View articles on the set-up and proper use of MaxBotix Inc. Sensors
An Easy to Follow Guide
This guide is serves as an easy to use set-up guide for the LV‑MaxSonar‑EZ Ultrasonic Sensor. MaxBotix Inc., is excited to provide this guide which is designed to assist you in using your MaxSonar sensor for the first time!
Troubleshooting the MaxSonar Sensor Family
Our sensors are improved to not allow unstable readings. Occasionally unstable range readings occur. Within this tutorial we will explain how to identify, trouble shoot, and eliminate the cause of unstable range readings. This will work for all lines of sensors
Finding Distance from Analog Voltage (Pin 3)
The Analog Voltage pin on the MaxSonar family of sensors has been the most popular output for our users. All of the MaxSonar sensors have this output included. This guide will give a look into how to use it for obtaining the distance to the target being detected.
Finding Distance from Pulse Width (Pin 2)
All of the MaxSonar sensors have an output waveform that is a pictorial representation of distance measured. For the majority of our sensors that waveform output is a pulse width. Unlike analog voltage, pulse width does not scale with power input.
Connecting The MaxSonar® to a Computer
The MaxSonar® can be directly interfaced to be used with your PC, if you have a PC with a DB9 Serial. Connecting the sensor to a computer allows the user to see range readings that have already been processed to distance using RS232.
This article is written to assist in configuring I2C-MaxSonar sensors that were shipped after 10/29/14. We have updated our I2C-MaxSonar sensors to support faster speeds and work with the current Arduino Wire() library.
MaxSonar sensors now come with a TTL serial output in our HRLV‑MaxSonar‑EZ and
MaxBotix Inc., sensors have been successfully used on a number of multi‑copters. Even so, many users have had issues getting the sensors to operate reliably. Sensor operation on a quad‑copter is a challenging environment for an ultrasonic sensor to operate reliably.
MaxSonar Beam Patterns
MaxBotix Inc provides beam patterns for all of our sensors to assist users in choosing the correct sensor for their application. The beam plots provided are approximations to target sizes and distance. Though our beam plots are accurate for the sensor and may differ slightly from sensor to sensor for each part number.
USB-ProxSonar®-EZ™ Computer Configuration
MaxBotix Inc., has released USB‑MaxSonar ultrasonic sensors. The USB‑MaxSonar ultrasonic sensors feature an easy to USB interface that uses a standard Micro-B USB cable to connect to a computer.
Chaining MaxSonar Sensors
When using a single sensor typically it is possible to just let it range continuously in free run mode. This method is very easy and works very well.
The MaxBotix Inc., HRLV-MaxSonar-EZ1 (MB1013) makes the perfect robot sensor for robot pole finding, navigation, distance sensing, direction, and alignment. This sensor provides your robot with real time information about its environment that can aid in the navigation around and to obstacles. Using two sensors on your robot will provide an easy and accurate method of pointing your robot directly toward a distant object.
MaxSonar Code Examples
Here are several programming samples we have tested at our facility. They include:
a code example for BasicX, and BX24p. a code example for the Basic Micro, Atom.;
a code example using Wright Hobbies, DevBoard-M32 (AVR using Bascom).;
and a code example using Parallax, Basic Stamp BS2.
All the MaxSonar sensors, by default, will operate in a free run mode. What this means is the sensor will continue to range until power is removed from the sensor. This is generally the easiest way to operate in a single sensor setup.
Many sensor applications require the user to detect people in an environment. MaxBotix® Inc., provides ultrasonic sensors that reliably detect people, and our sensors have been installed in a large number of people detection applications. Your application has the best chances of success when you put careful consideration into the sensor selection process.
Remote monitoring for the MaxSonar is easily available with the help of a bridge device such as the IoBridge IO-204. It has become simpler to integrate a MaxSonar into applications like measuring tide level or fuel level. The IoBridge IO‑204 module allows for remote sensing over the internet. All that is needed is a MaxSonar of preference, the IO-204, high-speed internet connection, and a power source for the IO‑204.
Although the LV-MaxSonar®-EZ™ and XL-MaxSonar®-EZ™ sensors were designed for "protected indoor environments", the LV-MaxSonar®-EZ™ and XL-MaxSonar®-EZ™ sensors has been used outdoors in very rugged environments.
MaxBotix® Inc., holds full patent status on the MaxSonar® line of ultrasonic rangefinders (patent 7,679,996). At this time, we do not issue licenses for use of our MaxSonar® product line circuits or software. MaxBotix® Inc., provides circuit information on our MaxSonar® line in our data sheets so our customers can understand the basic circuitry operation of our sensors.
MaxBotix® Inc., products are not authorized for use as critical components in life support devices or systems.
Sometimes when using an ultrasonic sensor, users experience detection of unwanted objects that appear outside the expected beam pattern. These types of detections are the result of reflectors present in the environment. Corner reflectors can be surprisingly small, yet present a large reflection back to the sensor.
Some examples of common corner reflectors follow: a book shelf along a wall, a curb in a parking lot, a 1/2” wide seam in a concrete floor, internal bracing in a bin, or the inside corner of a doorway in a narrow hall. Each of these examples can create a corner reflector that may cause unwanted detections.
When choosing an ultrasonic sensor it is very important to be aware of the surrounding environment. This is a key factor and the first consideration when selecting a sensor. This requires looking around the environment that your sensor will be exposed to which can be as simple as the outdoor elements or as complicated as the type of people or animals that will be in the environment with the sensor.
When you use a rugged WR sensor from MaxBotix® Inc., the sensor pin out is exposed allowing you to attach wires and equipment to the sensor. While leaving the pin out open provides greater flexibility in how you choose to connect to the sensors, it can leave the sensors exposed to the weather in some applications. If your mounting requires you to protect the back of the sensor from damage, you must seal the sensor pin out against rain and other potential hazards. For users that want to purchase a fully sealed sensor, the wire attach option is a great choice.