I am the US distributor for the SF02 Laser Rangefinder from Lightware Optoelectronicshttp://www.lightware.co.za/
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.