Picture of How To Make A Low Tech Timer Switch.
This is an Instructable to make a very low tech timer switch. mine goes off once every 12 hours for about 3 minutes. I made this because i not really that good with electronics but still wanted a cheap timer. This is just the prototype and i hope to make a much more permanent one when i have the time, the plan is to use it to automatically turn on my solar powered irrigation system in my greenhouse. That might be my next instructable.
Oh and by the way, this is my first instructable so any comments would be welcome.
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Step 1: Tools and Parts.

Picture of Tools and Parts.
The tools and parts I used where what I had lying around. This made this project free and also green as i recycled some parts

Tools -
soldering iron
soldering iron holder
electricians tape
solder sucky thing (don't know what its called)
third hand
multi-meter (although i don't actually think i used it but thought i might so took a photo of it)

Parts -
Paddle lever switch or something similar
clock movement
c.d. or d.v.d
battery holder
breadboard connecters
motor or LED

Step 2: Remove the switch from circuit

Picture of Remove the switch from circuit
The idea of this timer is for the hour hand of the clock to hit the switch as it passes and completes the circuit. The switch i used was from an old cd player. This meant i had to take it off the circuit board. To do this i heated up the solder with an soldering iron and sucked it away with the sucking tool. The the switch would just fall out. After i got the switch out i then sanded a tiny aounf off one of the corners.
Akhil951 year ago
if you want a more permanent and compact switch go ahead with some electric components like a RC circuit in which you will have to select value of resistance and capacitance according to what time gap you want, to make a nice time switch which will switch on and off after fixed period of time(same for on and off delay)
heathbar643 years ago
Nobody has yet mentioned that mechanical clocks like this are not so common anymore. You can still buy battery operated ones at hobby stores for making your own clock, but you never see any but digital at goodwill or yardsales.
I'm just wondering people. Would the paddle lever of the paddle lever switch not prevent the hour hand from continuing its motion.
yvarcot4 years ago
whats a "Paddle level switch"?
arihant5 years ago
whenever you make any instructable,please, for god sake ,take better pics.
liam01 (author)  arihant5 years ago
May I just ask, what's wrong with them? 
Phil B5 years ago
Thank you for posting this. It is very well done. We will be looking for many fine Instructables from you as time goes by!

By the way, before the advent of digital watches with alarms, what you describe is the way many bombmakers set off their explosive devices. An even less sophisticated procedure used during World War II in a failed attempt to assassinate Adolph Hitler was to break the neck on a vial of acid so that it dripped onto a steel wire. The time delay was in the time needed for the acid to eat through the wire. When that happened, a spring held in tension by the wire released a detonating mechanism. I read about it in Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. When this bomb failed, those who had placed it had to retrieve it unnoticed, lest their plot be discovered. They did.
hg341 Phil B5 years ago
wow i have allway though of doing some hing like this but you should try and find a hot gule gun it will look better and last longer and where do you live 'cuz you have a 240v soldering iron...
hcold hg3415 years ago
"and where do you live 'cuz you have a 240v soldering iron..." My guess would be any other country with sense in electrical engineering.
hg341 hcold5 years ago
usa...i want to move out maybe to the brits they have free health care yea a about what you said the 240v @50hz i heard it is alot better i think the usa or 'boma dont care i did like this though
Eirinn hg3415 years ago
Denmark has that and free edumacation ;)
hg341 Eirinn5 years ago
cool i like the free health care that cuba and most other places havewhen you think about it cuba is a very firendly place
hcold hg3415 years ago
Preface: I'm a socialist in the proper sense of the word. Cuba is not a good place in terms of authoritarianism which regrettably seems to go hand in hand with communism on a state-wide scale. Political prisoners and such what. What they've done developing permaculture and health care, because of the US blockade blocking many medicines and things like fertilizer etc however is pretty admirable.
Or you could come to Australia, we allways help newbie around the place - except the chaser.
junits15 Eirinn5 years ago
free public education exists in the US too (but it gats paid by taxes soooooo I guess it isn't really free. :)
liam01 (author)  hg3415 years ago
I live in the U.K. The soldering iron used to be my dad's so its quite old, but still works so i'm happy.
hg341 liam015 years ago
oh i was wondering why it was so big i have never seen one like it
Gotta buy that book
That cool. 0___o;
JustDepends5 years ago
besides blowing something up i need to think of a reason to use this thing!!!
Isn't blowing something up a good enough reason unto itself? XD
dmitry_n5 years ago
Another good approach is to use PC/laptop and software timer. Free for such little experiments.
Perhaps serial COM port's voltages could be used for power supply, not just for signaling. ;)
junits155 years ago
it would bebetter to jst do this right on the clock face, that way you could get a more accurite time delay
ross3535 years ago
old school bomb timer....... nice
calpos5 years ago
Could you use a cardboard circle instead of just a single hand on the clock? That way, you could cut slices or punch holes in the cardboard to activate the switch multiple times and for varying periods of time during the day.
Berserk875 years ago
the "solder sucky thing" is called a desoldering pump.
Iko5 years ago
Do you really need the breadboard for that thing? ;)
liam01 (author)  Iko5 years ago
probably not. but it was made in a rush so the breadboard was the quickest thing to use.
1up5 years ago
I've got an idea. Put a reed switch (magnetically activated switch) on the clockface, then a magnet on either the hour or minute hand. When the magnet passes by, it'll activate the reed switch!
liam01 (author)  1up5 years ago
thats a well good idea. i think i shall try that soon.
Sandisk1duo5 years ago
never could have though of that!
fultron895 years ago
Wait- Once every twelve hours for three minutes? So, once? or once every three minutes for twelve hours? or once every twelve minutes for three hours? gaaaah...
every day, (24 hours)... the timer rings twice (once every 12 hours).. the timer rings for 3 minutes
Eirinn5 years ago
I made something like this just using an egg timer instead - nice work.
This is a good idea! I wanted to make a "Lucid Dream Machine" ( But I don't have a microcontroller, so this would work!
arnold1235 years ago
I've already tried this.. Didn't worked for me. Now I'll try using this method
Wyle_E5 years ago
If you need more precision, put another switch on the minute hand and wire it in series with the hour-hand switch. Commercial electromechanical timers use something more rugged than a clock hand to drive the switch, usually a disc with a prong or notch.