• First Trial Run

    Chad Lawson01/19/2015 at 01:34 0 comments

    Last Wednesday I used the timer light in my networking group for the first time.

    The group really liked it. I had a number of people asking if I would sell them for other groups (including one person wanting one for their pastor at church) or make ones with variable times[1], etc.

    Sadly the power dropped too low about 2/3 of the way around the table[2] and the light stopped working.

    Next up will be using a LiPo battery pack and lowering the brightness of the light to extend time.

  • Schematic

    Chad Lawson01/03/2015 at 19:37 0 comments

    And the schematic

  • Code

    Chad Lawson01/03/2015 at 18:58 0 comments

    Here is the code:

      Networking Group Timer
      Created by: Chad Lawson <chad@origamirocket.com>
      Version: 1.0
    // Assign the LEDs to pins
    #define RED 6
    #define GREEN 5
    #define BLUE 3
    #define TILT 8
    // Assign times to the colors
    #define gTime 60
    #define yTime 90
    #define rTime 120
    #define BOUNCE 60
    // Since we are using a CA LED we need to work backwards
    #define COMMON_ANODE
    // Define our variables
    long start;
    boolean running = true;
    boolean tiltState;
    int bounceCheck = 0;
    void setup() {
      pinMode(RED, OUTPUT);
      pinMode(GREEN, OUTPUT);
      pinMode(BLUE, OUTPUT);
      pinMode(TILT, INPUT);
      // Initialize our timer
      start = millis();
      // Let's try it
      Serial.println("Let's go!");
    } // setup
    void loop() {
      tiltState = digitalRead(TILT);
      if(tiltState == LOW)
        Serial.print("Tilt!: ");
        if(bounceCheck > BOUNCE) {    
            running = false;
        } else {
      } else {
        if(bounceCheck > 0) {
      if(running == true) {
        int secs = getTime();
        switch(secs) {
          case 0:
          case gTime:
          case yTime:
          case rTime:
        } // switch
      } // if(running)
      else {
        start = millis();
        running = true;
      } // else 
    } // loop
    int getTime() {
      long delta = millis() - start;
      int secs = delta / 1000;
      return secs;
    void setColor(int red, int green, int blue)
      #ifdef COMMON_ANODE
        red = 255 - red;
        green = 255 - green;
        blue = 255 - blue;
      analogWrite(RED, red);
      analogWrite(GREEN, green);
      analogWrite(BLUE, blue);  
      Version History
      1.0 - Initial Version (141220)

  • Project Changes

    Chad Lawson01/03/2015 at 18:31 0 comments

    Okay, I forgot to mention a few things in my last update:

    I've added a second battery holder. I was going to just use two CR-2016s in the one holder to get up to at least 5v, but I want more time per pair of batteries.

    I've added a count up/down limit timer when the device is tilted or not to make sure it doesn't reset when the table gets bumped. Also I have a dim light when it's counting but before the green light as well as a purple light when it's in tilt-reset mode.

  • Project Complete!

    Chad Lawson01/03/2015 at 18:17 0 comments

    I don't get to say those words often enough.

    My work bench is littered with half complete projects, but not this one anymore!

    The leader of my networking group is excited to see it in action next week.

  • I spoke too soon

    Chad Lawson12/10/2014 at 17:11 0 comments

    No sooner did I write my last entry that I saw a flash out of the corner of my eye and the send/receive light on the board started going nuts.

    Despite the large rubber feet on the protoboard keeping the wiring away from the tin, it looks like I just shorted across something near the red pin of the RGB led. That side of the LED looks dark and I can't get red to work.

    Time to replace the LED and better insulate the underside of the protoboard.

  • Almost there... stay on target!

    Chad Lawson12/10/2014 at 17:08 0 comments

    Last night I soldered everything but the tilt switch into place, drilled a hole in my tin for the LED to poke through and polished the code.

    The tilt switches are scheduled to arrive today or tomorrow and then I just need to add the switch code to reset the timer.

    And then I'm done! Yay!

  • Build Progress

    Chad Lawson12/09/2014 at 00:08 0 comments

    Now that I have the code all but ready and my tilt switches arrive tomorrow, it's time to start building.

    I just couldn't make the Altoids Smalls (been calling them minis) tin work, so I went to a larger tin. With that I chose one of the Penguin caffeinated mint tins I have laying around instead. I grabbed one of my mint-tin protoboards and added the battery holder and female headers for the Trinket. I also placed the LED but haven't soldered it in place until I can drill the hole in the lid and better position it. There are little rubber project feet on the bottom of the board to keep the components from shorting on the inside of the tin.

    The Trinket just barely fits height-wise with the use of headers but I just can't bring myself to solder the Trinket directly into a project .

    But it's looking good and I have my first photos for the project.

  • Enclosure Decisions

    Chad Lawson12/08/2014 at 17:03 0 comments

    Tomorrow I'll be at my Makerspace working on the enclosure.

    On one hand I want to use an Altoids mini tin, but I can't quite get things fitting the way I want.

    I could use a standard Altoids tin, but it's bigger than I want and now I have a lot of dead space.

    Personally I would like to use a laser cut wooden cube about two inches on each side such that the LED is on "top" and when laid on one side resets, and another turns off; but turned "up" starts counting.

    The only issue with that plan is that it is no longer a "everyday carry" size.

    Looks like I'll just be sucking it up and putting everything in one of the Altoids tins.

  • Starting Code Written

    Chad Lawson12/05/2014 at 21:43 0 comments

    Today I spent time that should have been used in more profitable efforts to tinker with code. It was the only way to get it out of my head.

    Using my Uno and Proto Shield along with red, yellow, and green LEDs (and resistors) I mocked up some basic non-delay-based code to check for the presence of the tilt switch (currently hardcoded) and then start changing the lights at the appropriate intervals.

    On the plus side it caused a couple of people at my co-working space to come over and ask about it. As people who have been to networking groups like mine with overly long intros, they like the idea.

    So a timer for a networking group was the instigator for some networking. Hmmm.