interval beeper device
May 27, 2009 1:01 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a device that will beep, flash, or vibrate a light every 10 seconds.

I am a kitesurfer who also happens to be a camera slut, and have been taking photos and videos from my inflatable kite for some time now. I use the rig from along with a Pentax Optio W10. The W10 is a waterproof unhackable point-and-shoot that allows you to do interval shooting. The minimum allowable interval is 10 seconds, and I use that setting.

After a typical kitesurfing session, I will get several hundred photos from the camera, most of which I discard. Many of these I discard are pix from way before or after a trick, jump, or wave. Several seconds on either side makes a huge difference most of the time, and I miss a lot of great possible shots because of it.

It would be supremely useful to know when the camera's going to take a picture, so I can time myself to match.

An ideal object would be one that's waterproof and either emits a light strobe, a vibration, or a sound that I can synchronize with the camera before I put the camera up on the kite and launch it. Keep in mind the kite is about 80 feet away and inaccessible after launching.

Possible solutions involve metronomes, a sound recording that I can play through waterproof headphones/player, and a fitness watch.

Any suggestions are welcomeed. Some examples of previous shots here.
posted by sonicbloom to Technology (11 answers total)
Pretty much any decent digital watch will do this. Metronomes most likely will not (10 seconds is far too long). Waterproof headphones seem overly complicated.

Is there something you don't like about just using a digital watch?
posted by ssg at 1:10 PM on May 27, 2009

If you need a .wav file or MP3 with beeps at specific intervals, email me and I'll make one for you.
posted by fake at 1:13 PM on May 27, 2009

If you need a .wav file or MP3 with beeps at specific intervals, email me and I'll make one for you.

This is one method I was thinking of -- just a simple mp3 player with a single 10 second track with a beep at the end (or an actual countdown, but that could get annoying) set to repeat. You'd probably have to mess with the length of the track to account for any delay as it restarts.

Otherwise, you could probably throw (or get someone to throw) together a small app for the G-1 or an Ipod, and get a waterproof case. This would obviously be more expensive.
posted by inigo2 at 1:16 PM on May 27, 2009

Response by poster: I'm very cool with using a digital watch, especially if it's waterproof. Can anyone offer suggestions of models that can be set to beep every 10 seconds? Having to look at a passive chronograph isn't really ideal.

I am somewhat averse to using something overly complicated. As impacts in the water are pretty rough, it might destroy something electronic.
posted by sonicbloom at 2:00 PM on May 27, 2009

Best answer: My Timex Ironman watch and the three I've had before it have had countdown restart timers that would do the trick. You can also get a Tempo Trainer. It's a device that you can set to repeating beep. It's generally marketed towards swimmers, so that should take care of the water proof part. No idea how sturdy they are.
posted by advicepig at 2:27 PM on May 27, 2009

I'm sure almost all Casio watches have a countdown timer that beeps and can be set to repeat. Might be worth just getting a cheap one and seeing how you get on with it, if it breaks (and even the cheap ones are fairly sturdy) you won't have lost too much.

Your shots are absolutely incredible by the way!
posted by hnnrs at 2:36 PM on May 27, 2009

I used to have this one and went surfing with it occasionally, never failed me at all:

Not sure about US availability.
posted by hnnrs at 2:40 PM on May 27, 2009

Just look for a model that has a countdown repeat function or something similarly named. This is a pretty common feature, so rather than going out of your way to find a specific model, you can just pick a watch you like and then check if it does what you want.
posted by ssg at 2:54 PM on May 27, 2009

If you know how to solder, you could just connect a properly tuned 555 chip/circuit to a lightbulb.
posted by chicago2penn at 3:23 PM on May 27, 2009

Response by poster: Great replies. I'm gonna see if I can play with a Timex Ironman in person, sounds like it'll do the trick. Also, the Tempo Trainer is new to me, I never knew a market like that existed. If all else fails, I'll use Audacity to make a repeating sonar ping MP3.

posted by sonicbloom at 3:38 PM on May 27, 2009

Response by poster: Got myself a 30-lap Ironman Triathlon, set it to 10-second repeating timers (didn't know you could do that, last digital watch was in '99), and synched it to the camera's interval mode. Worked like a charm! Not as loud as I'd hope for, but I have a visual cue too.
posted by sonicbloom at 6:49 PM on May 27, 2009

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