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Proximity Sensor AZ4-Sense

AZ-Sense4 Sense Side

'Touch' Side (attach to sub surface with double sided sticky tape)

Sensor1 nearest the Phone Jack

AZ-Sense4 Component Side

Component Side



Use this touch sensor with the 'DB15-RJ45-2 adapter (shown below).

This proximity 'capacitive touch sensor' can sense through a variety of materials.  Just stick on behind the glass, plywood or plastic panel, turn on power, you have a touch sensor located behind your display panel.  This sensor has been tested with 1.5 inches MDF material, and .5 inches glass.  Because the sensor self calibrates on power-up, it automatically adjusts to environment variations not only when power is applied.  It also has 'long term' stabilizing algorithm built in.  Because the sensor self calibrates to materials on power-up, it takes about 2 seconds for the sensor to stabilize.  The BrightSign takes 20-40 seconds to power-up so the sensor is ready before the BrightSign is ready.

The sensor has the gain set for about 1/2 inch proximity to the touch surface of the sensor.

Testing with Glass (very similar results with 3/4 inch thick MDF):

'Touch Sense' Programming:

The sensor can be programmed for 'touch sensing' instead of proximity sensing.  If you want the sensor to activate after you touch a surface, you will have to contact HMS Electronics Technical support with the specifics of your materials.  Several 'trial and error' sensor modules may be needed to determine which is best suited for your application.

Note on construction materials:  Glass or Plastic do not have any effect on the sensor sensitivity.  Wood and artificial wood (like MDF) have capacitive characteristics and can affect the sensor.  Our testing of the sensor indicates that due to the 'Dynamic Calibration' of the sensor, many materials have very little effect on the proximity detection.  However, any conductive material (like foil, metal plates and so forth) that is place in the vicinity of the sensor can effect the operation of the sensor.  Do not put the sensor behind metal unless the metal is used as a 'touch surface'.

Note on the Phone Cable:  The phone cable has to be polarized!  Meaning that the connectors on both ends have to have the same connection.  I.E. if pin 1 of the connector on 'End1' has a black wire, then pin 1 of the connector of 'End2' has to also have a black wire.  This 'polarization' applies to each of the pins of the connector.  Typical connections pin 1 to pin 4 are Black, Red, Green Yellow.  It doesn't matter if the connection are reversed (Yellow, Green, Red, Black) as long as both connectors are wired the same.  Swapping the wires will result in destroying the sensor.

Note on Paint:  If paint is required (like when mounting to glass) on the 'proximity' side of the sensor, use a latex paint.  Using paint with metallic particles in the paint may alter the characteristics of the 'proximity touch sensor'.

Pin Identification of the Phone Cable:

Dual AZ-Sense4 Adapter

DB15-AZ4 Adapter

This adapter has connections for two AZ4-Sense Boards

for 4 or 8 sensors.

Note: Rev1 Board has reverse connections for Sensors 1 through 4. If you reverse the cable at one RJ45 connector, this will connect Sensors 1 through 4 in proper order.

J1 Connections (Rev 1 Board)
  • Pin 1, 0 Volts
  • Pin 2, 3.3 to 5 Volts
  • Pin 3, GPIO 3
  • Pin 4, GPIO 2
  • Pin 5, GPIO 1
  • Pin 6, GPIO 0
  • Pin 7, 3.3 to 5 Volts
  • Pin 8, 0V

J2 Connections (Rev 1 Board)
  • Pin 1, 0 Volts
  • Pin 2, 3.3 to 5 Volts
  • Pin 3, GPIO 7
  • Pin 4, GPIO 6
  • Pin 5, GPIO 5
  • Pin 6, GPIO 4
  • Pin 7, 3.3 to 5 Volts
  • Pin 8, 0V


J1 Connections (Rev 2 Board in Progress)
  • Pin 1, 0 Volts
  • Pin 2, 3.3 Volts
  • Pin 3, GPIO 0
  • Pin 4, GPIO 1
  • Pin 5, GPIO 2
  • Pin 6, GPIO 3
  • Pin 7, 3.3 to 5 Volts
  • Pin 8, 0V

J2 Connections (Rev 2 Board in Progress)
  • Pin 1, 0 Volts
  • Pin 2, 3.3 Volts
  • Pin 3, GPIO 4
  • Pin 4, GPIO 5
  • Pin 5, GPIO 6
  • Pin 6, GPIO 7
  • Pin 7, 3.3 to 5 Volts
  • Pin 8, 0V


RJ45-8 Jack

Pin Identification of RJ45 Plug

Note: Reverse Connections are OK.  Reversing the connections reverses the order of the sensors. With Rev 1 board, you can reverse the connections so that sensors 1-4 go to GPIO 0-3 (J1).  Reversing the connections means the colors are reversed on the two ends of the cable.


This adapter is designed to attach the 'AZ4 Proximity Touch Sensors' to the GPIO connector of the BrightSign (screws provided for direct mount to the GPIO connector).  One or two AZ4-Sense boards (4 or 8 inputs) can be connected to the BrightSign using this adapter.  Note: The output of the sensors is open collector.  Meaning that you can have two boards connected and still use the terminal block for another input like a proximity sensor such as the PIR-Z (Passive InfraRed) or the UPD (Ultrasonic Proximity Detector) proximity sensors.  However, if using the terminal block input (I.E. GPIO-7), then I recommend that you cut that wire in the phone cable or cut the trace on the board from J2-3 (Rev 1 board) or J2-6 (Rev 2 board) to eliminate triggering from sensor 4 of the AZ4 board.

DB15-AZ4-J1 (J1 Connector) connects to GPIO 0 through 3.

DB15-AZ4-J2 (J2 Connector) connects to GPIO 4 through 7.

TB1 (Order DB15-AZ4-TB) has connections for GPIO 6 and 7

Cable Length:

The current draw on the sensor module is very low so cable length has almost no effect on sensor operation.  Maximum cable length has not been determined.  However, 100 feet (30 meters) is a distance that the module should work with.  We suspect that the sensor cable could be 300 feet (100 meters) or more.

'Polarized Phone Cables':

The RJ45 phone cable ends should have the same 'polarity' (unless you want to reverse the order of sensor 1 through sensor 4).  Meaning, all pins of the plugs need to have the same color wire in both ends.  Here are a couple of pictures to help with identification of 'polarized' phone cables.  Note: Reversing the phone cable connections only changes the order of sensors (1 through 4 or 4 through 1) and has no affect on the operation of the AZ4 sense board.

Connecting to 'HMS boards':

Note: If not using the 'DB15-AZ4' adapter, then cut and strip the 8 wires for attaching to a terminal block on the HMS board.

Direct Wiring Cable connections:

Pin 1 and 8 are ground.  Connect both to 0V.

Pin 2 and 7 are 3.3 to 5 Volt.  Connect both to 3.3 to 5 Volts

Pin 3 is Sensor 1 

Pin 4 is Sensor 2

Pin 5 is Sensor 3

Pin 6 is Sensor 4

Connect each sensor output to the appropriate input on the HMS Board.

Note: Because the cable connections are symmetrical, reversing the cable only changes the order of sensors (1 through 4 or 4 through 1) and won't damage the sensors because 0 volts and 3.3 volts stay connected properly.

Note: The 'DB15-TB10-3V' adapter is a suitable interface for connections to the AZ4-Sense board (or any of the 'AZ' sense boards).

Last Updated   12/04/2016