Archive for February, 2011

How It Performs

Originally the idea was to go for a 650k ohm resistor and a 150k ohm resistor with a 100uf cap.  This of course was no good as my first ever electronics pile (thank you ebay) did not include those exact values, thus I basically just kept trying combos to see what worked.  It is on for a few seconds and off for not -exactly- a minute but it’s extremely close–within a few seconds.  It’s a purposeful design in order to allow time for the user to refill for the upcoming round as well as a few seconds to consume the contents (buy that?).  The goods:

Prototyping Issues Abound:

As this is my first ever electronics project, I decided to skip crawling, walking, running and even skipping and went straight to driving at 145mph (hey, it’s how I like to do things).  Naturally I ran into issues (finding the right R1, R2 and C1 combo that I actually had on hand for one) with soldering connections, power management and the minimal space available.  Also, I didn’t (and still do not) understand the concept of duty cycles so I had to get my hands a little dirty with NPN transistors to invert the signal.  Using a breadboard I built the circuit at first using 2 555s so that it would be flashing rather than just on.  However, realizing that I would not have enough space I settled on the one but included a single flashing LED for some extra ‘attention-grabbing’ factor.  Here are some videos of my successes and my hurdles as well as a link to my thread looking for advice on the Hackaday Forums:

Forum Thread


First of all I must say that this community is an unique one full of a multitude of people from every call and group, all of whom are supportive and eager to help.  I must say a special thanks to the hosts and sponsors of the 555 contest for making this challenge a reality.  I’ve been a fan of the Hackaday Blog for a while (hey, nothing better to do at work than teach myself something eh?) but never had a push to just go buy some stuff and try it out till this contest.  A very special thanks to PhilKll for all of his great and persistent help throughout my trials.  This was a lot of fun and I’m glad I took the plunge.  I look forward to creating many more projects, most of which will likely improve drinking in some way or another.




The Powered Power Hour is Here!

I’m proud to present my entry into the 555ic timer contest–my very first electronic project of any kind: The Powered Power Hour

Traditional Analog Power Hour:

The rules of the Power Hour are very simple: everyone drinks a single, one-ounce shot of beer every minute for one hour (wiki).  Many underestimate the actual consumption of such an undertaking and are overwhelmed quickly by such an ‘easy’ game.  The difficulties in playing such a game–designed to alter your state of mind rapidly from analytical and sharp to impaired and ‘frisky’–are quite apparent often within the first few minutes as players do not realize that their current time is up and often end up taking their drink halfway into their next shot’s minute.  This creates an imbalance in the game and can even generate frustration both in those trying to focus on the game at hand as well as others merely too distracted to focus on a clock for any amount of time.  The solution?  Powered Power Hour!

Powered Power Hour:

Before one had to rely on primitive timekeeping methods in order to play this classic drinking game–typically only to find themselves unable to compete due to an inability to focus/frustration-induced apathy.  Gone are the caveman days of yesteryore where players take far too long to take their next shot or miss a turn entirely.  The Powered Power Hour (PPH) is a shot glass with a built in timer with a bright and colorful alarm, notifying the holder when it is in fact time for their next shot.

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