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Sharp GP2Y0D810Z0F Digital Distance Sensor 10cm

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arigid:
Has anyone worked with these before?

http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1134

I have the one with the Carrier board, Connections seem to be simple.
I have the OUT to the Arduino Digital Pin, GND to GND, and the Vin to 5 V.

The Problem is that i never see a light on the back of the sensor.However when i connect the 3.3V to the Vin, it lights up, but the light never goes off, even when there is no obstacle in front of it.

Has anyone who has used these before, offer some advice.
Also, the datasheet says it might be good to have a Capacitor in between the GND and the Power, which i am yet to test, Why would that solve the problem?
I thought it would just make the power supply stable.

Thanks for any help!

jwatte:
I used them for obstacle avoidance for a Zumo, and they worked just as advertised.
Is it possible you damaged it when soldering the headers onto it?
If not, then it's likely a bad board. That's not common, but it can happen.
The capacitor is needed if your power supply is not low impedance -- if you use a weak regulator, poor filtering, small batteries, or long connection wires. It makes the sensor see a stable voltage source; an unstable voltage source may confuse the sensor in undocumented ways.

paulstreats:
You start by saying that you connect 5v to the Vin then in the next paragraph say that you connect 3.3v to the Vin? Are you saying it works fine under 5v but not under 3.3v?

 Also do you have capacitors on your power line, sometimes the power draw that happens when the sharp sensor start lighting up their IR can be enough to cause a significant drop that causes faulty operation not only to itself but also anything else (such as your microcontroller) that is relying on that power.

arigid:
Surprisingly, it worked after trying another time.

paulstreats:
Are you happy with the digital output? Ive just this morning finished fiddling with resistor values etc to get a good range and analog output from a plain IR LED an IR phototransistor and 2 resistors. total cost being less than $0.50. Its output ranges from 0.5V at just beyond 30cm to 4.75V at 1 cm (not linear). In dim light. In normal room lighting its around 1.15V at just beyond 30cm.

Im doing some tests next week on the same pair using lower value resistors but including an extra transistor along with the phototransistor to make a Photodarlington to see how far i can push the distance but for what i want it for, im more than happy with 30cm.

 I can post a quick schematic with values and part numbers late tonite if you like? You might not be able to get the exact IR LED and phototransistor I used but they are pretty standard so like for like versions should be easy enough to find.

 After Im finished playing with (oops... testing) the photodarlington pair, i'll probably do a tutorial somewhere on making a slightly more advanced IR detector

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