I'm looking to experiment with a Valve Light lighthouse sort of setup. I've bought line lasers and pin photodiodes (BPW34) and get to successfully detect the laser line. The photodiode is in parallel with a 10K resistor; this seems to give the best results. I've tried with 100k, 18k and 1k for example. The photodiode is connected to an analog port of an Arduino with a reference voltage of 1.1v. The line laser is 5mW and connected to 3.3v. The line seems clear and visible at 5 meters.
The problem I'm facing is that the distance it detects the line is max ~ half a meter. The Valve lighthouse detects 10m easily. How do they get this phenomenal performance?
I think I could improve it with the following methods:
- Using a comparator that compares the photodiode line with a low pass filtered line of the photodiode.
- Implementing an amplifier using (for example an op amp or transistor).
- Using an IR receiver instead. I have some lying around but I didn't get them to work with another laser, so I'm not sure about that.
- Or using a different photodiode, that works from 700nm to 1100nm, like BPW 34 FS
Anyone has some ideas what would increase the distance best?