Testing the UFO Circuit
Choose a location that you feel is relatively clear of external magnetic fields and large ferrous objects. These may cause false triggering or reduced sensitivity respectively.
Install a fresh 9V lithium battery to apply power to the circuit. After three seconds the UFO Detector circuit will beep and flash its LED to let you know it is in its detector mode. Once in its detector state, the UFO Detector will signal any magnetic or electromagnetic anomalies and any change it senses in our Earth's magnetic field.
There are many ways to test the UFO detector. One of the easiest is simply to rotate the circuit 90 degrees. The UFO Detector can not tell that its been moved and sees its movement (rotation) as a change in its ambient magnetic field and starts signaling (flashing a LED and beeping). Remember you may have to wait two seconds for the microcontroller to respond 90 degree rotation movement. Once triggered the UFO Detector will continue to signal by flashing its LED and beeping until it is reset. If you used the mercury-reset switch, reset the circuit by turning the circuit upside down for a few seconds, then placing it right side up.
Another way to test the UFO Detector is by waving a magnet an inch or so away from the detector's sensor. If one rushes a magnet past the detector very quickly it may not trigger the detector. The reason is that the 1490 compass dampens quick movements and the microcontroller may ignore events that occur within a two second time period. A good UFO event will need to last longer then two seconds to capturing it.
In addition to passing a magnet by the detector, one can obtain similar results by waving a ferrous material (like iron) close to the detector sensor as described for the magnet.
Other possible terrestrial triggers include external electromagnetic fields as discussed previously.
The circuit should last over 6 months on one fresh 9V lithium battery. However when the detector is sounding an alarm, beeping and flashing the LED, its power consumption increases dramatically. So the longer the alarm mode is active the shorter the overall battery life will become. It's normal to check the UFO Detector function every week or so when you first build it just to make sure it's working. Testing the detector for a few seconds each week will not have much impact on the battery life. I'm sure after a month or so, your confidence in the unit will be such that it will not be necessary to check the functionality. Once the circuit has been tested, it can be mounted inside a suitable housing.
UFO Detector Kit Page
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