Author Topic: Cheap laser distance sensor  (Read 6417 times)

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Offline thomasrexTopic starter

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Cheap laser distance sensor
« on: July 18, 2007, 08:45:45 PM »

I've seen a few threads bemoaning the high cost of laser rangefinders.  Has anyone tried cheap laser distance meters?  They are uni-directional but could be mounted on a pan/tilt or rotating head to take a number of measurements per minute.  Might be enough in a simple (room) environment.

What about hacking the Stanley TM-100 laser distancemeter is under a hundred bucks ($50 on ebay).  No computer interface.

Alternatively the Leica Disto A6
has a bluetooth interface but is $600

Offline dunk

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Re: Cheap laser distance sensor
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2007, 04:35:46 AM »
good idea.
i'm not convinced the bluetooth one is worth the money but the Stanley one definitely looks interesting.
i'd imagine you would have a lot of reverse engineering to do to hack one of these.

i believe this type of rangefinder measures the time it takes the light to travel out and be reflected back.
i'm guessing that level of timing accuracy would be beyond the scope of a microcontroller so it's probably the sensor in there that handles the complex timing issues.
with luck you could simply interface a microcontroller to that sensor.

there's a few other ways of doing laser ranging if you have a processor capable of processing video on board:

and for my implementation of this, read the 6th post down here:


Offline thomasrexTopic starter

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Re: Cheap laser distance sensor
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2007, 12:51:40 PM »
Thanks Dunk, that's an amazing piece of work.  Actually I was just too lazy to implement that, hoping that some smart person would tell me a quick hack to intercept  the Stanley readout.  I may have to go ask a friend who is way more smart about digital circuits.


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