I’ve recently been working with a couple Triple Axis Accelerometer Breakout Boards – MMA7260Q – available from Sparkfun. The process of getting these TriAxs up and running on a breadboard was a cinch thanks to Tom Igoe’s tutorial and Rob Faludi pointing out that I needed to take the sleep pin high in order to get the thing functional. I necessarily moved quickly to getting the TriAxs on to perf boards with an Xbee each. These will soon be incorporated into Experimental Devices for Performance so the implementation needs to be small and robust. They’ll most likely get a good smashing around.

Working with the Xbee API has proven to be extremely reliable and low maintenance for my needs. It certainly cuts down on hardware. No external microcontrollers are used in this setup. The TriAx gives out a range of 0 to 3.3VDC (the input voltage) on each of its X, Y, and Z axis pins. I’m sending that along via the first three ADC pins on each Xbee. The example below shows a quick test with a Max patch that parses the Xbee packet and maps the values to a gridshape’s rotation (X and Y) and position (Z).

I hesitate to post the video because there will most likely be more, better, and applicable documentation soon and because…well…the original background sound was completely uninteresting so I had to liven it up, but I know there are better uses out there for Herbie Hancock‘s Rockit, especially since this demo is so very dry. I hope to do this song justice one day, but until then here it is: