Impact sensor? "FLASH BOOTS"

Thread Starter

sonnyangell

Joined Mar 1, 2017
21
Hello,

I have a good understanding of electronics, most of my projects are pretty basic. I am looking to make a project for my bands stage show. I want to make boots for my vocalist that FLASH when he stomps, they must flash on the stomp not the upstroke, and NOT FLASH when hes walking around.. I wanted to try to move away from a "remote button" where he can simply press a button at the correct time and it will flash.. I wanted it to be much more natural.

I also don't want it to flash when hes simply walking around or the music gets to loud so I think an audio sensor is out as well

Please give me your thoughts! How should I create this circuit?

-Sonny
 

philba

Joined Aug 17, 2017
960
accelerometer but it will require some coding.

It's a two step process. first determine how much force (acceleration) the stomp is and then build a little device that turns on the lights when your code see that much force.

I'd start by hooking one up to a simple data logger to an accelerometer and have the guy stomp. Then do a lot of non-stomping things. Compare the data and then set your system up to only flash when your code sees the stomp.

resources:
sparkfun has lots of stuff that you can use. Adafruit does too. You can find cheaper off ebay.
accelerometer there are a number, this is just the cheapest.
data logger

by the way, once you get the basic stomp thing going, you can come up with interesting things to do with double stomps or even have different things done based on harder or softer stomps.
 

philba

Joined Aug 17, 2017
960
Ah, here's something that you *might* be able to use. It has an accelerometer built in. Wake on shake. I don't know if the sensitivity can be reduced enough but might be worth a try. No coding needed.

but if you do know how to code, you could probably mod it to do what you want.
 

ebeowulf17

Joined Aug 12, 2014
3,166
If a no-code solution is required, I would think something could be done with a resistive force sensor or a piezo element along with some not-terribly-complex conditioning circuitry and a comparator.

It might be difficult to set an appropriate threshold between walking an stomping though - I imagine using a microcontroller would make it easier to adjust things to insure accurate triggering.
 

Janis59

Joined Aug 21, 2017
1,057
Chinese sells such for kid plays for some 5 cents a piece. (It works really irritating indeed, probably the true aim was to make all adults mad?). If not find any, that is springy 0,3 mm steel wire about 1cm long with small may be 3 mm ball in the end. Around stays ring with 1/2 mm air gap. As soon one shivers, the ball contacts to ring and device begin to play the mp3 of flash or whats any like.
KISS rule - Keep It Stupidly Simple.
 

philba

Joined Aug 17, 2017
960
A piezo could work but you'd need to select the right one and tweaking the sensitivity is doable. I don't know how much tweaking would be necessary to get it right. Also, you need to apply force to a piezo so it needs to have some weight hitting it. Either it goes on the bottom of the boot or between foot and boot. Don't know how reliable that will be in the long run. I know the accelerometer approach will work and could be attached as a cuff on the boot..

I also thought of a load cell but don't know enough about them.

I would not recommend going down the mechanical approach. I'm sure it's possible but don't see it as easy to get right and mounting it could be a challenge.

One approach that wouldn't need programming is using an accelerometer that has analog out. They do exist but a quick look about didn't show any break out boards with one. The idea is you take the Z axis (or which ever one points to the end of the boot) out, a wee bit-o-filterin and use a comparator to detect Z over a certain value.

I guess what I like about the programmable solution is that you can do all sorts of things with it. Stomps, Kicks, jumps, spins - basically build up a foot gesture library and then attach different actions to the gestures. Kick - red lights come on. Jump, blue highlighting the singer. Spin - strobes.

edit: found an accelerometer BOB that has analog out However, it only measures up to 3Gs - that may not be enough.
 
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Thread Starter

sonnyangell

Joined Mar 1, 2017
21
As silly as this question may be. Would I need an arduino to get this guy to work? I wouldn't know where to go from the board - is there a diagram somewhere?

or should i go with a piezo


A piezo could work but you'd need to select the right one and tweaking the sensitivity is doable. I don't know how much tweaking would be necessary to get it right. Also, you need to apply force to a piezo so it needs to have some weight hitting it. Either it goes on the bottom of the boot or between foot and boot. Don't know how reliable that will be in the long run. I know the accelerometer approach will work and could be attached as a cuff on the boot..

I also thought of a load cell but don't know enough about them.

I would not recommend going down the mechanical approach. I'm sure it's possible but don't see it as easy to get right and mounting it could be a challenge.

One approach that wouldn't need programming is using an accelerometer that has analog out. They do exist but a quick look about didn't show any break out boards with one. The idea is you take the Z axis (or which ever one points to the end of the boot) out, a wee bit-o-filterin and use a comparator to detect Z over a certain value.

I guess what I like about the programmable solution is that you can do all sorts of things with it. Stomps, Kicks, jumps, spins - basically build up a foot gesture library and then attach different actions to the gestures. Kick - red lights come on. Jump, blue highlighting the singer. Spin - strobes.

edit: found an accelerometer BOB that has analog out However, it only measures up to 3Gs - that may not be enough.
 

philba

Joined Aug 17, 2017
960
The wake on shake thing could be stand alone. No arduino needed. Look at the tutorials. You'd need to get some sort of a battery to power it and I'm not sure how you intend to communicate to your lighting system. The WOS will supply power when it wakes up. It's up to you what you do with it after that.

Sorry for the delayed response. I'm traveling in Scotland and won't be near my computer for weeks so I'm limited in how much I can help.
 
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