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Build Your Own Ultrasonic Rangefinder

There are plenty of Ultrasonic Rangefinder Modules available on the market, here's one way to build your own.

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Few if any COTS Ultrasonic Rangefinders provide a “full range” image of the echo complex, only providing the range to the closest target. Moreover, most lack a true analog representation of the return echo, i.e. echo range and amplitude. The following project provides all the above, can be modified to meet the user’s exact needs, and is relatively inexpensive.

Status: Complete

System Block Diagram


DSP/Analog Front End


Project Code:

Arduino: ArdRanger
Kemani/Amani64: SonicTX


  • 1 × Arduino arduino.cc
  • 1 × Kemani or Amani Programmable Logic Device amani64.com
  • 2 × 0.1uF Ceramic Capacitors
  • 2 × OpAmp Modules BOB-09816 or build your own
  • 1 × 4.7k Resistor

View all 7 components

View all 2 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1

    Construct the circuit seen in the Kemani/Analog Front End Schematic.

        Instead of using the BOB-09816 OpAmp breakout modules, you may construct your own gain stages. The BOB-09816 (schematic) are simple non-inverting operation amplifier gain stages, with a dc bias at half Vcc.
        If you are using an Amani64 instead of the Kemani, you only need to build the analog portion of the circuit and connect the transmit line (pin 41 on the Kemani) to an Amani Dock of choice, as well as the receive line (Kemani pin 21).

  • 2
    Step 2

    Connect the TX_TRIGGER line to Arduino pin 4. Connect RANGE_PWM to Arduino pin 9. Connect the GND line of the breadboard to the GND connection on the Arduino. (Ppower, GND)

        If you are using an Amani64 instead of the Kemani, simply seat the Amani on the Arduino. Define your Amani TX_TRIGGER and RANGE_PWM pins to match the Arduino signals. Amani pin 33 = Arduino pin 4, Amani pin 29.
  • 3
    Step 3

    Connect an external DC power source to power jack J6 of your Kemani or Amani64.

        Technically you may power your Kemani or Amani64 from you Arduino. If you choose this option I highly advise that you do not rely on USB power alone as you are driving an analog stage. The Kemani, being a 5V core device can be powered from the 5V port of the Arduino. The Amani64 receives Arduino power via the JP2 setting.

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