Surface mount components on 8 mm carrier tape are among the most commonly used in electronics assembly today. Whether you’re a hobbyist, a manufacturer, or a supplier, you probably handle 8 mm reels and cut tape all the time.
Shipping from $7.90
+39 more from our supplier in 7-10 days
Our Code: SKU-010277
Supplier Link: [SparkFun MPN:21738]
Surface mount components on 8 mm carrier tape are among the most commonly used in electronics assembly today. Whether you’re a hobbyist, a manufacturer, or a supplier, you probably handle 8 mm reels and cut tape all the time. As the smallest standard size, 8 mm tape carries tiny, densely packed components that are difficult to count by hand. There are plenty of existing methods for counting parts on tape, from the humble ruler-and-calculator technique to large, expensive, automated reel counters. In need of something both portable and simple to use, Great Big Factory designed BeanCounter.
BeanCounter is an SMT parts counter that fits in your pocket. It’s battery powered and uses two IR photointerrupters to count parts about as fast as you can pull them through. It works with any opaque, 8-mm-wide carrier tape with a part height of up to 2 mm for plastic tapes and a total thickness of 1mm for paper tapes. This covers most 0805-or-smaller LEDs and passives, as well as SOT23 transistors. It’s an affordable SMT tape counter without unnecessary bells and whistles.
To use BeanCounter, simply turn it on and start pulling tape through. It will immediately begin counting your parts using one of two modes:
Inventory Mode - Using just one sensor, BeanCounter polls at its fastest rate, allowing you to count long tapes and partial reels very quickly.
Dispense Mode - With both sensors active, BeanCounter can detect the direction in which you are pulling tape, which allows it to count upwards in one direction and downwards in the other. This feature is useful in kitting contexts where you may be cutting fixed quantities off the end of a full reel. Part pitch is configurable in either mode, so you can accurately count any part that physically fits through the counter.
Digging a little deeper, what BeanCounter actually does is count feed holes and divide by the part pitch. Because it cannot differentiate between parts and empty pockets, you will need to ensure that it begins counting after empty tape has been pulled through and stops counting before it reaches the tail. To help with this, there is a "pause" button that you can use to freeze the count while pulling empty tape.