Thursday, October 28, 2010

Contact less tachometer using PIC16F628A

Tachometer is a device that gives you the information about the rotational speed of any shaft or disc. It usually measures the speed in revolutions per minute (RPM). Today we are going to make a simple tachometer that could measure the rotation speed of a disk without making any physical contact (that's why it is contact less) with the rotating object. The range of this tachometer is 0 - 9999 RPM and displays the RPM on a multiplexed 4-digit seven-segment display. Of course, we are going to do this project on our usual PIC16F628A development board.

Infrared sensor
Contact-less measurement of RPM will be achieved through an IR sensor. An IR diode will send a beam of infrared towards the rotating disc, and any reflected pulse will be received by a photo diode. The resistance of a photo diode drops drastically when exposed to infrared. An infrared is reflected by a white surface and absorbed by the dark ones. The test disc for this project is shown below. You can see the disc is black and will absorb any infrared falling upon it. A small piece of white paper sticked to the disc as shown is just enough to reflect the infrared back. This will give one reflected IR pulse per rotation which is sensed by the photo diode.

Friday, October 22, 2010

PIC16F688 based Digital Voltmeter

Actually this is the another version of my older DVM project that was based on PIC12F683. The older version displays the measured voltage on a LCD that is driven serially by PIC12F683 using 3 I/O pins. The new one uses PIC16F688 microcontroller that doesn't require the serial driver as it has got enough pins to drive a LCD directly in 4-bit mode. The theory and math is just the same. You can read my PIC12F683 version of this project here.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit on breadboard

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

EnerJar: A Digital Energy Meter

This project won the grand prize of 2008 Green Gadgets Design competition. It measures the power consumption of an electrical gadget with high accuracy. The project uses PIC16F877A microcontroller to compute the power and shows the output on a 4-digit multiplexed seven segment display.

The power consumed by an electrical appliance is simply the product of voltage across the appliance and the current drawn by it. Voltage measurement is pretty straight forward. Using a resistor divider network, 120 V can be converted down to below 5 V, and can be read through ADC port. However, PIC cannot measure the current directly, it must be converted to voltage first. This is done by a low shunt resistance. This voltage drop across the shunt resistance is too small and requires a precision instrumentation amplifier to boost it to appropriate level.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Digital Voltmeter using PIC12F683

This is a digital voltmeter project based on PIC12F683 microcontroller. It measures and displays input voltage from 0 to 20V with high accuracy. You cannot feed 20V directly to PIC port, so a simple resistor divider network is used for this purpose. A 5.1V zener diode is used to prevent any damage to PIC port in case the input voltage goes way above 20V.

Since PIC12F683 does not have sufficient pins to drive a LCD, 3-wire serial discussed before is used to display the measured voltage.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My PIC Projects

Here's the list of all of my PIC Projects posted so far:

Microcontroller-based Embedded Systems Design