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ArduSensor Knock Quickstart Guide


The Basics:


The ArduSensor Knock is made up of a piezo disk, a sensor that reacts to small vibrations.  When taped (with Scotch tape) to a desk or door, the ArduSensor Knock values will go up, and gradually come down.




First off, if you don’t know how to solder, go here to learn the basics so that you are thoroughly prepared to assemble your kit.


Parts in Kit:


Qtechknow ArduSensor Knock PCB (Printed Circuit Board)

Piezo Disk

1M Ohm Resistor - 1/4W

Male Headers (5)


Tools Needed to Assemble:


Soldering Iron

Rosin Core Solder

Safety Glasses

Safety Mask

Vice or Third Hand


You will need to get on your own:


Arduino Leonardo with micro-B USB Cable


Arduino Uno with USB-B Cable


When using lead, take precautions like:


  • Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water twice after you solder
  • Don’t eat the solder
  • Don’t touch your face or eyes after touching the solder
  • Wear a mask to prevent the solder smoke to come into your mouth, or to prevent you from inhaling it
  • When working with hot solder, you especially want to wear eye protection


Assembling the Kit:


Take out the ArduSensor Knock PCB out of the the bag and put face up into a vice or third hand.

Take your 1M (Brown, Black, Green, Gold) ohm resistor out.

Bend the leads so that they make an upside-down “U” shape. 

Put these two leads into the 1M ohm resistor footprint on the PCB.  

Flip the PCB over and bend the leads of the resistor out in opposite directions.

Put your soldering iron on one of the junctions where there is a copper hole, and one of the resistor leads/wires popping through it.

Wait three seconds, and then take your solder, touch it briefly to the junction, and then take your soldering iron away.  The junction should look something like the 'OKvolcano shapes:

Credit: Adafruit

Trim the leads so that they don't poke you.

Insert the piezo disk into the copper holes corresponding.   Make sure that the red lead goes into the + marked side, and the black lead goes into the - marked side.

Flip the PCB over and put it back into the vice or third hand face down, so that all of the leads show on the back.  Bend the leads outwards in opposite directions.  Make sure that you don’t push the leads in too far!  Solder the two copper holes with a piezo disk lead in it (using the same method as before).

Take the 1 pin male header and 4 pin male header, and put them into these Arduino pins:  The 1 pin male header goes into A0, and the 4 pin male header goes into VIN, GND, GND, and +5V as shown below in the picture.  

Place the ArduSensor Knock on top of these pins, making sure that the 1 pin male header goes into the 1 pin male header socket, and the 4 pin male header goes into the 4 pin male header.

Solder in place.  But make sure that you don’t put too much solder in, because that can cause the ArduSensor Knock to be permanently installed on your Arduino!

Wait for the ArduSensor Knock to cool off (around 20-30 seconds), then pull out of the Arduino sockets.  Now you are finished soldering your ArduSensor Knock!




If you haven’t downloaded the Arduino IDE, go here to download the latest version.  If you haven’t installed drivers for the Arduino (haven’t downloaded the software yet, or haven’t done this step yet), read the following table:


If you have...

Arduino Uno

Arduino Leonardo


No drivers needed, proceed to the next step

Go here, then proceed


Go here, then proceed

Go here, then proceed


Put in your ArduSensor Knock to your Arduino like this: Put the 1 pin male header into A0, and the 4 pin male header in VIN, GND, GND, and +5V.  

Plug in your Arduino with your USB cable (USB-B on the Arduino UNO or earlier, and USB-microB for Arduino Leonardo) to your computer.  Download this zip file and unzip onto your computer.  If you are on a Mac, double click the folder labeled “FishBank-ArduSensor-Knock-Example-Code-f78ead3”, double-click the file named “KnockRead.ino”, then press OK when the dialogue box pops up. If you are on a Windows computer, press Save instead of Open when you press the download button, double click the folder labeled “FishBank-ArduSensor-Knock-Example-Code-f78ead3”, double-click the file named “KnockRead.ino,” and then press OK in the pop up box.

The Arduino IDE should open up with the ArduSensor Knock Read sketch.  This sketch prints out on the serial monitor what analog value the Arduino is receiving.  This will allow you/your Arduino to see when the sensor detects a vibration or knock.

First, make sure to select the board that you are using from Tools > Board.

Then, go into Tools > Serial Port, and select the correct COM/Serial Port.  On a Mac, the usual Serial Port will be /dev/tty.usbmodemfa131.  Any small variation of that will be fine.

On Windows, the COM Port will usually be COM 4, and anything lower or higher might work.

Here are the basic buttons/functions in the Arduino IDE:

Now let’s upload the sketch/code to the Arduino.  Plug one end of the cable into your Arduino, and then the other end into your computer.  Press the Compile + Upload button (Verify if there is any errors in the code, and then upload the sketch/code onto the Arduino), and the program will run on the Arduino.

Press the Serial Monitor button (in the upper-right hand corner), tape (with Scotch tape) the piezo disk and you should see that it prints out a number from about 0 to 200 when you knock on the surface that you taped the sensor to.

If you have any more questions on this product or how to use it, contact Qtechknow’s Tech Support at

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