Hi guys, hopefully somebody might be able to tell me whether or not this is feasible. So a couple of months ago I was working on this project and was given some advice as to how to approach it with another microcontroller. I am now picking up where I left off on the project and would like to see if it is possible to use an Arduino for the task at hand. I am trying to measure the frequencies of unknown hairsprings that are found in watches. I was thinking that I could use a reflective sensor and by painting the wheel spoke of the spring white I could then catch when the spoke breaks the plane and implement a counting program to figure out the number of oscillations in a minute. My problem is the spokes of these hairsprings are typically only about 1mm in width. For this reason I realize that a simple IR LED/sensor combo would not work because the sensor itself has to be smaller then the object.
I don't believe a Hall sensor would work in this case because of the constraints regarding the size of the hairsprings. I definitely would not be able to place a magnet on the hairspring itself.
The other problem I was having with the other microcontroller was that it didn't have enough power to simultaneously send a signal to power the IR LED and perform a counting operation. There was a way to get around this by creating a 555 timer circuit which would keep the LED set to high and I could then go to my counting routine but I could never get the circuit to work reliably. Would this be a problem as well with the Arduino?
At this point I don't really know how to go about tackling this project. If anybody has any recommendations I would appreciate it.