Accelerometer, Nano Arduino, thermistor integration and set-up

Hello all,

In my senior design project we are trying to use a Grove - 3-axis Digital Accelerometer (+16g) to measure the sudden stop of an object. The goal is that once the object comes to a stop, the deceleration experienced by the accelerometer will signal the Nano Arduino to close a power circuit containing a heating element. While in the stopped position, the temperature will be monitored with a thermistor. If the temperature should exceed 170 deg F, I want to program the Arduino to open the power circuit. Once the temperature cools back to 120 deg F, I want the Arduino to close the power circuit again.

As I am a mechanical engineer, all of this is new to me. I am looking for general guidance on feasibility and information to refer to in order to get started. Half of my problem is not knowing where to start. The most challenging aspect for me is to discover a way to integrate these separate circuits together physically and in coding.

Does anyone have some general advice or recommendations they could provide?

Thanks in advance for your answers.

Welcome to the forums. The best thing you can do is build up your program in small pieces. Get each one working and then integrate them. If you are completely new to Arduinos, then do some of the examples in the IDE just to make sure you can communicate with your nano and upload code.

Then....

  1. figure out how you need to communicate with your accelerator. Get that working
  2. figure out how you are going to sense the temperature and figure out how to communicate with that sensor.
  3. Figure out how much power your heating element requires and then determine how you are going to switch it on/off. This could be a relay or a MOSFET. Get that working.
  4. put it all together and try to get them all working at the same time.

If you get stuck along, the way, post your code, what happened vs. what you expected to happen and get more help.

Thank you for the answer! I really appreciate it.

From your experience, does what I am trying to accomplish sound feasible? I've done my research into the components of our design, but I know sometimes what works in theory may not pan out in practice.

Yes, it is totally feasible. If your heater is connected to the mains, make sure a qualified person is doing the work. If it is just a smaller 12V or 24V heater, then it is easier.