Need help creating network of sensors


I am new to Arduinos and decided to take on a complicated project using Arduinos and Sensors, at least for me it seems complicated. I have been researching for the past week and seems like there is an abundant amount of sensors and setups that can be used. I am looking for something simple and robust. The project is to hookup 6 sensors about 1 foot apart that will need to sense when a ball passes by. I would like to send the data back to a single Arduino Yun which would than post the data to AWS IoT.

I have been looking into PIR sensors, but not sure these can detect a metallic ball. I looked at UltraSonic sensors, but these may be to sensitive and overkill for what I am trying to do. I also learned about Photogates which sounds like these may be the right sensor for the job.

I am struggling to choose the right sensor and also the right method to send it wirelessly back to a Yun. I was thinking Receiver/Transmitter using Xbees but than I also was looking into Mesh Networks.

Any guidance would be extremely helpful. Not necessarily looking for the cheapest option but more so the simpliest option.

Thank you,

I have been looking into PIR sensors, but not sure these can detect a metallic ball.

That is because they can't.

You need to provide much more detail.

How big is this metal ball?
How long is the path?
How repeatable is this path?
How fast is this ball moving?

It is not a bullet is it?

To add to the above:

Why do you want six sensors?

What sort of data do you want to collect?

I think you need a ballistic chronograph.

Tom.. :slight_smile:

Indeed, such a thing will do just fine unless your ball is too big.

PIR needs heat to detect an object, so a ball at ambient temperature doesn't work.

Ultrasound could in theory work, but only for slow moving objects as it's slow.

Break beam sensors are the most sensible. Fast and work with any non-transparent object.

Thank you for the responses.

Working on a High Striker. So the path is about 10-20 feet. It will be a vertical track. Each sensor will result in a different action happening on the backend in AWS. I unfortunately do not have specifics around ball size, specific track length. Speed of the ball will vary on the force and precision of the mallet strike.

I am trying to get a decent understanding of which components I should be testing with to enable this old school device into IoT. The break beam sensors seem like they may be a good fit. What would be a good way to send the data from the break beam sensors back to the Yun wirelessly? Or should there be a Yun at each sensor level to be independent results? If it is a single Yun per break beam sensor I think it could be hardwired without issues.

Thank you,

It always helps a LOT when you explain what you're trying to do as it changes the whole picture drastically.

In this application, the speed of the ball will be quite slow. It's moving along a rail, so fixed path, and maybe fixed orientation even (can't rotate around the rail). In that case you can attach a magnet to the ball and use reed switches or hall effect sensors to detect it's passing.

These switches (or break beam sensors) will be wired to your Arduino (why not directly to your Yun?). Just one can handle all sensors just fine. Add one at the very bottom - that tells you that a hit has been made (the ball is gone), and when the hit is finished (ball fallen back down). When finished, it can send out the data to a server or whatever you want it to go to.

I don't see the need of a wireless link between the high striker and the yun, only to have the yun send the data onwards, as you'll need another microprocessor to take the readings from the sensors.