Simple DIY EMG sensors

Eric Schmiedl writes, “See the signals that make your muscles move… all it takes is an audio recorder and $10 worth of foil, coax, and duct tape. Oh, and some sugar syrup.” Eric constructed these DIY EMG sensors which he interfaced with an audio recorder to record his muscle activity.

“In my case, I wasn’t sleeping so well, and I wanted to figure out whether I was tossing and turning in bed as much as I thought I was. An EMG provides the means to figure out just when and how that was happening. But people use EMGs for all sorts of physical therapy and sports applications.

The heart of the DIY EMG is a Zoom H4N audio recorder hooked up to three electrodes — two measurement electrodes and a common ground. The resulting WAV files (I can get over seven hours of recording on a 16GB SD card, just about enough to cover a whole night) are the EMG output, easy to analyze in any audio editor (I use Audacity).”

For for more information on constructing the sensors and screenshots of data displays, visit Eric’s ericdsc webpage.

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1 Comment

  1. This is really great stuff. If you don’t want to spend the money on a pocket recorder, you can also download “Audacity” software free from “SourceForge”. This can be loaded onto your laptop to perform the recording function.

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