Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 27, 2011

DIY PIC Microcontroller Based Digital Tachometer Project

at 12:39 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Have you ever wanted to determine how fast something was turning? With a few parts and a microcontroller, monitoring something spinning is a simple task, you just need a way to get an input into the microcontroller so it can count pulses. In this case Chris from Pyro Electric used an infrared beam to monitor a spinning fan, as the fan blades turn they interrupt the IR beam made using a IR LED and a IR transistor.

Read about the DIY PIC Microcontroller Based Digital Tachometer Project.

“The IR circuit will output pulses whenever it is interrupted (this type of IR circuit is also known as a ‘photo-interrupter’ circuit). The PIC microcontroller will stand by waiting to see the rising edge of one of these pulses. Anytime a rising edge is detected the PIC will interrupt the current software and run a special subroutine to take note that the change on the signal occurred. Now, if we keep track of how often that change occurs using a timer, we can estimate the instantaneous RPMs, making a digital tachometer!”



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4 Responses to “DIY PIC Microcontroller Based Digital Tachometer Project”

  1. SH Says:

    Looks like a 60 mm Thermaltake fan. I have same fans, but 80 mm version. Does anybody know do they sell those anywhere? Those are silent and good fans…

  2. Simple sensors to calculate RPM - Hack a Day Says:

    […] [via Hacked Gadgets] […]

  3. David Says:

    I’m no where knowledgeable enough to figure this stuff out, but has any of you tried to make the tachometer wireless, maybe use a wireless mouse optical system, that could feed back to a computer by usb? I’m looking at something lightweight that could be mounted to a pinewood derby car to count rpm’s as it goes down the track and log the information where you could record the speed and see acceleration, deceleration and maximum speed.

  4. Just asking for a high speed sensor.. Says:

    […] can be easily obtained and used in the calculation of the vehicles speed. Tachometer/RPM II. DIY PIC Microcontroller Based Digital Tachometer Project How to make a contact-less digital tachometer using IR-light reflection technique The following […]

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