Controlling TENS Unit with an Arduino Uno


So I recently started looking at buying a tens unit from Amazon. To be specific, this one:
TENS Unit on Amazon
And I was wondering if I could turn it on and off, change the patterns, and change the intensity from an Arduino Uno. I’ve had some ideas but really I have no idea. It would be really helpful if someone could tell me or even just guide me in the right direction. Thanks!

HI, @bc_cawson
Welcome to the forum.
This is the tens unit.

It looks like it has just a simple set of buttons, they may be multiplexed.
So the type of interface would have to be an isolated one.
I’m not sure what the top controls do?

The only flaw I can see in your idea is;
Say you want to select function 1, how will the Arduino know what function it is already in?
If you want to increase the intensity by 5 points, how does the Arduino know that only 2 more steps and it maxes out?

Can you please tell us your electronics, programming, arduino, hardware experience?

Tom… :grinning: :+1: :coffee: :australia:

As Tom says, there are snags in your plan and you need to think through what you are doing very carefully

What application would control from an Arduino have ?

Yeah, thanks, Tom. So I am fairly new to Arduino but I do know how to make simple circuits with it and make simple programs. But anything more advanced than that and I will have to follow tutorials or look on forums, hence why I am here. So really if I can control everything else on the actual device I just need to be able to turn it on and off. I did a bit of research and it got me thinking.

The TENS Unit runs on a 9V battery and has two knobs on the top for each channel (each channel connects to two electrodes) which you can set to a certain level before turning it on, so if I could use the Arduino, and connect a relay to the 5V pin, I could have all settings already set and just turn it on and off with the Arduino.

I am not sure if this would work but I think it makes sense.

What is the point of turning it on/off using another device when you still need to adjust settings on the device itself ?

I want to be able to leave the device on certain settings and turn on automatically when it receives an input. It isn’t so that I can change the settings remotely. I just need to be able to turn it on remotely whereas the settings do not need to change as regularly.

You need to find out if you turn the Tens OFF, when you turn it ON, it will have the same settings you left it in.
I have a cheaper on and each time you turn it on it has set itself back to the first function, with zero intensity and needing the start button to be pushed.

Tom… :grinning: :+1: :coffee: :australia:

Yes, I have checked this. It has a knob on the top that goes from zero to eight for the intensity and zero is off. It has no start button and I do not believe the settings reset when you turn it off and then on again. It has a timer that tells it how long to send the current through for. Many people actually warn you to make sure the knob is set to zero before turning on as it could be on a higher setting than you realise.

Which would be a very good reason not to turn it on blindly without knowing what it is set to. As that involves actually being next to the device then you might as well turn it on too

I still don’t get the advantage of turning it on/off using an Arduino

A TENS Unit basically uses those knobs as potentiometers. It sets the voltage coming out of the device. What I am aiming to do is simply provide it with that base amount of power.

But why use an Arduino to do it ?

First of all, why should it matter. And also, it is so I can have the Arduino detect an input and turn on the TENS Unit.

It is your project and if that is what you want to do then so be it. I was trying to find out if there was any good reason to do it, which I can’t see that there is, but not knowing won’t stop me offering help

You can, of course, have the Uno respond to an input and turn on a relay or MOSFET that in turn turns on the TENS machine. Where are you stuck ?

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