Thursday, June 21, 2012

Model X16-1C Accelerometer

As I mentioned in a previous post, "BasementDwellingGeek" at talked about an accelerometer for measuring movements during sleep, breathing, sleeping positions and I suppose numerous other things.  My interest is in sleeping positions.  It is the Gulf Coast X16-1C Accelerometer for $89, plus shipping.

When I received it this is what I found in the box...

The blue device at the top is the accelerometer itself and the black item below it is a rewindable USB cord, very handy because the accelerometer is actually a USB thumb drive (aka RAM drive, nice for getting your data!).  The rewindable USB cord is handy as it could be difficult to plug the accelerometer directly into your PC in close-quarters.  It shipped with a necessary AA battery and a screw driver too, so you could open the accelerometer and put in the battery.  They sent everything needed to fire up the unit.  I was expecting just the blue accelerometer.  I got more than I expected, smart on their part.  You have to put in the battery paying attention to which direction the (+) terminal goes, then you will find that the manual is on the accelerometer's thumb drive when you plug in the accelerometer to the USB (and the drivers install).  The only suggestion I would make to Gulf Coast is to put a little slip of paper in the box describing how to put the battery in (which way) and that the manual is on the RAM drive.

The accelerometer's case is just right.  Rounded corners, no wires dangling, no connectors and a nice cap over the USB connector.  It's 3-4 inches long and probably less than 1" wide and deep.

Since I was interested in sleeping positions, I needed a way to attach this to me.  I had some velcro straps I was not using so I rubberbanded the accelerometer in the velcro and then attached it to my CPAP mask headgear, which is velcro-friendly, that's the way you adjust the straps on the headgear.

Good.  It is actually secure.  It's hard to remove the velcro from the headgear.

This device is configurable by adding/changing/removing configuration settings in a text file to customize how often it records values, the number of readings per text (CSV) file it puts on its RAM drive, numerous others. You have to use WordPad in Windows to do this, not Notepad (so they say).  Something about proper line terminations (Carriage Return Line Feed stuff).

The nice thing about this unit is that it senses and records gravitational G's.  That means it's recording positions, not just movement.  If you have it at different orientations, it's recording different G's on it's X, Y, and Z axes thus different X, Y, and Z values. So, if I strap it to my body / head and rotate my head, or roll from my tummy to my back when sleeping, there will be levels of X, Y, Z that correlate to those positions. Perfect!

Surprise Bonus... Temperature
Come to find out when this unit writes files it records the temperature for each file following the hour change.  Who knew!  Great!  Now I can have my sleeping temperature too!  Perfecto!

More later on the XYZ and sleeping position with some graphs...

Until then.


  1. Have you learned anything with your accelerometer?

    Any pattern between lots of movement on a night, and how tired you feel the next day?

  2. Yes, I've learned quite a lot. I'll post about it. I have not correlated mathematically the amount of movement to daytime feel, but those nights that I'm restless I move more of course and the next day I feel the effect of that poorer quality sleep.