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    The SF02 laser range finder module has become a popular sensor for distance and altitude measurement in autonomous vehicles. Most people don't know that this device was designed to be hacked and that the factory settings and memory downloads are accessible through the communications port. The SF02 also has analog ports where you can attach an oscilloscope to watch the laser signals.

    For this project I’m using the SF02/F Arduino Shield that is available for the SF02/F. This shield makes it easy to get at all the port pins which means that you can test and prototype without needing a lot of external signal wires. Out of the box, the shield only has the power pins connected with all the other port pins isolated by means of solder jumpers on the bottom of the board. You can run the SF02/F without any interaction with the Arduino as a safe way to start experimenting, and then make connections when you’re ready.

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    The shield has a jumper on top that selects where the SF02/F gets its power from. I’ve chosen to use the Vin pin on the Arduino because my old Uno gets a bit hot if power is taken from the onboard +5 V regulator. To start with, I’m not going to bridge any of the solder jumpers on bottom of the shield.

    The SF02/F has a digital expansion port along the back edge that this is designed to take a standard 0.1” pitch, 2x7 male header which comes in the packet with the Arduino shield. Here you can see where I’ve soldered it in place on the SF02/F. Make sure you put it on the correct side, away from the green connector and next to the buzzer. You can leave the other ports unconnected for now.

  • 3

    Hooking up the SF02/F and the shield to an Arduino takes a few seconds. There are plastic spacers included in the shield packet and these clip the whole assembly together without needing any screws.