What do you get when you combine a curious mind, a free afternoon, and an affordable accelerometer? You get me recording motion data and having far too much fun when I should be working on something else. The little device that tricked me into spending an afternoon away from my desk in Onsetis HOBO Pendant G Data Logger.
The HOBO Pendant G is an accelerometer that measures motion in up to three axes. Onset describes it like this: "Useful for monitoring force, acceleration, vibration, and angular displacement involved with sports activity, medical therapy compliance, or any activity or process where 3-dimensional motion is present, the Pendant G Logger provides valuable data for documenting and improving performance."
The Pendant G includes software and USB adapter.
The description is totally accurate, but it doesnit convey the fun you can really have with this tiny data tracker. Itis small enough you can take it practically anywhere, and itis water tight, so you can use it indoors or outdoors. Want data on your favorite roller coaster, or maybe you want to know how fast your car really accelerates? You can record the data with the Pendant G.
My initial tests involved attaching the Pendant G to the TMO central tower office manager Nightshade the Catis collar. That didnit go over well, but the sensor did show that cats have an amazing amount of power in their legs. Also, the sensor is versatile enough that I was able to record measurements while it was hanging around my neck, in a pocket, and attached to other objects, too.
You can store up to 60,000 data points in the Pendant G, so there is plenty of storage space for most users. If you need to record even more data, you can offload what you already have to your Mac, and then start collecting again.
Getting data from the Pendant G is really simple. Once the included HOBOware Lite software is installed, the included USB coupler downloads data. You also use the software to reset the Pendant G, and to program how the sensor records data. You can display recorded data in the HOBOware application, and also export the data as a CSV file for use in other applications like Microsoft Excel.
HOBOware Lite downloads and displays your Pendant G data.
Initially I was concerned about the lack of documentation - the Pendant G ships with a couple sheets of paper describing the accelerometer and the USB coupler. The lack of printed documentation made the whole deal seem a bit intimidating at first, but once I actually sat down with the device, it was pretty easy to figure out.
The same data imported into Excel.
The software installation CD does include a PDF manual and some sample data files. That helped a lot, but I really like having printed documentation.
The Bottom Line
The HOBO Pendant G goes beyond being a great data recording instrument - itis just plain fun. It is easy to use, the included software is friendly, and the price makes it affordable for serious and amateur users alike. School projects, anyone?