The EduForce Module is designed for use in the classroom, providing state-of-the-art
motion data previously
unobtainable through the use of stopwatches, photogates, and sonic rangers. Each of
these devices has inherent
limitations, by which, students are then limited in the exploration of physics concepts
during their own personal
The Module's electronics are encased in a silicon epoxy to resist high impacts, such as being dropped on the floor accidentally. The lightweight, compact design allows students the ability to mount Modules on a variety of existing classroom equipment. Instructors can also use a wide range of BFA designed holders, mounts, and equipment to more securely attach modules for use in, and out of, the classroom.
There are two (2) primary electronic components to the Module; the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and the Processor. The IMU contains the sensor hardware which collects, then transfers, the motion data to the Module's volatile ("erasable") memory. The Processor contains the firmware (operating commands) for the Module. These two components, along with the on-board non-volatile (permanent) memory, allow the Module to detect, transfer, and store motion data for analysis through the Dashboard (and supporting software). The Module is connected to the EduForce Dashboard ("Dashboard") via a USB-C style connector ("USB"). The USB allows for two-way communication between the Dashboard and the Module. When connecting and disconnecting the USB it is important to hold the connector ends between your fingers and push/pull the connector firmly into the Module/Computer USB ports. DO NOT PULL THE USB OUT OF A PORT FROM THE CABLE, DOING SO COULD WEAKEN OR DAMAGE THE CONNECTOR ENDS OR THE PORT. Powering On The Module
The Module can be powered on ("turned on") in two ways. When the Module is connected to the Dashboard via the USB, the Module automatically powers on and remains on until disconnected from the USB. The Module will then automatically time out (power down) in five (5) minutes. To turn the Module on without connecting it to the USB, simply place the marked corner of the Remote near the Reed Switch of the Module for a few seconds. The Module will power on as indicated by the flashing PCB LEDs.
The Module can be begin communicating with the Dashboard in two ways. When connecting the Module to the computer via the USB BEFORE launching the Dashboard, the Module then automatically begins communicating with the Dashboard. The Module can also be connected once the Dashboard has been launched (such as when you are switching between two or more Modules). In the Education mode of the Dashboard, simply click "Connect Module" on the appropriate tab. The Dashboard will display a message confirming the connections. (It is important to wait until the message displays prior to performing another operation or clicking another button.) In the Advanced mode, click "Disconnect" (Port Closed will display), then "Refresh Port List" (COM list populates), then select the Module from the COM list ("Current Module Configurations Received and Displayed" will display). Operational Modes
The Module has three basic modes; Off, Stand-By, and Operating (i.e. conducting a trial)
- Off – The Module is powered down. No LEDs are illuminated. No data is being collected. Power on the Module by connecting to the Dashboard, or manually via the Remote.
- Operating – The Module is conducting a trial and collecting data according to the parameters set by the user. The PCB LEDs are flashing, the Status LED will be illuminated (see Appendix A for details). Refer to the EduForce Dashboard User's Guide for more information on programming the Module for use in a trial.
- Stand-By – The Module is powered up but is not currently performing any functions. The PCB LEDs are flashing, while the Charging and/or Status LEDs may be illuminated. The Module can be in Stand-by while connected to the Dashboard or disconnected from it. Typically the Module is in Stand-By mode while the user is working with the Module through the Dashboard without any current operations being performed, or when the Module has been programmed for a trial, disconnected from the Dashboard and is awaiting the start of a trial. Should the Module power down while waiting for a trial to begin, simply hold the Remote's magnet (marked on the face of the Remote) near the Reed Switch until the Module powers up (PCB LEDs will begin to flash).
The Module has two sets of LEDs, one set on the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and one set
on the USB end-face of the Module. The Diagrams below show
the relative location of the LEDs on the Module for reference.
(Click for specific LED indications.)
The Module is equipped with three sensors – Accelerometer, Gyroscope, and Magnetometer-
along three axes, providing the user with measurements in nine degrees of freedom (9
DOF). User-selected inputs are available for Accelerometer and
Gyroscope for sample
rate, sensitivity, and filtering. (see Technical Specifications below for details).
The Module's "Positive" X, Y, Z Axis orientation, as determined by the IMU's manufacturer, is marked directly on the Module for the Accelerometer and Gyroscope. The Magnetometer Axis orientation is different from the Accelerometer and Gyroscope. The X and Y Axes of the Magnetometer are 90° relative to the other sensors while the Z Axis is 180° to the other sensors. (see the diagrams below)
- Accelerometer data displayed is Acceleration in m/s2 for each axis
- Gyroscope data displayed is Rotational Velocity in degrees per second (°/s) for each axis
- Magnetometer data displayed is Field Strength for each axis
The Advanced allows the user to work with either the Java-based graph displays or an
Excel-based graph. (EduForce Dashboard)
The Excel-based graph displays:
Accelerometer data (3-Axis)
- Linear Acceleration in m/s2 (from the module, converted from bit count to data)
- Linear Velocity in m/s(integrated from Acceleration)
- Linear Displacement in m (integrated from Velocity)
Gyroscope data (3-Axis)
- Angular Acceleration in °/s2 (differentiated from Velocity)
- Angular Velocity in °/s (from the module, converted from bit count to data)
- Angular Displacement in degrees (integrated from Velocity)
- Field Intensity (from the module, converted from bit count to data)
Though the Module's IMU is manufactured to "ideal" specifications, due to inherent
processes it is best to calculate any difference from this ideal to the Module's actual
difference (or offset) can be calculated and stored to the Module's non-volatile memory.
The offset is then
applied automatically when trial data is read from the Module and imported and analyzed
Dashboard. The Module is initially calibrated during manufacturing however, users may
wish to recalibrate
their Module periodically, particularly if it received a significant shock. (a short
fall from a tabletop is not
considered a "significant shock".) We do recommend the Module be calibrated annually.
To perform a calibration the Module must be placed on a flat, level, stable (non-vibrating) surface during the entire calibration test. Take care to ensure there are no external vibrations, sudden shocks, or movement of the Module (other than what is necessary to rotate the Module through the process).
IMU Calibration Process (Note: Detailed instructions for programming the Module, and the calibration process can be found in the EduForce Dashboard User's Guide. The calibration function is conducted only through the Advanced Dashboard.)
- Using default configurations, program the Module to conduct a test
Disconnect the Module, place it on the surface, then start the trial
- Rotate the Module placing it on each of the six (6) Module faces for 3-4 seconds
- Stop the trial
- Reconnect the module, read the test, make a note of the file location and name
On the MPU Calibration tab, click Browse
- In the pop-up window locate your file, and click Open
- Then click "Calibrate"
- The Dashboard will automatically write the offsets into the module system memory and populate the data fields on the tab
Physical Specifications (nominal)
|Dimensions (L X W X H)||2.75" X .75" X .75"||7 cm X 2 cm X 2 cm|
|Mass||1.3 oz||37 gm|
Power Supply Specifications†
|Maximum Test Length per Charge||4 minutes||1 hour|
|Recharge Time||30 seconds||1 minute|
|Maximum Charge Cycles||Unlimited||Over 1,000‡|
†All values are approximate.
‡The Module's LiPo battery is similar to other rechargeable batteries such as those used in smartphones, laptop computers, and other portable devices. The number of charge cycles is an indication of the battery's ability to accept and retain a full charge. This ability, like all rechargeable batteries, declines slowly over the life of the battery. This estimate is not an indication of the battery's ability to accept any charge.
|Volatile Memory Storage||128 MB|
|Max Test Length @ Default Settings||~2 hours*|
*[A (960 sps x 3 Axis) + G(960sps x 3 Axis)+M(96sps x 3 Axis)] = 18,144 bytes/second 128 MB/18,144 bytes/second =7054 seconds or 1.96 hours
Sensor Specifications (Default Settings in BOLD)
|Accelerometer and Gyroscope Sampling Rates (Hz)||60, 120, 240, 480, 500,960|
|Magnetometer Sampling Rate (Hz)||96|
|Accelerometer Sensitivities (g)||± 2, 4,8, 16|
|Gyroscope Sensitivities (°/s)||± 250, 500,1000, 2000|
|Magnetometer Sensitivity (μT)||±4800|
|Accelerometer Filter (Hz)||5, 10, 20, 41,92, 184, 460, 1130 (OFF)|
|Gyroscope Filter (Hz)||10, 20, 41,92, 184, 250, 3600, 8800 (OFF)|
The Module pairs with the EduForce Remote to provide the user the ability to remotely
start/stop data collection
without physical contact with the module, reducing the amount of spurious motion
imparted on the module
during a trial. The Remote is equipped with an automatic time-out circuit (two (2)
minutes from the last button
activation) to prevent unnecessary battery drain. The Remote can also pair with iOS and
Android video recording
devices to simultaneously start/stop video and data recording to analyze trial data
through SINC™ Technology.
(See the SINC Technology User's Guide for details)
To Power On
- Status & Power LEDs turn on, then Power LED turns off.
- Status LED remains on to indicate Remote is ON
- Unit will time-out automatically after two (2) minutes
To Power off
Press and Hold "Power" Button
- Status and Power LEDs turn on
- When Power LED turns off (Status LED will remain lit), release "Power" Button
- Remote turns off, Status and Power LEDs are off
- Remains lit anytime Remote is on
- Will illuminate anytime Start/Stop, Android, or iOS button is pressed to indicate signal is being transmitted to the Module / Video Recording Device.
- Trial will begin when Start/Stop, Android, or iOS button is pressed or "upon release" depending upon the parameters written for the trial. (See EduForce Dashboard User's Guide , Advanced Dashboard, Configure Test Parameters tab for details.)
Bluetooth & Pairing
To operate a Module, it must be paired with a Remote. (Refer to the EduForce Dashboard User's Guide for instruction how to pair a Remote/Module.) The operational range of a Remote is approximately 2-5 feet. The Remote communicates with the Module via an RF signal. Although the most common pairing is one-to-one, other configurations are possible to meet the needs of the user in light of the physical set-up of the trial.
Remote / Module Pairing Configurations
One (1) Remote + One (1) Module
- Most Common Pairing
- Ex: Inclined Plane or Pendulum Lab
One (1) Remote + Two (2) or more Modules
- Modules in close proximity to Remote during trial
- Ex: Conservation of Momentum Lab
Two (2) Remotes + One (1) Module
- Physical Start/Stop location is 5+ Feet
- Ex: Foot Race Trial
Two (2) Remotes + Two (2) or more Modules
- Multiple Modules used where Start/Stop location is 5+ Feet
- Ex: User is getting creative in using the Modules
Bluetooth and SINC™ Technology (Refer to the
SINC Technology User's Guide
for more details.)
The Remote is capable of generating both an RF signal (for use with Modules) and a Bluetooth signal (for use with video devices). In order to record both motion and video data the user must start/stop the numerical and video data recording simultaneously and synchronize the two data formats during analysis. SINC Technology does this for the user automatically. However, the video recording device (Android or iOS) must be paired with the Remote. This operation is conducted through the Device's Settings procedures; therefore, user's will need to be familiar with their own device's process. When pairing the Device with the Remote through Bluetooth, the Remote's name is "AB Shutter 3".
- The Remote is powered by a CR 2477 Battery, which is replaceable by the user
- The Remote features a "Low Battery" Alert to make the user aware when to change the battery
To conserve battery life there is an automatic "time-out" feature
- Remote turns off after two (2) minutes of inactivity
To replace the battery, you will need a CR 2477 Battery and a small Phillips
1) Turn the Remote over and remove the three screws (be careful not to drop or lose the
2) Push the battery out of the holder, with a NONMETALLIC OBJECT ,from the top of the battery holder.
3) Slide the new battery into holder.
4) Close the cover and replace the screws.