Patrick Mitchell's Ninja Counter Is a Single-Button Multifunction Microcontroller Counting Gadget

Programmable with a clever one-button user interface or using an external device, the Ninja Counter includes a buzzer and a relay.

Gareth Halfacree
a month agoHW101

Electronics designer and prolific crowdfunder Patrick Mitchell is back with his latest creation, a programmable counter designed to be used standalone or programmed from an Arduino, Raspberry Pi, or other external controller.

"The Ninja Counter is a programmable up counter, down counter, and point accumulator that can be programmed manually using only one on-board button, or digitally with your Arduino or Raspberry Pi," Mitchell explains. "To make things more interesting, you can modify the provided source code, and re-program the Ninja Counter itself using an external Arduino Uno!"

The ruler-like board is more than just a counter, though. It includes an on-board four-digit seven-segment LED display, a 10A 250VAC/30VDC relay, a piezoelectric buzzer, and a Microchip ATmega328 microcontroller, which can be reprogrammed to run the user's own code.

The Ninja Counter is a multifunction up, down, and point-scoring counter — with a relay, too. (📹: Patrick Mitchell)

The Ninja Counter includes an interesting single-button user interface, which allows the user to switch between countdown, count-up, and point accumulator modes. A combination of pressing and holding sets values, and a final press starts the program — firing off an alarm and activating the relay when the programmed target is reached.

The Ninja Counter marks Mitchell's 38th crowdfunded design, having previously launched devices including the dual-processor Epoch, the Sleep Keeper, the Butler, the Big Buddy Talker, and the Troll.

The board is currently funding on Kickstarter, priced at $6 for an unpopulated PCB or $34 for a kit-form version with all parts bar a power supply. The design is tested and production-ready, Mitchell claims, with hardware to be delivered in November this year.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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