Help Identifying the output behavior of an IR sensor


First, i hope i'm posting this in the right forum. If not, Please let me know where to move it to.

I'm trying to replace a sensor that is prone to malfunction quite easily and give false positive/false negative. The way i'm doing it is connect the sensor to an arduino along with a load cell to figure out if indeed the IR made false/negative false/positive. So there will be 2 point of failure instead of one.
The way i'm planning to do so is to connect the output of the IR sensor to a voltage divider so it will be able to trigger the arduino interrupt.

The IR sensor is not a single chip but rather a pcb with many IR sensors which detech if something crossed them. eventually it will output 12V.

here's a link to a similar sensor:

My problem is as follows:

  1. The IR sensor operates at 12V. During idle he outputs 0V and around 20mA. While he is on, he output 12V with 0mA.
    Another issue is that i don't have the schematics of the circuit it goes into, so i can't try to understand the works behind it. I'm trying to understand the PCB itself but it is also quite hard.
    The problem is, i have never met such a behavior so i can't understand how to imitate the sensor output behavior.

  2. Once i connect to output of the sensor to the voltage divider the voltage drops to ~1V... that seems strange to me. i thought to connect the sensor output to an N-MOSFET in order to make the connection to the arduino.

Does this behavior sounds familiar? Can you please point me to a direction of operation?
I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions on how to imitate the sensor output behavior.

Thanks a lot.

You will need to find some sort of product description, user manual or data sheet.


During idle he outputs 0V and around 20mA. While he is on, he output 12V with 0mA

does not make any sense, and even violates some basic laws of physics.