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Calibration of High-Resolution Surface Tachometers. Team Members: Matt Hagon Michael Lee Jennifer Egolf Christopher Pawson. Sponsors: Jose Vazquez, Ted Myrick, Patrick Buehler ; Advisor: James Glancey. Proof of Concept. Project Goals. Final Concept.

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Calibration of High-Resolution Surface Tachometers

Team Members: Matt Hagon

Michael Lee

Jennifer Egolf

Christopher Pawson

Sponsors: Jose Vazquez, Ted Myrick, Patrick Buehler; Advisor: James Glancey

Proof of Concept

Project Goals

Final Concept

  • Tachometers mounted to make contact with disc
  • Disc rotated using a motor and gearbox
  • Multiple tachometers calibrated simultaneously to surface velocity of disc
  • Motor speed selected through user interface
  • Design and manufacture a portable device for the relative calibration of multiple surface tachometers.
  • Eccentricity Testing
    • Wheel and shaft rotated on v-blocks
    • Radius variation measured with dial gage
    • Confirmed radius variation will not cause speed variations above design specifications


Project Background

  • Position Verification
  • Properly calibrated tachometers can detect small differences in surface velocity across a system.
  • Used as diagnostic tool to reduce the downtime of systems.
  • Currently a lathe used for calibration.
    • Problems:
      • Cannot calibrate tachometers relative to each other
      • Not portable



  • Position Testing
    • Tachometers of various sizes positioned on disc and shaft assembly
    • Confirmed that 4 tachometers of all sizes can be mounted simultaneously




Ranked Customer Wants



  • Complete System Test
    • Method:
      • Mount surface tachometer on rotating disc
      • Note speed variation in system

Tachometer speed variation without gearbox (just motor effect):

Tachometer speed variation with gearbox:

Top 5 Design Specifications

Speed Amplitude

Speed Amplitude

Shaft and disc assembly

Motor connects to controller with user interface


Switch for speed selection

Speed Frequency

Speed Frequency

  • Large speed variations
  • Insignificant variations in speed


  • Use of current gearbox creates unacceptable speed variations
  • Modifications to system
    • Eliminate gearbox for direct drive system
    • Tachometers mounted directly to extended shaft

Power supply