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tachometer

A tachometer (revolution-counter, tach, rev-counter, RPM gauge) is an instrument measuring the rotation speed of a shaft or disk, as in a motor or other machine. The device usually displays the revolutions per minute (RPM) on a calibrated analogue dial, but digital displays are increasingly common. The word comes from Greek ταχος (tachos "speed") and metron ("measure"). Essentially the words tachometer and speedometer have identical meaning: a device that measures speed. It is by arbitrary convention that in the automotive world one is used for engine and the other for vehicle speed. In formal engineering nomenclature, more precise terms are used to distinguish the two.

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