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Description: Heart rate data can be really useful whether you're designing an exercise routine, studying your activity or anxiety levels or just want your shirt to blink with your heart beat. The problem is that heart rate can be difficult to measure. Luckily, the Pulse Sensor Amped can solve that problem!

The Pulse Sensor Amped is a plug-and-play heart-rate sensor for Arduino. It can be used by students, artists, athletes, makers, and game & mobile developers who want to easily incorporate live heart-rate data into their projects.It essentially combines a simple optical heart rate sensor with amplification and noise cancellation circuitry making it fast and easy to get reliable pulse readings. Also, it sips power with just 4mA current draw at 5V so it's great for mobile applications.

Simply clip the Pulse Sensor to your earlobe or finger tip and plug it into your 3 or 5 Volt Arduino and you're ready to read heart rate! The 24" cable on the Pulse Sensor is terminated with standard male headers so there's no soldering required. Of course Arduino example code is available as well as a Processing sketch for visualizing heart rate data.

Dimensions: 0.625" Diameter and 0.125" Thick

Kit Includes:

  • Pulse Sensor Board
  • 24-inch Color-Coded Cable with Standard Male Headers
  • Ear Clip for Earlobe Heart Rate Measurement
  • Velcro Finger Strap
  • Transparent Stickers to Protect Sensor

Documents:

Comments 43 comments

  • Great product, but is there any sense of why the cost? This is an ADC and an amp after all. I noticed on the mfg. site they have a photo of the makershed store listing it for $20, but when you click through to the product page it’s $25. I’ve never complained about Sparkfun’s pricing, but doesn’t this seem excessive for this board?!

    • I usually think that Sparkfun prices things very appropriately, especially their breakout boards. However, I must agree with you that this is rather overpriced. If this had even an ATTiny to serialize the output, or any “Active” component, I would accept the price. With this simple a circuit, I have to say that the cost outweighs the features.

      • The opAmp it;s an ACTIVE component !!!!

        • Quite true, sorry, I suppose was thinking of a more complex device, something to actually average the output, a small micro or something, or perhaps even a well-tuned low-pass filter for noise suppression, but you are correct, an Op-amp is considered an active component. A 19 cent op-amp and an 88 cent light sensor still does not justify the $20 price tag, in my opinion.

    • Dougie im with you there man. But when ever i ask a question on the price of a product, i never get an answer. But a great product all the same! Maybe i will buy it.

  • Can this be used on the wrist?

  • Check out my C code port for the pulse sensor: code

  • Check out my C code port for the pulse sensor: http://www.libstock.com/projects/view/951/pic-heartrate-monitor

  • I have ported the arduino code for PIC microcontrollers you can find it at: www.libstock.com/projects/view/951/pic-heartrate-monitor

  • Hi people! I just got myself few of those sensors. I discovered that when attached to the body (finger or a bit above the wrist) when I move a bit there are massive disturbances in the signal, any suggestions? How it is when it is attached to the ear? Is it also so sensible to movement? Do you know some other sensor that is not disturbed by movement and gives reliable signal?

    Thanks

    –Zeos

  • This is junk. I bought 3 of these and could never get them to work. The Arduino code does not even work on stock UNO. Their website is totally bogus and just spits ads at you. Other people on their forum complained that the device did not work but nobody ever replied with a fix or even a comment. To add insult to injury if you decide to post on the forum you have to endure listening to some useless 12 second ad (Progressive insurance !) so you can get the capcha code to submit the comment. What a joke ? A support forum is there to support users not to generate revenue for the site. Complete waste of $ 75.

  • can this sensor be used on wrist?

  • Can the sensor read heart rate under the wrist?

  • Would this sensor cause any problems for people with pacemakers?

    • Not at all. This sensor works via reflected light, and involves no electrical connection to the subject.

  • Can this sensor work with IOIO-OTG? if so, I need the codes.

  • I need a heart rate monitoring hardware. Is this sensor stable and accurate? Can i trust its result? I was planning the buy an ECG sensor from cooking-hacks. Can anyone help me?

    And can i use this sensor with raspberry pi?

  • Can this product work using IOIO-OTG??

  • I think that the sensor that I received was defective. I tried running the example Arduino code, using several different Arduino boards, placing the sensor at different locations on my skin, and the measured heart rate fluctuated between 2 and 3 times the actual value (measured from another device).

    • If you’re concerned with the functionality of your sensor, please contact techsupport@sparkfun.com and they will be able to assist you further.

  • Hi, I just bought this sensor and was wondering if I can use it with the “Logomatic v2 Serial SD Datalogger”?

  • can i use this for ECG measurements?????

  • Anybody tried this on small rodents (e.g., clipping to ear to read heart rate; this is for a research lab)?

    • I have a dog, and I have tried, but he shakes it off his head and then tests it’s flavor! You will really need to test various anatomy of rodents. Works best with capillary tissues. My first thought would be to select a part of the anatomy that wouldn’t contribute much movement noise, then shave the area, and attach the sensor with a double-stick tape. Crazy! Might work. Ear is possibility, but the ear membrane is rather thin. Worth testing… and easy to test, with the Pulse Sensor! btw, i am part owner of Pulse Sensor

  • Nice unit

  • 3 AA batteries and your PC soundcard’s line-in to a software oscilloscope (http://www.zeitnitz.de/Christian/scope_en is excellent) serve nicely as a substitute for the Arduino.

  • Hi Please tell me if I can connect it to my 8051 microcontroller ?

  • I was wondering if there was an alternative to using HOT GLUE to protect the “back” of the sensor? A week ago I purchased a sensor and it worked great. Until I put the recommended hot glue on it. Since then it stopped working. I attempted to remove the wad of hardened hot glue and some of it remained embedded. (and no…there was no glue obscuring the LED on the front.) I don’t want to go into the pro and cons of buying microcircuitry that requires the end user to protect the product with hot glue…but I would love to know if there was another way to accomplish the same goal. I have purchased a replacement and I am loathe to throw another 30$ away on a third. This is for a science project and time is running out…

    Thanks

    • I’ve got one of these at the moment, and other than hot glue, the best I can think of would be clear heat shrink wrap. You’d have to make sure the heat used didn’t cause components to slide- I’d be afraid of the heat loosening the solder joints. Other than that, it should be fine I would think. Just make sure that the front side is flush and clear, as the cloudier the material, the harder it will be for the light sensor to do it’s job.

  • I built one very simple unit using a red LED and sparkfun’s TEMT6000 light sensor connected straight to ADC. Check out my blog post: simple pulsoximeter

  • Is there any way to use this as an oximeter too?

    • I don’t believe so, pulse oxymetry requires two wavelengths (red and IR) and measuring the difference between them.

  • FYI, there is no reason this should be limited to the earlobes or fingers. Reflexive pulse oximeters like these can typically be applied anywhere there isn’t too much muscle, such the toes, throat, forehead, or chest.

    The chest is often the best option, in fact. If the wearer is cold, has poor circulation, and/or is shivering, most other placements return inaccurate values due to vasoconstriction and vibration.

    • Maybe it’s because the velco strap (or ear clip) is most easily attached to either the ear lobe or finger. I’d be interested in seeing it work on the chest.

  • Are there any data sheets with specifications on current (amps) in addition to voltage (+3V to +5V in on red wire)? I would like to know the lifetime if connected to an external power source (batteries). I already checked their home page, but to no avail. Thanks!

    • Current consumption of the sensor is ~4mA

      • The green LED takes about 20mA. I’m looking for a lower power solution, anybody experimented with lower power LED’s?

        • The LED will use all the current it can, that’s why LEDs need a current-limiting resistor. This design has a 470ohm resistor. If I make a very wild guess (knowing it’s a green LED) that the voltage drop through the LED will be about 2.4V, and we know I (current) = V (voltage) / R (resistance), we get I = (5.0V-2.4V)/470ohm = ~5.5mA, which isn’t far off the given current spec. Generally, the max current spec of an LED is an absolute limit. You can run it anywhere below that :)

  • I highly recommend that if you use this device that you tack TVS on the IC pins or pot the entire circuit with some kind of clear epoxy. ESD protection was not even considered in this design.

    • The Microchip op-amp is ESD rated, so it’ll be hard to kill. The kit comes with clear plastic stickers to cover the exposed photosensor chip, which will give it some protection. And the whole thing is reverse polarity protected too.

      For a fascinating description of the development of this product, check out this page.

    • Must emphasize that it is not advised to pot the circuit in clear epoxy! Doing that will likely cover the LED in epoxy, and will add lensing to the LED which can kill the Pulse Sensor functionality. If you must pot the Pulse Sensor, be very careful. The Getting Started Guide has useful tips for sealing the front and back. RSP, you are right about the ESD. Those Microchip op-amps are tough buggers. (disclosure: i am one of the guys behind Pulse Sensor)

  • The Processing Code gives me compile errors. whats the problem?


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