Instructables member AGBarber has created a fantastic measuring tool in the form of an Arduinopowered digital tape measure called the DMW. Which can not only measure distances on surfaces, but can also be used to calculate the diameter of pipes, and is equipped with a useful tachometer. Watch the video below to learn more about the project and how easy it is to build your own using the provided instructions and a custom PCB, along with code that can be downloaded from GitHub.
The DMW is powered by a rechargeable LiPo battery and AGBarber has kindly published all the files for the 3D printed parts, PCB and code on Github allowing you to build your own with detailed instructions provided on the Instructables website.
“It’s great because it allows you to measure in ways that would be difficult or impossible with a regular measuring tape. You can easily measure along curves, around corners, etc. Similarly, since you don’t have to deal with physical tape, you’re not really limited in length.
The upper limit for DMW is 9999.99 cm (your average tape measure would be 25 feet or 762 cm), which is only due to screen size limitations. At the same time, its minimum measurement is only about 1 mm (0.04 inches), making it more than accurate enough to be useful. You can also instantly convert from cm to inches, displayed both in decimal form and rounded to the nearest 1/16 inch (configurable in code).”
Arduino digital tape measure
“The brain of the DMW is a regular Arduino ProMini that controls the buttons, rotary encoder, and battery, and records and displays the measurements on the DMW’s OLED screen. All electronics are mounted on a single specially designed printed circuit board, which, in turn, is mounted in a 3D printed housing. Overall, the DMW is almost the same size as a regular measuring tape, making it portable and easy to handle.
I tried to keep the PCB fairly easy to assemble, even if you are new to soldering. Mostly throughhole parts, with the exception of a few 0805 SMD resistors (should be lightly soldered). Similarly, I tried to use mostly generic, offtheshelf components that you can easily find on Amazon, Aliexpress, Ebay, etc.”
Source: Tutorials: AB
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