TimeMachines Timer Control
TimeMachines has been making accurate network synchronized clocks for many years, but Count-Up and Count-Down timer functions are fairly new and rapidly growing in capability. They represent a major feature that is available in all of our display products: POE Clocks, WiFi Clocks, and DotMatrix displays. Best of all, there is no additional cost for the feature! Why buy a dedicated wall mounted timer, when you display super-accurate time when the time function isn't in use, and still use the clock as a timer when you need it.
The built in timer function of each TimeMachines display includes both Count-Up and Count-Down features. Count-Up is the simpler of the two. Each mode has the option to display Hours:Minutes:Seconds or Minutes:Seconds.Tenths timing. It is important to note that the last two digits of either format do not exist on 4 digit POE or WiFi clocks, the digits simply don't exist to display the numbers.
Count-Up mode is the simpler mode. It has the ability to start at zero and count up. The count can be start and stopped as needed. This is essentially the same function as a hand held stop watch.
The Count-Down mode is a bit more complex with a couple of other options. The initial time to start counting down can be set. When the start button is pressed, the count down progresses toward zero from the preset value. In addition, the alarm relay in the clock can be turned on at the end of the countdown for a programmable duration. Attach a buzzer to the alarm to add an audible alert when the count down period has ended.
Multiple control options exist for the clocks:
Option 1: Direct Web Page Control
The basic setup of all of the TimeMachines display products requires accessing the web page of the clock. From the device's web page, Count-Up and Count-Down functions can be controlled. Simply checking the Use Count Up Timer checkbox, or the Use Count-Down Timer checkbox, will put the clock display into the associated timer mode. Subsequent setting changes and button clicks will update the display and start and stop the timer.
Option 2: TM-Manager Control
TM-Manager provides several advantages over direct control through the device web page. First of all, it makes it easier to find the devices because if the device is on the same network as the controlling computer, it will respond to the broadcast message from TM-Manager eliminating the need to find the IP address of the device prior to logging into it. Secondly, the protocol utilized by TM-Manager is based on a much simpler UDP/IP based API making the control more responsive. These two features enable the most notable feature, multiple clocks can be controlled simultaneously for timer function. By selecting multiple clocks from the main screen of the TM-Manager application, then going to the timer control dialog box, all of the clocks can simultaneously be activated. Take for example a location with a networked POE clock in every room and common area, a fire drill is started and when the fire drill is started, all of the clocks begin a count-up function, allowing everybody in the building to see just how long it takes to exit the building. See the product page for TM-Manager for more information or to download the application. Best of all, it is free.
Option 3: TM-Timer Smartphone App
Introduced in March of 2018, the first version of TM-Timer was posed on the Google Play store for installation on Android Smart Phones. With a subset of the features of TM-Manager, it became possible for an individual with a smart phone to simultaneously control multiple TimeMachines displays from the palm of their hand. The App is optimized for timer control and simplifies particularly control of the count down functions for repetitive use. See the product page for the Smartphone App for more information and how to find it for download. An Apple version is in the works for release as soon as possible.
There a many potential uses for the timer function of the TimeMachines displays. Some of the uses that TimeMachines customers have told us about: Classrooms, Automotive oven paint dry time, Industrial process timing for operators, space launches, multiple sports, exercise class interval training, sports clubs, firehouse response time, and locker room half time display, to name a few.
Timer Function API
As mentioned, the counter features are accessible from a UDP/IP based API. The ways that the API are being utilized are numerous, and those are just the ones customers have told TimeMachines about. The API can be found on Documentation page is a free to download.