Connecting TSL1401 Linescan Camera Module to Arduino Mega

I just ordered the TS1401 along with the DB-Expander so that I can plug it into a breadboard. I'm trying to figure out how to connect it, but I'm confused as to the role of each pin because the datasheet shows that the linear sensor array has 6 pins but the camera module has 12. Does anyone know what the extra pins are used for or have any idea on how I can go about connecting it to a Arduino Mega board?


  • Page 3 of the product documentation has a chart which identifies which pin on the DB-Expander corresponds to which pin on the sensor board.

    Page 5 has a graphic showing the connections needed to use the sensor.

    This sensor should work well when used with an analog input on the Mega.
  • Some of the pins are routed to the top connector on the camera. I made a piranha LED lamp that plugs into it and aids in exposure.

    If you Google Arduino tsl1401 you should be able to find an interface example code I wrote several years ago. I know it has popped up on a few Arduino forums, so it should be available. If you can't find it I'll dig around to see if I can find it.
  • I'm thinking about ordering this thing but I first want to make sure I can even use it for what i want to do.

    Does anyone know if I can use it without the lens and just have the sensor flush with the surface I am trying to scan? And if so what kind of loss of resolution or "blur" it will suffer?

    Maybe I would have to lift the sensor a little bit off the surface to let light get in. (or can it just get it from the sides since it's a 1D sensor?)

    I googled a little bit but am still not sure if handheld scanners use optics with these sensors or not
  • The lens screws in and out to adjust the focus, and it can be quite close to the camera. You could remove the lens, but I'm not sure what that would do. In the documentation Phil removed the lens and replaced it with a slit pinhole to capture the entire vertical average of an image. Pinholes require more light, but do have great depth of field.
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 22,693
    edited 2016-06-01 - 18:49:20
    Some scanners use SELFOC lens arrays, which position the line scan sensor very close to the subject matter. You can read about them here:

  • Thank you Phil, that's just what I wanted
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