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All you need to know about frequency counters and building one

fpga frequency counter with Android connectivity

Andy Brown was working with embedded project where he needed to test oscillator accuracy. The first thought was to grab frequency counter on eBay and continue working. Bus somehow he ended up building his own counter with great characteristics and Android connectivity. He used FPGA to do the counting. FPGA is faster comparing to MCU. Its hardware like nature and parallel operations allow reacting to incoming signals much faster than MCU would do. He included STM32 microcontroller in his built to take care of logging and connectivity with external world. His frequency counter is able to precisely measure frequencies up to 50MHz. He took special care when designing reference oscillator, because the accuracy of counting depends on it. He built a prototype four layer board which includes Bluetooth module for Android connectivity. In custom Android program he is able to customize meter settings and see all measuring process in numerical and graphical form. Continue reading

Pairing Arduino and Android device

Since Android devices keep spreading across the world, it is natural that we want it to be more than a phone. OS based devices are meant to be customizable in various ways. You already can find tons of apps that are capable to replace various remote controls using IR, BlueTooth or WiFi channels. Techbitar from instructables has been working on Android controller for Arduino so called Andruino. This project is two part work. The first one is Android user interface. It gives ability to control Arduino digital, analog pins, send text messages to Arduino and receive as well. Android device talsk to Arduino using BlueTooth channel. Of course Arduino has to be connected to Bluetooth module. The testing has been done with HC-05 BlueTooth module. On Arduino there is also a special software running that listens to commands coming from Bluetooth and then performs the actions. Such setup may be handy for remote control of your devices around the house. Continue reading