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    About the Competition

    Vibrations are periodic motions or oscillations that occur naturally or emanate from many types of mechanical and electromechanical systems and devices. Earthquakes produce vibrations: surface waves that travel along the Earth's surface, and body waves that travel within the Earth's interior. Industrial motors and pumps also produce vibrations, and when they are excessive the vibrations can indicate a problem, such as motor bearing failure or pump cavitation.

    Vibrations provide an engineer with a lot of important information about a system. How it vibrates, including the magnitude and frequency of oscillation, are valuable data to collect and analyze. In the real world, this data can be utilized in condition monitoring or predictive maintenance. To this end, Experimenting with Vibration Sensors is a hands-on competition that gives our members the opportunity to experiment with vibration sensors and blog about what they did. Our judges will select the best experiments and award some really great prizes to the winners.

    What kind of experiments can the participants perform?

    It depends on your interests! Perhaps you want to monitor motor or pump vibrations in a condition monitoring system. Maybe you want to experiment with the sensitivity of a vibration sensor. Or maybe you want to experiment with vibration detection in some kind of project, process, machine, or equipment. It's totally up to you, so use your imagination and creativity!


    What do I need to do to win the Grand Prize?

    After the enrollment period is complete, and the 15 FREE vibration sensor kits are shipped, you will have 2 months to complete your experiments, write two blogs, and share what you learned about vibration sensors. You will be judged by the quality of your final blog and what you learned about vibration sensors.


    What do I get if I don't win the Grand Prize, but I wrote the two blogs?

    We are offering a Runner Up Prize, too. But if you successfully finished the competition, you will also be eligible for the finisher prize. But remember, you have to write two blogs by the deadline to be considered a finisher!

    Who is Eligible to Enroll?

    Any element14 member can enroll in the Experimenting with Vibration Sensors competition! But to receive one of 15 FREE vibration sensor kits, you need to submit an application by the enrollment deadline, November 6 2020. (If you're not an element14 member, go here to register. It's a fast and easy form.)


    Important Dates


    Enrollment Begins:Sept 30 2020
    Enrollment Ends:Nov 6 2020
    Applicants Selected:Nov 18 2020
    Challenge Begins:Nov 25 2020
    Challenge Ends:Jan 25 2021

    Blogging Requirements: Only 2 Blogs!

    In order to successfully finish this competition, you will be required to blog twice during the competition period. You can blog more than twice, if you wish. Our recommendation is:

    Write Blog 1: Introduce yourself and explain what experiments you plan to perform.  Due 9th Dec 2020.

    Write Blog 2: Show the results of your experiments, using images, screen captures, videos, tables, charts, etc. Then tell us what you learned about vibration sensors.  Due 25th Jan 2021.

    Please also tag your blogs with 'Experimenting with Vibration Sensors.'


    The Prizes

    There will be two great prizes: a Grand Prize and a Runner Up prize. We will also offer a finisher prize to those who have met the requirements for finishing the competition.

    The Grand Prize

    grand prize

    Microsoft Surface Pro X with Accessories:
    keyboard, Surface pen, Microsoft USB-C®, travel hub, and Surface Pro Sleeve*

    Runner Up Prize

    runnerup prize

    Apple Watch Series 5*

    All Finisher's Prize

    finisher prize

    Google Nest Hub Smart Display w/Google Assistant*

    *or equivalent prize value


    UPDATE - February 2021: we have decided to offer two Honorable Mention prizes as well, to challengers who produced excellent blogs but were not selected as the Grand Prize or Runner Up winners. Please see the Winners Announcement for details.


    The Kit

    element14 is offering for this competition 15 kits FREE of charge. To be eligible to receive one of them, you must submit an application by the enrollment deadline (November 6 2020). Here is the kit:

    Products Buy Kit*Buy Kit*Product Description
    product kit image

    Buy NowBuy Now

    Required competition part

    Vibration Sensor

    KEMET's VS vibration sensors can detect vibrations in a wide frequency range from 10 Hz up to 15 kHz, through the effective conversion of vibrations to electrical signal by utilizing proprietary optimized piezo ceramic material and original vibration amplifying design. As no amplifier is required, it makes it very easy to embed. Its ability to detect even the faintest levels of vibration throughout a large sensing bandwidth makes it ideal for predictive maintenance and process control operations in industrial IoT, allowing for correction and data analysis flow to PLC, micro-computer or analyzers.  Datasheet

    product kit image

    Buy NowBuy Now

    Optional competition part


    The NUCLEO-H743ZI is an STM32 Nucleo-144 board provides a flexible way for users to build prototypes based on the STM32 microcontroller. For the compatible boards, the internal or external SMPS significantly reduces power consumption in Run mode. The ST Zio connector, which extends the ARDUINO® Uno V3 connectivity, and the ST morpho headers provide an easy means of expanding the functionality of the Nucleo open development platform with a wide choice of specialized shields. The STM32 Nucleo-144 board does not require any separate probe as it integrates the ST-LINK debugger/programmer. The STM32 Nucleo-144 board comes with the STM32 comprehensive free software libraries and examples available with the STM32Cube MCU Package.  Datasheet

    product kit image

    Buy NowBuy Now

    Optional competition part

    X-NUCLEO-IDB05A1X-NUCLEO-IDB05A1 Bluetooth Expansion Board

    The X-NUCLEO-IDB05A1X-NUCLEO-IDB05A1 is a Bluetooth Low Energy evaluation board based on the SPBTLE-RF BlueNRG-MS RF module to allow expansion of the STM32 Nucleo boards. The SPBTLE-RF module is FCC (FCC ID: S9NSPBTLERF) and IC certified (IC: 8976C-SPBTLERF). The X-NUCLEO-IDB05A1X-NUCLEO-IDB05A1 is compatible with the ST Morpho and Arduino UNO R3 connector layout (the user can mount the ST Morpho connectors, if required). The X-NUCLEO-IDB05A1X-NUCLEO-IDB05A1 interfaces with the STM32 microcontroller via the SPI pin, and the user can change the default SPI clock, the SPI chip select and SPI IRQ by changing one resistor on the evaluation board.  Datasheet


    The Judges

    Top Members of the element14 Community will be our judges. They are:


    Top Member Michael Kellett

    Michael has worked as an electronics engineer for 45 years. He has designed microphones, accelerometers, vibration analysis equipment, active suspension controllers and test equipment. Currently he works as an independent electronics and software designer with an interest in precision analogue, microcontrollers, FPGA and DSP.


    Top Member Don Bertke

    Don spent 35 years in the aerospace industry working on many advanced projects. His range of experience covers nearly every scientific field and most ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum. He has a very broad interest and knowledge in science with extensive analysis in image, multispectral and hyper-spectral analysis. He has also worked on a wide range of embedded computer applications, including integrated search and rescue systems.


    Thank you to our Judges for offering their time and service.

    Tips on Writing Your Application

    If you want to get a chance to obtain one of the 15 FREE Kits, you will need to submit an application no later than November 6 2020. The key to a winning application is to provide as much meaningful information about your proposed experiments as possible.

    Please don't write a book! The application should be detailed enough to give the judges a good idea of what you plan to do and how you plan to pull it off. By answering each of the following questions in your application, you will provide the judges with the information they need to make their decisions:

    (a) Describe your technical background.

    (b) Why are you interested in this competition? What's your interest or experience with vibration sensors?

    (c) What kind of experiment(s) do you plan to perform? (Be as specific as you can)

    (d) Have you participated in the element14 Community? If so, please provide some links to what you've done. If you are a new member, answer "New Member."

    All interested element14 members must submit an application before the end of enrollment on November 6 2020.

    Here are some other suggestions for completing a winning application:

    1. Please complete all required information (contact information, etc.)
    In the Project Title field,  use "Experimenting with Vibration Sensors" or your element14 member name.  Please use the email address that is associated with your element14 profile.

    2. Complete all of the application questions
    Tell us why you want to be selected. Before deciding what you want to write, think about the following things:

    • You are entering a competition. The most persuasive applications are the ones that attract the eye of the judges.
    • A single sentence application will never be selected. This competition is not a game of chance.
    • Be as detailed as possible, but don't write a book.

    Anyone Can Participate in Experimenting with Vibration Sensors

    Any element14 member can enroll in the 'Experimenting with Vibration Sensors' competition. To receive one of the 15 FREE vibration sensor kits, you need to submit an application by the deadline, November 6 2020.


    General Questions

    For any general questions about the Experimenting with Vibration Sensors competition, please post a comment on this page.


    To keep up-to-date with this competition, please bookmark it.