Frequency Counter, as the name indicates, is an electronic device or component, which is used to measure the frequency of a signal. In case of a repetitive electronic signal, a frequency counter measures the number of pulses in that signal.
We generally use an oscilloscope to depict the signal, calculate the time period of the signal and finally convert it to calculate the frequency of the signal. But, oscilloscopes are very expensive and everyone cannot afford it.
Hence, a simple Digital Frequency Counter can be built which might come in handy to measure the frequency of a clock signal, for example.
In this project, an Arduino based Digital Frequency Counter is designed to measure the frequency of an incoming signal.
Arduino Frequency Counter Circuit Diagram
- (AI0001) Arduino UNO [Buy Here]
- (AI0006) 16 X 2 LCD Display [Buy Here]
- (AI0046) Prototyping Board
- (AI0380) Connecting wire
Signal Generator Part
- (AI0173) NE555 Timer IC
- (AI0174) 10 KΩ Potentiometer x 1
- (AI0869) 100 nF Capacitor (Code: 104)
- (AI0868) 1 µF / 16V Electrolytic Capacitor
- (AI0082) 5V Power Supply (12V is not suitable as it might damage Arduino board).
The design of the Frequency Counter using Arduino UNO can be divided in to two parts: The Arduino part, where the processing of the signal’s information takes place and the Signal Generator part, where the signal whose frequency to be measured is generated.
Arduino part of the project consists of Arduino UNO board and a 16 X 2 LCD Display. Pins 1 and 2 of the LCD (Vss and Vdd) are connected to ground and 5V supply respectively. Pin 3 (Vee), which is used to adjust the contrast of the display, is connected a Potentiometer.
Pins 4 and 6 (RS and E) of the LCD are connected to digital I/O Pins 2 and 3 of the Arduino. Pin 5 (RW) of the LCD is connected to ground.
Pins 11 to 14 (D4 to D7) i.e. the data pins of the LCD are connected to the digital I/O pins 4 to 7 of Arduino. Pins 15 and 16 of the LCD are supply pins of the backlight LEDs and are connected to ground and 5V (Pin 16 to 5V through a 1KΩ resistor) respectively.
- A simple frequency counter, using simple components is designed that can be used to measure the frequency of a pulse without the need of an oscilloscope.
- Multiple ranges of frequencies can be measured by selecting suitable components.
- Frequencies of all types of test signals can be calculated by adding a Schmitt Trigger between the generated signal and Arduino.
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