September 18, 2014

Build an optical tachometer with Arduino

If you've ever been curious about the speed of a fan or other rotary device then you will find the following project by Instructables member electro18
of interest. They've devised a neat and non-contact method of measuring RPM that only needs a small white piece on a section of the rotating device.

The tachometer then uses infra-red LED and a photodiode to bound IR light off the rotating device, and detects when the white piece has passed - and thus a revolution. Wiht the use of interrupts in the sketch the tachometer can measures speeds of up to around 20000 RPM. A quick demonstraiton is shown in the following video:

This could also be the basis for other projects such as making a speedometer for a bike or measuring the RPM of rotating shafts, pumps and so on. Either way, visit the project Instructable page for complete details.

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If you need to add external hardware or devices to your next Arduino project, you'll need a protoshield to mount the external circuitry. In doing so, consider our range of ProtoShields. From the tiny LeoStick to the Mega we have a wide range to suit your application.

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