How do I choose?

  • Thread starter Michelle Smalley
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Michelle Smalley

I am constructing a (non-magnetic)levitation device...using an opto22 plc to control a dayton 2c646 dc blower to raise a ball in a tube...

I'd like to mount a (non contact) sensor at the top of the tube ('looking' straight down into the tube) to get a measurement of the ball's position...with a range of about 4-24".

I looked on, and they have alot of products, but I don't know what is best suited for this application.

I don't know jack about sensors, and could really use some help.


James Ingraham

Check out the Aromat KM1 series analog photoelectric eyes. The part number we use is AKM17115. Try
"": or just start browsing form These are fairly expensive eyes, approximately $250. They output a 0-10 Volt signal based on the distance to the target, over almost exactly your range.

Another possibility that is considerably cheaper is the Sharp GP2D12 Gerneral Purpose Type Distance Measure Sensor. This thing is like 15
bucks, has a range of 10 to 80 cm, and outputs 0-2.5 Volts based on distance. Only problem is it's a non-linear curve, so you have to do some experimenting to figure out what voltage means which distance. Also, I have no idea where you can get one.

Sage Automation, Inc.
You might try an ultrasonic sensor, but stretch a wire or two immediately before the sensor so the ball won't smash into it. I recall seeing something that could be adapted for this in the current Jameco catalog - costs something like $120.