Introduction: Counting Circuit to 99,999

A while ago Kelloggs (a cereal company) gave out these free step counters. All they did was add 1 to the current number displayed, when a pendulum closed a circuit when you walked. The display was a LCD number panel with 9 digits. So all this was really good for is a counting circuit triggered by a switch.
They had a cartoon character on the front playing sports, the screen, and a reset button.

Hmm... what could we use that for?

Keep reading to find out!

Step 1: Get the Parts We Need.

For this project we are going to make a counting circuit to count to 99999. To do this we need...
- The step counter, try any thing, but I used the cereal ones, and they work fine.
- A screw driver (It should be a mini triangle head, and a Phillips head, in my case) to get the case open( or you can just pry it open somehow.).
- A micro controller or 555 timer (we need 1 out put that turns on and off at a adjustable rate, I used my trusty Arduino).
- Wire
- A bread board, or circuit board.
- Soldering Iron and Solder (lead>silver for soldering).
- A 2N2222 transistor.
- A computer, unless you are using a 555, then you don't need one.
- Programming Tools, for the same situation.

Step 2: Open the Step Counter, and Make the Circuit.

This step speaks for itself really.
Unscrew the case, with you triangle head screwdriver.
The case also has glue so you might have to force in open, or throw it on concrete until it cracks open.
(This won't harm it hopefully.)
Take out the pendulum, and battery then open the plastic case, with your mini Philips head screwdriver.
Find out which two connections make the switch, to activate make the number increase, that are connected to the pendulum.
Solder wire onto those connections.
Replace battery.
Close up the case.
Make the circuit shown in the picture (Or something that will achieve the same effect).

Step 3: Program Your Micro Controller/make the 555 Circuit

I am using a Arduino for this so you can just use the Blink demo program, or copy the program from the text here.
For Arduino. Output on pin 9.

int countPin = 9; //transistor connected to digital pin 9

void setup() // run once, when the sketch starts
pinMode(countPin, OUTPUT); // sets the digital pin as output

void loop() // run over and over again
digitalWrite(countPin, HIGH); // sets the transistor open
delay(500); // waits for half a second
digitalWrite(countPin, LOW); // sets the transistor closed
delay(500); // waits for half a second

For those of you with other controllers and 555's just make something that will turn on and off.

Step 4: So Go Ahead and Use It!

So have fun, you have "hacked" a step counter to count to 99999 right now mine's at about 7000, and I started mine a while ago, and it isn't running the same program, mine has blinking lights and stuff like that. So be creative, and also now you know how to use 2N2222 transistors, sorta....
So if you are very bored I have an idea for you.
Make 2 of those counters count up to 9,999,999,999, but faster of course.
If you do post a picture in the comment section, I wanna see what you get!

So please comment and rate and see my other projects! Any recommendations will be accepted if they work.

MAKE: I'm a Maker!


yekbey (author)2012-03-27

please say us what do we need for that circuit?

Colonel88 (author)2009-11-03

Darn i thought about using a step counter first but you stole my idea >:( lol jk.

Padlock (author)2009-07-14

You realize you could do this in about 2 minutes with an old calculator?

chrisapalo (author)Padlock2009-07-27

Yeah, but that would require time and a calculator, and just sitting there ... Or just with relays and such, but this is what i think is easy.