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Today, I will be showing you how to make a parking sensor using a few simple materials and a few lines of code. This project will take about 20-30 minutes to complete and will teach you the basics about how to use an Arduino and other components such as LEDs and ultrasonic sensors.

Step 1: Materials

You will need:

  1. An Arduino (I'm using an Leonard but you can use any of the Arduino boards)
  2. Ultrasonic Sensor (HC-SR04)
  3. RGB LED or you could use different single LEDs
  4. Breadboard
  5. Jumper Wires

Simply enough, Let's get started!

Step 2: Step 1: Breadboard

To start you will want to place your ultrasonic sensor and LED into your breadboard like shown in the picture.

Step 3: Step 2: Wiring

The next step is to wire everything up. You can follow the images to see how I did it.

First hook up GND and 5v to the power rails on the breadboard.

Then hook up the LED to the Arduino and GND rail.

Blue --> Pin 10

Green --> Pin 11

GND --> GND

Red --> Pin 12

Finally hook up the Ultrasonic Sensor to the Arduino, GND rail and 5v rail.

VCC --> 5v

Trig --> Pin 0

Echo --> Pin 1

GND --> GND

If you decide to change up the pins on the Arduino make sure you change it in the code as well. (last picture)

Step 4: Step 3: Upload the Code

Download the Arduino code and upload it to your Arduino.

and your done :D

Step 5: Step 4: Testing

You'll need something stiff like a credit card or maybe your car ;) move the object back and forth and you'll see the colour of the LED change depending on where the object is positioned.

Step 6: Step 5: Using Serial

If you wanted to see the actual distance of the object and what the Arduino is reading, you can open serial.

When you want to attach to the bottom of a real car, you need a holder and cover for ultrasonic module (dust, mud, water, snow etc.). Did you test any kind of material, that can let ultrasonic waves through?
<p>These are really helpful. Where I used to live one of the malls had a system with pressure plates under the pavement. :)</p>

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