Remotely Configurable Force & Rate Detector

Powerful Performance

Hummingbird's Remotely Configurable Force & Rate Detector measures G-forces in all three dimensions and is able to detect a horizontal impact at any angle to the vehicle. The horizontal impact trigger is activated if the vehicle experiences an impact resulting in a force of 10G or more.

With Hummingbird Electronics' Remotely Configurable Force & Rate Detector, the installation can be tuned to the requirements of each vehicle using feedback provided by the detector. The tuning can be done instantly and without any physical access to the vehicle being required.

As an example, an accident in a particular vehicle may be deemed to be a G-force greater than 5G's for more than 300msec. In some vehicles, this may be fine, but in a truck that regularly drives on dirt roads, a large number of false alarms may occur. Each time a false alarm occurs, the detector will send a message describing the set of circumstances that caused the last event. This feedback can then be used to fine-tune what set of circumstances represent an accident. Feedback and threshold changes are made remotely using the same user interface that allows vehicle owners to monitor their vehicles. No access is required to the vehicle.


The detector is compatible with all vehicle monitoring systems that have either a spare RS232 or RS485 serial interface. In addition to the serial interface, 4 digital outputs are available that go high when an event is detected. The outputs are associated with accident, harsh braking, roll-over and rate of turn and can be used to trigger inputs on the tracking system.

Typical configuration messages are:
$SAT10.5*Set accident threshold to 10.5G
$SAS0.01*Set accident sample (event) time to 10msec
$SBT1.5*Set braking threshold to 1.5G
$SBS0.2*Set braking sample (event) tile to 200msec
$SRT0.6*Set rollover threshold to 0.8G (event if less than 0.8G)
$SRS1.5*Set rollover sample (event) time to 1.5 seconds
$SAC*Ask the unit to confirm it's current settings for accident
$SBC*Ask the unit to confirm it's current settings for braking
$SRC*Ask the unit to confirm it's current settings for rollover
$SAR*Simulate an accident event - message sent, output triggered
$SBR*Simulate a braking event - message sent, output triggered
$SRR*Simulate a rollover event - message sent, output triggered
$SAW*Send last 60 horizontal "G" force values
$SRW*Send last 60 rollover "G" force values
$STS*Self test
The detector will respond with a confirmation message each time an update is made. If no confirmation is received, then the change has not been made. The detector can be asked to return it's current settings and also to simulate an event. This should be done at installation to ensure that all connections have been made and that the detector is configured.

A comprehensive self test can be requested via the user console. The self-test forces the physical sensor devices in the detector to experience g-force and rate of turn events. The outputs are all triggered and a serial message is sent. Using the self test feature, system integrity can be verified. It is recommended that this is done often.

Rugged Hardware

The configurable force & rate detectors are supplied in a rugged aluminium enclosure that is splash-proof. Provision for screw mounting when required is provided.

The unit should be mounted horizontally with the screw mounting plate down.

Power to the unit and outputs are provided through colour coded wires.

Electrical Characteristics

  • Input voltage: Minimum: 9V, Maximum: 36V
  • Power consumption at 24V: Typically 15mA at 24V in, no load on outputs (*)
  • Power consumption at 12V: Typically 30mA at 12V in, no load on outputs (*)
  • Baud rate: 9600 bits per second, 8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit
  • Serial Interface: RS232 or RS485 (depending on part number)
  • Maximum force and rate: Maximum G-force - 16 G, Maximum rate of turn – 100 degrees per second
  • Sample rate: Both the G-force and rate of turn sensor are sampled at 100Hz
  • Output trigger time: Outputs remain high for at least 1 second if an event is detected
  • Output Specification: Maximum output, no event: 0.5V; Minimum output with event: Vin-2 (5mA load)
* preliminary and subject to change without notice

Physical Characteristics

  • 57mm (width) x 82mm (length) x 32.2mm (height)

Connection Specifications

  • Red – Power
  • Black – Ground
  • Purple – RS232 Transmit / RS485 “A”
  • Brown – RS232 Receive / RS485 “B”
  • White – “Accident” output
  • Green – “Braking” output
  • Blue – “Roll-over” output
  • Yellow - “Rate of turn" output

Documentation & Downloads


Hummingbird Electronics has designed the product for use in a broad range of applications. It is however solely the customer's responsibility to evaluate the device and determine it's suitability in their end application.

Hummingbird Electronics does not suggest or make any recommendation as to the suitability of parameters that determine angle, height, impact, speed, force, accident, harsh braking, roll-over or rate-of-turn events, input or output voltage or current. Parameter values stated or implied in this document are for explanation only and should not be taken as typical or representative of a real world situation.


Products are not authorised for use in critical safety or other applications where a failure may reasonably be expected to result in personal injury, loss of life, or catastrophic property damage. If a customer uses or sells the products for use in any such applications, the customer acknowledges that such use or sale is at customer's sole risk. The customer will indemnify, defend or hold Hummingbird Electronics and their electronic component suppliers/assemblers harmless from and against any and all liabilities and costs arising out of or in connection with use of product or sale.
Remotely Configurable Force & Rate Detector

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