A high pass filter is inherent to electronics of all piezoelectric accelerometers. The filter has a resistor and capacitor in series and the value of these components, RC, determines the low-end cut-off. Also known as the discharge time constant (DTC), the larger the RC value, the lower the frequency response. The DTC also defines the sensor response to abrupt changes in sensor powering such as turn-on and signal overload. When the sensor is turned on or begins to recover from an overload, the time it takes to become usable is directly related to the DTC value. Therefore, the low end cut-off is inversely proportional to the turn-on time (and shock recovery time). In other words, the lower in frequency the sensor measures, the longer it takes to turn-on or recover from an overload. For general-purpose sensors, the low-end frequency performance is sacrificed in favor of better turn on and shock recovery response.
Can general-purpose 100 mV/g accelerometers be used for slow-speed machinery measurements?
While many general-purpose 100 mV/g accelerometers carry a low frequency -3dB specification of 0.2 Hz to 0.5 Hz, they are not the best choice for accurate measurements on slow-speed machines. That is because most general-purpose 100 mV/g accelerometers also have a much higher low frequency noise level than accelerometers designed for low frequency measurements. The 500 mV/g low frequency accelerometers should be used as they have much better signal-to-noise ratios.