I am working on a design to count the mechanical cycles of a piece of equipment. It has to be a 32 bit counter and be robust. I have a working prototype using a sn74lv8154 IC, configured as 32bit.
There are 2 main issues with the design 1. Reading the count 2. Losing the count
Reading the count For testing and prototyping purposes I have used an Arduino to access the 4 byte registers, and display the count value on a lcd screen. However, the Arduino is proving to not be robust enough. Ideally I would like to read the count data using a laptop, but I have no experience directly interfacing a PC with an IC. Someone has suggested HyperTerminal, but again, I have no experience at all with this.
The prototype uses a battery to power the device. If the battery runs flat or is disconnected the count value is lost. This is a major problem, a solution using a non-volatile counting IC would be preferable but I have not been able to find one from searching. I came across a solution using EEPROMS configured to work as EPROMS. This had potential, but I faced the same issue as problem 1, as well as using a lot of space on a circuit board.
Thank you all for your answers and help.
I will go forward with embedding an Arduino Nano into the mechanism for the next prototype.
The reliability issues are currently being caused because the Arduino Uno and screen are in the form of a handheld reader, rather than inside the mechanism. This was bought before I started on this project http://hobbycomponents.com/boards/269-uno-enclosure-kit-r3-revision-3-arduino-compatible-uno-1602-serial-lcd-module-and-case
I agree that this can be solved with a micro approach rather than with counter ICs