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For applications of spatial awareness and motion sensing, this handy Sonar Phidget is unmatched. It emits pulses of ultrasonic vibration at a rate of up to 10 pulses per second. After each pulse, it "listens" for ultrasonic waves that have reflected off of objects up to 10m away and sends them to your computer via the sensor update event. The Sonar Phidget can detect up to 8 reflections in a single pulse, and will report the approximate distance and strength of each reflected wave. The DST1200 connects to a port on a VINT Hub. See the Connection & Compatibility tab for a list of hubs.
The Sonar Phidget can be used as an ultrasonic range finder. The distanceChange event automatically returns the distance of the strongest reflection whenever new data comes in. This mode is commonly used for obstacle detection in robotics projects.
This Phidget is a smart device that must be controlled by a VINT Hub. For more information about VINT, have a look at the VINT Primer. You can use a Phidget Cable to simply and easily connect the two devices. Here's a list of all of the different VINT Hubs currently available:
|Image||Part Number||Price||Number of VINT Ports||Controlled By|
|HUB5000_0||$60.00||6||Local Network (Ethernet or Wi-Fi)|
Use a Phidget cable to connect this device to the hub. You can solder multiple cables together in order to make even longer Phidget cables, but you should be aware of the effects of having long wires in your system.
Welcome to the DST1200 user guide! In order to get started, make sure you have the following hardware on hand:
Next, you will need to connect the pieces:
Now that you have everything together, let's start using the DST1200!
In order to demonstrate the functionality of the DST1200, the Phidget Control Panel running on a Windows machine will be used.
The Phidget Control Panel is available for use on both macOS and Windows machines.
To open the Phidget Control Panel on Windows, find the icon in the taskbar. If it is not there, open up the start menu and search for Phidget Control Panel
To open the Phidget Control Panel on macOS, open Finder and navigate to the Phidget Control Panel in the Applications list. Double click on the icon to bring up the Phidget Control Panel.
For more information, take a look at the getting started guide for your operating system:
Linux users can follow the getting started with Linux guide and continue reading here for more information about the DST1200.
After plugging the DST1200 into your computer and opening the Phidget Control Panel, you will see something like this:
The Phidget Control Panel will list all connected Phidgets and associated objects, as well as the following information:
The Phidget Control Panel can also be used to test your device. Double-clicking on an object will open an example.
Double-click on the Distance Sensor , labelled Sonar Phidget, object in order to run the example:
General information about the selected object will be displayed at the top of the window. You can also experiment with the following functionality:
Before you can access the device in your own code, and from our examples, you'll need to take note of the addressing parameters for your Phidget. These will indicate how the Phidget is physically connected to your application. For simplicity, these parameters can be found by clicking the button at the top of the Control Panel example for that Phidget.
In the Addressing Information window, the section above the line displays information you will need to connect to your Phidget from any application. In particular, note the Channel Class field as this will be the API you will need to use with your Phidget, and the type of example you should use to get started with it. The section below the line provides information about the network the Phidget is connected on if it is attached remotely. Keep track of these parameters moving forward, as you will need them once you start running our examples or your own code.
You are now ready to start writing your own code for the device. The best way to do that is to start from our Code Samples.
Select your programming language of choice from the drop-down list to get an example for your device. You can use the options provided to further customize the example to best suit your needs.
Once you have your example, you will need to follow the instructions on the page for your programming language to get it running. To find these instructions, select your programming language from the Programming Languages page.
The DST1200 has a Quiet Mode property which, as the name suggests, reduces the volume of the sound pulses used by the sonar sensors. While the sound that this Phidget makes is audible in either mode, it is much more noticeable without quiet mode enabled. By enabling quiet mode, you will affect the maximum sensing range and the number of reflections detected. Quiet mode also consumes less power, as explained in the next section.
The current consumption of the DST1200 varies depending on the data interval you choose. The longer the interval between samples, the lower the current consumption. Switching to quiet mode also lowers current consumption slightly.
When you receive data from the DST1200, you'll end up with an array of sonar reflections that each have a distance and an amplitude. The distance, of course, refers to how far away the object is. The amplitude gives you a general idea of the size of the object. The amplitude value can range from 3 to approximately 900, with 3 being a very small reflection and 900 being a very large one. In some applications, you'll want to ignore reflections with an amplitude you deem is too small.
The DST1200 will fire saturation error events when the nearest reflection is closer that 40mm from the sensor. At this range it is too close for the sensor to accurately determine the range of the object.
|Sensor Type||Distance (Sonar)|
|Measurement Distance Min||40 mm|
|Measurement Distance Max||10 m|
|Measurement Distance Resolution||10 mm|
|Sampling Interval Min||100 ms/sample|
|Sampling Interval Max||60 s/sample|
|Current Consumption Max||* 5.6 mA|
|Current Consumption Min||(unconfigured) 47 μA|
|Operating Temperature Min||-40 °C|
|Operating Temperature Max||85 °C|
* - Current consumption varies depending on the selected data interval and whether or not it is running in "quiet" mode. See the technical section of the User Guide for details.
Errata: The enclosure for the DST1200 may state the range as being 220mm to 10m, but it is actually 40mm to 10m, as listed in the specification table.
|Date||Board Revision||Device Version||Comment|
|June 2017||0||104||Product Release|
|January 2018||0||105||Fixed inability to set change trigger to max|
|April 2018||0||106||First valid measurement after saturation now always triggers an event|
|Sonar Distance Sensor||DistanceSensor||0|
|DistanceSensor||Visual Studio GUI||C#||Windows||Download|
|DistanceSensor||Visual Basic .NET||Windows||Download|
|Image||Part Number||Price||Sensor Type||Controlled By||Measurement Distance Min||Measurement Distance Max|
|1128_0||$25.00||Distance (Sonar)||VoltageRatio Input||152.4 mm||6.5 m|
|1146_0||$7.00||Distance (Infrared)||VoltageRatio Input||1.5 mm||4 mm|
|3520_0||$14.00||Distance (Infrared)||Sharp Adapter||40 mm||300 mm|
|3521_0||$12.00||Distance (Infrared)||Sharp Adapter||100 mm||800 mm|
|3522_0||$16.00||Distance (Infrared)||Sharp Adapter||200 mm||1.5 m|
|DST1000_0||$30.00||Infrared (Time-of-Flight)||VINT||4 mm||* 170 mm|
|DST1001_0||$30.00||Infrared (Time-of-Flight)||VINT||20 mm||* 650 mm|
|DST1200_0||$25.00||Distance (Sonar)||VINT||40 mm||10 m|