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Gadget Freak Case #210: Digital Timer for Night Swimmers
4/2/2012

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Doug Conner created a digital timer so he could check his pace on his 100-meter laps in the dark.
Doug Conner created a digital timer so he could check his pace on his 100-meter laps in the dark.

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Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Disclaimer
Rob Spiegel   5/9/2012 12:43:49 PM
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Yes, good point, Chuck. Seem like most of the expense is in sweat equity. That seems to be true with most of our Gadget Freaks.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Disclaimer
Charles Murray   5/4/2012 7:09:33 PM
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The nice thing about this timer is that it appears to cost very little. The most costly part on the list appears to be the socket strip at $3.80.  

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Disclaimer
Rob Spiegel   4/4/2012 12:20:37 PM
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Ah, Tool Maker, you're right. I have a brother who lives in Illinois and he's continually pointing out these ridiculous suits. He says he's reached the point where he doesn't say nice things when a friend talks about a son or daugher who is going to law school. 

dconner
User Rank
Iron
Re: Waterproof and reusable?
dconner   4/4/2012 11:52:19 AM
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The source code listing is available at:

http://dougsdiy.com/swim-timer/swim-timer-code-listing

The microcontroller used is an Atmel atmega328P, better known as the microcontroller used in the Arduino. The swim timer is compatible with the Arduino integrated development environment so it makes it easy to modify the code. As I recall the timer code uses around 10% of the 32kbytes of program memory.

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Waterproof and reusable?
Mydesign   4/4/2012 7:04:25 AM
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1 saves
Dconner, where can I get the code. Is custom made codes works fine with the device. Whats the size of memory.

Tool_maker
User Rank
Platinum
Disclaimer
Tool_maker   4/4/2012 6:36:46 AM
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Really cool device, but if you ever market it to the public, make sure you enclose a disclaimer that you are not encouraging "Night swimming alone." I can see hoards of hungry attorneys waiting to sue your socks off because some yahoo drowned while night swimming by him/herself as your device allowed them to do.

Don't laugh. You would not believe some of the ridiculous law suits processed in our neighboring state of Illinois.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Dedicated innovator and swimmer
Rob Spiegel   4/3/2012 4:26:53 PM
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Good point, Doug. Yet, since you created the gadget specifically for night use, you probably didn't see the need to make a display that would work during sunlight. I would guess you had that solved through a wristwatch or other daylight device.

dconner
User Rank
Iron
Re: Dedicated innovator and swimmer
dconner   4/3/2012 3:11:56 PM
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Using red plastic over the display to improve daylight visibility would be an interesting experiment. The visibility in direct sunlight is not good, but then I use the large unlighted timers around the pool when there is daylight. Improving the daylight visibility would make the timer more versatile.

dconner
User Rank
Iron
Re: Waterproof and reusable?
dconner   4/3/2012 3:05:40 PM
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A level switch sure would be simple. I think it wouldn't be suitable for the power switch because it could easily turn on when shifting around in my swim gear bag.

dconner
User Rank
Iron
Re: Waterproof and reusable?
dconner   4/3/2012 3:02:51 PM
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The timer is visible through the water when it is underwater, but that's not how I normally use it.

You can modify the code for count-down timing. I've thought of doing that so that when I want to time a set of laps I can have say a 3 second count-down from when I flip the switch to when I need to launch.

The code in the Arduino is only using about 10% of the program memory so there is lots of space for modifications.

 

 

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