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The Sharp distance sensors are a popular choice for many projects that require accurate distance measurements. This IR sensor is more economical than sonar rangefinders, yet it provides much better performance than other IR alternatives. Interfacing to most microcontrollers is straightforward: the single analog output can be connected to an analog-to-digital converter for taking distance measurements, or the output can be connected to a comparator for threshold detection. The detection range of this version is approximately 4 cm to 30 cm (1.5" to 12"); a plot of distance versus output voltage is shown below.
The GP2D120 uses a 3-pin JST connector It is simple to solder three wires to the sensor where the connector pins are mounted (see the lower picture to the right). When looking at the back, the three connections from left to right are power, ground, and the output signal.
- operating voltage: 4.5 V to 5.5 V
- average current consumption: 33 mA (typical)
- distance measuring range: 4 cm to 30 cm (1.5" to 12")
- output type: analog voltage
- output voltage differential over distance range: 2.3 V (typical)
- response time: 38 ± 10 ms
- package size: 29.5×13.0×13.5 mm (1.16×0.5×0.53")
- weight: 3.5 g (0.12 oz)
Linearizing the output
The relationship between the sensor’s output voltage and the inverse of the measured distance is approximately linear over the sensor’s usable range. The GP2D120 data sheet (293k pdf) contains a plot of analog output voltage as a function of the inverse of distance to a reflective object. You can use this plot to convert the sensor output voltage to an approximate distance by constructing a best-fit line that relates the inverse of the output voltage (V) to distance (cm).