Sliders Timer: Some useful information

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brevik

New Member
A quick note and update:

As far as some of the features of the timer will operate, this will boil down to two different categories: software and hardware.

All software functions are kind of left open to do some customizable features as to preference and can be changed any time. The hardware aspect is harder to modify once the board it printed.
Things like beeping and how the displays are turned off for power saving is all software. Unfortunately the flip plate sleep mode is both. While software would determine that the device goes to sleep, I will need to install a magnetic reed switch on the board just as the original Motorola phone once had on it. There is a magnet inside of the flip plate that would operate the reed switch on the phone. Obviously it appears that I wouldn't need to find a supplier for these magnetic switches before if you are making a timer, you most likely have the phone and probably can rip the one off of it. However, I would much rather have an outside source for the parts rather than hope 25+ year old devices have a reliable part that is actually made of glass available for use. I will most likely add a reed switch into the mix at some point during some version as I have always wanted to do so considering the ease of the task.
I will be completely redoing the board also to clean it up a bit and add arrays of connectors that can jump across the board which will free up a lot of space and reduce that chances of fabrication errors on the PCB.

For the "power-level" meter above the dial I'm thinking of something a little bit more mechanical instead of electronic. Its basically just going to be either a red insert or a diffused LED light that is covered/uncovered by the knob. I haven't gotten to this point yet in the designing process. Version 1 of the board will be an analogue static insert, version 2 will probably be LED lighting.

Kind of an important update though, I have switched the board files out. So the ones available for download in the main folder there linked above are the new ones, and inside of the "old-surface-mount-displays-brd" folder is the original design. I fiddled with the PCB a bit and was able to get through-hole connections for the HH:MM:SS digits. I have had enough with trying the surface mount soldering what is supposed to be through-hole. The new design requires a couple of jumper connections, which I hate using, but its nothing major.
I have checked the connections in the software and they appear to all be good, but as I always say, I can guarantee nothing until I have it in my hands myself, I will have to get the new boards in and check them before I can verify anything.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Got some new work done, and I figured that I would get some pictures up to add a little more clarity:

The circuit requires "Rset" resistors, one resistor for each MAX72xx display driver. I planned the circuit so that these resistors can be changed out because I am not super confident in my math by just looking at the approximate power supply that I will using and the spec sheets to components that I am not completely used to. So I designed a socket on the board to plug in the resistors to avoid any possible desoldering.

IMG_20141201_200656.jpg
I started out with a regular IC socket like this that can be found at most electronics stores (Fry's Electronics for anyone in AZ), just make sure they are sturdy round hole that go all the way through the plastic; you'll see in the later pictures.

IMG_20141201_201125.jpg IMG_20141201_202025.jpg
Do a little unprofessional deconstruction and you can either use the type on the left that I cut out or you can just rip out just the metal things. I would suggest keeping the plastic on there as I have the middle holes in the PCB as dummy holes (only the two end pins actually connect to anything on the board).

IMG_20141201_203645.jpg
I chose to rip out the metal pieces. You can see the holes in the middle that will allow an intact row of socket pins to also go in for security.

IMG_20141201_203908.jpg
Resistor fits nicely into the pin sockets (this is just the first resistor that I grabbed. I don't remember what actual resistors I ended up using the for Rset resistors right now, and I won't have anything set in stone until I get the second board made).
 

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RedWithEvil

New Member
Wondering if there's been any progresses with the hardware, or software?...Jumper connections? Hopefully, you haven't came to any bumps in the road. I thought melting plastic shavings onto the underside of the button grill is a good idea..although I don't have a soldering iron, I could probably put a paper clip over a candle for a few seconds - being cautious not to inhale the fumes lol. My box always seems to come out crooked, I wonder what's with that...there must be a support inside I am overlooking.

Has anyone ever used an actual domed desk magnifier for the emitter and shaved it down, or is it more common to just get a piece of square acrylic?

Where's Zalaian, I was anticipating some timer marvelousness... at any rate, there hasn't been updates in a few days - I'm starting to get worried someone is exploring a parallel universe, and MAY not have the capabilities to return home. That's why we need more beta testing, and discussion.., these timers need to be properly studied before attempting to slide! :cheers

Keep up the good work brevik.
 

Zalaian

Member
Yeah i been busy did a quick upload of my timer, not completely finished. But shows of the functionality of it and the inside of the back and battery housing.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

RedWithEvil

New Member
(y)thumbsup It's a Christmas miracle. Wow great job man!, Definitely unique from others I've seen. Your design seems so complex with all the various features, and switches...almost like it'd be the real deal! :D What does it run on? Was the battery spaced?-it sort of looked like it might be. Really nice though, the wait was well worth it. lol. Very clean. Was this your own PCB, or did you manually piece it all together on a breadboard (or whatever it's called)? It'd be cool if you did a break down/tutorial sort of thing.

You said it's not completely finished, what else are you planning on implementing - aside from the obvious missing knob, and flip grid?, and the phone being the dark grey one with white buttons (I got some of those as well, I've contemplated painting/but even that is significantly better then the 550's. The way the circle swoosh part lights up when you turn the dial seems really solid - I don't even think Don Colie's lit up. Well done sir. YOU found the gateway!


:cheers
cheers,
-R
 

brevik

New Member
I'm still going forward. I've been going some additional work on the second version of the PCB and getting ready to order the new batch. In the mean time I've been slowly putting together an easy to follow current guide about the original timer.

Zalaian, thats a slick build. Do you have a custom PCB under there and what kind of microprocessor are you using? I'd like to be able to do some comparing between your setup and mine. I've never had the opportunity to really see what anyone else had used on their timer setup.

I'm really looking forward to getting this physical part of the timer built so I can focus on the programming aspect of it all.
 

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Zalaian

Member
DSCN0357.JPG
DSCN0357.JPG

This is basically what is under the shell in my setup. Running atmega 328p micro controller, coupled to a maxim display driver for the led displays. I have a separate controller running the power up leds, and another running the the red yellow and green leds, as well as the bargraphs. I was going to have them all interact with each other but choose to get the project finished rather than doing more complicated code. On the backs of this now, is a mass array of wires, lol trouble shooting sucked, but luckily i did have every thing on schematics so i could just follow connections. It did start out as the following picture on a bread board lol. DSCN0354.JPG
 

Sereosh

New Member
It's nice to see people trying to recreate the original timer. I've started rewatching the series and the timer is an amazing prop!
Too bad that the old threads are now filled with dead youtube/picture links. Documentation on how to build one is amazing and precious for people that want to build one too, keep up the good work. :)

And Merry Christmas to you all!
 

RedWithEvil

New Member
Impressive as usual Zalaian, hopefully progress has been fun, and forward. I see you've taken the project to the breadboard stage - did the PCB not function? What is the dial rotary chip? Is this a custom thing?, I've never seen such a thing..but it seems it sticks out a bit, which would make a recessed knob very difficult. I've always been on the fence over a functioning knob, but I'm sure if I saw it in action I'd fall in love with it. Keep up the good work! You are our only hope.

Don't let us get sent to Kromagg breeding camps..



Cheers,

-R
 

PatrickD

New Member
Thank you for posting this thread! I'm hoping to build one someday. Currently working on the Egyptian timer since I have most of those parts already. (I only have the phone for the original timer.)
 

tgemzon

New Member
Hi, I am starting out to build my first timer, and I am thinking to go with the arduino build. But however have some experience in this type of things, what I know is really basic. I was wondering if the original guy who started the thread is still here and if anyone else can help.
 

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CJ2319

Well-Known Member
Mayhew Labs no longer seems to make that rotary encoder ring.

I just started my own project and was looking for something to light up the dial. These RGB led rings by adafruit look promising. They seem to be pretty close to the right size. I'm still in the breadboard phase though so I haven't tried it in a timer yet.

20170128_110004.jpg
 

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RedWithEvil

New Member
Great job, this looks very cool. What is its functions? Would love to see a video of it in action.

Any plans on making this available to people? Excellent PCB. I've always been iffy with lights around the dial, seems like itd be hard fitting everything.

Cheers
 

CJ2319

Well-Known Member
Thanks. I'm still working on it. I made the PCB mostly from measurements I found online. I found a Microtac Ultra Lite on ebay and bought it, but it's the wrong color and I'm not so good with fabricating stuff. I plan to 3D print some parts, like the dial. It's going to be a tough fit with the pot underneath.

I'm still working on the code, but right now it randomly sequences the bar graphs up and down. The Yellow, Red, and Green leds on the left also light up randomly. The top of the dial lights up when the counter reaches zero, or when you turn the pot. The dial can be green, blue, or red (default), changeable by pressing a button. I connected an RTC so that it can keep time while off. I imagine this as a desk clock after it's finished. You can program the time, date, and the countdown time. When it countdown mode, it will set a random countdown time after it reaches zero.

I think I might go back and redo a lot of it with surface mount parts and there's a few things I want to change anyways. I might try to sell this board as a doofus kit if anyone wants it. I'm not sure if anyone else is really interested in building this prop at this point. I always loved the show and wanted to make one, but it's sort of an obscure project... but if anyone wants it in the future I might be able to make one here or there. I'm not sure how well it will fit with existing kits/builds. I asked the thermalized plastics guy about getting a kit for his timer and he quoted me a much higher price than I expected. I asked a few questions after that and he never responded... so I can't really say if it fits any kits.

Here's a quick video. I got tripped up in programming it so it looks a little odd, but it's the middle of the night so please consider me usually more competent :p

https://www.youtube.com/attribution...=/watch?v=qVsrjZJT3Dk&feature=em-upload_owner
 

RedWithEvil

New Member
You did really nice work. Looks like there is plenty of competence, no worries. All in all, I would say it looks like an awesome board, the video was very fun.

Was this designed from the brevik pdf? I dont know about fitting issue with pre-existing boards/kits either. But I'm pretty sure the Thermalized kit wouldn't work with this.

What are the measurements of the board?

Cheers
 

zzap

New Member
Hi CJ2319.
Did you decide on which faceplate to choose? I am confused between that colorful and white as it has to be red where the counter is, but should it be coloured in the rgb leds zone?
Probably I'll just go with the coloured one.
 

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