Counting device

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by SWB95, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. SWB95

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 21, 2015

    So I want to start working on a project, but I have no idea how to start.

    The general idea is I want to be able to count a few things and display the count.

    The display would hopefully look like this:
    Batch Quantity: 100 (User defined)
    User Quantity: 0

    Total: 12345

    I want the batch quantity to be set with + and - buttons to whatever the person using it wants, and this will count down to zero in increments of one every time a button is pressed (this button needs to drive a solenoid or motor). upon reaching zero the system locks out and sounds a little alarm or turns on an LED and will need to be reset with a button before the solenoid can be activated again.

    The user quantity is basically the opposite of the batch, and counts up as the button is pressed and resets to zero when the reset is pressed.

    The total will be a counter which just continues to count forever until a reset button elsewhere is pressed, this is basically just seeing how much the circuit gets used over a period of time.

    I would also like a way of collecting the data which is displayed and being able to extract it via a local network or usb for example. so that the data can be viewed on a PC.

    I have been looking into using an arduino with an LCD display but would prefer something I can design a PCB for and make it all self contained.

    I am somewhat experienced with electronics and programming (I have completed an HND in electrical and electronic engineering). I just an not particularly good when it comes to this initial setup for a project. I wanted to make this from scratch without using premanufactured parts. but it would appear this project was slightly more in depth than I was expecting.

    Any help or nudges in the right direction would be brilliant and greatly received!

    If anyone was wondering, the project was something I was going to make as a gift for my grandfather.
    He has a little workshop and likes to keep track of the uses of his machines and limit the use with the batch disable thing, so I wanted to try and provide a solution to the problem for him by way of designing this little circuit.
  2. SWB95

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 21, 2015
  3. MaxHeadRoom


    Jul 18, 2013
    What you are looking for is known as a Batch Counter, there are many on ebay, but I assume you want to present this as something of your own.
    I haven't used Arduino but it is fairly trivial with a Picmicro, see the Tutorials by Nigel Goodwin, for keypad entry/LCD.
  4. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
    I believe that with those two shields, you can do most of what you want.

    I said most because you will need something external to drive the solenoid and for the disable function.

    You might need either a development shield (with stacking headers or small side PCBs to contain the driver circuitry for the solenoid. The latter is less expensive.

    It will take some experience in programming, but I reread the thread and noticed you had that.
  5. AnalogKid

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 1, 2013
    While it would be fun to do this with LSI multi-digit counters, 7-bar displays, and CMOS glue logic, the only rational approach is with a microcontroller of some kind. Since just about any uC can handle the control, counting and display tasks, it comes down to the peripherals. Make up a wish list of things like the display format, graphical or just a 2 or 4 line text display, number of buttons and their functions, interfaces to external devices, etc. Then maybe trim it down to a bare minimum subset. With those two "project specifications" hit the innergoogle for controllers, interfaces, etc. and see what hits your sweet spot between all-purchased and all-hand-grown. Like Max, I'm more of a PIC kinda guy, but there is a ton of Arduino stuff out there and plenty of wizards here.