Cheap Laser Altimeter

Has anyone thought of hacking up one of the cheap laser rangefinders by Bosch or Stanley?Bosch's DLE 50 only weighs about 180g including it's own batteries (could be removed and powered by onboard powersupply).I am thinking of getting one of the units and seeing if I can somehow mod it to use it as an altimeter.Thoughts/suggestions?

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  • What altitude range are you targetting?

    I have a HILTI PD 30 time of light device. It should do 200m, but performance is more reliable below 50m :-(

    They have some new models like the PD 40 which is specified to 200m. Specs:

    Accuracy ± 1 mm
    Laser 635 nm, Class 2 (IEC 825-1), Class II (FDA 21 CFR)
    Measuring range 0.05 m - 200 m
    Measuring functions Single and continuous measurement
    Calculation function +
    IP protection class IP 54
    Battery type 2 x AA
    Operation time with Alkaline battery  10000 measurements
    Dimensions (LxWxH) 120 x 55 x 28 mm
    Package content Laser range meter PD 40, Hand strap, 2 AA batteries, Battery compartment key, Soft pouch, Manufacturers certificate, Operating instructions

  • Any progress with altimeter?
    Can you send HiRe pictures of what is inside ?

    This website states a typical measurement time of <0.5S up to a maximum of 2S along with a promotional video of it in use.

    God knows what they package it in that results in a 2Kg shipping weight though...
  • I've looked into ideas for a cheap laser range finder, and what I'd like to try is a CMUcam1 ($109, link below) and a powerful laser pointer. Optical filters can be purchased and fitted over the lens of the camera to filter out unwanted light wavelengths. The CMUcam has pre-programmed algorithms for tracking specific colors that it picks up, so just tell it to track the color of the laser. Sturdily mount the camera and laser at a fixed distance from each other, and the laser dot will move up and down on the screen as the assembly is moved back and forth from the surface.

  • After poking around for a good 15mins looking for information I can't find anything about how long it takes to get a measurement..
    I am thinking it would wait for a stable measurement anyways (useless for us.. we will never get one whilst flying), so it's more so the actual laser diode and reciever setup that I am interested in.
    If I could get it to give me the raw data I could filter it pretty easily and it would make a very nice altimeter. :)
    Yet to find a DIY project for a time of flight laser rangefinder yet..
    If anyone has anymore info regarding this please share, I am very interested in developing a low cost laser altimeter for UAV landing purposes.
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