Outdoor distance Sensor

Hi, Im looking for a outdoor distance sensor that will work between 50-200cm. The sensors will be pointing straight down and reflecting of a dirt surface. I will use 5 - 6 sensors over a 28m distance. having only one set of wires eg daisy chain is preferable but not essential. the data will be averaged or run through a Kalman filter to give better readings. Output will control hydaulic valves to maintain a constant height from ground.

Hi Rod,

Most ultrasonic sensors should be fine for those distances. Such as the HC-SR04.

The challange is making it weather proof. Eg, how to stop the ingress of dust, water and bugs.

Another option is Infrared.

Thanks Graham,
what would the TF Mini Plus sensor be like? if i need to mount it 20 meters from the arduino will it work? I think i read somewhere that 1 meter cable length is enough??what is best comunication protocol I2C, serial, if i need to connect 3 sensors?

cheers Rod

Hey Rod,

Just appending on Graham’s initial comment, we also have several weatherproof ultrasonic sensors. This one would work great as you can move the probe but keep the electronics in the same place.

The TF Mini Plus would work great. It works well with all sorts of Arduino controllers. It can be easily integrated into the system when used with the Arduino library developed by DFRobot. The new Plus variants casing also makes it quite weatherproof as well!

When using I2C, maintaining a clear communication pathway is possible because I2C uses an address system and a shared bus, meaning many devices can be connected to the exact same wires. However, the Arduino must first select a specific device by transmitting a unique address before sending data. This provides each slave device with what it needs while also supporting multiple master devices. I2C uses fewer wires and all data is transmitted on a single wire, keeping your pin count low. The tradeoff for this simplified wiring is slower speeds than something like SPI. This may prove useful if you look to add more sensors later down the track. The main drawback of I2C is the range it can efficiently operate (around 5-10m max) thus you would need an I2C bus extender.

Serial is much better for communicating over long distances, however, you may run into a few issues when it comes to using multiple devices.

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