Swimming Pool Lap Counter Relies On Ultrasound

Swimming is a great way to exercise, both for the cardiovascular benefits and the improved muscle tone. However, while he’s a fan, [Peter Quinn] sometimes finds it hard to keep track of how far he’s gone when he gets in the zone. Obviously, the solution is an electronic lap counter, which [Peter] promptly set about creating.

The build is based around an ultrasonic distance sensor, which is triggered when it detects a swimmer approaching the end of the lane. It’s run by an Arduino Nano, which is also set up to announce the accumulated distance with a speech synth library. [Peter] notes there have been some stumbling blocks thus far, necessitating modifications along the way. Water ingress into the ultrasonic sensor has required the installation of a protective shroud, while battery operation has required a module to properly handle the lithium-polymer battery.

While we might hesitate to bring a takeaway container full of wires, circuit boards and an LED display to a public pool for fear of being deemed a bomber, the basic bones of the project are a great way to approach the problem. There’s plenty of scope to implement laptiming too, as we’ve seen in other sporting builds!

8 thoughts on “Swimming Pool Lap Counter Relies On Ultrasound

  1. If my next house doesn’t have a lap pool adding one will be seriously considered. This lap counter is a much better way to keep track than my previous method which was guessing the time.

    1. With Covid restrictions that’s not a problem. But assuming we get out of it and we go back to sharing lanes, I’m waiting for a cheapo smart watch. I want to play with BLE to see if I can detect connections between a phone and the watch and count those as laps.

      1. Bluetooth follows the Murphy’s law rule for attenuation with distance, it will disconnect at only 4 feet if you need it not to, and it will stay connected as far as 150ft if you need it not to.

  2. Back when the pool was open, I was thinking of something based on an RF transmitter on the swimmer with range significantly less than the lane length and a receiver on land. Once signal drops for more than ten seconds, it counts the swimmer as on their way, and when the signal is reestablished, the swimmer is back.
    Compass would work, too.

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