The speed of an automobile can be indicated by detecting the pulses generated by the ignition system and causing an LED to light. The circuit utilizes a quad NOR gate IC chip. Two of the gates are configured as a one shot multivibrator which produces a fixed duration pulse each time the primary circuit of the automobile ignition system opens the circuit to the ignition coil.
The other 2 gates are used as buffers which provide an accurate rectangle pulse. As the number of pulses per second increases, the voltage fed to the base of of the NPN transistor becomes high enough to cause it to conduct and turn on the LED. The speed at which the LED lights is set by R4. The input of the circuit is connected to the distributor side of the ignition coil or to the tachometer connection on those cars that are equipped with electronic ignition.