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CCD Array Reader
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TC102-1 CCD Image Chip
Project Overview
Design Data
Testing, Actual Output

CCD Array Reader Project

The CCD Array Reader project began with a free sample of the Texas Instruments TC102-1 CCD Linear Image Sensor and its rather terse data sheet. The TC102-1 provides virtually no support circuitry, only the raw CCD (with a few special pixels) and a simple output buffer. The board shown below was designed to continously scan the TC102-1 and output a stream of digital data in parallel format. A PC computer displays the data graphically using a simple program.

Please Note: the TC102-1 is now an ancient component. This design was completed in approximately two weeks in the Winter of 1992 as a student project for a Physics course I took. Much better chips than the TC102-1 are now available, but parts of this design may still be interesting.

Many people who arrive at this page are interested in building a camera-style project. If that's you, the good news is that newer CMOS-based parts are now available that are much easier to use than CCDs and usually contain a lot of the hard-to-build support circuits (like this project) on the chip because of the CMOS process. A cool chip, which I have personally seen in operation, is the LM9627 Color Image Sensor Chip, 648 x 488 Pixel, 30 fps. This is a modern part that will be a lot easier to use than a really primitive part like the ancient TC102-1.

I have not worked with other (newer) CCD array devices since this old project in 1992.

ccd array reader photo


  • Fast Scan Rate
  • Fully Automatic, requires no CPU overhead
  • Automatic Offset Adjustment tracks ambient light level
  • Automatic Gain Control maximizes dynamic range
  • Saturation Detect indicates when the array is exposed to too much total light.

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Paul's Simple CCD Array Reader Project, Paul Stoffregen
Last updated: February 25, 2005
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