Introduction: Automated Teabag Timer

About: Hallo! I'm Valentin from and I'm a Maker, Tinkerer and Hacker!

In this instructable I'll show you how you can build an inexpensive automated teabag timer out of simple parts for enjoying your perfect cup of tea!

And here's a video explaining the tea timer!

Step 1: All the Components

    1. The inner workings from an old CD/DVD drive. It needs to run on a DC motor!We'll use the linear drive as lifting mechanism! Usually you should not need to buy one but look around for old computers which still have them!
    2. Some balsa wood or similar material as lever and baseplate.
    3. Two AA batteries with a battery holder.

    4. We'll also need a big metallic paperclip.
    5. A mechanical timer with a moving ring and a fixed body. These are available in various sizes.
    6. A momentary switch with three pins as stopswitch for the teabag lifting lever. You can salvage them from other electronics or buy them here.
    7. Two small screws with flat heads.

    Click the links to find out where you can buy some of the components!

    Furthermore we'll require some basic tools such as a hotglue gun, woodsaw, pliers and if you want to, a soldering iron.

    Step 2: Installing the Stop Switch

    Take your CD/DVD drive linear drive and glue the switch to the slider's bottom position. Sliding down the middle part should push the little switch. This switch will be connected in series with the motor, timerswitch and batteries. Using the switch's two contacts on the hinge's opposed site it will disconnect the motor from the battery when pushed and thus stop the motor from pulling out the teabag. Of course you should make sure you connected the motor with the right polarity, that means it drives the CD/DVD drive's middle part in the stop switches direction.

    If you're having trouble just take a look at the circuit diagram!

    Step 3: Building the Lifting Lever

    Attach one srew to the slide's middle and the other to the frame on the right with the help of some hotglue.

    Now you'll need a long but slim piece of wood. Cut a long notch into the wood on one side and drill a hole in the middle taking measurements from the screws' positions.

    Slide the lever onto both screws and test it by moving the slide up and down!

    Step 4: Building the Timer Switch

    Glue a bent piece of the paperclip to the timer's outer moving ring with the help of some hotglue. Then glue two little pieces and the timer itself to the baseplate. When the timer reaches zero minutes the paperclip from the outer ring should contact both pieces on the baseplate forming a electrical switch!

    You can see it more clearly in the timelapse scene in the video!

    Step 5: Fixing All Components to the Baseplate and Finishing the Circuit

    Now glue the battery holder and slider-frame to the baseplate as shown in the pictures.

    Finish the circuit according to the schematic and test all components.

    You can also add some plexiglass over the slider if you like to!

    Test all components:

    • Insert batteries into the holder.

    • Set the timer to 5 minutes.

    • Push down the lever and fix a teabag to it.

    • After 5 minutes the timer should connect the motor to the battery and move up the lever.

    • When the lever reaches its end position at the bottom it should press the stop switch which disconnects it from the battery.

    Now you can enjoy a perfectly timed cup of tea!

    But there is more: Here is a video demonstrating the tea timer!

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