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12523 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 20, 2013 1:43 AM by M.Emara RSS
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Oct 11, 2012 1:04 PM

What proximity sensor should I use

I need a proximity sensor for a reasonable price that will be read with a PIC Microcontroller. I am sensing feed in a downspout, and want to detect if it is full or empty. One design consideration is that its value should not be extremely altered by remaining residue.

  • tb Novice 1 posts since
    Oct 30, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 30, 2012 11:25 AM (in response to davidghofer)
    What proximity sensor should I use

    You can use a capacitive sensor as long as it has an analogue output.

  • M.Emara Novice 37 posts since
    Sep 14, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 17, 2013 6:24 PM (in response to davidghofer)
    What proximity sensor should I use

    Can you show more information about your design requirments? What you said is not enough at all. First of all, a proximity sensor is a sensor able to detect the presence of nearby objects without any physical contact. Like the metal detector at the airport as an example, without any physical contact the device (metal detector) can realize if a piece of metal have passed through the gate or not. Let's get in deep on the operation of the proximity sensor, a proximity sensor often emits an electromagnetic field or a beam of electromagnetic radiation (infrared), and looks for changes in the field or return signal. The object being sensed is often referred to as the proximity sensor's target. Different proximity sensor targets demand different sensors. For example, a capacitive photoelectric sensor might be suitable for a plastic target; an inductive proximity sensor always requires a metal target.

     

    Examples of Proximity Sensors:

    Ultrasonic Transducers

    Photoelectric sensors

    inductive and capacitive proximity sensor

     

    Proximity sensors are not the only solution, you can use to electromechanicl solution to detect water level as an example

      • M.Emara Novice 37 posts since
        Sep 14, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jan 20, 2013 1:43 AM (in response to davidghofer)
        What proximity sensor should I use

        Almost most of the sensors will give you analog output which means by using the analog to digital converter module or by using ADC IC you can read the values of the sensor through a microcontroller chip. What can I understand from your message that you want to detect if the downspout is full or not. I suggest you to check the ultrasonic transducer solution, the ultrasonic transducers can measure the speed of the flow inside pipes so you can get the volume of water inside the downspout, you will be also able to know when the downspout will be full. The ultrasonic solution is efficient, nondestructive and could be cheaper than other solutions.

         

        You can watch this video, it is describing the principle of ultrasonic flow measuring

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx2RnrfLkQg

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