I'm working on a project were we are trying to attach accelerometers to soccer players and capture various aspects of movement data. Breadboarded circuits are coming along nicely and I'm now looking for how to best protect sensors we can mount on players. (All wire at the moment unfortunately - BT next.)

Although I can find ways to protect the sensor for sensor damaging impact (we are essentially interested in player impacts with the ball or ground) there are other aspects of protection I'm not sure about. Any recommendations on how to protect from moisture without increasing bulk too much, minimizing cushioning which could affect the data and of course avoid adding anything that could injure the player? I have come across other examples of movement studies, but they have been by musicians or other situations that do not include outdoor weather and sweaty bodies.

  • Just make it, so it's easy to repair. Thing will break, no matter what, at those conditions. Just make sure the players aren't electrocuted :-) – Gerben Jan 5 '15 at 19:46

The only way this is ever done is with some kind of product casing. You can buy pre-fab cases for electronic projects, but to get something really slick and appropriate for your purpose, you're gonna have to make something yourself. You might look into 3D printing.

Something like this might work: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8601

For protection from salt-water, this product is worth a look: http://www.corrosionx.com/

There's some different products there, but I've seen a demo of that product, where we ran an entire RC airplane system, servos, motors, and receiver, UNDER WATER.

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  • That looks like the kind of case I was thinking of for the data logger module. The accelerometers should be smaller and I was thinking of trying a soft setting sealer to coast the sensor. I think they are low power enough to not have problems with heat dissipation issues. The 3D printing is an interesting idea - only been reading about that and seeing demos at shows. Might be the time to try it out. – geogaffer Jan 5 '15 at 18:43
  • Or, just don't. The effect of sweat on electronics is often overestimated. Many electronics work underwater just fine. Covering it with shrink-tube or plain old packing tape might be enough. I've done that with sensitive components on RC float planes. You could also try "Corrosion-X" spray. – Jasmine Jan 5 '15 at 18:49
  • Good comment. I have worked with sensors in the field for geophysics and we have had some weather problems from time to time. I like your experience with simple solutions. Watch the Red Green Show much? ;-) – geogaffer Jan 5 '15 at 19:15
  • No, but you're not the first person to ask that. I have a Youtube channel (jasmine2501) where I try to keep it simple. It's mostly about firearms and RC stuff, but there's a few Arduino vids up there too. I've been an engineer for a long time and seen a lot of waste when searching for "ideal" solutions when it wasn't needed. Good engineers recognize perfection, but great engineers recognize "good enough" – Jasmine Jan 5 '15 at 19:56

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