Music Stairs

I want to build music stairs. I need advice on what sensors to pick, and how I should use them.

I have Arduino Duemilanove. I would like the sensors to generate digital input depending if someone's foot is on a stair or not. The stairs are about 8 feet wide and they are outdoors.

Here is a high level schematic of the system.

Any suggestions?


Almost any IR diod plus IR sensor you can find in your TV / remote will works fine.

I have two concerns about using regular IR diods and IR receivers: 1) Its outdoors, so it will have a lot of background IR noise 2) How do I make them directional?

Sparkfun did one of these things in the past with their mux shield. Search their website.

I looked at their project, however they used a hand rail and photocells. I want to use stairs, so I don't think photocells would work.

Actially not much noise in the IR, if you are not going to turn lights on in broad day? But you are right with interference between each other. small piece of plastic or ribbon pipe will make them directional, one sensor has to see only his own diod.

Lenses and a pipe if it comes down to it, but i suspect not.

Should I use modulated receivers?

Not necessary, as it's not a voice/data communication system, and you don't need a lens on such short distance.

KE7GKP > What specific IR receivers are you referring to?