Phone Apps: Interesting test tools - tachometer, strobe light, rpm, speedometer, elevation, etc

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Phone Apps: Interesting test tools - tachometer, strobe light, rpm, speedometer, elevation, etc

Post by AdminJeff » Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:52 pm

I thought I'd share a recent discovery I haven't seen mentioned here. Strobe lights that measure rpm have been around for decades. Good ones with digital readouts are expensive. Here's a way to get one for free using your smartphone to Measure the RPM of your motor, your wheels, your water pump, lathe, whatever!

Search for the app StrobeLight tachometer app on the iPhone or Android. It uses the pic flash led on the iPhone for the strobe light. Paint a white line on any shaft, start the app, point your phone at the shaft and you have the perfect instrument for measuring rpm of anything that spins! This is how I set up generator third brushes to put out the right current. The engineer in me likes to measure everything!

Press the button on the upper right to turn on/off the strobe. Then you have start with an approximate rpm and then adjust the app rpm setting using the +/- buttons until the white line doesn't "move" while the shaft is spinning. I found that dimming the lights depending on what you're measuring might help a bit at first. This gets the app and the shaft "in sync" and gives you a true reading of the actual rpm. Easy once you get the hang of it.

Jeff
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Re: Interesting test tool - tachometer, strobe light, rpm measurement

Post by BE_ZERO_BE » Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:42 pm

Very interesting - Thanks Jeff.
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Re: Interesting test tool - tachometer, strobe light, rpm measurement

Post by Heck914 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:23 pm

Wow, that works good! Thank for you posting , never knew about this . I have an old milling machine (converted to variable DC motor) and a old small Atlas lathe in the garage. Now i can verify the speeds !

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Re: Interesting test tool - tachometer, strobe light, rpm measurement

Post by Henry K. Lee » Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:46 pm

Thanks for sharing Jeff. All the goodies on your phone will blow you away.

Hank


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Re: Interesting test tool - tachometer, strobe light, rpm measurement

Post by donald4ham » Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:55 pm

This app will come in very handy, thanks for finding this.

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Re: Interesting test tool - tachometer, strobe light, rpm measurement

Post by AdminJeff » Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:46 am

I just realized that you guys probably have not have discovered the true power of what's sitting in all your pockets. I was an early investor in GPS and Bluetooth chips that are in all your phones now, and I'm friends with the guy at HP who literally invented the GPS, so I take a lot of this stuff for granted. But I'll bet it's new to the vast majority of all of you. If needed, we can take this off topic, but it's really not. Read on.

The apps in your phones are really powerful. Start simple - There's a level app and after a lot of trial and error I finally found a decent magnometer app that's pretty accurate. Great for testing field coils on starters and generators.

Here are Other free apps I find very useful in this T hobby and I use a lot - these are the actual app names to search for in the Apple App Store. Not sure on Android but there should be equalivants, if not the exact same app:

Bubble Level - cool on many levels (!), swipe left or right for each app

Elevation - see how high you've climbed in your T. My hill is almost an 800' rise. Now you can see why I've burned so much Babbitt out of #1 rods driving up my hill day after day. But not anymore thanks to Hank's ultra cool Mountain Pan I just installed!
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BC4A2E41-8B1B-4E70-B177-449C06CCE386.png
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Speedometer - see how accurate your T Speedo is or how fast Brad Lusk's "stock" car really goes. (We hit 56mph and it was scary). This is a really great Touring app, even keeps track of where you went. Swipe to see all the screens. Hit the options button (always a gear icon) to set things up, then hit the record button to record your tracks while you drive.
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14E5533B-D0B2-445A-8A1E-CB0A67B7D0A0.png
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It's boring until you start moving but it's 4am and I'm still in bed :geek:

Don't forget to "swipe" the screen to the left or right on apps to see other functions. Take your finger and press lightly on the left or right side of your phone screen and swipe the other way. You will be literally amazed at what these apps are capable of.

Precision? Are these precise? I can assure you that these apps are high quality and extremely accurate. I know the technology firsthand that sits in your phones. It's nothing short of amazing. An app is just a program that accesses data from the components in the phone and displays it in a useful way.

If you don't know how to get apps installed on your phone, go for a drive to any kindergarten school and find the first kid you see. Ask them and they will show you how. Or ask your grand kids. Or that totally clueless clerk at Walmart. They might not know how to work at Walmart but they know how to install apps. Trust me on this...

These remaining screenshots are all from one app- Bubble Level. Swipe the screen to see the next component in action.

AdminJeff
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Re: Phone Apps: Interesting test tools - tachometer, strobe light, rpm, speedometer, elevation, etc

Post by DHort » Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:49 pm

I found 27 speedometer apps on my droid and that is just the first search. Which one do I use?


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Re: Phone Apps: Interesting test tools - tachometer, strobe light, rpm, speedometer, elevation, etc

Post by Emeraude » Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:31 pm

Will this app work on a I pad? I don,t have a iPhone.

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Re: Phone Apps: Interesting test tools - tachometer, strobe light, rpm, speedometer, elevation, etc

Post by AdminJeff » Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:13 pm

David,
look at the pics and see if you can find one that looks like what I posted. Or just try one that has good ratings.

GEorge,
yes, they will all work on an ipad, however, not all apps rwill work holding the ipad sideways because they were made for an iphone. But, the ones I listed all do.

Jeff
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Re: Phone Apps: Interesting test tools - tachometer, strobe light, rpm, speedometer, elevation, etc

Post by DHort » Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:55 pm

Hey Jeff,

The apps do have names under them - must be author. You said yours has a trip recorder and that is what I would like to have. Speed is secondary. If and when you have time, maybe you can find that info. Thank you.

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Re: Phone Apps: Interesting test tools - tachometer, strobe light, rpm, speedometer, elevation, etc

Post by AdminJeff » Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:17 am

DHort wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:55 pm
Hey Jeff,
The apps do have names under them - must be author. You said yours has a trip recorder and that is what I would like to have. Speed is secondary. If and when you have time, maybe you can find that info. Thank you.
Here's the "speedometer Simple"app written by Mikrasya. Search by author or by app name. I went for a drive yesterday and turned on trip record.
8536A595-E688-4EB2-9F39-0E8E0B302E77.jpeg
Clicking on the gear icon and the trip history gives you this:
04DB6BDA-67EB-4F9C-B3C6-4FC105F0A478.jpeg
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Re: Phone Apps: Interesting test tools - tachometer, strobe light, rpm, speedometer, elevation, etc

Post by Mark Nunn » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:36 pm

I tried one of these strobe light tachometers once and was disappointed at the performance. Who is the developer of the app you are using? I could not find one with a screen like yours. I assume it is for I-Phone only with no Android version.

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Re: Phone Apps: Interesting test tools - tachometer, strobe light, rpm, speedometer, elevation, etc

Post by AdminJeff » Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:23 pm

Mark Nunn wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:36 pm
I tried one of these strobe light tachometers once and was disappointed at the performance. Who is the developer of the app you are using? I could not find one with a screen like yours. I assume it is for I-Phone only with no Android version.
They are by no means perfect, that's for sure. The one I have is by Dmitriy Kharutskiy - unsure of Android. They work about like this:

• Up to 100 Hz (6000 RPM) for the iPhone flashlight (iOS < 9).
• Up to 40 Hz (2500 RPM) for the iPhone flashlight (iOS 9+).

To change the frequency, you should simply press and hold the button. The flicker frequency can be displayed either in Hz or RPM.
The image you see will be sharper in lower external light.
After a long period of usage, in case of overheating, the iPhone flashlight turns off automatically.
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Re: Phone Apps: Interesting test tools - tachometer, strobe light, rpm, speedometer, elevation, etc

Post by DHort » Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:56 pm

Apparently not written for a droid. Bummer.

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