Hacking the Virgin Pedometer

Apparently one of my office mates is a very competitive sort. So I have to pull a fast one on him. I setup my Arduino to pulse pin 13 ever 10ms. I then took that output and put it across the magnetic reed switch on the pedometer. I know, I know, I could have done a magnetic coil but what's the fun in that?

12 thoughts on “Hacking the Virgin Pedometer

  1. Hi there. I’m new to the Arduino (just got an Uno). I have an old pedometer that I’d like to try this on. Did you just set pin 13 to output and the set a loop that set 13 to high then delay for a few ms and then set low and then delay for 10ms? How long did you set it high for? Did you put a resistor in line with it when you connected it to the reed switch? Lastly it seems that the reed switch is normally closed as it reads 2.72V and 0.02A just sitting there. When I push the pendulum down the meter goes to zero. Seems you would need to push the pendulum down while pulsing with the Arduino. I’m a little concerned about the voltage and amperage from pin 13 on the Arduino being so much higher than the voltage I see on the reed switch in its normal state. I don’t want to burn up my Arduino or the pedometer. Pretty cool stuff you have done here and in your other videos. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for the reply. I gave it a whirl and it worked just fine. I was wrong about the normal state of that reed switch though. For some silly reason I thought it was normally closed (which would just drain the battery in no time). I tried different resistors off of the gnd pin on the Arduino just to see how it affected it. The largest resistor that would still allow a step to register seemed to be 270K.

  3. Is there anyway you could go through this step by step for a person who is a total newb? I’d like to get an arduino and do this.


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  5. Hi @truthspew I know its been a while since you posted this, but can you give more details about how you did this? Did you remove the reed switch and sent the pulse onto the circuit board, Or, Did you dettach one of the legs from the reed switch and sent the pulse? Or, if none of the above, Do you mind explaining? Thanks!

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