Interfacing Arduino with Piezotronics single axis accellerometers

I have recently completed my final year project which was to create a condition monitoring module. It basically calculated a Shock Response Spectrum from a short acceleration time series after a threshold acceleration was detected.

Anyway upon testing I noted that the accel I was using didn't show any frequencies above 1000Hz and surprise surprise when i dug into the actual IC datasheet I found that it's maximum bandwidth was 1000Hz. I had initially interpreted the fact that it was an analogue output to mean the bandwidth was whatever I could sample it at! (rookie error I know)

The project is over now but it got me thinking. With a Teensy 3.1 I can easy sample at upwards of 40kHz so would I be able to interface it or any other arduino with the type of accel used on most lab tests.

here is the accel (

It appears to have a coaxial connection but I can't quite work out how on earth I would go about getting a reading from it. I use a National instruments DAQ in the lab where all i had to do was connect the cable.

The specifications list "excitation voltage" and "excitation current". You will need some sort of power supply able to give it that power and then some way of shifting that voltage down to where the Teensy can read it.

mm 18-30v and 20ma constant current. I'm sure there would be a way of providing that but then I don't really understand what how i read the acceleration if all i do is provide a voltage and have a ground?

Is it that i could read the voltage of the return line like any standard analogue sensor?

You read the acceleration as an AC voltage superimposed on the DC supply power. That's why these accelerometers can't measure a constant (DC or zero Hz) acceleration. Picking millivolts out of a 30V signal is not a simple job. If you can find an amplifier for the sensors then it's likely to cost a lot more than the sensor itself.


Fig 8, Page 3 shows how to power it up and get its output.

Tom...... :)

Morgan - Thank you so much for explaining that. It makes sense now and I can also understand why the National Instruments kit costs so much now!