1101 User Guide

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Getting Started

Welcome to the 1101 user guide! In order to get started, make sure you have the following hardware on hand:

Next, you will need to connect the pieces:

1101 0 Connecting The Hardware.jpg
  1. Connect the Sharp distance sensor to the 1101.
  2. Connect the 1101 to the 1018 using the Phidget cable.
  3. Connect the 1018 to your computer using the USB cable.

Now that you have everything together, let's start using the 1101!

Using the 1101

Phidget Control Panel

In order to demonstrate the functionality of the 1101, we will connect it to the 1018, and then run an example using the Phidget Control Panel on a Windows machine.

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 1101.

First Look

After plugging in the 1101 into the 1018, and the 1018 into your computer, open the Phidget Control Panel. You will see something like this:

1018 Panel.jpg

The Phidget Control Panel will list all connected Phidgets and associated objects, as well as the following information:

  • Serial number: allows you to differentiate between similar Phidgets.
  • Channel: allows you to differentiate between similar objects on a Phidget.
  • Version number: corresponds to the firmware version your Phidget is running. If your Phidget is listed in red, your firmware is out of date. Update the firmware by double-clicking the entry.

The Phidget Control Panel can also be used to test your device. Double-clicking on an object will open an example.

Voltage Ratio Input

Double-click on a Voltage Ratio Input object in order to run the example:

1018 Sensors VoltageRatioInput.png

General information about the selected object will be displayed at the top of the window. You can also experiment with the following functionality:

  • Modify the change trigger and/or data interval value by dragging the sliders. For more information on these settings, see the data interval/change trigger page.
  • Select the 1101 from the Sensor Type drop-down menu. The example will now convert the voltage into distance (cm) automatically. Converting the voltage to distance (cm) is not specific to this example, it is handled by the Phidget libraries, with functions you have access to when you begin developing!

Technical Details


The function of the 1101 is to regulate the power requirement of the connected sensor. Although the specified current consumption may be low for these types of sensors, they may draw much more current for short periods of time during measurements. If two or more of these sensors are directly connected to the analog inputs of the 1018 (or compatible product), then it may potentially experience an overload.

Make sure that the distance of the object being measured is within the distance range of the sensor. When the object is outside the valid sensor's distance range, the returned value should be discarded. You must be especially careful when the object is closer than it should be, as the returned value might be within the expected voltage range but is not meaningful. If the sensor is being used outdoors, be mindful that sunlight can cause interference, especially when the sunlight is entering at such an angle that it is within the sensor's cone of detection. The IR light from these sensors can pass through glass, but only if the glass is completely clear and the sensor is perpendicular and very close to the surface of the glass. Otherwise, too much IR light will be reflected for the sensor to work properly.


The Phidget libraries automatically convert voltage to distance (cm). See the Phidget22 API for more details. These formulas are derived from the Sharp datasheets to compute distance and are only valid for the Sharp distance sensors we sell.

The formula to translate voltage into Distance for Sharp 4-30cm analog sensor is:

This formula is only valid over the voltage range 0.4V to 2.65V.

The formula to translate voltage into Distance for Sharp 10-80cm analog sensors is:

This formula is only valid over the voltage range 0.4V to 2.5V.

The formula to translate voltage into Distance for Sharp 20-150cm analog sensors is:

This formula is only valid over the voltage range 0.4V to 2.45V.

For digital distance sensors, the sensor voltage will be greater than 1V if the distance of the object being measured is less that the detection distance of the sensor. Otherwise the voltage will be less than 1V.

Note: The output of this sensor will vary from unit to unit, and based on the characteristics of the target (reflectance, size, direction of motion, object alignment, etc). Our formula is based on the data provided by Sharp. If you find that you are not getting good results with the standard formulas, you may want to derive your own formula to better characterize your situation.

Compatible Infrared Sensors

The following is a list of distance sensors that are known to work with the IR Distance Adapter Board. If the product is not listed here, it can be assumed to be incompatible.

Manufacturer Part Number Description
Sharp GP2Y0A02YK0F 20-150cm Analog
Sharp GP2Y0A02YK 20-150cm Analog (non-RoHS)
Sharp GP2Y0D21YK0F 24cm Digital
Sharp GP2Y0D21YK 24cm Digital (non-RoHS)
Sharp GP2D14J0000F 24cm Digital
Sharp GP2D15 24cm Digital (non-RoHS)
Sharp GP2Y0D02YK0F 80cm Digital
Sharp GP2Y0D02YK 80cm Digital (non-RoHS)
Sharp GP2D150AJ00F 15cm Digital
Sharp GP2D140A 15cm Digital (non-RoHS)
Sharp GP2Y0A21YK0F 10-80cm Analog
Sharp GP2D12 10-80cm Analog (non-RoHS)
Sharp GP2Y0A21YK 10-80cm Analog (non-RoHS)
Sharp GP2D120XJ00F 4-30cm Analog
Sharp GP2D120 4-30cm Analog (non-RoHS)

Phidget Cable


The Phidget Cable is a 3-pin, 0.100 inch pitch locking connector. Pictured here is a plug with the connections labelled. The connectors are commonly available - refer to the Analog Input Primer for manufacturer part numbers.

What to do Next

  • Software Overview - Find your preferred programming language here to learn how to write your own code with Phidgets!
  • General Phidget Programming - Read this general guide to the various aspects of programming with Phidgets. Learn how to log data into a spreadsheet, use Phidgets over the network, and much more.
  • Phidget22 API - The API is a universal library of all functions and definitions for programming with Phidgets. Just select your language and device and it'll give you a complete list of all properties, methods, events, and enumerations that are at your disposal.