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 "Comaptible Products" 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.
|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.
|Sonar Distance Sensor||DistanceSensor||0|
|DistanceSensor||Visual Basic .NET||Windows||Download|
|Date||Board Revision||Device Version||Comment|
|June 2017||0||104||Product Release|
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. If you would like to follow along, first 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:
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 most applications, when you're using the DST1200 as an ordinary distance sensor, you'll probably want to ignore all reflections except for the one with the greatest amplitude.
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.
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:
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.
|Image||Part Number||Price||Sensor Type||Controlled By||Measurement Distance Min||Measurement Distance Max|
|1128_0||$35.00||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|
|DST1200_0||$25.00||Distance (Sonar)||VINT||40 mm||10 m|