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Trick Timer - wiring

GusGus Posts: 66 Baller
Looking at the videos of a training session aftwards and check the timing of trick runs via the videos also works, but it seems more fun and direct to do it on the water. I couldn't find anything to just buy and use. But a few weeks ago I bumped into this little device, which works on 12V:
Its program 2 mode is perfect for this and its accurate enough: 20.0 seconds.
Its easy to get it, at least here in Europe, from China for less than 15 dollars; I ordered two for 12 euros. And it works great; I built a prototype to test if a 12V powerled, without beep, would already be enough. It sure is as the test confirmed, but its probably more fun to add a beep. That gives this wiring:

So the operator (and probably also the skier, its a loud beep) can hear when the clock starts to tick (confirming they effectively pressed the button - and giving the skier the opportunity to instruct the operators afterwards on timing). I'll add a switch for the beep though, it might be too disturbing or annoying. Nice to use in the beginning, and turn off when the operator is skilled enough.
Anyway, I'm quite happy with the results so far, and now I'm left struggling with connecting it to the boat electric system. For the prototype I just connected it to the battery.
I see three options:
1 - just give it its own little battery and reload that once and a while.
2 - hardwire it directly to the boat battery (including a fuse)
3 - add a cigarette lighter plug to the dash of my 1997 ski nautique and use that to connect the device.
Option 3 seems most elegant. Option 1 makes it portable to other boats and usable on shore as well.
But I'm hesitant to drill a hole in the dash for a cigarette lighter plug and I'm unsure how to connect it to the dash wiring. I would appreciate any tips on that: Can I just connect it to 2 connectors of the ignition (a 3 connector plug)? Drilling a hole in the dash unproblematic?
Any tips much appreciated!


  • GusGus Posts: 66 Baller
    I just realized that in most of the tricks events we have over here, the timing happens with the judges, and is not visible/audible to the public. Another reason for such a device; makes it more fun for the spectators. A skilled commentor, or aide, could operate it; in parallel with the official judge timing off course. And given that the judges mostly use the video system for timing it should also not interfere with that.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,977 Infinite Pandas
    Most cellphones have an accurate stopwatch built in. In fact, I video the phone to check the video frame counters any time I'm involved with the timing. When not using the frame counter, the cellphone stopwatch countdown gives excellent results.

    With that said, the dedicated push button is much more user friendly. Way better if shore judging. The buzzer needs to be quite loud for shore judging and training.

    The utility of these devices is in their versatility. You will use them in the boat for training, on shore for shore judging, in the video room for Class C timing and for the Announcers. Batteries make all this possible. Preferably replaceable so you aren't delayed if the batteries lose charge midway through an event.

    There were a few of these built in the old days. A new source is a good thing.

  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,491 Mega Baller
    Ive always wired cigarette outlets to one of the accessory rocker switches and preferably to the one that does the radio.

    You could easily cobble in a charging circuit and use a lithium battery pack. Those parts are only a few bucks.
  • GusGus Posts: 66 Baller
    Thanks Eric/BraceMaker! Fantastic thoughts and advice! Portable, lightweight (lithium pack) and loud.
  • GusGus Posts: 66 Baller
    Here's what came out:

    Its not very lightweight due to the battery, but easy to carry, loud, I hope quite robust, and versatile. It has a 5A fuse.
    And it looks a little bit like Orac, if you ignore the red beauty case I got from from a recycle shop, but not many people will know Orac.
    I ended up using two of these little timer relay devices, one for the 20 second countdown and 5 seconds of light, and another, triggered by the first, to keep the beep/car horn limited to 0.5 seconds.
    Its fun to use in the boat, although there were some concerns about hearing damage from the ones operating it. With just the beeper activated, not even the car horn. I didn't tell them they could disable the sound, yet.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,977 Infinite Pandas
    Cool setup. Useful for the skier knowing the time in practice. Or if you are as slow as me, humbling.

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