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Hackathon! The Timer Boy

By: Frank G, Vincent L and Jessica N

For the two day Hackathon for the Micro:Bit Carnival, we decided to design a ten second timer for those anticipating games at the festival.

We are using LED lights to make the lights blink to represent the countdown. We used the JavaScript coding program to help the lights become operational. As we write codes to light up LEDS such as "pins.digitalWritePin(DigitalPin.P1, 1)." It was difficult at first because we did not have enough pins, however we opted to use the board adaptor which has 16 pins. We used these wires to connect the pins of the LED lights to the board adaptor.

What did we do? What was the coding process?

We used two Microbits in order to make the project work. Microbit A controlled 14 lights and Mircobit B would control 11. Microbit A would send a command or message to Mircobit B simultaneously telling it what lights to turn on and to keep off so that the numbers could show. The most important part of the coding would be the radio send telling the Mircobits what number to show.

We also created functions in order to keep our coding nice and clean and easy on the human eye. As for the counting down. we also created functions for another reason. We named each function by its number example "DisplayTen" and counting down from there with a second of pause in each number all the way to "DisplayOne."

If we had the opportunity to redesign this product, what would we change or do?

To improve on this project, we would like to add a countdown voice as the timer counts down from 10 to 1. We think this would add not only complexity to the code but it would also grab the attention to the audience as the timer counts down.

Tricky areas in the design

- Wrong MicroBit sizes due to the large amount of LED's needed.

- Connecting all the LED's with the correct wires.

- Framing the LED's so that they would align correctly with the number it had to display.

- Coding the LED's because there were different approaches and we needed to find the right one.

- The initial amount of LED's was not enough to fit the size of the numbers, therefore we needed to increase the amount of LED's. This would lead us to have more coding and more wires to connect to the MicroBits.


In the end, the TimerBoy was a success and gave the audience what they wanted. The product is multi-purposeful and adds a twist in the Carnival Hackathon because it is a simple product that could be applied to many.

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