DST1200 User Guide

From Phidgets Support
Revision as of 16:10, 28 August 2018 by Jdecoux (Talk | contribs) (Using the DST1200)

Jump to: navigation, search

Getting Started

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:

DST1200 Functional.jpeg
  1. Connect the DST1200 to the VINT Hub using the Phidget cable.
  2. Connect the VINT Hub to your computer with a USB cable.

Now that you have everything together, let's start using the DST1200!

Using the DST1200

Phidget Control Panel

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 Ph.jpg icon in the taskbar. If it is not there, open up the start menu and search for Phidget Control Panel

Windows PhidgetTaskbar.PNG


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 Ph.jpg 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.

First Look

After plugging the DST1200 into your computer and opening the Phidget Control Panel, you will see something like this:

DST1200 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 If your Phidget is listed in red, your firmware is out of date.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.

Distance Sensor

Double-click on the Distance Sensor , labelled Sonar Phidget, object in order to run the example:

DistanceSensorSonar Example.jpg

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.
  • Toggle the Quiet Mode with the checkbox. For more information on Quiet Mode, check out the technical section.
  • The distance (mm) of the strongest reflection will be shown in the Data box. All other reflections (distance and amplitude) can be seen in the Sonar Reflections box. These additional reflections can correspond to other objects, or echoes of the primary object.

Finding The Addressing Information

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.

The locate Phidget button is found in the device information box

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.

All the information you need to address your Phidget

Using Your Own Program

You are now ready to start writing your own code for the device. The best way to do that is to start from our Phidget is compatible with the [https://www.phidgets.com/?view=code_samples&class=DistanceSensor DistanceSensor Examples. 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.

link=https://www.phidgets.com?view=code_samples&product_id=This Phidget is compatible with the DistanceSensor Examples.

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.

Technical Details

Quiet Mode

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.

Current Consumption

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.


Amplitude Response

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.

What to do Next

  • Programming Languages - Find your preferred programming language here and learn how to write your own code with Phidgets!
  • Phidget Programming Basics - Once you have set up Phidgets to work with your programming environment, we recommend you read our page on to learn the fundamentals of programming with Phidgets.