Build Your Own Countdown Regatta Box

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Introduction: Build Your Own Countdown Regatta Box

An countdown "box" is a box with horns. When a regatta starts the box sounds the horns at predetermined intervals: 5 minutes before the start, 4 minutes before the start, 1 minute before the start and at the instant of the start. There are two types of sequences: 3 minute and 5 minute. In this instructable me and Chris LaBorde will show you how to build one by yourself. Because marine salt and water environment of boats, the box must be at least splash proof. Using the box will release two volunteers.

Step 1: Components Needed

This photo shows an LCD shield and one realy module.

Arduino UNO from dfrobot

One LCD Shield from dfrobot.com (see photo)

Two relay modules from dfrobot.com

One YUASA deep cycle 12 V 7A battery

One charger for the Battery of 8A

One piezo buzzer

Three push connect only switches

One toggle switch

One on/off interrupter

One splash proof box

A set of two horns and a compressor with the air tubes.

One Tupperware small

Cables, shrink tubes, solder (optional)

Step 2: How to Charge

1. Open the box to charge the battery when needed.

When battery charging push the red toggle switch to charge mode. When not charging push back to 'normal'

Step 3: How to Use

The big green button starts the countdown.

The small button sounds the horn manually (override in case of emergency)

The yellow button inside the box toggles the sequence type between: three minute countdown or five minute countdown.

Step 4: How to Wire

1. Stack the lcd shield on the arduino board.

2. Connect the relays inputs to pins D11 and D2, connect relay D11 to piezo and D2 to the compressor.

3. Connect the big green button to the lcd push buton 'LEFT' (solder cables to the switch pins in the LCD board, the push button will override the lcd 'LEFT' button)

4. Connect the yellow push button the the lcd push button 'SELECT' (same as 3)

5. Connect the small green button between compressor + and battery + poles (to sound it manually)

6. Connect battery to charger via the red switch and baterry to compressor and arduino power input via the 'normal' position of the red switch.

Step 5: The Splash Proof Box

Find a splash proof box with rim seal. Use foam at the bottom so nothing is loose. Once the wiring is done put the Arduino and relay modules inside a Tupperware for added waterproofing. Make holes for the tubes that power the horns. And fix the horns as in the picture.

Step 6: Programming the Arduino

To program the Arduino: Download the Arduino IDE to your laptop. Upload the code to the Arduino with a usb cable. Source is here: https://github.com/orioli/ollie/blob/master/produc... the time units is 100ths of second and the time resolution < 10ms approx.

5 People Made This Project!

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29 Comments

0
tomatoskins
tomatoskins

7 years ago on Introduction

This is cool! When I watched your video, the horns starteled me. Great design!

0
harriken
harriken

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

The layout is Chris design. Now we are working on a leaner version with no battery. We shoudl attach a sticker that says "sounds hazard - wear protection" LOL

0
cjcrothers62
cjcrothers62

Question 9 days ago on Step 1

I would like to build this project for our sailing club. Seems pretty straight forward... but still have a few questions. You call for " one on/off interrupter" ... what is this and how is it wired in? Is the "toggle switch" a 3 contact switch so the battery is not connected when in storage or did you simply flip the toggle to "charge" and not plug in the charger unit? and lastly... did you originally use 2- 5A replays? I see that higher 10A or 16A relays are now available for the horn connection. I gather that should solve Rayel007 issue? Thanks.

0
Oh Baby
Oh Baby

2 years ago

I love this project! I tried to build into a ATTiny 85 package but found the internal clock unreliable. I switched to a Pro Mini with onboard resonator and now getting closer to a dependable system. I modified to include an ISAF Rule 26 5-minute repeating sequence but am having a problem identifying where the result is increasing error each sequence after the next. only amounts to a second or two after f repeats but that is not good enough. Would love to get someone to look over my code and comment how where to eliminate the error.

I have it set up on Tinkercad with another Arduino connected to act as a event recorder. I can make the project public or open it up to anyone that would like to take a look at the code.

0
Oh Baby
Oh Baby

Reply 2 years ago

Still looking for anyone to assist.

0
Oh Baby
Oh Baby

Reply 15 days ago

Converted to a phone app using an ESP32 BLE device interfaced with an MIT App Inventor project. Took care of the timing issues by using the phone to control the timing. Have both a ammo box version and a miniature version that uses the boat's 12VDC and horn so don't need a battery and additional horns etc.

0
jcgrabo
jcgrabo

Question 1 year ago

I am interested in building this project but would like a more detailed parts list so that I have an easier time finding sources for the individual components. I also did not see a schematic diagram of the interconnections between the arduino and the buttons and switches.

0
raybel007
raybel007

2 years ago on Introduction

Built this and found a flaw in the design
All the horn systems I found pull well over the current draw for any of the Arduino relays I could source. I could have used a lower speced relay, but in the end it would have blown
In the end, I built a simple circuit to put in front of the standard relay provided with the horns to solve the problem. I did this because the Arduino itself does not provide enough pull-down voltage to operate a standard relay (in my case above 8V)
See circuit
Other than that , the basic design is well founded and works very well
Thanks


Basic Curcuit.pngIMAG0415.jpgIMAG0416.jpg
0
mschwendtner
mschwendtner

2 years ago

Hi there, have it all up and running but want to adjust the starting sequences.

Could you give me some guidance on how the structure and syntax is, and what settings are needed for the h_or_b, index and ctdwn variables ?

0
lorenzbuchlerlb
lorenzbuchlerlb

Reply 2 years ago

Fancy seeing you here ;-). Did you get the timer adjusted to what you want?

0
Taorasbk
Taorasbk

Question 4 years ago on Introduction

I’m building the Ollie regatta horn. I’m having trouble uploading the code (sketch 8a912bc) to the Arduino Uno. It keeps giving me multiple errors that a function definition is not allowed before ‘{‘ token.
it’s a straight upload of the Audrini.ino file (not the “production” version.).

It creates an error every time there is an opening bracket ‘{‘ in a definition line, such as at
Line 138. void mymenu(){
or
Line 171. Void activate_sound(int a) {

I’m surprised the compiler doesn’t accept the audrini.ino file. I even reloaded the Audrino IDE software and tried again on both the audrino.ino and the production files found on Instructabless.
any ideas?

0
Jose OriolL
Jose OriolL

Answer 3 years ago

Becuase raspberri pi has become so convenient to program -- I think its better to move to Pi... in the next iteration I ll try to implement in pi. What version of arduino are you using?

0
TontoSA
TontoSA

Reply 3 years ago

Jose - I’m completely new to Arduino or Raspberry Pi, but looking to make one of these as a first project. Do you think the latter offers sufficient advantages to make that a better option for a first timer, or am I better to stick to this one for which there are instructions? Thanks in advance.

0
Taorasbk
Taorasbk

Reply 3 years ago

Jose, Thank you for your reply. I'm using the Arduino UNO, but I'm not sure which version, I thought they were all the same. I know virtually nothing about the UNO or writing code.
I worked out the download issue I had and was able to watch the countdown sequences on the screen. So I know the program works, although slightly different than the sequence we use on Lake Erie. I had a few glitches in that the 5 min seq could not be restarted (would default to the 3 min seq) and the buttons on the UNO did not seem to correlate to the program. Unfortunately I ruined the UNO board while soldering wires to it. A replacement board did not function exactly the same way upon booting up. That's when sailing season started here (Ohio, USA) and I put it all away for the summer. I will return to it in the fall after sailing season. I have all the components and look forward to completing it.
I just learned of the Raspberry Pi - my brother gave me one. But I know nothing about them. I'll keep tinkering with the Uno because I think I'm closer to completing the horn with it instead of switching to the Pi.
Warmest regars,
Bron

0
pietervk88
pietervk88

Question 3 years ago on Introduction

Can I program any sequence of horn blasts?
What Amp for the relay module?

0
RyanS29
RyanS29

7 years ago

Love this and would like to make one for my club. I'm good with the wiring, but not code writing. Your code for the 3 minute start seems to be different than what we use. We use 3 long blast at 3 mins, 2 at two mins, 1 long 3 short at 1:30, 1 at 1 min, 3 short at 30 secs, 2 at 20 secs, 1 at ten secs, and count down from 5 secs to start. Could you lead me through changing the code to achieve this. Thanks for any help

0
harriken
harriken

Reply 6 years ago

modify the vector

unsignedlong sch_3[] <-- indicates horn or buzz time in 10x ms units

h_or_b3[] <-- code: buzz = 0, short horn (sh) = 1, long horn (lh) =2 extralong horn 3

0
AlR51
AlR51

Reply 4 years ago

Ryan's 3 min. ver should be the standard 3 min start. Also, we and most clubs roll over the 5 min start, with no break. The start horn is the next class's 5 min horn, and it continues that way until stopped.

Can you modify code for each change?

0
RyanS29
RyanS29

Reply 4 years ago

I made the code changes for the 3 minute start and works well. Had no reason for the rolling five as our club doesn't use. I will need to see if I can find which drive i stored it on. If I locate I will post.

0
AlR51
AlR51

Reply 4 years ago

Thanks Ryan. A rolling 5 should be standard code, and in your case just turn it off after first start. We start 5 classes on Thurs, and JAM and Race on any weekend. I'm not a coder, but should be just a couple of lines?