Outdoor stationary object spotter


I’m looking for a sensor that can detect if a object is in the spot it should be and work outdoors. I’ve been looking online and seen IR rangefinders and ultrasonic rangefinders but I have not seen a weather rated sensor. I have found full devices but we are trying to connect it to our device and just need the communication lines directly to the sensor.

So a little more to the story, we are connecting our device a outdoor device in an area of high voltage. When a event happens a part of the outdoor device detaches, we are trying find out if that part is still attached or detached from the outdoor device. Since it is in a high voltage area we cannot use anything that get close to the part or it will fry. So we are looking to detect the object from a distance. We only care is the part is in the position it should be or not.

From what we have tested the ultrasonic wont work because the area it is in produces ultrasonic noise. So we are looking to use some kind of LiDAR system, but are also open to suggestion.

Thank you,

Hello @Scone

Due to the requirements of your project, I would suggest getting an Industrial LiDAR Distance Sensor like the following:

That model has an IP67 weather-resistant enclosure, it is immune to ambient light, has a 0 to 50-meter detection range and an Operating temperature range of -40°C to +50°C.

You can also check out the LIDAR, Laser Scanners & Rangefinders for more options.

If you just want to know when it is not attached anymore, why not have a limit switch mounted so that when the unit is in place, it maintains the limit switch in an activated state. Then when the item disconnects from the unit, the limit switch will instantly let you know as the switch is released into it’s un-pressed state. This limit switch could be wire to an input on the controller and used to tell you instantly that the device has detached.

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I thought about that as well but he mentioned that it is in a high voltage area so he won’t be able to use a sensor close to the device or it will get damaged.

If the limit switch needs to be electrically isolated from the device that is activating it, just put a rubber cover over it. The arm of the limit switch will be against the inside of the rubber cover, and will be pressed when the object is still connected by having that object press against the outside of the rubber cover. A quick test can be accomplished with some electrical tape stuck to the limit switch arm.

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Hello @geraldinebc15,

Thank you for the fast response, I will have to look into this. It look like it would be a great solution other than the price, unfortunately we have about $150 for our entire device to work with.

Thank you.

Hello @alexbruski,

Unfortunately I’m talking about very high voltages 7kV+ so like @geraldinebc15 said this would cause damage and regulate rubber isolation will not work. We where thinking of using a magnetic switch but we have the same issue with the high voltage destroying the components. So I think our only solution will be optical.


What we have been using now is the gp2y0a51sk0f, its a simple IR-LED distance measuring sensor. We are still testing it now but our main issue is weather proofing it.

Clear Plastic window in the side of a sealed case. Or just cut a hole in the side of the case and seal the sensor flush with surface using silicone. That unit’s case is made out of carbonic ABS, which is conductive resin, so it may need to be isolated.

That will definitely work, we tried it and seen good results. We are hoping to find a solution that doesn’t rely on us to make the housing, mostly trying to make sure the liability is not on us.