Newb - no idea what sensor I need for a reflective switch project

Synopsis : Arduino will be mounted on a garage door motor in my garage. It will send a beam of some sort to a reflector bout 15ft away mounted on the garage door. When the door goes up the beam will no longer hit the reflector causing a switch of some-sort to be triggered.....also in the reverse way...when the switch has been triggered it can be turned off once the door is down and the beam is hitting the reflector.

I have done very small projects in my "kit" but have no idea what I need for this type of setup. It has to be 15ft away give or take.

Thank you!

You could probably do that with an IR LED and an IR photo-diode.

What is the purpose of this reflecting beam? If you are trying to determine if the door is closed I suspect it won;t be very precise.

...R

We'll i need it to be precise. And Yes to tell if the door is opened or closed.

charbaugh: We'll i need it to be precise.

Need what to be precise?

Provide a better description of the project you are trying to implement including any constraints that you must work around.

...R

Robin2:
Need what to be precise?

What is the purpose of this reflecting beam? If you are trying to determine if the door is closed I suspect it won;t be very precise.

…R

You said it won’t be very precise. I need it to be precise.

I want my arduino to know if the garage door is open or closed.

See the attachment.

Use microswitches.

Allan

allanhurst: Use microswitches.

Allan

+1

Besides, mounting the PE on or near the motor will introduce vibration into the sensor, Arduino, etc.. Exactly what you don't want if precision is needed.

Is the door solid or articulated?

Automated doors I've seen all use uswitches.

Cheap, accurate, vibration resistant etc etc.

Why re-invent the wheel?

Allan

https://www.ebay.com/p/Temco-Micro-Limit-Switch-Long-Roller-Lever-Arm-SPDT-Snap-Action-CNC-Home/1618823982?iid=191202568703

You will want two: one to sense fully closed and one to sense fully open.

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Looks like hes just trying to replicate the same functionality thats BUILT IN to most garage doors.

Some sort of BEAM.. to tell if someone in the path of the door closing on them/it.

ie: door is in 'closing mode'.. the 'beam' is interrupted.. it stops the door form closing on said object that is in the way.

limit switches will alert when its already 'closed'..

(yes.. I know the OP said he wants to know when the door is open or closed, hence, limit switches will work fine)

The micro switches are doable but not really what I'm after. I want to slap some velcro to the arduino and go. No routing wires or trying to find a place to put them, etc. Its just messy.

Any other ideas?

here it is...will do almost 10 ft. I'll need a relay with this one but those a cheap. this guy is $38...going to think about it more.

https://www.automationdirect.com/adc/AppStories/Catalog/Sensors_-z-_Encoders/Photoelectric_Sensors/18mm_Round_-_NonMetal/Polarized_Retroreflective_(SS_-z-_FA_-z-_FB_Series)/SSP-0N-4A#btn-bar-a

So that beam is not going to do the 15 ft you ask for. You’re going to need a much more powerful beam. And do you really want a visible beam?

You say it has to be precise - this will only tell you when the door is fully closed, not whether it’s open. Those microswitches act normally also as limit switches, telling the controller when to switch off the motors moving the door (I assume you’re not moving it by hand).

charbaugh:
I want to slap some velcro to the arduino and go. No routing wires or trying to find a place to put them, etc. Its just messy.

I hope you see the contradiction in this?

Arduino with some Velcro slapped to it is going to be messy any time.

Wires inside a nice duct are not. It’s a garage, so you’re somewhat exposed - you’ll need some kind of protective container for your Arduino. You didn’t specify which one - I assume not an Uno or so, as those plugged-in wires will come loose at times (especially if you just Velcro the board to a wall and leave it fully exposed), you’ll need a micro or nano for that and solder it properly.

wvmarle: So that beam is not going to do the 15 ft you ask for. You're going to need a much more powerful beam. And do you really want a visible beam?

You say it has to be precise - this will only tell you when the door is fully closed, not whether it's open. Those microswitches act normally also as limit switches, telling the controller when to switch off the motors moving the door (I assume you're not moving it by hand).

I hope you see the contradiction in this?

Arduino with some Velcro slapped to it is going to be messy any time.

Wires inside a nice duct are not. It's a garage, so you're somewhat exposed - you'll need some kind of protective container for your Arduino. You didn't specify which one - I assume not an Uno or so, as those plugged-in wires will come loose at times (especially if you just Velcro the board to a wall and leave it fully exposed), you'll need a micro or nano for that and solder it properly.

The arduino will be in a case...of course. Not gonna just velcro the bare board and wires up.

So the micro switch is good idea....but running wires all over...nah Also, there is much more to my project than just this sensor...I don't need one for if its open.

charbaugh: So the micro switch is good idea....but running wires all over...nah Also, there is much more to my project than just this sensor...I don't need one for if its open.

So there's your problem: not giving the information needed to get useful advice.

That said, a microswitch needs two wires. So you have to string two wires. Along an existing door frame. Doesn't fall in the normal definition of "wires all over" by a long stretch. But well, in the end it's your project and your money. Microswitches are the inexpensive, highly reliable method. Laser beams and dirty reflectors not so much.

wvmarle: So there's your problem: not giving the information needed to get useful advice.

That said, a microswitch needs two wires. So you have to string two wires. Along an existing door frame. Doesn't fall in the normal definition of "wires all over" by a long stretch. But well, in the end it's your project and your money. Microswitches are the inexpensive, highly reliable method. Laser beams and dirty reflectors not so much.

i didnt need to give anymore detail. Read my original post. I was not asking about anything other than a beam sensor setup.

Lukily I'm an adult and not a young kid looking for help because responses like yours would stray me away from wanting to get into arduino and such. Keep it light and not so serious...like ease up, be cool and helpful and stop staying whats wrong and picking each and every context to bitch about.

charbaugh:
i didnt need to give anymore detail. Read my original post. I was not asking about anything other than a beam sensor setup.

Lukily I’m an adult and not a young kid looking for help because responses like yours…

I’ve had a nice sleep and I come back to find you have reached Reply #15 and have still not answered the two simple questions I asked in Reply #1

I reckon you are the lucky one - with people still interested in trying to help.

I shall wait until my questions are answered.

…R

charbaugh: i didnt need to give anymore detail. Read my original post. I was not asking about anything other than a beam sensor setup.

You THINK you don't need to give more detail, which may very well be true, but without knowing the big picture we don't know whether that's the case. The more details you give, the more detailed answers you may receive, including potentially better alternatives to the setup you had in mind. The latter is especially relevant as you're new to this, as you stated yourself.

It is very common to be questioned "why do you want that specific type of sensor? Why not other sensors?". There are different beam sensors with different properties, that work well in different situations (such as indoor, outdoor, long/short distance, sensing distance or just break), so suggesting which one depends on the answer to those questions.

A beam sensor is one way to see whether a door is open, it will also detect if there's something in between (usually a good thing - but it may mess up your system if it makes your system think the door is open when it's not), but it can't detect whether the door is almost closed or fully closed.

Done.

He knows everything... (and doesnt need to give any more detail)..

So IMHO.. hes got everything all figured out on his own and doesnt need out help.

This has been a wild goose chase since the beginning..

--"When the door goes up the beam will no longer hit the reflector causing a switch of some-sort to be triggered.....also in the reverse way."

--"i didnt need to give anymore detail."

--"I don't need one for if its open."