I know what I want, but not what I need
August 24, 2014 8:10 PM Subscribe
ElectronicsFilter: I would like to construct a box with 4 lights that work on a timer. I know lots about software, and little about hardware, please help steer me in the right direction.
posted by sparklemotion to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'd like to learn a little bit more about electronics, and as such, I have come up with a project that I'd like to figure out how to implement, but I'm not sure where to start.
Basically, I'd like a little battery powered box with 4 lights (probably LEDs) and a button (probably a momentary push button switch).
When I press the button, I'd like the first light to activate (light up, maybe blink) for 30 seconds, then the next for 30 seconds, etc., basically measuring out two minutes in 30 second intervals. I don't want any kind of digital (i.e. numeric) display. The intervals do not have to be variable at all (I know that for my purposes, I will always want 2 minutes divided into 4 sections).
I can do this on my smartphone in seconds, but I'll be using the device in situations where I'd rather not have my phone with me.
My question: What is the cheapest/easiest way for a total beginner to make this happen? Assume that I own a soldering iron and nothing else that would be required. I also know the basic science behind resistors, capacitors, and transistors, but not so much about "this DigiKey part number is a doodad that will make your whoozits fizzbang".
If the right answer is "Arduino", or "Raspberry Pi", feel free to just let me know that and I'll start learning what I need to make things work within those platforms. But I also feel like those would be total overkill for what I'm trying to do.