Tilt Sensor

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A tilt sensor is a simplified accelerometer. It is a switch that can detect basic motion/orientation. The metal tube has a little metal ball that rolls around in it. When it is tilted upright, the ball rolls onto the contacts sticking out of end and shorts them together.

Shown in Figure 6.1 is the tile sensor SW-460D. The electric characteristics of this sensor are listed in Table 6.1. The minimum tilt angel of this sensor is 2-5°.

Tilt sensor.jpg

Adjustable coupling



SW-460D Electrical Characteristics
Voltage Current Conduction Time Path Resistance Open Circuit Resistance Resistance To Temperature
12V 5mA 20mS >10M omh 10M omh 100°C


Schematic of tilt.jpg

Example Project

Hardware Preparation

The following hardware is needed in this project.

  • An Arduino Duemilanove board or compatible Arduino controller
  • 1 tilt sensor
  • 1 Prototyping Shield
  • 1 mini breadboard
  • A 4-pin pitch pin header
  • A resistor and a capacitor
  • A few jumper wires


The program below uses the tilt sensor to control the LED.

Sample code:

<syntaxhighlight lang="c">

int ledPin = 13; // Connect LED to pin 13 int switcher = 3; // Connect Tilt sensor to Pin3

void setup() {

 pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);      // Set digital pin 13 to output mode
 pinMode(switcher, INPUT);       // Set digital pin 3 to input mode

} void loop() {

  if(digitalRead(switcher)==HIGH) //Read sensor value
       digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH);   // Turn on LED when the sensor is tilted
       digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW);    // Turn off LED when the sensor is not triggered