Increasing Directionality of RCWL-0516 Radar

Hi All.

Wondering if anyone has had success with enclosures or shielding that can make this very nice litter radar board more directional. I'd be happy with just restricting the detection region to 180 degrees in front.


Have you tried a grounded metal case with a whole just in the direction you want to scan? You probably loose some range though.

directionality in radio comes from antennas. try mounting that at the focal point of a satellite dish. the place where the LNA or LNB goes

If you haven't already, take a close look at Roger Clark's investigation of this sensor.

The detection principle appears to rely on changes (induced by a moving object) in the standing wave pattern generated by reflections from fixed objects in the room, and the sensor may not work at all if partially surrounded by a metal enclosure.

There was a thread recently on this forum reporting that the sensor does not work well or at all outdoors, when pointing at "open spaces", consistent with the above ideas.

Today I had a nice demo on how crazy sensitive those things are.

A project of mine has 12 of those deployed, and for the start of the performance they had to have no motion detected. With six dancers ready to go some 3m away from them... one moving his arms and a few triggered again... it's their approach at the start of the performance that is supposed to set it off, not their bouncing around off screen :slight_smile:

Making them reliably and controlled directional is going to be a PITA. Just the proximity of a bunch of LEDs and a PCB with a.o. an Arduino Nano soldered on it is enough to lose a lot of range. The string of LEDs does appear to make them "blind" to that direction but it's not a reliable thing: the exact position of all bits and pieces makes a difference. Probably the presence of the other 11 also makes a difference. They're supposed to have a 7-8m range, but in our application it was more like 2-4m with big difference in direction and between sensors. The local environment matters a lot.