint, a solar car challenge for middle school students.
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Accelerometer on a JSS car

Post by shawn » Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:01 pm

I invite teams to try putting an accelerometer on their car. The accelerometer would provide precise, frequent data from the car, showing how it handles bumps and accelerates along the track. Integration of the data could yield useful velocity and energy information. Your students could calculate the efficiency of the conversion of energy from sunlight to motion, especially if they also log the current from the panel.
Professional option
I have a HOBO pendant 3-axis accelerometer from Onset Computers, $75: mass=18 g; dimensions=5.8 x 3.3 x 2.3 cm. It stores acceleration data (including gravity) letting you upload it to a computer for graphing/analysis, software is an extra $89, and the coupler is an extra $11. ... /ua-004-64
If enough teachers/teams are interested, maybe we can pool together and make a volume purchase.
Cheaper option
Another option is to purchase accelerometer chips and make your own from those and a microcontroller, a memory chip, and a few supporting parts. This solution would cost about $10 a car, but take more labor. Reply if you want to pursue this option. You can investigate microcontrollers very cheaply with PicAXE:

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