Please Help. Microcontroller Advice.

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by hartparr, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. hartparr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 14, 2009
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    I am seeking direction on building something that can take a reading from a load cell and a tachometer, do some simple math with the readings every second or so, then show the result on an LCD display.

    If someone could point me in the right direction on what to read about to accomplish this, it would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. mik3

    Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2008
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    You can use a microcontroller but a PLC with a display and analog inputs is another option. Have you ever used a microcontroller?
     
  3. hartparr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 14, 2009
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    No, I haven't ever used a microcomputer.

    I'm looking for whatever would be easiest. It seems to me that this shouldn't be that complicated but I could be wrong.
     
  4. mik3

    Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2008
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    If you are a newbie it will seem complicated. It will be easier to program a PLC by using function blocks or ladder logic. Crouzet series of PLCs can be programmed in both function blocks and ladder and some of them have a built in LCD display. A PLC will cost more than a microcontroller but it is more compact and neat. Also, because you are new to microcontrollers you will need a programmer which add additional cost. If you are going to use microcontrollers many times it will be good to buy a programmer but if not it is a waste of money.
     
  5. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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  6. CDRIVE

    Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2008
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  7. hartparr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 14, 2009
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    If I were to go the PICAXE route, how would I go about figuring out how to interface it with a load cell and a tachometer...and not only that but which ones are compatible?

    I know that load cells don't operate on much voltage...so I've read I would need an amp to bring it up to the 5v range to work withe PICAXE.

    What can I buy and feel sure that it will all work together?
     
  8. CDRIVE

    Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2008
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    The Picaxe manuals are quite extensive that includes example code for every, Statement, Function, Command and Keyword. Each of the afore mentioned includes a pictorial of which chips it applies to. The manual also includes sample circuitry. Past that, you can build it right here on the forum.

    Did you download the software yet?
     
  9. hartparr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 14, 2009
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    I have the software and manual. I have some programming experience and Basic is pretty simple, so I'm not too concerned with that.

    I am more concerned on the electronics side, as this is where my knowledge lacks.

    I want to go ahead and purchase all the parts I will need to put this together and learn with that project but need some direction as to exactly what I need to purchase.

    Do I go analog or Digital? Can you even get a digital load cell?

    I am a network engineer by trade, so I am more used to working with data streams and from what I have read, the "data" won't be picked up by the PICAXE as a "data packet" but as a voltage change...Is that correct?

    Does anyone have an experience taking readings from a load cell by a microcontroler?
     
  10. CDRIVE

    Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2008
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    All the Picaxe chips have at least one ADC input.
     
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