Difference between revisions of "Bridgeclock"

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(Technical details)
 
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= bridgeclock =
+
= Bridgetimer =
  
== intro ==
+
== Introduction ==
  
BitWizard is a small company headed by a bridge-playing CEO. When his bridgeclub wanted a new clock we built one. We're not specializing in "bridge products" and we don't have the money to fund a big requirements interview among a large number of clubs. So we built what WE need and what we think you will find useful. If you feel something could be improved, feel free to let us know, we'll take it into consideration! It is entirely possible that due to a different way of playing a drive, your club has different requirements. We might even be able to help you with the hardware you've already bought.
+
A bridge tournament consists of a number of rounds and short breaks in between rounds to allow the players to switch tables. The Bridgetimer counts down the time remaining for each round as well as the remaining break time and provides several audiosignals:
  
Also, if you think a unit with four big numbers like this is useful in another context, the hardware may already be capable, we might be able to adapt the software for another setting. So if you have an idea, let us know.
+
* The starting signal of a round, doubling as the ending signal of the break time
 +
* A warning signal indicating the round is about to end
 +
* The ending signal of a round, doubling as the starting signal of the break time
  
== features ==
+
== Features ==
  
 +
The BitWizard Bridgetimer has several distinctive features:
 +
 +
* Large display
 +
* Visible difference between "remaining round-time" and "remaining break time".
 
* Different sounds signals for "end-of-round", "Warning, end-of-round is nearing" and "Start of  round".  
 
* Different sounds signals for "end-of-round", "Warning, end-of-round is nearing" and "Start of  round".  
* Easy-to-use interface for adjustments.
+
* Five preset programs. Allowing you to quickly change between different settings (e.g. for the beginners-evening where the rounds are longer).  
* Big display.
+
* Easy to use interface for adjustments.
* Preset programs. Allow  you to quickly change between different settings (e.g. for the beginners-evening where the rounds are longer).  
+
* On-the-fly adjustment of the playing and changeover (break) time.
* Visible difference between "time left to change" and "time remaining in round".
+
* Mounting holes on the back enabling you to mount the timer on a wall
* On-the-fly adjustment of the playing and changeover time.
+
 
 +
== Contents ==
 +
 
 +
Within the box you will find:
 +
 
 +
* The Bridgetimer
 +
* A 15V adapter
 +
* An extension cord
  
== Normal use ==
+
Use the Bridgetimer exclusively with the supplied adapter.
 +
If necessary a similar adapter can be used, with the + on the center pin. The voltage should be between 12 and 15V, however no guarantees are made regarding the brightness of the screen when not using the supplied adapter.
  
The bridgeclock is simple to use. Just plug it in and it starts running the first program called "P1" at 10 seconds left of "change time". The ten seconds gives you time to adjust that time or to press the '''pause''' button to pause the clock before the first round timer starts.
+
== Using the Bridgetimer ==
  
If during play (or change time) some event causes the current round to require an extension, you can simply hit '''up''' to increase the current time by one minute. If you want the first round to be longer than the rest (e.g. to allow people to get settled or to allow them to deal the cards) you can also do that by allowing the clock to advance to the first round and pressing '''up''' a few times.  
+
The Bridgetimer is simple to use. Just plug it in with the supplied adapter, turn it on and it starts running the first program called "P1" at 10 seconds left of "change time". These ten seconds give you time to adjust the break time or to press the '''pause''' button (5) to pause the clock before the first round timer starts.  
  
Similarly, if e.g. you find everybody is ready for the next round, you can decrease the time by one minute by pressing '''down'''.
+
The timer always starts with program P1 selected. The default settings for all programs are 30 minutes of playing time, a warning signal when 5 minutes of playing time remain and 3 minutes of break time.
  
You can also stop (and then restart) the clock by pressing '''pause'''.
+
A different program may be selected by pressing '''mode''' (2) and subsequently either '''up''' (3) or '''down''' (4) in order to select the desired program.
  
A warning sounds (by default 5 minutes) before the end of each round.  
+
The Bridgetimer may be paused at any time by pressing the '''pause''' button (5).
  
A different warning sounds at the end of the round.  
+
If the current break or round time needs to be adjusted at any point this can done by pressing '''up''' (3) or '''down''' (4) to respectively increase or decrease the time by 1 minute.
  
The clock will then animate the first digit to indicate that it is time to change tables. This allows users to see the difference between "2 minutes left to change" and "2 minutes left in this round".  
+
A warning signal sounds when the end of a round approaches, a different signal sounds at the end of a round, and a third signal sounds when the break time is over and the next round begins.
  
A third sound is produced when the next round starts.
+
During break time the leftmost digit of the display will show a single moving segment symbolizing the players walking around. This way the difference between break and playing time can easily be distinguished.
  
== Adjusting the clock ==
+
== Creating custom programs ==
  
To adjust the clock press '''mode'''. Now '''up''' and '''down''' will select the preset-program. The programs show as P1 through P5. Press '''pause''' to start this program, or press '''mode''' again to make adjustments to this program.  
+
To adjust the clock press '''mode'''. Now '''up''' and '''down''' will select the preset-program. The programs show as P1 through P5. Press '''pause''' to start the selected program, or press '''mode''' again to make adjustments to the selected program.  
  
For each program there are three settings: time to play, warning time, and changeover time. Each is adjusted with the '''up''' and '''down''' keys. The changeover time is adjusted with 20 second increments. The other two with 1 minute increments.  
+
For each program there are three settings: time to play, warning time, and changeover (break) time. Each is adjusted with the '''up''' and '''down''' keys. The changeover time is adjusted with 20 second increments. The other two with 1 minute increments.  
  
Pressing '''mode''' will move to the next option. The changes are automatically saved.
+
Pressing '''mode''' will move to the next option. Any changes are automatically saved.
  
Unused programs start out at the defaults of 30 minutes playing, 5 minute warning and 3 minute changeover time.
+
Unused programs start out at the default of 30 minutes playing, 5 minute warning and 3 minute changeover time.
  
To adjust the intensity of the numbers, turn off the clock, press and hold the '''pause''' button, and turn the clock on. The display should now show an "I" (different from the "1" because it is on the left side of the digit instead of on the right), and the current value. You may adjust (using the + and - buttons) from 0 to 99. The default of 20 is a bit dim, 30 seems good for normal use. During daytime or outside even brighter might be useful.
+
To adjust the brightness of the numbers, turn off the clock, press and hold the '''pause''' button, and turn the clock on. The display should now show an "I" (from Intensity) as well as the current value. You may adjust (using the '''up''' and '''down''' buttons) from 0 to 99. The default of 33 seems good for normal use. During daytime or outside even brighter might be useful. Each '''up''' or '''down''' keypress adjusts the intensity value by 3 units. The lowest intensities will show a visible flicker in the display. Don't use those.
  
 
== Suggestions for use ==
 
== Suggestions for use ==
  
When turned on the clock always starts back at P1. The reason is that when for example there are two weekly events that require different settings, starting back up on the old settings guarantees that you will always start with the wrong settings active. Starting back at P1 all the time means we stand a chance of getting it right some of the time....  
+
When you turn on the clock it will always start back at P1. The reason is that when for example there are two weekly events that require different settings, starting back up on the old settings guarantees that you will ''always'' start with the wrong settings active. Starting back at P1 all the time means we stand a chance of getting it right some of the time....
 +
 
 +
If the program that your club uses is always the same, just adjust the default P1 program. You can do this once and then adjust the change time before the first round or the first round itself on each event.
 +
 
 +
If you share the clock between two events that have different timings, I recommend programming the schedules for those events into P2 and P3. People who are not familiar with the clock will quickly adjust P1 to whatever event is then being played. If you know what you're doing you can even quicker just select the proper program. In my experience P1 gets messed up "by the other players" all the time.
 +
 
 +
== Changing the volume ==
 +
 
 +
The volume can be adjusted with the use of a small screwdriver, both flat and cross head screwdrivers may be used. On the back of the Bridgetimer a total of 4 holes can be found, the two uppermost are used to mount the Bridgetimer on a wall, the outermost is used for field upgrades of the firmware. The innermost (closest to the speaker) is used for adjusting the volume.
 +
As the circuit board and the potentiometer are positioned relatively deep within the timer, some effort may be required to locate the potentiometer. In order to prevent short-circuiting it is advised to search for the potentiometer only when the the timer is unpowered.
 +
 
 +
== Feedback ==
 +
 
 +
BitWizard is a small company headed by a bridge-playing CEO. When his bridgeclub wanted a new clock we build one.
 +
 
 +
We're not specializing in "bridge products" and we don't have the money to fund a big requirements interview among a large number of clubs. So we build what WE need and what we think you will find useful. If you feel something could be improved, feel free to let us know, we'll take it into consideration! It is entirely possible that due to a different way of playing a drive, your club has different requirements. We might even be able to help you with the hardware you've already bought in the form of software changes.
  
If the program that your club uses is always the same, just adjust the default P1 program. You do this once and then adjust the change time before the first round or the first round itself on each event.  
+
As mentioned above, we welcome feature requests. No guarantees can be made that we implement all of them, but we love to hear them.  
  
If you share the clock between two events that have different timings, I recommend programming the schedules for those events into P2 and P3. People who are not familiar with the clock will quickly adjust P1 to whatever event is then being played. If you know what you're doing you can even quicker just select the proper program. In my experience P1 gets messed up "by the other club" all the time.
+
Features that have already been requested and are currently being implemented are:
 +
* Multiple clocks in master-slave configuration
 +
* Remote control
  
== Feature requests ==
 
  
As mentioned above, we welcome feature requests. No guarantees that we can implement them, but we love to hear them.  
+
Also, if you think a device with four big numbers like this is useful in another context, be sure to let us know.
 +
It is entirely possible the hardware is already capable of performing the task and as specified earlier, the installed software can be switched out for something you require. So if you have an idea, let us know.
  
Features that have already been requested and are slowly being implemented are:
+
Feedback may be send to us by e-mail to info@BitWizard.nl .
* multiple clocks in master-slave configuration.  
 
* remote control.  
 
  
So if you want that, on the one hand, we already know that and we're working on it. On the other hand, if you do let us know, we might be able to let you know when we've implemented it. And it allows us to know how many people are waiting for such a feature....
 
  
 
== Technical details ==
 
== Technical details ==
Line 68: Line 96:
 
(the geeks may want to read this, the others can safely ignore it).  
 
(the geeks may want to read this, the others can safely ignore it).  
  
The clock runs from 15V. Not 12. The led segments require 12V of running voltage, and there needs to be some margin for the current source circuitry to work.  
+
The clock runs on 15V, not 12. The led segments require 12V of running voltage, and there needs to be some margin for the current source circuitry to work.  
  
If you open up the clock, there is a small blue-and-white pot to adjust the volume.  
+
The USB port on the bottom can be used for upgrading the firmware.
  
The two PCBs inside are identical, only one is populated as the master, the other as the slave. (Hmm. V2 hardware might end up with a V1 slave PCB as the master/slave interface is the same).  
+
The two PCBs inside are identical, only one is populated as the master, the other as the slave. (The slave can sometimes be another, older (or newer) model than the master, this will not affect performance).  
  
Version 1 of the hardware runs on an at90USB162 processor and has TLC59025 constant current led drivers to drive the segments. The segments are not multiplexed. Version 2 of the hardware has an STM32F072 processor (As of may 2017 nobody but me has version 2 hardware).
+
Version 1 of the hardware runs on an at90USB162 processor and has TLC59025 constant current led drivers to drive the segments. The segments are not multiplexed. Version 2 of the hardware has an STM32F072 processor (As of May 2017 Version 2 is still under development).

Latest revision as of 18:18, 22 August 2017

Bridgetimer

Introduction

A bridge tournament consists of a number of rounds and short breaks in between rounds to allow the players to switch tables. The Bridgetimer counts down the time remaining for each round as well as the remaining break time and provides several audiosignals:

  • The starting signal of a round, doubling as the ending signal of the break time
  • A warning signal indicating the round is about to end
  • The ending signal of a round, doubling as the starting signal of the break time

Features

The BitWizard Bridgetimer has several distinctive features:

  • Large display
  • Visible difference between "remaining round-time" and "remaining break time".
  • Different sounds signals for "end-of-round", "Warning, end-of-round is nearing" and "Start of round".
  • Five preset programs. Allowing you to quickly change between different settings (e.g. for the beginners-evening where the rounds are longer).
  • Easy to use interface for adjustments.
  • On-the-fly adjustment of the playing and changeover (break) time.
  • Mounting holes on the back enabling you to mount the timer on a wall

Contents

Within the box you will find:

  • The Bridgetimer
  • A 15V adapter
  • An extension cord

Use the Bridgetimer exclusively with the supplied adapter. If necessary a similar adapter can be used, with the + on the center pin. The voltage should be between 12 and 15V, however no guarantees are made regarding the brightness of the screen when not using the supplied adapter.

Using the Bridgetimer

The Bridgetimer is simple to use. Just plug it in with the supplied adapter, turn it on and it starts running the first program called "P1" at 10 seconds left of "change time". These ten seconds give you time to adjust the break time or to press the pause button (5) to pause the clock before the first round timer starts.

The timer always starts with program P1 selected. The default settings for all programs are 30 minutes of playing time, a warning signal when 5 minutes of playing time remain and 3 minutes of break time.

A different program may be selected by pressing mode (2) and subsequently either up (3) or down (4) in order to select the desired program.

The Bridgetimer may be paused at any time by pressing the pause button (5).

If the current break or round time needs to be adjusted at any point this can done by pressing up (3) or down (4) to respectively increase or decrease the time by 1 minute.

A warning signal sounds when the end of a round approaches, a different signal sounds at the end of a round, and a third signal sounds when the break time is over and the next round begins.

During break time the leftmost digit of the display will show a single moving segment symbolizing the players walking around. This way the difference between break and playing time can easily be distinguished.

Creating custom programs

To adjust the clock press mode. Now up and down will select the preset-program. The programs show as P1 through P5. Press pause to start the selected program, or press mode again to make adjustments to the selected program.

For each program there are three settings: time to play, warning time, and changeover (break) time. Each is adjusted with the up and down keys. The changeover time is adjusted with 20 second increments. The other two with 1 minute increments.

Pressing mode will move to the next option. Any changes are automatically saved.

Unused programs start out at the default of 30 minutes playing, 5 minute warning and 3 minute changeover time.

To adjust the brightness of the numbers, turn off the clock, press and hold the pause button, and turn the clock on. The display should now show an "I" (from Intensity) as well as the current value. You may adjust (using the up and down buttons) from 0 to 99. The default of 33 seems good for normal use. During daytime or outside even brighter might be useful. Each up or down keypress adjusts the intensity value by 3 units. The lowest intensities will show a visible flicker in the display. Don't use those.

Suggestions for use

When you turn on the clock it will always start back at P1. The reason is that when for example there are two weekly events that require different settings, starting back up on the old settings guarantees that you will always start with the wrong settings active. Starting back at P1 all the time means we stand a chance of getting it right some of the time....

If the program that your club uses is always the same, just adjust the default P1 program. You can do this once and then adjust the change time before the first round or the first round itself on each event.

If you share the clock between two events that have different timings, I recommend programming the schedules for those events into P2 and P3. People who are not familiar with the clock will quickly adjust P1 to whatever event is then being played. If you know what you're doing you can even quicker just select the proper program. In my experience P1 gets messed up "by the other players" all the time.

Changing the volume

The volume can be adjusted with the use of a small screwdriver, both flat and cross head screwdrivers may be used. On the back of the Bridgetimer a total of 4 holes can be found, the two uppermost are used to mount the Bridgetimer on a wall, the outermost is used for field upgrades of the firmware. The innermost (closest to the speaker) is used for adjusting the volume. As the circuit board and the potentiometer are positioned relatively deep within the timer, some effort may be required to locate the potentiometer. In order to prevent short-circuiting it is advised to search for the potentiometer only when the the timer is unpowered.

Feedback

BitWizard is a small company headed by a bridge-playing CEO. When his bridgeclub wanted a new clock we build one.

We're not specializing in "bridge products" and we don't have the money to fund a big requirements interview among a large number of clubs. So we build what WE need and what we think you will find useful. If you feel something could be improved, feel free to let us know, we'll take it into consideration! It is entirely possible that due to a different way of playing a drive, your club has different requirements. We might even be able to help you with the hardware you've already bought in the form of software changes.

As mentioned above, we welcome feature requests. No guarantees can be made that we implement all of them, but we love to hear them.

Features that have already been requested and are currently being implemented are:

  • Multiple clocks in master-slave configuration
  • Remote control


Also, if you think a device with four big numbers like this is useful in another context, be sure to let us know. It is entirely possible the hardware is already capable of performing the task and as specified earlier, the installed software can be switched out for something you require. So if you have an idea, let us know.

Feedback may be send to us by e-mail to info@BitWizard.nl .


Technical details

(the geeks may want to read this, the others can safely ignore it).

The clock runs on 15V, not 12. The led segments require 12V of running voltage, and there needs to be some margin for the current source circuitry to work.

The USB port on the bottom can be used for upgrading the firmware.

The two PCBs inside are identical, only one is populated as the master, the other as the slave. (The slave can sometimes be another, older (or newer) model than the master, this will not affect performance).

Version 1 of the hardware runs on an at90USB162 processor and has TLC59025 constant current led drivers to drive the segments. The segments are not multiplexed. Version 2 of the hardware has an STM32F072 processor (As of May 2017 Version 2 is still under development).