I've got an m1000 tape dispenser which is already an automated tape dispenser for industrial usage. The problem is that I can't get enough grip between my shaft en and tape to get the precise length I've asked of the device. So, I want to modify it using a sensor which can measure the length of the tape that rolled out to get the right length of tape I need. And reprogram the tape dispenser and equip it with an arduino so it would interact exactly how I want him to interact.

My question is what kind of sensor do I need? Would a photodiode or phototransistor work?

Can someone help me out with this please?

The arduino will control the stepper motor etc. So the whole pcb will be replaced

  • \$\begingroup\$ Look into rotary encoders. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Young May 22 '14 at 12:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, but what I want is a sensor which measures the length of the tape which rolled out so it can cut it when it's long enough. Quick reply! Thumb! \$\endgroup\$ – Handoko May 22 '14 at 12:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know some wheels of a mouse has some kind of sensor which could fit my project but I have no clue what the name of such sensor is and how to program it. \$\endgroup\$ – Handoko May 22 '14 at 12:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's a lot easier to measure the rotation of the roll than try to do something optical. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Young May 22 '14 at 12:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Problem is that the tape which needs to be cut is very smooth and I can't get enough grip on the shaft \$\endgroup\$ – Handoko May 22 '14 at 12:57

You might be able to use an optical flow sensor. If there is enough variation in the surface of the tape, it could tell you how much tape has dispensed. A way to test this quickly is to make a solid square out of the tape and see if an optical mouse works on it. There are Arduino libraries for some optical flow sensors too. The other two best ways would probably be an optical encoder along the rotating shaft or a potentiometer based encoder. You mentioned having trouble getting grip on the shaft, but I don't really understand what you mean by that. A variation on the encoder idea that would require a little more mechanical involvement would be to make two rollers that the tape is pulled between so they rotate. Then you could measure that rotation instead of the main shaft of the dispenser.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The rotation of the motors are measured already. That's how it's measuring the length of the tape ATM. But since the tape is too smooth the motor has problems to roll the tape out and cut too early before the tape is at the right length. Thanks for your answer I'll order the sensor tomorrow and give it a try. I'll give a feedback how it went! Thumb! \$\endgroup\$ – Handoko May 22 '14 at 16:01

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