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 FC3-SCHOOL: A Simple One Chip Frequency Counter

 FM Radio Kit by Nina Gajjar



A Simple PIC 18F4550 USB Powered Frequency Counter

FC3-SCHOOL: A 50MHZ PIC18F4550 Frequency Counter

Frequency Counter project detailed here is based on PIC18F4550 for which design and firmware/software support is given by Fox Delta Team.

There are many PIC based frequency counters out there but this one will stand apart from others. 


1. Its USB Powered

2. Simple One Chip 18F4550 Project

3. Count frequency to 50MHZ (Maximum and PIC Specific)

4. 2 x 16 LCD Display

5. Signal Level Indication (Bar Graph)

6. Small enough to carry around with your laptop

7. Frequency "off-sets" set by PC program.

8. Free PIC Firmware & PC WIN Software by Tony/I2TZK

Counter is designed on a double sided PTH Board and works on USB power. There is an option to apply external +5V for those who wish to power this counter from their own +5V source.

Project is designed and developed for science students and Radio Amateurs, looking for economical frequency counter for their hobby work. It may be a perfect frequency display for old radios too. (Any IF Offsets OK)

Keeping this in view, expensive chip like AD8307 for accurate measurement of signal level is avoided and instead we have used simple diode detectors to dispaly signal level on second line of LCD as a bargraph.

An advanced version of this Frequency Counter may be found at Fox Delta site called FC3. On FC3 counters, AD8307 is used to measure RF level very accurately which is measured in DBm, Vpp or RMS. But on this economical counter, we get an indication of signal presence by way of a bargraph.

Counter works with PC and also as a Stand-alone. Usually, you configure this counter using a PC software, enter IF Offsets, adjust back-light and if required, calibrate with an accurate frequency source and then use as a standalone unit.


Completed FC3-School Frequency Counter:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

LCD: (Kits may available with Green or Blue options)
Click to enlarge
FC3-School PIC Freq. Counter Document & Schematic:
FC3-School LCD Counter Document 
FC3-School Counter Schematic & Parts List 

Color Schematic


FC3-School Assembly Guide Not Ready Yet
PIC18F4550 Firmware by I2TZK  
PC Software by Tony/I2TZK
Want to make your own boards? here are Gerber files in RS274X

 Datasheets of Parts used in this Project

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 PIC18F4550 USB Powered 50MHz LCD Frequency Counter

FC3-School Counter Complete  KIT 32.00

2CheckOut.com Inc. (Ohio, USA) is an authorized retailer for goods and services provided by Fox Delta School Projects & Kits.

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2CheckOut.com Inc. (Ohio, USA) is an authorized retailer for goods and services provided by Fox Delta School Projects & Kits.


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