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BeanCounter

by: May 27,2022 357 Views 0 Comments Posted in Engineering Technical

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Summary:       A simple, battery-powered, pocket-sized, open source parts counter for 8 mm cut tape and partial reels

BeanCounter is an SMT parts counter that can be put in your pocket. Powered by a CR2023 coin cell, it has the ability to count parts as fast as possible by using two IR photointerrupters. It works with any opaque, 8-mm-wide carrier tape up to 2mm i height, which covers most most 0805-or-smaller LEDs and passives, as well as SOT23 transistors.


BeanCounter Demo


To use BeanCounter, just turn it on and pull tape through, and it will immediately work by one of the two modes:


Inventory Mode- Using only one sensor, BeanCounter polls at its fastest rate, allowing you to count long tapes and partial reels very quickly.

Dispense Mode- Using both sensors, BeanCounter can detect the direction in which you are pulling the tape. This features allows it to count upward in one direction and backward in the other, which is useful in kitting contexts where you may be cutting fixed quantities off the end of a full reel.


BeanCounter can be configured for varying part pitch in either mode, so you can accurately count any part that physically fits through the counter.

Digging a little deeper, what BeanCounter actually does is count feed holes and divide by the prt bitch. Because it does not detect empty pockets, you will need to make sure it begins counting after any empty tape has been oulled through and stops counting before it reaches the tail. And we add a "pause" button to solve this problem that you can use to freeze the count while pulling empty tape.



Scales From a Single Drawer to a Room Full of Bins

You don't need to have shelves and shelves of inventory to be overwhelmed by the task of counting SMT components. Even a hobbyist with a shoebox full of cut tape will grow tired of tallying parts by hand or measuring lengths and doing division. Whether you are making a fewwidgets for fun, throwing together badges for a con, or stocking your online shop, you have better ways to spend your time than counting grains of rice.


In addition, if you do have shelves full of inventory, then you are well aware of the challenges BeanCounter was bult to address. Traditional reel counters are not only expensive and complicated to operate, ther are only good for counting reels, but BeanCounter provides more granular inventory tracking by allowing you to count cut tape as well.

BeanCounter can help you to deal with SMT tape in any capacity. I you are making kits and need to cut fixed lengths from a full reel, it has a mode just for that. And it can also help you keep track of what is coming and going if you are a parts supplier who offers cut tape or buys surplus partial reels.


Features & Specifications

  • Counts any component on optically opaque, 8-mm-wide carrier tape up to 2 mm in height
  • Adjustable part pitch
  • Two counting modes: Inventory Mode and Dispense Mode
  • A "Pause" button for starting or stopping a count mid-tape
  • No moving parts means less wear and tear over time
  • Runs on a single CR2032 coin-cell battery (or an external 3 V supply)
  • LED segment display is visible in all lighting conditions
  • A hang-hole for attaching to a wrist-strap or lanyard
  • Weighs less than 50 grams


This project is going to crowdfund on CrowdSupply, go there to support it if you are interested!

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