A Kitchen Timer Fit For MacGyver

Here’s a project that you don’t want to bring into an airport, ship through the mail, or probably even remove from your home. [ProjectGeek] has built himself a simple kitchen timer masquerading as a bomb. The build is actually pretty simple, but the end result is something that would look at home in a Hollywood action flick.

The timer circuit is built from four simple components. An 8051 microcontroller board is used as the primary controller and timer. The code is available on GitHub. This board is attached to a another board containing four momentary push buttons. These are used to program the timer and to stop the buzzing. Another board containing four 7-segment displays is used to show the remaining time on the timer. A simple piezo buzzer is used to actually alert you when the timer has run out. All of these components are connected with colorful jumper wires.

The physical part of this build is made from easily available components. Old newspapers are rolled up to form the “explosive” sticks. These are then covered in plain brown paper ordinarily used to cover text books. The rolls are bundled together and fixed with electrical tape. The electronics can then be attached to the base with some hot glue or double-sided tape.

39 thoughts on “A Kitchen Timer Fit For MacGyver

        1. Best possible outcome would be the trademark cannot be enforced because of dumb sites like this using the word generically to describe anything remotely has a uC essentially diluted the trademark and the trademark owners did not do their part to defend it. All that legal fees and dramas got them nothing, but being a laughing stock. (pun intended)

          A guy can only dream. :P

  1. Wow, just read some of the comments on the instructable page. First, a lot of people seems to be able to missunderstand the purpose of the device (an egg timer), and second some people seems to think posting a project like this can somehow make the designer responsible for other people making real bombs.

    Which really makes me appreciate that I live in a country/region where people are held responsible for their own actions (ie, you can’t blame someone else for the bomb/stupid decision/etc _you_ just made) , and where humor, particularily of the sarcastic kind, is well understood (and abused).

    1. Seriously. If I wanted an egg-timer bomb, I’d use an egg timer and not go though all this trouble of programming, wiring, etc. If it’s mechanical, just put a (sensitive) button between the bell and hammer. If it’s digital, the speaker/piezo output can be used directly and amplified via transistor if need be.

      1. or use a cheap mechanical wrist watch, remove the minute hand, drill a hole in the face, put one small wire into the hole to contact the hour hand at the right time, and attach the other wire to the metal case.

        1. I used to do that as a kid! I had a wind up clock and it was all metal (incl hands) so a wire on the chassis and a wire taped to the faceplate bent so sticking out to catch a hand. It really was my pretend play time bomb, but activated a motorised toy instead

          1. It always baffles me that the display pauses when they cut a wire. It’s either going to cut power to the display, or cut the connection to the detonator, which the timer is then not going to know about…

    1. Remind me to use all red wires if I ever make a bomb. /joke

      In all honesty, I’d just use a radio to arm with a capacitance-watching metal mesh grid. You touch = game over. But in all honesty, I’ll stick with cool projects that do good for everyone.

  2. Can they find a way to get this thing to open your garage door? I don’t think there have been enough GDO hacks on HAD lately :P If I was building this I’d paint the “sticks” red and run some coiled wire from some unused pins into the newspaper stack… It doesn’t look like the timer is connected to the sticks… I could see many people being worried about something like this but the info to make a real one isn’t hard to find this is just a prop so I wouldn’t worry about it as long as you don’t go waving it around in public…

          1. Zebler and I had a talk about our common interest at Sphongle last year. Video light shows.
            He ended up costing TBS $2 million. One million went to Boston Police, the other to TSA. Ouch!
            The wires comont out of the bundle need to coiled in a spiral. And of course the brand name known best,ACME.

  3. Hello Peeps,
    Im the original other for this post
    >This was a project i mostly made because the geek inside me was dying out of boredom
    >This was just a one day project, hunting the right product took more time than building it
    >The hardest part of the project was rolling the papers, trust me its not as easy as it looks
    >Do let me know if you have and queries
    >You can follow other projects of mine @ http://www.instructables.com/member/ProjectGeek/

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