I'm an absolute beginner, and lately I had some problem with this program I was trying to do. Basically I wanted with the Arduino to count 3 pulses from an oscillator and store the time of these 3 pulses, but as I said I am a beginner so I have no Idea on how to do it, I would appreciate your help.

  • Doing what you'd like to do well is an advanced topic that could take a long time to learn. What code have you written so far in your attempts? Please post your efforts (code) thus far. There are many many approaches, many of which are viable, depending on the width and frequency of the pulses you'd like to measure. What is their pulse width, duty cycle, and frequency? – Gabriel Staples Aug 23 '20 at 18:27
  • What is "The time of these 3 pulses"? You may want to better define it and start with a simpler version. Like count the time between two 'high' signals. Also, how accurate will you need it to be? Milliseconds or microseconds? – Paul Aug 23 '20 at 18:28
  • Time counting is easiest done with millis() or micros() (tons of tutorials on the web about them). Though that does not work for high frequency. Please define your exact requirements. What frequency are we talking about? How are the pulses shaped? Do you need to do other things besides that? – chrisl Aug 23 '20 at 18:53
  • get a pencil and paper .... write down what you would do if you had to do the task yourself ... pretend that the pulses are several minutes long and tens of minutes apart .... write down in small, clear steps what you would do ... that becomes pseudo code that can be translated to real code – jsotola Aug 23 '20 at 19:01
  • 2
    I had some problem with this program I was trying to do - have you written a program then? Please post it so people can help you with it. (Edit your question to do that). You might also find helpful this post: How to ask a good question for Arduino Stack Exchange. – Nick Gammon Aug 24 '20 at 3:59

While this is likely to need tweaks for your needs, it should get you looking at the right things - millis, interrupts, etc. Official references at: https://www.arduino.cc/reference/en/language/functions/external-interrupts/attachinterrupt/ https://www.arduino.cc/reference/en/language/functions/time/millis/

#define pulsesToStore 3
#define interruptPin 2
volatile unsigned char index;
unsigned long storedTimes[pulsesToStore];

void restartStorage() {
 index = 0;
 attachInterrupt(digitalPinToInterrupt(interruptPin), storeTime, RISING);

void storeTime() {
 storedTimes[index] = millis();
 index = index + 1;
 if(index >= pulsesToStore) { //stop storage

void setup() {
 pinMode(interruptPin, INPUT_PULLUP);

void loop() {
  // does nothing for now.  this is where you would do something with the stored pulses, print to serial, etc.

  • Thanks, I will try it out – BackDemoletor Aug 24 '20 at 19:12

Simple code

int pin = 7;
unsigned long duration;

void setup() {
  pinMode(pin, INPUT);

void loop() {
long duration = pulseIn(pin, HIGH);

Assuming that you are mentioning a squrewave this code mesures the time that squrewave pulse stays in HIGH and prints out in computer serial monitor.

You should send the signal to digital pin 7 (or put any pin you won't modify code int pin = 7;) 5 V HIGH and 0 V LOW.

The time unit measuring in here is in microseconds. If you won't to measure low then pulseIn(pin, LOW);

I took the example from Arduino official site you can refer more here


Remember this is the basic example there are other good methods than this...

Analog wave is bit too complex.

  • That could help, but is there any other way than using a blocking function? – BackDemoletor Aug 24 '20 at 19:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.