I was in the local Dollarama store a couple of days ago and saw some absolutely basic pedometers for sale. I picked up one to see if it could be made into something useful.
Turns out it is really easy to adapt as a multi purpose event counter. I needed a turns counter for my picket twister, especially since I motorised it. It's really easy to lose track of the turns count when you aren't doing the grunting.
I snapped off the belt clip and unscrewed the back (yep, screws!) and took out the little pendulum and tossed it. I soldered in a small reed switch instead.
Then I stuck it to the picket twister with some sticky both sides tape and stuck a neo magnet to the rotating part of the headstock.
Voila, a turns counter. Cost 1 dollar plus junk reed switch.
It could be used for all sorts of things. I tried it on the lathe and it will count up to about 100 counts per minute. That could be handy for coil winding in back gear. I'm sure I will think of other uses. It doesn't turn off ever so the count is retained indefinitely until you press reset. You could hook up an external AAA battery and it would probably run for a couple of decades.
I'm going to pick up a bag full of them.