Light beam detection circuit

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by great_molinko, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. great_molinko

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    Hi everyone, I am in need of help. I have been looking into and got my self confused. I am hoping to create a simple and cheap light beam circuit with a counter on it for putting infront of things like bird nest boxes etc.

    I am handy with tools but lost with the electrics right now. Any advice is greatly welcomed.

    stuart
     
  2. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    Are you looking into building the whole thing including the counter circuit? Or are you just looking for anyway to accomplish this?

    B. Morse
     
  3. great_molinko

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    I would like to try and build it myself. I can buy off the shelf but will cost £30 and does not help me in understanding it properly or repairing it if it breaks.
     
  4. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
    2,675
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    Ok, that's good to know.... so what parts do you already have on hand? Or are you still considering how to design it? If so, can you describe in detail what exactly you are trying to do, etc. As in, are you monitoring 1 opening in the bird house? etc.

    And where are you located? So I would know how or where to recommend getting parts if needed....

    B. Morse
     
  5. great_molinko

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    The plan was to monitor single hole in either bird boxes and mammal hole with a single beam or dual beam set up, that I would be able to set and leave for a few weeks then check later. If necessary I would build several units to monitor different holes (which is where cheap and easy comes into it).

    I havent gone much further than research right now before I got stuck. I have not started design yet so very flexable. I would like to try an keep most of the gubbins contained in a weather proof container of some sort.

    Located in Bucks, UK.
     
  6. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    So basically some kind of critter counter of some sort.... as long as it counts whatever breaks the beam, right? Does it have to know if the critter is leaving or coming?? Or do you not care which direction they are going? Do you have any microcontroller experience, like programming and in what language? or is this strictly going to be discrete components?

    Sorry for all the questions, there are just so many different ways this can be achieved, just want to narrow it down to a single one...

    B. Morse
     
  7. great_molinko

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    Bang on, critter counter. It does not matter which direction as I do not think that you can do that can you? It would be something I would consider after getting the basic unit going.

    It does not need to be anything flash but will obvioulsy need to be stable enough to not be set off by day light etc.

    I dont really have any experience of controllers but am willing to learn, I know they would give me alot more flexability to control sensativity and plugging extras in etc.

    I think the best way foward is to make the most simply unit preferably avoiding controllers to keep cost down if possible then build up
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  8. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    The one main reason I was asking about your microcontroller experience is because there are some that are very low power... this is something to consider..... but I am sure it can be done with discrete components in a way to minimize the power usage....

    B. Morse
     
  9. great_molinko

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    Ok, well I am willing to give it a bash. LIke I say I have befuddled myself. The other reason for keeping the cost down was if it were stolen or damaged I could quickly/repair replace it.
     
  10. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
    2,675
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    Ok, I just kind of threw together a 3 digit counter from some discrete components.... although others can have a look and make sure I didn't miss anything.....
    Versatile Up_Down Counter.png

    and as I was posting this and also doing a search, I came upon this 3 digit counter circuit.... apparently it is a kit from jaycar electronics...

    View attachment 3 Digit Counter.pdf

    one of these circuits will do the counting part, after this we will go about messing with the trigger part, but this is what is going to take most of your time, the sensor to trigger the count will be the easy part, so pick one of these, or you can search for a different one, I have not tried the kit one, but it does have less components than mine.. so of course,less components, less power consumption....


    B. Morse
     
  11. great_molinko

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    Thanks, brilliant start I will have a look into this tomorrow. I will look into the kits and see how prices compare etc.


    stuart
     
  12. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
    2,675
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    how is the research going? Just thought I would let you know that I do have a circuit for a 4 digit counter you might be able to use, I am not sure how you are with programming, but I have most of that done too, I am in the process of building a prototype circuit to try out the code...

    4 digit counter_timer.png

    I will post the hex file on here once I am done, so if you are interested in building one yourself the info would be available for you here....


    B. Morse
     
  13. great_molinko

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 6, 2010
    8
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    I havent had a lot of time to look into yet as in process of buying house. Thanks for the circuit, I had a look at the earlier one wihtout a pic controller and decided to have a crack at that when I get a chance only alteration is to use an lcd display as lower power consumption.

    This new pic layout looks intersting. I have next to none programming but am a very quick learner.

    Once I get everything else sorted I will be building both units to try them out in the field for a test period.

    I will gladly take any and all help offered.

    Regards

    Stuart
     
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