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I have just got the idea to make a parking garage assist.  Would basically use a proximity sensor(IR?) to determine how far a car is away from the garage wall.  Basically it will power a Red and Green light that will tell the driver if they can pull forward more or not.  Now for a senior project this would be rather simple.  I was also thinking of adding maybe an RFID tag to the car.  This will tell the proximity sensor and lights to boot up and be active so that the sensor and lights aren't running all the time.  But that means I would probably need a RFID tag that works for maybe 10 feet away.  Is this the best method?  Probably need an active tag?  I tried looking around for information on buy tags and what their cost would be.  The only things I could really find were like $500 systems.  Are the any cheaper systems?  I would also maybe hook up the RFID tag to the car fuse box for power so that the lighting system only works when car is on.  Is this a plausible idea?  Suggestions and where to look for cheap tag systems would be nice.

Edit**
Just thought of maybe having a wireless button, that when pushed activates the system for 1 min or so?

Thank You.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 09:50:33 am by kpelkey151 » Logged

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RFID doesn't seem like the right approach. Why not set-up something like an IR beam that will "boot" it up when broken (Think Garage door safety mechanism).
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As an alternative to breaking an IR beam, you could use an ultrasonic ping sensor to measure the distance. Rather than 2 lamps, which won't give you positive confirmation that the system is working, I suggest just one red lamp. When it detects the car, make it flash. Increase the frequency of the flashes as the car gets nearer, and turn it to solid red when the car is close enough. Similar to the ultrasonic parking sensors that many cars have, but with light instead of sound.
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I´ll be making one of these myself, as soon as this "stop sign" arrives from china: http://www.ebay.com/itm/181133915652?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2648
It´s probably got flashing LEDs in it, so it will flash whenever it is on.

Will be using a ping sensor (already using one for my garage door status thingy and I like that sensor). It has a reasonably long range, a couple of meters (some say 4m, but mine gave up after roughly 2m). Planning on switching on the light one meter from the wall or so, then continue checking if the object (the car) is getting closer and closer, and when the object stops moving, switch off the sign.

The IR proximity sensors won´t work when the object is more than a few cm away, and you don´t want to be that close to the wall smiley-wink
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 03:59:59 pm by bredita » Logged


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LED Display Car Reverse Backup Radar with 4 Parking Sensors



Reverse Backup Radar, Amazon, $18.98

It is ultrasonic sensor based.
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You could use some form of IR laser gate to activate the unit, and also use it to indicate that you have not actually pulled into the garage yet while the beam is being blocked.  Then after a minute, have the device turn off until the gate is triggered again.

I support the Ultrasonic idea.  And it seems just as simple to have a red and green light as a blinking light.  Or you can use an LED that shines Red OR Green.
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My 'garage parking assist' is a strip of wood taped to the floor in the right place. As well as having no moving parts it also means the vehicle naturally tends to stop in the right place without any special effort from me.
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The big reason for doing this project is to create my own, not buy one.  Just looking for best options and ideas to do this.
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If you are going for the easiest, the block of wood is an excellent idea.

However, if you want to fiddle with electronics, I would look into some ultrasonic sensors and maybe an IR gate to tell if a car is pulling into the garage.
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Are we not assuming that since I'm posting under the "Using Arduino" part of the forums that I'm not using and Arduino?
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Are we not assuming that since I'm posting under the "Using Arduino" part of the forums that I'm not using and Arduino?

No, we're assuming that you want to accomplish a practical task that doesn't require an Arduino. Some people come up with complicated solutions to problems involving microcontrollers, when a cheaper and simpler option exists.
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A piece of string with a ping pong ball on the end is another option. Hang it from the ceiling, and when the pingpong ball hits the windscreen, stop smiley-wink
But it´s a lot more interesting to do it with an arduino, although it may be less fail.safe smiley-wink
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Hmm, seems that people have more critical commentary then valuable input. I have the solution to what you seek. I have built the device exactly as you describe it. (not with RFID) Here is a complete how to guide I made for this project. It knows when you've left and when the car is parked and goes into a power save mode.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Ultrasonic-Garage-Parking-Assistant-with-Arduino/


I hope you find this useful. Good luck
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 06:52:32 pm by rclymer » Logged

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Finally a good answer - I like the use of a multicolour LED smiley

I received my stop sign a few days ago, will post a little update when it´s installed and working.

(If someone asks "how do I do this with an arduino" then why do people even bother replying with non-arduino solutions, I just don´t get it...)
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(If someone asks "how do I do this with an arduino" then why do people even bother replying with non-arduino solutions, I just don´t get it...)

That's already been asked and answered - and considering that you suggested a non-Arduino solution yourself in this very thread, if you don't get it then perhaps you ought to ask yourself to explain.
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