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Thread: Require help with communications question

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
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    Nov 2013
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    Require help with communications question

    Hello,

    I'm not an engineer so please excuse my ignorance regarding this question.

    I want to be able to measure a distance to an object. For example, let's say we were playing golf and I wanted to know exactly how far away I was from the hole, exactly! I know we can do this via satellite navigation (and there are products out there that can already do this), but is there another solution? If I was to attach something to the hole (or the flag that goes in the hole) that sends a signal to a receiver I am holding, would that be possible?

    What sort of technology could do this job consistently? Radio?

    Thank you kindly in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    Engineer
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    Something based on sonar. If you had a speaker on the flag pole which emitted a short burst of audible or ultra-sonic sound, and then had a microphone where you were standing, ready to pick up the noise. Then all you need to do is measure how much time there is between the speaker making the sound and the microphone picking it up, multiply that by the speed of sound and you have your distance.

    I assume you want this to be wireless? If so, it gets a bit more complicated because you have to factor in the time it takes for your receiver to send a signal to the flag pole telling it to make a sound, but there are certainly ways of doing it. And it's likely to be cheaper than GPS.

  3. #3
    Associate Engineer
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    It would have to be more immediate than that. I'd like to be able to look at a small device and see the distance calculated digitally. Just like you would for a handheld GPS device, but without the GPS. There must be a more simpler technology, no?

  4. #4
    Engineer
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    Sorry, when I was talking about "you" measuring time taken and doing the calculation, I didn't mean you sat there with a stopwatch and a calculator. That was just my laziness and shorthand, my fault!

    I mean the device could do the working-out. With a system that I proposed above, you would point the device at the flag pole, the flag pole would make a high frequency noise and the device would digitally calculate the distance and display it on a screen.

    You can already get something similar, such as this. However, in this product, the device itself makes the noise and it is reflected off the object it is pointed too. This would not work in your case because the flag pole is not a big enough target for the sound to bounce off.

    The drawbacks of this, is that you would have to aim the device at the flag pole every time you moved in order to get an updated reading. If you want a reading updated with every step in real-time, you would need something a bit more complicated.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by Kelly Bramble; 11-13-2013 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Spelling

  5. #5
    Project Engineer CCR5600Design's Avatar
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    Using your favorite internet search engine, type in the words "laser distance finder." You may be surprised how many affordable handheld devices are on the market to perform the task you wish to do.


    Edit: I play disc golf. I know for a fact these devices work great... in fact, they work so well, they are not allowed for use during a PDGA tournament.

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