December 17, 2014

Build a Raspberry Pi CPU Tachometer

For a more interesting method of displaying data generated by a Raspberry Pi, external displays and screens are often popular - however for something completely different consider connecting a vehicle tachometer to display numerical data. 

This process has been demonstrated by the folks from the WhiskeyTangoHotel website - they determined the PWM frequency required to move the needle on the tacho to different values, and then used python code to determine the CPU usage percentage and relay this to the gauge. 

Due to the different voltages between the gauge and the Raspberry Pi, an external circuit based on a 7404 latch IC was required, however this is very simple to reproduce. And the effort is worth it - as shown in the following video:

For complete details including the required code and hardware, visit the WTH website. And for more, we're on facebookGoogle+, and twitter - so follow us for news and product updates as well.

If you need to add external circuitry to your Pi, one option is to use our PiBreak board. It provides labelled breakout pins for all GPIOs, a large prototyping area with solder pads, and power rails for easy power connection:

Furthermore the PiBreak also includes mounting hardware to firmly attach it to your Raspberry Pi using a nut, bolt, and spacer - and is compatible with all revisions of both model A and B Raspberry Pi computers. For more information about our PiBreak board, our Getting Started guide, and to order - visit the product page.

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