One fun fact about PIR motion sensors, they are infrared-based and are not able to see or detect movement through glass. How do we solve this problem? By placing the sensor over the tank. This works quite well because the glass blocks all other movements when pesky humans walk by or come to observe Cujo. 

Using some wooden skewers from the dollar store and some Scotch tape, I was able to easily hang the FunHouse and PIR sensor over Cujo's tank.


The next obstacle? I noticed the sensor wasn't picking up Cujo's movements at the very top of the tank. The sensor needed to be closer to Cujo. 

(Note, I was using a toaster oven rack at first to hold up the FunHouse before switching to the much more ideal wooden skewers. Now I can use my toaster oven again!)

That's more like it! Now it able to register Cujo's movement more frequently. 


Next, let's double-check the sensor and the dashboard are set up correctly. Power on the Funhouse using a 5V 2A power supply with a USB C cable. Now wave your hand in front of the motion sensor. The onboard red led should blink on and off. Additionally, the dashboard should have recorded the hand wave as turtle movement.

If the LED is not blinking or the data isn't showing up on the dashboard, double-check the FunHouse feeds, triggers and dashboard were all set up properly in the earlier sections of this guide. Do not move on until the led blinks properly and the dashboard is collecting accurate data otherwise the project won't be collecting anything useful.

Just walk away

Ok now that everything is in working order, place the sensor in an ideal space above the tank and go away. It's time to let Cujo do her thing! The next step is to monitor, analyze and visualize the data. It's time to be a scientist and watch Cujo... from a computer.

This guide was first published on Oct 12, 2021. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Sensor Placement and Calibration) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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