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What different frequency meter and counter? Answered

Dear all..
Please help me to know : what is difference frequency meter  and  counter
between 2 devices  (please see photo) Thank you so much.



Jack A Lopez

Best Answer 3 years ago

In the context of those item summaries, I am going to guess "frequency meter" and "counter" are pretty much the same thing, and it is the author of the summary who chose one word or the other.

I have heard the words "frequency meter" and "frequency counter" used interchangeably.

Also, I suppose "frequency counter" could conceivably be abbreviated to just "counter", although I would never use the language that way. That's because, according to the tradition I was raised in, a counter, by itself, is simply a machine that counts.

That is to say a, counter starts at 000000, and then each new event increments the count by 1, e.g. 000001, 000002, 000003, ... up until the counter reaches the highest number it can count to, e.g. 999997, 999998, 999999. Then the counter overflows. 999999 becomes 000000, and the count starts over. So that's what a counter does.

In contrast to a just plain counter, a frequency counter is a counter that counts the number of events in a specific constant time interval, e.g. 1 second, and it displays that count, the number of events it counted in the previous 1 second.

Moreover, for a device for measuring the frequency of an electronic signal, that event is something like, every upward sloped zero-crossing, or every upward then downward zero-crossing, so that the count, in a constant time interval, corresponds to the frequency of the signal.

Eg, if this frequency counter were looking at a sine wave with frequency of 6283 Hz, then in exactly one second, its little counter would count: 0,1,2,3....6283. It does not display the counting, just the total. So the number you see on its display is "006283" Hz.

I remember one time, seeing a really old-school frequency counter that had switches to manually select the time base. I think the choices were something like 1 millisecond, 1 second, and infinity, where the switch for infinity simply meant you could just turn off the time base, and let the counter count, as a counter, and for that mode there was also a reset button, to reset the counter to zero. Guessing the counter that just counts function was for measuring really slow events, like a swinging pendulum, or a Geiger-Mueller tube, or something..

For those two summaries in your attached picture, I am guessing the functions called "frequency meter" and "counter", respectively, guessing those are the same thing, and for both it is some kind of frequency counter, and not a true event counter kind of counter, like found on that old-school frequency counter I mentioned above. Also guessing it selects an appropriate time-base for you, and automatically does whatever calculations it does to calculate frequency, of the signal it is looking at.


3 years ago

Dear seandogue, Jack A Lopez ,and Verence

All your reply are great helpful .But I am sorry cannot make Best answer for all. Once again thanks your enthusiasm to help me.
Yours sincerely



3 years ago

A meter shows the frequency (and perhaps other characteristics)

A counter shows the number of times a wave passes within a given amount of time, from which you an calculate the frequency as N/P, where N is the count, and P is the period chosen for the count operation (Often a selectable timebase)

ex: selected timebase 0.1 sec, period measured at this setting: 43342

f = 43342/0.1

=> f = 433.42KHz


3 years ago

Any frequency 'meter' is in fact a frequency counter. It counts the number of waves in a given time. So counter and frequency meter are interchangeable. On the other hand, a counter may also (or exclusively) counting events (without relation to a gate time). To be sure, check the data sheets.