Sensors “Sharp”

Sharp IR distance sensors

These sensors using infrared rays, collimated into a very narrow beam with a lens and measure the distance between the sensor and the target with the method of triangulation.

The color of the surface of the target gradually influence the measurement, long as it's not too dark and that manages to reflect at least a small part of the infrared light.

The response time is about 30 milliseconds and linearity of measure is reasonable but definitely less than the linearity of the ultrasonic distance sensors.


GP2D120XJ00F          GP2Y0A21YK0F           GP2Y0A02YK0F
Range: 4-30 cm Range: 10-80 cm Range: 20-150 cm Price: 15/10 Euro Price: 10/7 Euro Price: 27/18 Euro

There is also a GP2Y0A51SK0F model that goes from 2 to 15 cm.

Prices are approximate, without VAT, and relate to the purchase of 1 piece / 25 pieces.

Here are links where you can find the latest prices and technical documentation.

Farnell Code: 1243869
Farnell Code: 9707891

Connect sensors Sharp Theremino system

These sensors can be connected directly to the system's standard Pin Theremino, the supply voltage is correct (+5V) and the output signal (from 0 to 3 volts) It's perfect for ADC inputs

Use the pin type Adc_16 for maximum resolution or type Adc_8 if its gradual approach is sufficient.

The supply voltage can range from 4.5 volts to 5.5 volts and the consumption is about 33 but for all models.

To feed correctly the sensors the manufacturer recommends connecting a capacitor from at least 10uF between + 5V and ground positioning it to no more than a few centimetres from the sensor.

Arranging shortcuts

The connection sequence is different than the standard system theremino so you will have to use a cable with wires exchanged or an adapter.

Theremino         Sharp
system            sensors
1 = GND           1 = Signal
2 = 5 v           2 = GND
3 = Signal        3 = 5 v

Theremino System -

Be very careful with links. Download the DataSheet and checked several times that the positive is on the right side. Some experimenters have received the connector with the wiring already crimped and the Red wire was the signal and the white wire on the 5 Volts.

Connector for Sharp sensors

Connector JST-PHR-3
Farnell Code 3616198
Minimum 10 PCs 0.04 Euro

Contact JST
Farnell Code 3617210
Minimum 100 PCs 0.003 Euro

Contact assignment on Sharp



Gp2d120xj00f (4-30cm)




GP2Y0A21YK0F (10-80cm)




Gp2y0a02yk0f (20-150cm)


Full cable

If it is difficult to find the connector JST you can buy this cable that is a little’ expensive but convenient. Search “sharp-ir-cable 200mm”


Graphs of the output voltage in relation to the distance to the three models of sensor.

Output voltage and distances for the sensor from 4-30 cm

Output voltage and distances for the sensor from 10-80 cm

Output voltage and distances for the sensor from 20-150 cm

Formulas to calculate the distance from value read
( from valued 0 to 1000 )

Sensor 4-30 cm: Distance (cm) = 2076 / ( Value – 11 ) ( valid values from 80 to 530 )

Sensor 10-80 cm: Distance (cm) = 4800 / ( Value – 20 ) ( valid values from 80 to 500 )

Sensor 20-150 cm: Distance (cm) = 9462 / ( Value – 16.92 ) ( valid values from 80 to 490 )

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