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Thread: Distance finder

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate CoCa's Avatar
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    Distance finder

    Anybody familiar with some kind of small range finder (I'm assuming sonar in function) that could be mounted on the rear of the car and interfaced with your computer to read out distance to say the car behind you? I was thinking how sweet it would be to have a distance readout on the screen while using a backup camera.

  2. #2
    Jesus Freak antimatter's Avatar
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    Sounds cool. Anybody?
    -Jesus- King of Kings Lord of Lords

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
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    There is a kit available from most electronics sites that sell kits.. but its not generally something that interfaces with a PC.. just works on a buzz/beep type deal..
    rather cheap also..

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    I am in the process of developing just that, using old fish-finder units' sonar units. They are effective in air for like 15 feet or so, so it should work fairly nicely. Mine won't measure distance so much as monitor for a crucial point. Say some jerk decides to tailgate me, and I'm too busy watching ahead to notice at that moment. ALEXIS will stop whatever it's doing and verbally warn me of a proximity violation, and its location (I intend to have them in the sides of the car as well). At least, that's how the theory works out. I'm still trying to work out the electronics aspect of the system.
    The ALEXIS Project
    MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
    Color Coding :
    DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

  5. #5
    Raw Wave
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    You can use an ultrasonics sensors to measure the distance. Theres many circuit on the internet. I dont know how much you know about electronics-PC interfacing but you can make it to work with the PC to measure the distance connected to the serial/USB port.

    http://www.interq.or.jp/japan/se-inoue/e_pic6_6.htm

    http://users.skynet.be/bk317494/008/008.htm

    Theres plenty.

    I dont know how reliable this is at measuring car distance but they have been used as a parking aid mounted on the bumpers. Look around the net as there could be a ready made one for USB port.

    EDIT :

    or you can tap into the circuit where the output is a "voltage" representation of the distance. Then just use the A/D of the joytick port of the PC to convert this voltage into a distance reading.

    hope that helps

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky327
    You can use an ultrasonics sensors to measure the distance. Theres many circuit on the internet. I dont know how much you know about electronics-PC interfacing but you can make it to work with the PC to measure the distance connected to the serial/USB port.

    http://www.interq.or.jp/japan/se-inoue/e_pic6_6.htm

    http://users.skynet.be/bk317494/008/008.htm

    Theres plenty.

    I dont know how reliable this is at measuring car distance but they have been used as a parking aid mounted on the bumpers. Look around the net as there could be a ready made one for USB port.

    EDIT :

    or you can tap into the circuit where the output is a "voltage" representation of the distance. Then just use the A/D of the joytick port of the PC to convert this voltage into a distance reading.

    hope that helps

    This will work as long as you use a different circuit to interpret the different voltage levels and send a signal to the serial or parallel port. For sure you can't exceed a certain level (I believe 5 volts max), but I also believe that weird lower voltages can cause damage too.

    My design is going to use a separate circuit (generally speaking) to interpret the varying voltage levels so I don't run afoul of this potential problem. Anyone know if I'm off on the power assumption?
    The ALEXIS Project
    MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
    Color Coding :
    DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

  7. #7
    Raw Wave
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    deadweasel,

    Unless I misundertood your post but the idea I was trying to show "Coca" is a circuit that output a voltage which is proportional to the distance measured. Its not a simple on/off case.

    The idea of the serial port/USB is to send the measured distance in a serial form...in plain ASCII even. Of course you will need some form of A/D and a microcontroller to do this, and of course a microcontroler programming skills.

    Since this maybe abit complicated, hes better off using an ultrasonic circuit that output a voltage proportional to the distance and then use the joystick port A/D for conversion displaying the distance of the car behind.

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky327
    deadweasel,

    Unless I misundertood your post but the idea I was trying to show "Coca" is a circuit that output a voltage which is proportional to the distance measured. Its not a simple on/off case.

    The idea of the serial port/USB is to send the measured distance in a serial form...in plain ASCII even. Of course you will need some form of A/D and a microcontroller to do this, and of course a microcontroler programming skills.

    Since this maybe abit complicated, hes better off using an ultrasonic circuit that output a voltage proportional to the distance and then use the joystick port A/D for conversion displaying the distance of the car behind.
    Ah. Now I understand what you were getting at. Yes, the external A/D conversion method was what I was getting at originally, but once again I have forgotten that there was one on the game port too!
    The ALEXIS Project
    MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
    Color Coding :
    DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

  9. #9
    Raw Wave
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    Yes alot of poeple miss the good old game port, it is actually very useful for this kind of stuff.

    http://www.epanorama.net/documents/j..._circuits.html

    4 Analog to digital converters
    4 Digital inputs
    and of course the +5V supply

    Very useful indeed

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky327
    Yes alot of poeple miss the good old game port, it is actually very useful for this kind of stuff.

    http://www.epanorama.net/documents/j..._circuits.html

    4 Analog to digital converters
    4 Digital inputs
    and of course the +5V supply

    Very useful indeed
    W00t! Thanks for that link! This is the info I was JUST searching for! (Had it before the CRASH dammit)

    *wipes a tear from eye*
    The ALEXIS Project
    MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
    Color Coding :
    DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

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