In this episode we are showcasing the AD8232 Analogl Heart Rate Sensor/Single Lead ECG Sensor For Arduino(SEN0213) and explaining how ECG works with microcontrollers like Arduino.

The AD8232 single lead ECG heart rate sensor converts heartbeat into an analog signal. The signal allows us to monitor the heartbeats using even the most basic Arduino IDE build-in examples.

ECG, also known as EKG or Electrocardiography, is the technology of measuring electrical changes generated by cardiac movement. The electrical change may range from hundreds of microvolts up to 1 millivolt. These change can be captured from the electrodes attached to the skin. The signal is then processed by an amplifier circuit, which is the AD8232 in our case, and finally converted into a voltage that is readable for micro-controllers like Arduino. Therefore, recording the voltage change over a short period of time gives us a plot of voltage versus time. This plot is commonly known as Electrocardiogram.

The ECG technology is noninvasive, which literally means it doesn’t physically penetrate into the skin, however, putting conductive electrode onto the skin can be dangerous. You will have to know exactly what you are doing with the sensor. To avoid any potential damage, we strongly recommend using a low voltage AC power supply such as a 5 Volt power bank or a USB port from an unplugged laptop.

Here are a few tips that will help you get a better result:

1. Hold still during the measurement. Regular muscle movement also generates the electric pulse, and you really want to get rid of them.
2. Place the pad near soft tissue since electric pulse can hardly travel through skeleton due to its poor conductivity. If you want to know more about ECG heart rate sensor, visit the WiKi page HERE and check out specs, schematic diagrams and more.

Input Voltage: 3.3-6V (5V recommended)
Output Voltage: 0-3.3V
Interface: Analog
Operating current: less than10mA
imension: 35 x 22(mm), 1.378″ x 0.866″(in)
Interface Type: PH2.0-3P

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