Newbie Needs Help making a race countdown timer with lights!

Thread Starter


Joined Nov 11, 2012
First of all I would describe myself as ignorant when it comes to electronics with only a handful of knowledge on the subject.. So if this project seems totally unreasonable for a newbie to attempt please tell me! Otherwise I really appreciate the help.

My aim is to make set of starting lights for Blokart racing. The way I would like it to work is:

- Has a button which starts a 1 minute countdown
- As the countdown hits specific times I would like a speaker to sound (any noise will suffice)
- As the count down hits specific times I would like corresponding lights to light up (see attached picture)
- When the countdown hits 5 seconds I would like the speaker to sound every second from 5 seconds to 0 zeros
- Once the countdown timer hits zero I would like the speaker to have a prolonged beep to indicate the start of the race.

Currently I plan on using a 12V battery to power it but I can upgrade if need be. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to start tackling this (in my opinion) huge project! Thanks :)


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Joined Mar 24, 2008
Since you're a new user the link triggered the spam software on the site and moderated this post. I have approved it.


Joined Apr 16, 2010
Your project is interesting and doable, but won't be easy for a beginner.

I assume the lights have to be large enough and bright enough to be seen outside. What size do you have in mind? Likewise, the sounder; how loud?The answers to these questions impact the power choice.

The timing and control circuitry would be best done with a microcontroller, but that means programming. Do you have any experience or resources in that area?

There are people here who can and will help with the design, but the actual construction will be up to you. What skills and tools do you have available for soldering and fabrication?