PIR proximity Sensor

I am reasonably new to arduino and very new to the use of PIR proximity sensors. I am trying to set up a basic implementation of the sensor using a series of LEDs that will light up differently at different ranges- something I have done many times before successfully with the ultrasonic rangefinder. I have never used this before- is it an absolute sensor? meaning it gives a signal if there is motion and if there is not motion? or does it give specific information about how far the motion is away? I have read conflicting Ideal set ups for it as well and cannot get it working with a basic code. I should have a resistor from the 5v power source into the power line? if so how large of a resistor? Thanks

My experience has been with this one... http://www.parallax.com/Store/Sensors/ObjectDetection/tabid/176/CategoryID/51/List/0/Level/a/ProductID/83/Default.aspx?SortField=ProductName%2cProductName

I have never used this before- is it an absolute sensor?

The Parallax one is an absolute sensor. It's my understanding that they all are because of the way they work.

meaning it gives a signal if there is motion and if there is not motion?

I vaguely recall a sensor that provides direction and area (e.g. motion detected on the left moving left). But all the ones I've seen work in "broad strokes".

or does it give specific information about how far the motion is away?

I've never seen one of those.

I have read conflicting Ideal set ups for it as well and cannot get it working with a basic code. I should have a resistor from the 5v power source into the power line? if so how large of a resistor?

I guess it depends on your definition of "ideal". The Parallax one requires nothing special. Give it 5V and it provides a simple low / high output. While other folks here may be able to answer your resistor question, I cannot without more details. Which sensor are you using?

The PIR sensor is digital (yes, no), A digital sensor would give you the distance, like your ultrasonic... If you plan to feed the PIR from the arduino check if it works on 5v or 3v, both you can get from the board with out a resistor, just plug gnd to.

;)