What components to make LED bar graph up/down counter?

In summary, the conversation discusses the creation of an up/down counter using a photogate and an LED bar graph, with the need for a reset switch and the possibility of using an arduino board. The suggestion is made to use a shift register for the display, and the benefits of using a processor are mentioned.
  • #1
Stoph
14
0
Hey all,

Wanting to create an up/down counter that uses a photogate as a trigger, and a 12 segment LED bar graph to display the count. It will need to begin at full illumination, turning off one at a time on activation of the photogate. Will also need a reset switch, though I'm thinking a simple break in the circuit to turn off when disengaged, reverting to full illumination when power restored would do?

Wondering if I can retrofit a standalone up/down counter kit, or whether I'd need to go as far as to invsst in an arduino board and learn code? if there's a route that achieves what I need that avoids going to that extent, id prefer that.

Size and power both small if possible.

I've done some reading, but without a firm point of reference on which to draw a bearing, I fear I'm going in circles and not getting anywhere.

Any help much appreciated!
 
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  • #2
You could use a shift register to build such a "thermometer" code display. Here is a good page on shift registers.

http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_4/chpt_12/4.html

Even if you used an arduino, such a circuit saves IO pins (which is sometimes important).

My bias is generally to use a processor since you can easily tweak your code to modify behavior, deal with startup and reset conditions, change sensitivity rules, etc. Learning to use arduino is move into the future.
 
  • #3
Thanks for pointing me in the rght direction, MBG!
 

1. What are the basic components needed to make an LED bar graph up/down counter?

The basic components needed for this project include LEDs, resistors, a microcontroller, a power source, and a breadboard or PCB for prototyping and connecting the components.

2. Can any type of LED be used for the bar graph display?

Yes, any type of LED can be used as long as it has the appropriate voltage and current requirements for the circuit. However, using bar graph LEDs can make the construction and wiring process easier.

3. How does the up/down counter function with the LED bar graph display?

The up/down counter is a circuit that counts up or down based on an input signal. This signal can come from a switch, sensor, or other source. The output of the counter is connected to the LED bar graph, which displays the current count by lighting up the corresponding number of LEDs.

4. Are there any specific programming languages or software needed for this project?

The programming language and software needed will depend on the microcontroller being used. Some popular options for microcontrollers include Arduino and Raspberry Pi, which use C/C++ and Python respectively. However, there are many other options available and the language used will ultimately depend on the individual's preference and familiarity.

5. Is this project suitable for beginners in electronics or coding?

This project can be suitable for beginners, as it involves basic electronics components and simple programming concepts. However, some prior knowledge and experience with electronics and coding can be helpful in understanding the circuit and troubleshooting any issues that may arise.

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