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Help wanted with a counter.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Jacobthompson, Apr 9, 2013.

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  1. Jacobthompson


    Apr 9, 2013
    Hi everyone,

    Back in school I used a machine that was able to count every time something passed it.
    A example would be a pendulum swinging. If the sensor was in the pendulums rest position and the pendulum is swing, it would count every time it passes the laser? Sensor? Nothing mechanical touching it.

    I am in need of someone who can help me or point me in the direction of someone who can make one of these, a very simple design but smaller. Much smaller.

    I would love to give you the name of the device, it was some sort of logger. But I'm just not sure.
    I have a pretty big project in mind and would really like to include you if you know what your doing.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Jacob 0411250431
    [email protected]
  2. GreenGiant


    Feb 9, 2012
    well depending on what you are sensing and what speeds you will be sensing it at there are any number of sensors you can use.

    How high are you going to want it to be able to count before it resets or needs to be reset?

    Is this just a counter or does it need to do anything else?
  3. duke37


    Jan 9, 2011
    There are several ways to detect the movement of an object.

    1. A light source (led) with a light detector. It depends on the design of what you have but you can get mouldings with both devices in, separated by a slot. Devices are also available which work on reflection.

    2. A swinging magnet can activate a Hall device will do the job.

    3. A swinging magnet was used in early pendulum clocks, these used a coil to detect the movement.

    The optical methods will need a clean environment whereas the Hall effect can be used in a dirty environment. The latter is used for car engine monitoring

    There are many counter assemblies available, you may need a small interface circuit between the detector and the counter.
  4. Jacobthompson


    Apr 9, 2013
    You guys are awesome for replying, really appreciated.

    I need to really have a sensor that is about half the size of your index finger nail. Not sure how possible this is, like I said... Micro. I need it to count anywhere up to 36,000 counts per hour. Tell me if I'm dreaming.
    The catch is no magnets and a very lower consumption. I think you guys might have clued on by now as to what I want to do. But basically count 36k p/h and display it on a small LCD if possible.
    If your not sure then any direction would be awesome.

  5. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    36000 pulses per hour is only 10 pulses per second. That's pretty slow. :)

    If the things you're counting are reflective then a LED and a phototransistor next to each other (but so they can't "see" each other) will probably do the trick.

    The design and placement of the sensor is the major issue. Counters and displays are pretty simple (and may even be available off the shelf)

    What are these things you're wanting to count?
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