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Topic: Arduino Laser Range Finder (Read 111402 times) previous topic - next topic


I'm interested, with a few questions. I can't see your pictures (security reasons) but do you use visible light? Also, does the shield emit a steady beam, or a pulsed beam. Thanks.

Joseph Anand-Maker


Hi, I'm interested in this laser distance finder. Is it capable to measure up to 100 meters of distance?
Is the laser beam visible and is it safe if pointed into an eye?

I'd want to purchase one for some prototyping. Do you guys sell them?


I just noticed that there has been some activity relating to this Arduino Laser Finder project. Thanks for the comments and questions but this is an old project and it has been superseded by a number of other products. You can find more info at www.lightware.co.za or you can contact Tracy on info@lightware.co.za.


Hi All

I am the US distributor for the SF02 Laser Rangefinder from Lightware Optoelectronics

I'm new here, and new to being a distributor,  but I can answer some questions.

Q: how does a slower than light microcontroller measure a speed of light signal?
A: The short answer is DOWN CONVERSION. The long answer is in the DS00 manual on the lightware website;
basically it takes lots and lots of readings and these build up to make a signal, kind of like when we make a charcol rubbing off and old grave stone; one pass is not readable but many passes gives us an image of the faded head stone.
Another way to look at it is simnilar to the "beat frrequency" when tuning two guitar strings relative to each other (in the old days guitars had strings, ask somebody old, possibly with long hair, to show you).

Q: How well does it work?
A: Out of the box, no adjustments to the default settings, it works in full sunlight to the range listed, depending on the target.  When the targe is fuzzy (shrubbery with no leaves) it gives reading somewhere between the nearest visisble point, and the farthest visible point.  If the target is a wall, it gives the distance to the way plus or minus a couple centimeters (the distance to the wall increases further to the sides).  If the angle to the wall is not exactly 90 degrees, the reading bounces between the further reading and the closest reading (makes sense, yes?)  Its pretty much the same as measuring with a tape measure, just a lot faster.

Q: How quickly does it read?
A: The laser flashes continuously, getting lots and lots of samples.  It builds these into a displable reading about 12 times per second. Its VERY fast.

Q: how to get one?
A: I am setting up a sales point, either through Ebay or Amazon or similar.  As I said, I'm new to this, please bear with me.  Message me if you are in a hurry or want to reserve one, or have more questions.

FORTH developer



To Clarify: The SF02 it the current production model of the laser range finder.

There were several prototypes, one was discussed earlier in this thread, another was the DS00 the I experimented with last year (details are in another forum).

SF02 is built on the results from the earlier model.  The SF02 has range of about 40 meters, versus the 350 meters of the DS00; but the SF02 is lighter and lower cost.  The eariler models were limited prototype runs, the SF02 is  in production.  The laser module is listed with proper regulatory agencies, and we are now able to gear up distribution.

Incidentally, one problem I had testing the DS00 was the distance was too long for me to measure! I couldn't find anything of appropriate size that was exactly 350 meters away.   Turns out 1 or 2 cm doesn't matter at that distance. I could measure to two distance objects that were a small (1-2 meters) distance apart, and the difference between to (long range ) readings for each object worked out to the measured distance. 

FORTH developer



Hi, I was wondering if this LRF can be modified into a laser fluorometer? I don't know if it has it currently, but it would require pulse modulation to control for background radiation. Also, the laser beam and avalanche photodiode would require different specific wavelengths than the current setup. A few different wavelengths are used, but I've seen 665nm lasers used with 690nm photodiodes. People have used telescopes in conjunction with the photodiodes to focus on the laser-illuminated region, but it seems that you already have a focus lens on the photodiode? I would think converting from a LRF to a laser fluorometer would be fairly simple... Maybe this is a bit optimistic?



I was wondering what is the minimum distance the laser rangefinder can detect


Aug 14, 2016, 06:17 am Last Edit: Aug 14, 2016, 07:01 am by Alaskan
Through the miracle of Google, searching under the part number of a 14W Osram 850nm pulse laser diode; SPL LL85, I found this thread. I see this is an old inactive thread but if anyone knows where I can obtain the PCB board used with this laser diode (only the laser diode, not the larger control board) please contact me. Perhaps there is a part number I can use to go to the printed circuit board manufacturer the boards in this article were made by and see if they can make more for me, even if needing to have several made?

I have been unable to find this diode at what I consider a reasonable price, all I can find are listed at over 50 dollars each on ebay which I can't pull the trigger on yet, that price just seems too high and I need several of them, so I might be stuck buying them at that price but won't do so unless I can find a circuit board for it, or someone who makes a driver for this kind of diode.

Unfortunately, the Osram SPL LL85 is a discontinued device and I cannot yet find any relatively high power 850nm pulse diodes made by any other manufacturer anywhere, just old stock for this specific device on ebay. While the replacement for the SPL LL85 laser diode made by Osram which operate at 905nm are much less expensive and have more power output, I prefer 850nm due to the low atmospheric absorption at that wavelength compared to 905nm which is very high, at least for the distances I am wanting to use it for. My project is not for a laser range finder, but a beacon and need the shorter wavelength of 850nm.

Here is a link to a jpeg graph showing the atmospheric transmittance and absorbance of a band of near-IR wavelengths. I have added red lines in the areas I can use, the highest power pulse diodes with the shortest wavelength I can find in an area of low absorbance are close to 800nm, thus the reason I am interested in the Osram 850nm pulse laser diode:


I want to use as high a power pulse diode as I can find at the shortest possible wavelength in the near IR spectrum, 850nm appears to be the only choice as I am not finding pulse diodes with output ratings over 10 watts at 780nm.



Necroposting! Yay!
Do not PM me for help. I will delete immediately.

After Tuesday, even the calendar goes W T F


If you are planning to sell these cool items I would like to use it on my arduino project. Great Work really.


Check the dates on topics you reply to. This one is 7 months old already.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

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