Kitchen Timer Makes Mario Your Sous-chef

[Alan] was unimpressed by the cheap ticking egg timers that grace many of our kitchens. He decided this was an execllent opportunity to ply his skills with microcontrollers. He built this kitchen timer complete with an enclosure and audible alarm.

The device is Arduino based, which makes driving the graphic LCD quite easy thanks the libraries associated with that platform. As you can see above, his user interface makes use of virtual buttons – three tactile switches whose function is listed at the top of the display.

But we think the alarm sound really earns this a place in his kitchen. He used the same hardware as that that Super Mario Bros. Toilet project to play classic video game sounds when your soufflé needs come out of the oven. We haven’t come across them ourselves, but apparently there’s a line of key chains for sale in Japan (yes, we need to plan a trip there!) that have the tunes programmed into them. They’re easy to crack open and it beats dealing with a speaker and amp circuit.

9 thoughts on “Kitchen Timer Makes Mario Your Sous-chef

  1. Nice project, but he wastes much look by glueing this cheap switches with this white glue un the clear box…. Some better switches (secured e.g. by nuts) would look WAY better…

    1. This display, given what it shows, is an overkill. A character display, specifically 2×16 or even 1×16, is currently enough.

      Graphic displays are OK if, say, extra-large fonts are planned for people with bad sight.

  2. So if i want to measure 4 mins for my egg. Would i push the +5min button and stop at 1min (what renders a timer with alarm pretty useless)? Or would i just push the +15s button 16 times? Perhaps ill use it for my 13min pasta al dente. 2 x +5min, 12 times +15s. Very easy. I dont miss my analogue wind-up eggtimer.

  3. I have a few of those Sound Drop keychains. Funny thing is, some have easter eggs – e.g. the “coin” one will make the 1UP sound every 100th time, and the “jump” one will follow with the “ground stomp” sound if you press it again timing it just right.

  4. Hahaha well yes, the gluing is ugly, agreed, but it’s hard to find nice and cheap buttons. I
    This project is totally an overkill, it’s just a pretex to play with some parts I bought some times ago.

    By the way, for 4 minutes : press the 15sec button and stay pressed. You get the +15s every 1/3s of continuous pressed.

    Lastly: thanks for the tip of the easter egg sounds of the key chain ! I noticed it for the coin but I thought it was my imagination (^^;)

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