Electronic project for a beginner.

David's picture


Joined: Apr 30, 2019

Replies: 0
Electronic project for a beginner.
April 30, 2019 - 7:35pm

Hello everybody, 

I'm a final year student in mechanical engineering. As part of my studies I chose to design an electronic device to improve welding processes.

to make it simple here is what I have to do:

We have a machine that holds a tube and rotate it at an adjustable speed. the issue is that we don't know the rotationnal velocity nor the tangential velocity at the surface of the tube (and we want to know the tangential velocity for welding productivity).

The machine was previously equipped with a perforated metallic disc that will also rotate. The idea is that we could calculate the rotationnal speed by mesuring the hole/metal alternance (using light or inductive sensors for example).

Knowing the rotationnal speed, we would be able to display the tangential velocity according to the diameter of the tube (previously selected through a short list of different choices).

The device should be adapted to an industrial site with vibrations and dust. It should also be as cheap as possible.

I guess that the simplest kind would be composed of a computer/microcontroller, a sensor, a display (7 segments, lcd?), and a button for selecting the diameter.

I thought of using an arduino but I'm afraid it would be too expensive and fragile. My research led me to think that the 8051 was a good option. I had some microcontroller courses but they were way too superficial. 

I have some notion of programming and electronics but the main point is to learn as much as possible as I really enjoy this kind of projects.

The main issue is that I don't really know where to start, the documentation I find on the 8051 is not very clear and I sense that I lack the main notions to understand properly what I should do or where I should start.


So if you guys have any good advice, tuto, ressource, similar project in mind that would be awesome.

Thank you for reading and sorry if it was not clear enough, english is not my first language.

Have a good day,



Sourav Gupta's picture


Joined: Feb 12, 2018

Replies: 10
Do not use 8051
May 1, 2019 - 1:07am

The idea is good, the weapon is backdated.

Please do not use 8051. There are several reason -

1. It is a really old architecture.

2. You will have limited resource if you want to add something later on.

3. The programming envoirment is laggish.

Insted of that, use microchip. It is a modern architecture. Well, for the purpose of your work, If I was the designer, I will choose a mircrocontroller in PIC 8 bit architecture, which have minimum two peripheral. 


2. Interrupt on change (IOC)

Let me explain. Since you are finding a solution to add a sensor which will detect the rotation, the senor will genereate a fast response depending on a single full cycle cross over. The sensor need to be connected across the IOC pin. This will genarate an interrupt and the hardware + firmware will handle the situation about whatever you want to do, after reciving the interrupt.

UART is essential for you for debugging and log related issues.

The next concern is the pin count. You can highly use an additional shift register to use LCD or the 7-Seg displays. If you want to reduce the additional component, find suitable pin options.

Just search in the microchip website, I am pretty sure, that you will get MCU in almost the same price as 8051 or even less than that.

The programming will be easy as the devlopment enviorment support lots off feature (such as like MCC, which will genrate the header file for your perusal) to reduce time complexity in coding. Also, you will get plenty of additional supporting documents in there website, as well as in the circuit digest.