Hacker ‘TUENHIDIY’ came into possession of a very expensive (~$800 on eBay) distance sensor normally used in industrial environments. While many of us would marvel at such a high quality contraption, then perhaps put it in a box in our garage or basement, TUENHIDIY actually got to work and made use of it, linking it to an Arduino Uno with the help of an RS-485 module. The write-up notes that an Arduino Mega can also be an option, which would useful for checking the RS-485 communication through its multiple serial ports.
The dedicated RS-485 module is attached to the Arduino via a custom perfboard shield. This device features female headers on top, on which sits the LED output board. This output board is one of the cooler and more unusual parts of the build, as instead of using a ready-made LED matrix or 7-segment display, it implements an LOL Shield that controls 9 x 14 discreet soldered-on LEDs. This was made at home using this design, giving the project a very neat old-school look when in use.
The Arduino/display is mounted in a protection box with a clear front and holes cut out for power and interfacing needs. This is then placed atop the sensor itself, and shows distance values in a brilliant blue as objects are moved closer and further away from it.