Can't figure out this sensor

Hi guys,

I’ve disassembled a Brother printer and I found a sensor that determines whether the tray is open/close.
It looks like a pretty straight-forward sensor with 3 pins, so I tried to figure out how to use it although I don’t have the datasheet, but couldn’t :frowning:
I tried all combinations of 5v, GND and input pin. None worked.

I’m attaching two images of the sensor. You’ll notice 2 little “bumps” with a small distance between them. When something comes in between, the sensor should detect that the tray is “closed”, otherwise it’s “open”.

Thanks!
Eli.

photo2.JPG

Looks like an opto sensor. If you wire it up to power and ground you could have killed it, I suspect it needs a seriese resistor in the power to limit the LED current.

Looks like an optical sensor to me. One side will be an IR emitter - you can identify this using the diode test function on your multimeter (but if you have put 5V across it without, you may have blown it). The other side will be a phototransistor. You need to connect the diode through a series resistor to +5V so that it draws about 10mA, and the phototransistor between ground and a digital input pin, with the internal pullup resistor enabled.

It's a OPTICAL INTERRUPTER something like this one H21A1

I forgot to mention that I a beginner :) If I understand correctly, what you're suggesting is to connect: 5v -> resistor (10K?) -> pin1 input -> pin2 (pullup resistor enabled) ground -> pin3

Is that correct? I'm not sure of the order of the pins, is there a standard?

On the connector, the ground connection is evidently the middle pin. Try connecting a 330 ohm resistor (or thereabouts) between +5V and one of the outer pins. Connect the other outer pin to an Arduino input with pullup enabled. You're looking for it to read LOW when there is nothing in the gap and HIGH when there is. If you don't get that, swap the 2 outer pins.

dc42: On the connector, the ground connection is evidently the middle pin. Try connecting a 330 ohm resistor (or thereabouts) between +5V and one of the outer pins. Connect the other outer pin to an Arduino input with pullup enabled. You're looking for it to read LOW when there is nothing in the gap and HIGH when there is. If you don't get that, swap the 2 outer pins.

It worked! 8) Thanks for the info!

Hmmmm I'm going to try dc's approach on a similar sensor I also liberated from a printer. Iirc, I did manage to read a part number and even find a data sheet and still didn't get it to work.... Assuming I didn't release magic smoke during my testing (read as: blundering about with wires and batteries) I might actually get it to work. Then all I have to do is find a use for it.

(Always assuming I can still find the darn thing....)