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SparkFun Pulsed Radar Breakout - A111

by Sparkfun

Does your project require high-precision, cutting-edge distance measurement? Or maybe speed, motion, or gesture-sensing? We're not talking about simple ultrasonic or even infrared here, but 60GHz radar!

Well say hello to the SparkFun A111 Pulsed Radar Breakout! The A111 is a single-chip solution for pulsed coherent radar (PCR) and comes complete with an integrated antenna and an SPI interface capable of clock speeds of up to 50MHz. Though the A111's primary use case is distance-sensing, it also supports applications in gesture, motion, material, and speed-detection at distances of up to two meters.

SparkFun Pulsed Radar Breakout for the A111 includes a 1.8V regulator, voltage-level translation, and it breaks out all the pins of the pulsed radar sensor to both 0.1-inch and Raspberry Pi-friendly headers. The Pulsed Radar Breakout is designed to sit directly on top of a Raspberry Pi but it doesn't span all 40 (2x20) pins of a Raspberry Pi B+ (or later), but the 26-pin -- 2x13 -- header should be compatible with any Pi.

Acconeer has developed a visualization tool written in Python that demonstrates data collection in real time. It's called the Acconeer Exploration Tool and is an incredible resource when first starting out with the A111 Pulsed Radar. As an example it will graph distance or presence sensing, giving you a count of the number of sweeps, which communication port (SPI or I2C) data is being sent through, and much much more. The tool supports both Windows and Linux and requires Python version 3.6 or later. This tool is available through their GitHub Repository, go on over a take a look!

Heads up! The A111 was designed to work with an ARMv7 to work at a minimum. SparkFun were able to get the sensor working on the Raspberry Pi 3, 3B+, and 4.

Get started with the A111 Pulsed Radar Sensor Guide

Includes

  • 1x SparkFun Pulsed Radar Breakout Board - A111
  • 1x Female Header - 26-pin (2x13)

Features

  • 60 GHz Pulsed Coherent Radar (PCR) sensor
  • Integrated antenna
  • Measurement distance up to 2m
  • Accuracy down to mm-range
  • SPI interface -- up to 50MHz SPI clock support
  • All SPI pins broken out
  • On-board 1.8V voltage regulator
  • 1.8V level translation to any voltage between 1.8V-5V
  • Bypass jumper

Revision Changes: Overall, the functionality between v1.0 for v1.1 is the same. Minor changes in v1.1 include:

  • PTH for VCCIO
  • Bypass jumper to set VCCIO to VIN
  • Silkscreen name change for input voltage (5V => VIN)
  • Improved logic level translation on the Raspberry Pi side

Documents