PiicoDev Ultrasonic Rangefinder (CE09360)

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Use echolocation to measure distance

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This could be the answer I’ve been looking for to detect presence at my front gate.

The quick start guide goes into enough detail to build a proof of concept, but I’m wondering about protecting it from the elements. If I get an IP65 enclosure, do the ultrasonic components still need to be exposed to the outside air to be effective?

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Hi Matt,

Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

In order to successfully measure the distance an object is away from the ultrasonic sensor you need to make sure that any material between the sensor and the target is ‘acoustically transparent’. The sound wave from the sensor needs to be able to get out and back without being absorbed, reflected or scattered off things that aren’t the target object. This guide has some good and bad materials listed things like speaker grills or meshes will work well to be acoustically transparent, but are obviously terrible for weatherproofing.

A laser distance sensor may be more suitable since it can be enclosed in a solid box provided the box is transparent to InfraRed light.


Aah, that looks more promising…

Thanks Trent!

Could I use the PiicoDev Ultrasonic Rangefinder to measure level in an in ground water tank. It would be mounted vertically pointing down. Thanks

Hey Wayne,

This type of sensor is perfect for that use, unlike laser sensors that can pass through the top layer of water for an inaccurate reading, the ultrasonic distance sensor will be able to read the water level and display a more accurate reading for you. Its one of its key features apart from being an inexpensive distance sensor.


Hi Wayne,

One thing to mention is that these ultrasonic sensors can have trouble with enclosed spaces like tanks, as the “chirp” they send out just keeps bouncing around in the tank, instead of getting one clean reflection from the object it’s looking at.

have you got an ultrasonic range finder that goes longer distance?

Hi Norman,

Welcome to the forum. There are some quite firm limitations on how ultrasonic distance sensors work so there isn’t much more you can get out of them.

The wave it sends out is more likely to lose energy or be affected by noise at longer distances. The sensor itself will likely have a max time it will wait for a response from the wave. Variations in the environment will affect how to wave travels thus changing how it will be received.

A different type of sensor will just be better suited at some point.

That being said there are some that offer a bit more distance. Here’s one that can measure up to 9m