Smart Distance Measuring Tape V1

Introduction: Smart Distance Measuring Tape V1

After a month of exams, I finally decided to come up with a new project. I found old circuits which were not yet built.And decided to start the build, well my project is quite simple. I built this up last weekend morning with a cup of tea in my hand and some simple tools.

What does this thing do?

Well its quite simple it is just an replacement for an distance tape. It can also measure temperature, this was an upgrade to the old circuit. The measured distance is displayed on the LCD screen. And this circuit is powered with a 9V battery.

Why make this?

Well i need to do something this weekend.......

And i wanted to ne a part of makerlympics2014.

Ok enough of the talking and lets start building.

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Step 1: Parts

Lets start with gathering is all the parts.

1x Arduino Uno R3 (or similar board)

1x ultrasonic ranging module (HC-SR04)

1x Temperature sensor (lm35)

1x 16x2 LCD Display

1x 9V battery

1x pcb

1x 10k pot


Soldering iron.

If you have got all of the above parts find a comfortable table and chair and maybe some good background music and your ready to start building.

Step 2: LCD

Connect the LCD as per the circuit, I soldered the wires to a pcb and latter attached it to the arduino board.. pic for reference. The 10k variable resistance is used to adjust the contrast of the lcd display... If you are a beginer to arduino-LCD then try the examples include in the arduino id first to learn how to control it. The circuit of the example is same as above.

Here I used a black box I found in my house. On the lid of the box draw an outline of the LCD (mine was 17x2.4 cm),
use a pair of scissors to cut through the box. Check if the LCD fits in, if it does you are good to go to the next step.

Extra Information

If your looking as to where to find the LCD then look for it on Ebay as there is a lot of 16x2 LCDs available over there.
I have not given the LCD any backlight because I did not feel it was necessary, if you feel that it is too dark try connecting the back light terminal to arduino 5V.

Step 3: Ultrasonic Sensor

For the ultrasonic range module I used HC-SR04 as it is easy to find and i had it available at my house from my previous robot. The module has a maximum distance of minors 3m . The readings are quite precise and it has its own library . You can find the library here. Try the above examples in the id again before trying this. The examples are include in the library.

Connect the module-

SR04 VCC pin to the Arduino 5v

SR04 GND pin to the Arduino GND

SR04 TRG pin to the Arduino Digital pin 12

SR04 ECHO pin to the Arduino Digital pin 11

Draw the outline of the module and cut through the box with a pair of scissors. Try inserting the module and you can move to the next step.

Step 4: Code

After connecting the LCD and the Ultrasonic module its time to test the module. Download the code from the attachments and upload it to the arduino board. Power up the board and you would see that the temperature and distance displayed on the screen..
If it does not show up try checking the previous steps or leave a comment below if you need my help.

Step 5: Whats Next

In my next instructable I will also show you how to add a gravity sensor to the above box....

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    12 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    from where did you buy all the parts....


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    You can buy stuff from They ship to Goa and the stuff up there is cheap.


    6 years ago

    Any idea what the maximum distance is that you can measure with these ultrasonic sensors? You make this sound so simple!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent project. You should add more data: max and min distance, precision, cost estimate, etc.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Hey thanks I have got a more detailed instructable in my v2