...point me toward a SIMPLE counting circuit..?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by cazksboy, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. cazksboy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Nov 9, 2009
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    Hello all,
    Can someone point me toward a VERY simple circuit in which either a mechanical lever or a photoelectric eye would trip a simple digital counter? I don't care if the counter is LCD's or LED's, just so it counts 1, 2, 3, etc., and upwards to maybe 1,000. In my day job I'm a printer and I use a platemaking machine that does NOT have any way to count the number of plates that are fed through it. The plate material is on a roll, gets exposed, then gets chopped with a knife at 18" length and is fed with rollers through developer and then stopbath, similar to photographic film. It would be super-helpful to have a plate counter because it helps me judge when the developing solution needs to be replenished.

    If you can point me toward a DIY-style kit, that would be great. Any advice appreciated.
    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
  2. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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  3. cazksboy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    40
    1
    Thanks Bill! But actually I was hoping to get pointed toward a cheap, SIMPLE kit that I can build with components already included. I'm not the business owner, I'm actually just the printing press operator. My reason for seeking such a circuit is simply to make my life a little easier and to try to introduce improvements to our methods wherever possible.

    A google search turned up several counters but this one seems the most likely candidate: http://store.qkits.com/moreinfo.cfm/FK936

    The only problem is I don't really see what is supposed to trigger the change in digits. A photo eye? A lever that closes a connection? I suppose I ought to just write to them directly and ask...

    Maybe I've answered my own question! But, if anyone has any more input that might be useful, I'd appreciate it...
     
  4. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    This one costs more, but has a PDF file that describes how it works. The input is anything that pulls the CLOCK pin to ground. A reed switch, a microswitch, or a transistor or FET being turned on (grounded emitter or source) will work - http://www.electronickits.com/kit/complete/elec/ck1612.htm

    It would not be too surprising to find that the other kit you found works the same way, but you never know...
     
  5. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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  6. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    The ones I showed will work off the shelf, no assembly required. Building kits is fun, but using modules simpler. Depends on what you are after.

    We can help you with assembly when you make a choice, just let us know.
     
  7. cazksboy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    40
    1
    Thanks guys. I appreciate your friendly input! I've decided to try the kit suggested by hgmgr. It seems to essentially be the same kit as the one I found already. For $17.99 what the heck - I'm guessing all that would be needed would be a microswitch to activate it. I have just enough electronics assembly background to put 'er together. If I run across a problem making it work the way I need it to, I'll give a holler in here.
    Thanks again guys!
     
  8. Potato Pudding

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
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    Buying cheap pedometer and adapting it is a common trick that you might try.

    Counter and display included and you may even be able to adapt the switch.
     
  9. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    If you use a mechanical switch for the counter's input, you will likely wind up with a switch contact "bounce" problem. Have a few reads through this article: http://www.ganssle.com/debouncing.pdf
     
  10. cazksboy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Nov 9, 2009
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    1
    Brilliant - just brilliant. Now that's thinking outside the box - it's outside the box I've been living in, anyway. I'm gonna tinker with that idea before I start buying kits and microswitches.


    Thanks SgtWookie, much appreciated.
     
  11. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    See post #4 and the information about the kit. The debounce function is built in for switches.
     
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