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I need help with photoelectric sensing

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Poetsmantra

New Member
Hey everyone, I have a project in the works in which I am stuck on the schematic design. I will try to explain this the best I can...

Project background information:
What started this project was the simple fact that I became fed up with cleaning up beer bottles and pop cans after a social get together at my house.
In my kitchen island, I built a bottle/can return chute for recylcables. This chute (4" PVC) goes down to the basement and ends in a large container to hold recycled cans.

What I am trying to do here is design a simple system/circuit to tell me when the container is full. What I am going to use as an identifier is a "RED/GREEN/BLUE" combination LED. On this particular LED, I am only going to use the "GREEN" for empty, and "RED" for full.

I would like to use some sort of photoelectric sensor to sit atop the container and measure it's empty/full state. When the can height passes the sensor, it is to change the led from "GREEN" to "RED." I don't have much knowledge in photoelectronics which is why I am here today.

Also, I have a bright 2600MCD "BLUE" LED in which is going to light up the chute entrance when the door is pulled down to insert a can (will be triggered by a magnetic reed switch of some sorts).

I would like to use a 12V 500ma power source for this project (same power source for both the sensor application and the lighting of the chute entrance).

I have included some pictures of the material and project I am working with. I would appreciate any and all help!
 

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crutschow

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
It probably would be easiest to buy an IR sensor module such as this, to detect when the container is full. It has a digital output that can drive transistors to turn the LEDs on.

It requires a nominal 5V supply, so you would need a 5VDC (regulated) wall-wort for that.

It can detect to 31". Is that sufficient for your container?
 

crutschow

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
So what Red/Green/Blue LED were you planning on using?
 

crutschow

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Here's a schematic of the sensor driving the two-color LED. The transistors and diodes are non-critical and any similar devices should work.

Proximity Sensor.GIF
 
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