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      Couldn’t see spending the money on a beat amplifier so I went into the radio shack and homebrewed one with a piezo microphone. Works like a dream and total cost–$0.00–. Just found a small enclosure, should be all pretty before bed time!!

      chris mabbott

        That’s pretty cool Ren, have you tested it for accuracy and did you get the plans from somewhere? Also, what kind of readout does it have?

        I know, questions questions 🙄

        bernie weishapl

          Looking good Ren.

          Bob Tascione

            Cool Ren!
            If you have a chance please put a pic up when you get it mounted in that the box.



              Hi Chris,
              Right now it is only audio (a 386N4 op-amp) but, seeing your post set me to thinking as, I have 4 different Arduino UNO microcontroller boards; each having timers, clocks, amps and ways to record and send info to 4 line LCD displays (all stuff I already have in my “junk box” of electrical stuff; as you can see, I delve and tinker big time). So how hard could it be to program the microprocessor to measure time between tick and tock and send that information to the LCD display.
              As soon as I get it all cooked up, I’ll post more info and photos of the finished product. Too cool, man!!


                Hello Ren,

                looks good! Could you give us a schema of the circuit and the components used?




                  Here you go Jan,

                  Schematic here:

                  Components list
                  Speaker ( 4 – 8 ohm)
                  LM386 IC
                  220uf Electrolytic Capacitor
                  100uf Electrolytic Capacitor
                  0.047 Capacitor
                  0.01 Capacitor
                  5K Linear Gain POT
                  25 Ohm POT (Volume) – [this is optional]
                  10ohm Resistor (brown / black / black / gold)
                  9V power source
                  ON / OFF Switch
                  1/4 Mono Jack


                    Thanks Ren.


                      its all Greek to me….You guys with this electronic stuff amaze me…..William

                      Bob Tascione

                        Hey Ren,
                        If you write that sketch that you’re gonna use for your UNO please post it up here. :) You may have already had a look but just in case you haven’t you might try checking in the arduino.cc library for something that will work as there seems to be a lot of timing type sketches up there. Maybe something already up there that you can tweak and modify.
                        Anyway, I would be interested in seeing whatever you come up with.

                        Thanks Ren!


                          Hi all…I have not been here in quite some time…just busy… Anyway, what a great project.

                          How did you create the pizo pickup?

                          How do we count the beat? By this I mean that is the entry counted as one or is it the entry and exit of the verge that makes one beat ie tick or tick tock?

                          Would love to create a Timetrax or Microset type device and save $$!!

                          I suppose this could be also coded for basic stamp or pic micro-controller….

                          Thank you for sharing this!!

                          Jim B

                          Bob Tascione

                            Hey good to see you Jim!
                            I think you’re right when you say

                            I suppose this could be also coded for basic stamp or pic micro-controller….

                            I would think that using something like a micro-processor like a Raspberry Pi over a micro-controller like the UNO would be a better choice. Especially if you wanted to get into some good analysis work. Would definitely be a lot quicker. But not sure about that as a timing machine may not be all that taxing. But Ren has a few UNOs on hand so may as well use one and find out. You may already be aware of the timing apps that are available on the market for iPhones, iPads and also for Androids. I grabbed a couple of youtube links to a couple of these apps. I think there may be many more on the market now. Not sure how much they are (maybe cheap I hope!) but they are pretty cool.
                            Here are the links:

                            If anyone has price info on any of these please post it up here.


                              Kello is an apple only program and is £6.99 in the Uk
                              WildSpectra is an Android only app, it comes in a free edition or a paid edition (63p or pence) and allows a longer recording function.


                                Hello Jim,
                                The piezo pickup was created by soldering an audio cable to a piezo disc, shield wire to ground side of disc (brass side), singal to silver side of disk. Soldered alligator clip to ground 180* from the wire. Dipped connections in Plastic Dip. Nothing fancy, can actully hear pulse on wrist when run through amp.
                                So far the project is only an amplifier. I still am working on a successful sketch to also run an LCD and record the timing using the tick-tock as a trigger mechanism. Not much luck so far.


                                  and for those of you who are wondering what a ” rasberry PI” is – http://uk.rs-online.com/web/generalDisplay.html?id=raspberrypi
                                  Paul :)

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