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Can I Get a Distance from an Ultrasonic Sensor Without Special Software?

Serial communication has been around for a long time, but is still in use todayYes, you can. Certain IRU ultrasonic sensors (IRU-xx9s) can communicate serially via the RS-232 interface to your computer.

The sensor will communicate at 9600 baud, 8 bit with 1 stop bit and no parity. The sensor will accept an ASCII command and in turn send distance and temperature in ASCII. When an * is received, the sensor will output 14 bytes – the distance in feet, a comma, the temperature in degrees Celsius, followed by a carriage return and line feed.

This application will utilize the Hyper Terminal function. The Hyper Terminal is included in the Windows XP and earlier operating systems.

For Windows Vista and later operating systems, copy the files over from XP or download a Hyper Terminal from the internet.

Setting up the sensor for serial communication is done in a few easy steps:

  • Step 1: Connect the supplied 9-pin cable to the serial connection on the computer’s COM port 1 or COM port 2.
  • Step 2: Connect the BROWN (RS-232 Ground), YELLOW (RS-232 Transmit) and BLUE (RS-232 Receive) wires to the connector on the interface cable.
  • Step 3: Connect the RED (+ Excitation) and BLACK (-Excitation) wires to a 12 to 24 VDC power source.
    Note: Power must be supplied to the sensor in order for the sensor to operate through the serial interface & the sensor must be at least 3 ft. (1 m) from the computer screen for proper operation. There will be an audible ticking noise coming from the transducer when the sensor is operating.
  • Step 4: Open the Hyper Terminal on your computer. Wait 10 seconds before polling the sensor.
  • Step 5: Type an * on the screen.

The distance of the target from the sensor face and the temperature in Celsius will appear in the Hyper Terminal.

That's all there is to it! Let us know if you have any more questions. We're always happy to help!

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