R1_____________10K 1/4W Resistor R2,R5,R6,R9_____1K 1/4W Resistors R3_____________33R 1/4W Resistor R4,R11__________1M 1/4W Resistors R7______________4K7 1/4W Resistor R8______________1K5 1/4W Resistor R10,R12-R14_____1K 1/4W Resistors C1,C4___________1µF 63V Electrolytic or Polyester Capacitors C2_____________47pF 63V Ceramic Capacitor C3,C5_________100µF 25V Electrolytic Capacitors D1_____________Infra-red LED D2_____________Infra-red Photo Diode (see Notes) D3,D4________1N4148 75V 150mA Diodes D5-7___________LEDs (Any color and size) IC1_____________555 Timer IC IC2___________LM324 Low Power Quad Op-amp IC3____________7812 12V 1A Positive voltage regulator IC
This circuit was designed as an aid in parking the car near the garage wall when backing up. LED D5 illuminates when bumper-wall distance is about 20 cm., D5+D6 illuminate at about 10 cm. and D5+D6+D7 at about 6 cm. In this manner you are alerted when approaching too close to the wall.
All distances mentioned before can vary, depending on infra-red transmitting and receiving LEDs used and are mostly affected by the color of the reflecting surface. Black surfaces lower greatly the device's sensitivity.
Obviously, you can use this circuit in other applications like liquids level detection, proximity devices etc.
IC1 forms an oscillator driving the infra-red LED by means of 0.8mSec. pulses at 120Hz frequency and about 300mA peak current. D1 & D2 are placed facing the car on the same line, a couple of centimeters apart, on a short breadboard strip fastened to the wall. D2 picks-up the infra-red beam generated by D1 and reflected by the surface placed in front of it. The signal is amplified by IC2A and peak detected by D4 & C4. Diode D3, with R5 & R6, compensate for the forward diode drop of D4. A DC voltage proportional to the distance of the reflecting object and D1 & D2 feeds the inverting inputs of three voltage comparators. These comparators switch on and off the LEDs, referring to voltages at their non-inverting inputs set by the voltage divider resistor chain R7-R10.