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HomeIoTThis Digital Measuring Wheel Helps Three Modes of Operation

This Digital Measuring Wheel Helps Three Modes of Operation

The concept

On the subject of measuring distances or the size of an object, most individuals attain for a tape measure or ruler. The primary issues with these instruments is that they’ve a finite distance that may be measured, placing objects longer than the tape or ruler out of attain. To fight this drawback, Albert Barber has created a venture he calls the Digital Measuring Wheel that goals to allow customers to measure issues as much as 100 meters lengthy, compared to the standard tape measure with a restrict of round 7.6 meters.

Digital elements

To construct this, Bartber selected to make use of a rotary encoder that works by sending a coded pulse on every rotational step, giving each positional and velocity knowledge to the related Arduino Professional Mini board. Displaying the entire obligatory info to the consumer is dealt with by a 0.96″ OLED display, whereas a single 1S LiPo battery pack powers your complete machine. Final of all, a pair of momentary push button switches permit for consumer enter.

Designing the wheel

One large problem in designing the digital measuring wheel was determining how one can preserve accuracy whereas additionally stopping injury from occurring to any elements whereas in use. Barber got here up with a mechanism that depends on a single massive, spinning wheel embedded with a collection of 48 tooth. In the meantime, the stationary inner meeting accommodates the PCB, electronics, and a secondary gear on the rotary encoder with a mere 8 tooth for a ratio of 1:6. The outer wheel is held in place by a set of 4 screws and glides simply over two rings of ball bearings that cut back friction.


After receiving his custom-designed PCB, Barber set to work on soldering the entire elements onto the board, together with the Arduino Professional Mini, OLED display, rotary encoder, buttons, and the USB charging module. From right here, one finish of the wheel’s shell was hooked up together with a set of ball bearings. The PCB was then set in place together with the wheel and one other handful of ball bearings. Lastly, the highest shell was mixed with the rest of the meeting to finish this sandwich of 3D-printed components and electronics.

This system

Many of the magic comes from the firmware Barber wrote for the Arduino Professional Mini. It configures the board’s interrupt pins to set off at any time when a sign is registered from the rotary encoder and both increments or decrements a counter, relying on the path of rotation. Then after a set period of time, this worth is learn and utilized in a easy calculation to find out both the gap or velocity of the outer wheel, as its diameter is thought upfront in addition to the gear ratio.

Measuring objects

To measure one thing, the consumer should first choose their desired mode by double-tapping the ‘Z’ button, whereas a single press resets the worth to zero. Switching between metric models and imperial models might be completed by urgent the button labeled ‘M’. Due to how inches are historically written in fractions slightly than decimals, the closest worth to 1/16″ is used to keep up readability whereas taking care to not cut back decision.

To see the Digital Measuring Wheel in motion, you’ll be able to watch Barber’s video right here on YouTube or learn extra concerning the venture on Instructables.



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