A simple breakout PCB for the GP1A57HR photo interrupter (also known as a photogate, photodiode, or phototransistor). This PCB has three connections for PWR, GND, and Signal.
When the gate is clear, SIG will be high (>4.9V). When the gate is blocked by a finger, writing utensil, food pellet, or anything else - SIG will go low (<0.4V).
Assembled picture is for reference only, board comes bare; photo interrupter and the 220Ω (330Ω, works as well) current limiting resistor are listed below.
This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.
Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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This little board makes interfacing the Photo Interrupter a breeze. My only wish would be for some sort of mounting holes.
I’m going to be using this in a Lunar Clock, to detect the starting-point slot in a large wheel. Its mounting needs something like screw holes so I could fasten it to a supporting (insulated) bar. It would be great if that mounting didn’t increase the width of the sensor - I’m trying to minimize the space between the wheel and the outside of the clock. A pair of small bolt holes near the P and S of PWR and SIG would be perfect.
P.S., I used a 3-pin header soldered so the pins are below the board (the opposite side of the Photo Interrupter part). That made it easy to insert it into a breadboard to try out the code and electronics.