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Design and construction of a tachometer

Tisaj, David (2014) Design and construction of a tachometer. Other thesis, Murdoch University.

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The purpose of this report is to provide a guided tour of how everything was achieved by choosing the right parts, implementation and building, testing, results and of course to inspire future projects and students into making student level tachometers because they all come in different shapes and sizes. A microcontroller programmed using the Arduino software on Microsoft Windows in a combination of C and C++ was used to control various circuitry and brought the device to life with the Arduino software and a few external libraries. Various alterations and upgrades could be made to this device as this thesis only explores a fraction of the endless possibility of technologies, methods, programs, and electrical components.

This thesis paper contains extensive research and will explore where tachometers came from and the current sensor technology used today such as the Hall Effect, generator, light reflected from a laser or an optical encoder that can determine position of a rotating device. The different technologies’ advantages and disadvantages will be looked into because in differing circumstances one might be better than the other. The specifications for this thesis are to measure and display the movement of a rotating machine in revolutions per minute or radians per second. The idea of the project was to make all the parts fit into a box and make it portable so getting the right battery was a cost versus function compromise.

Tachometers are essentially used for measuring speed and can be in turn, control manually or automatically some aspect of the measured machine. Tachometers can be used for scheduling maintenance after certain mileage and therefore reducing costs over a machine’s lifetime.

The basis for measurement is by using the Arduino’s interrupt function which will take quick and accurate time based measurements. The internal pull up resistor built into the Arduino’s board will ensure no false positives are recorded when a falling edge is present on the interrupt pin. Specifications from data sheets are examined in great detail to prevent damage to any of the components and part of the method is testing along the way and looking for problems and solutions.

Publication Type: Thesis (Other)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Hettiwatte, Sujeewa and Lee, Gareth
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