Nice Looking Countdown Timer for the Home Game Show Enthusiast

Every couple of weeks, [Roo’s] place of employment, TMW Unlimited, has a contest. This contest takes place in the form of a game show and the contestants have 30 seconds to pitch their current project to the group. A panel of judges vote on the best pitches. Winners receive cupcakes and drinks. Originally, stopwatches were used to keep track of the elapsed time, however, a stopwatch is not very game showy. [Roo] set out to make a countdown timer to add some authenticity to the bi-weekly event.

The main enclosure is a plastic fence post. Fifteen holes and 15 large LEDs are covered up by large plastic translucent spheres. End caps were designed and 3D printed to not only make the rig look good but also to serve as a speaker mount. Inside resides an Arduino that does the counting and turns off the row of lights, one every 2 seconds, as the countdown continues. A speaker not only ticks and tocks its way down with the lights, it also buzzes when time is up. Starting and resetting the timer is as easy as pushing a single button mounted on the case.

If you’ve already built a game show timer, you may want to check out this DIY game buzzer system!

12 thoughts on “Nice Looking Countdown Timer for the Home Game Show Enthusiast

    1. One cannot write HaD article and proofread. Only superheroes like Brain Bench Off succeed at that. But it´s not important, the important is to fill the board with anything. Yes, really anything. A simple video from Youtube does the job. Most don´t read text anyway, so why should redactors care about stupid traditions like proofreading ?

      1. At this point I’m saying, ‘screw it.’ I can pick up Harpers and find a typo. I can pick up The New Yorker and find a typo. That’s the bar. That’s as good as editing will ever be, and it still fails. Now we’re left with an impossible task, and a bunch of chucklefucks who will fill the comments with tripe when we fail. So it is.

        I will point out that a measure of success we use when judging if a post is ‘successful’ or not is the number of comments. Because Hackaday readers are rabid about pointing out typos, they are in effect incentivizing typos. Yeah, wrap your brain around that one.

        Yes, yet another phenomenon where consumers of media encourage exactly what they don’t want. See also: clickbait headlines, op-eds disguised as news, celebrity gossip, and all those morally repugnant, ethically indefensible practices. These wouldn’t be effective if people didn’t read them, yet it’s the publisher’s fault. Like I said, screw it.

        1. I challenge you to pick up either of those and count the number of typos per paragraph in the entire magazine. Then compare to yours.

          Your argument is a nirvana fallacy.

          1. It generates emotions. I think that’s what youtube do too: it’s not about the positive ratings, but about the amount of ratings, bad or not.

  1. Nice build. Like the idea of a fence post as the enclosure. Who cares about the typo? I mean really people did it prevent you from understanding the content? Did it change any factual information? Fine you found a typo and move along. Maybe they should have little badges for people that find typos as a reward. Like the gold stars you got in kindergarten.

  2. Did the same with a duino pro micro and a 2M long strip of addressable LED’s except we added a “you suck element” by adding a large red button in front of the speaker that others could run up and hit to end the timer.

    IT escalated out of control, speakers brought nerf weapons to keep people at bay, the dev team build plexiglass riot shields..

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