Ignore Close Targets With Your Ultrasonic Sensor

Editor's note: This is the third part of our look at programming your ultrasonic sensor to ignore unwanted targets. You can find part 1, "Maximum Distance" here, and part 2, "Narrowing the Beam" here.

Using the blanking distance to ignore obstacles improves the sensor's accuracyBlanking Distance

There’s an app for that – so to speak. Your APG ultrasonic sensor can be programmed to ignore obstacles close to the sensor, and above the liquid level surface.

To be clear, these obstacles must not block the ultrasonic wave from reaching the real and intended target. In other words, an ultrasonic sensor cannot “see” through an object. However, by lengthening the blanking distance, you can ignore returning sound waves from a nearby obstacle that would otherwise present a false target.

What’s a blanking distance? It is a dead zone programmed into the sensor to avoid confusing the pulse vibration from the transducer with a returning signal from the intended target. This zone can be extended beyond the necessary length as needed.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Connect the applicable RST module to the sensor and your computer. Open the sensor software.

Step 2: After communication has been established, enter the desired Blanking Distance in the window marked “Blanking Distance”.

Step 3: Click on the “Send” tab. This will send the new parameter to the sensor.

That’s it! Pretty simple. Using a blanking distance to your advantage like this is a great way to avoid erroneous readings. Happy blanking everyone!

Let us know if you have any questions about extending blanking distances, or any other ultrasonic programming topic.

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