It is fascinating to find the speed or velocity of moving objects, especially objects moving in periodic motion. Stroboscopes and tachometers are instruments that are concerned with the study of such motion.

To understand the difference between both instruments we must be familiar with the functioning and usage of both instruments. So, let us understand what a stroboscope and tachometer are.

What is a Stroboscope and how does it work?

Have you felt amazed to observe that when a car runs in a particular direction, its wheel seems to be rotating opposite to that direction? If yes then you have already watched the stroboscopic effect. It can be understood by understanding the stroboscope and working principle of a stroboscope.

Stroboscope’s working principle is simple to understand. It functions on the basis of stroboscopic effect. A stroboscope is a device that is used to study the periodic motion of an object. When an object moves in a periodic motion, a stroboscope is used to measure the frequency or speed of that moving part.

A stroboscope emits flashes at the moving objects at some frequency. If the frequency of flashes is equal to the frequency of rotation then the object seems to be in a stationary position. An observer can adjust the frequency of flash to bring it equal to the frequency of the rotating object.

What are a Tachometer and its working principle?

Tachometer or revolution counters are instruments used to measure the speed of a rotating shaft of any machine. Tachometers are commonly used in automated vehicles. In such vehicles, the tachometer helps in the working of the engine by measuring the rotational speed of the engine.

A tachometer can also be used to measure a safe range of engine speed. Tachometers find rotational speed in RPM i.e revolution per minute. In traffic engineering, Tachometers have a significant value.

Tachometers can be classified into various subtypes based on their functioning and structuring. 

Tachometer types –

Analog tachometer –

It comprises of a needle and a dial-type interface. This device does not offer storage of readings and is unable to compute details such as average and deviation.

Digital tachometer –

It comes with an LCD or LED readout along with a a storage memory. The device is capable of performing statistical operations. It is is finally suitable for precise measurements and monitoring of time-based quantities.

Contact tachometer –

It remains in contact with the rotating shaft. The device uses an optical encoder or magnetic sensor for data acquisition.

Non-contact tachometer –

It does not remain in touch with the rotating shaft. It uses a laser or optical disk for data acquisition.

Non-contact Types –

  • Laser tachometer
  • Optical tachometer

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