We were struck by how attractive [mircemk’s] Arduino-based frequency counter looks. It also is a reasonably simple build. It can count up to 6.5 MHz which isn’t that much, but there’s a lot you can do even with that limitation.
The LED display is decidedly retro. Inside a very modern Arduino Nano does most of the work. There is a simple shaping circuit to improve the response to irregular-shaped input waveforms. We’d have probably used a single op-amp as a zero-crossing detector. Admittedly, that’s a bit more complex, but not much more and it should give better results.
There was a time when a display like this would have meant some time wiring, but with cheap Max 7219 board available, it is easy to add a display like this to nearly anything. An SPI interface takes a few wires and all the hard work and wiring is done on the module.
The code is short and sweet. There are fewer than 30 lines of code thanks to LED drivers and a frequency counter component borrowed from GitHub.