Mild Shock Egg Timer (test taking pacer)

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by johnnytestaker, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. johnnytestaker

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 23, 2011
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    Hi,

    I've been studying for some time to take a very difficult standardized test, and timing is my main weakness right now.

    I thought up a way around this problem by creating a small device similar to an egg timer that would deliver a tiny electric current after a given time interval (that remains constant, but should be continuous -- i.e., 1:20 sec intervals between shocks as long as the circuit is active).

    I have tried using a regular digital egg timer and the tone is simply not enough "motivation" for me to move on from a problem even though I have not finished it. I noticed the strategy that works best on this test is when I keep moving forwards, using the average time per question on each one, completing the section, and using the spare time to go back to problems I did not finish.

    Again, a little negative re-inforcement would be the most effective for me. Something that isn't painful, but uncomfortable enough to send the message that it is time to move on.

    It would also be nice to have an adjustable timer, as there are different sections with different timing requirements (e.g., one section needs to be timed on 8 min intervals...)

    I am a total newbie on circuits and took physics 7 years ago in High School.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. johnnytestaker

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 23, 2011
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    One more thing... maybe I could use a regular digital watch and convert it into the device I am thinking of. Many digital watches have a countdown timer, at the end of which a sonal alarm is triggered. If I could convert that alarm into a current, and have the timer run continuously in that interval, I would be set. Still have no idea how to do this though...
     
  3. jwilk13

    Member

    Jun 15, 2011
    228
    12
    I doubt you'll get much help here, as I believe devices intended to shock or electrocute are against the TOS. Someone with more knowledge may come along and correct me though.
     
  4. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    Jwilk13 is correct, the Terms of Service have devices that shock on the restricted/prohibited list.

    How about using a solenoid to tap you, or a vibrator from a salvage pager, or just a DC motor with an offset weight to make it vibrate?
     
  5. johnnytestaker

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 23, 2011
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    Yea, vibration serves the purpose equally well. Anything that would serve as a reminder other than sound would be ideal.

    Any idea how I should go about coupling a timer on a continous interval timed loop with a vibrator from a pager, for example?
     
  6. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,087
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    A 555 IC based timer would work for this, and you can find circuits for it everywhere.

    You'll need to advise on what power source you have. A 9V battery might be a good choice.

    What is the longest time interval you want? The 555 becomes less attractive as the interval gets longer.

    Can you tolerate resetting the device manually, say by pressing a button? I mean the buzzer (or whatever) turns on and stays on until you tap a button to stop the buzzer and reset the countdown. This would be a little simpler than an automatic reset after, say 1-2 sec buzzing. But I think either is doable.
     
  7. johnnytestaker

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 23, 2011
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    wayneh: thanks for the helpful advice, much appreciated!

    I think a 9v battery would work perfectly well.

    The longest time interval should be 9 minutes at most, the shortest 1:20 seconds. Pressing a button would be ok, but it would be a bit distracting, since I would have to waste valuable time and concentration pushing the button instead of working right through the problems.

    1-2 second buzzing sounds ideal as well, which is another factor I would have to figure in (not only the time interval between the buzzing, or whatever, but also the duration of the buzzing).

    The continuous "loop" of buzzing within the pre-determined time interval is key to this project. I.e., having to stop and restart the buzzer manually is something I would really like to avoid. Stopping the buzzing "loop" after a pre-determined number of buzzes or a total amount of time is not necessary. I can always use my analogue watch for that, and interrupt the circuit or press a button to stop it once I have reached the total time limit.

    Again, I would need to be able to set the device to at least 2 different time intervals (1:20 second intervals, and 9 minute intervals).

    The 555 IC based timer and available circuits are a great starting point! Thank you so much for your advice. Any further advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  8. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    Actually, pager motors usually run on 3v; a CMOS 555 timer will also work on 3v. A couple of AA batteries will also last a lot longer than a 9v would.
     
  9. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    AAs are much cheaper if you want rechargeables, too. If size or weight is a problem, you could also consider something like an iPod or cellphone battery for higher power density. To get your buzzer, you can go buy one or you can probably find an old phone or pager to pull one out of. Just depends on your preferences.

    You know, you might look into apps. A recurring alarm at an adjustable interval might be something someone has already programmed. I've looked at a LOT of timers (I can't seem to find one that's ideal for running) and I have to admit I didn't see one that would do this, but I wasn't looking. Many of the developers are open to comments and suggestions - maybe you could get one to make this for you.

    RunKeeper is an excellent app that can give you status alerts and voiced encouragement at timed intervals. It's meant to remind you when you're pace is lagging but maybe it's worth a look for your situation.
     
  10. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Pager motors are really cheap last I checked. All they are is a very tiny motor with an offset weight on the shaft.
     
  11. johnnytestaker

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 23, 2011
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    All of this info is a great start. I will see what I can come up with. Any additional thoughts or ideas would also be very much appreciated.
     
  12. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    Really?
    You can't will yourself into action without inflicting pain on yourself?
    How do you expect to ever complete this egg timer shocker project without first having an egg timer shocker to push you through it?

    On a more serious note, my suspicion is that you have some other plan for this shocking device. If I'm wrong, then you might consider self help audiobooks on "willpower"
     
  13. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    I used to be quite a good test taker, and I found that for really important tests, a little pain kept me focused. I would put a thumbtack in my shoe in a place where I could control the amount of pressure I put on the tack, and when I realized that I was losing focus, I would bear down a little on the tack, which would get me refocused. Sounds like the OP is similarly affected.
     
  14. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    Well then I guess I should be more open minded. sorry. Just sounded to me like hogwash since I can't relate.
     
  15. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    No apology necessary. It seems weird to me, and I did it. :)
     
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