Toastmasters Timing Lights Device

I received the newly built timing lights from Anthony last Monday, Nov 19. This is the DIY (do-it-yourself) project I challenged him to do. This was brought about as a project I conceived as the Sergeant-at-Arms in my Toastmasters Club.

Here's the schematic diagram I gave him last Oct 22 that shows just the basic circuit. Resistors and other specs are not shown here:

Here's the device as he built it with the green light on. The price was finally negotiated down to Php800 from Php1500. Materials were estimated at Php400.

I wasn't satisfied with the pingpong balls coz the light effect wasn't bright enough. In a dark room, the balls only had a soft pastel color. But we hardly have meetings in a dark room. So, the lights need to be brighter.

After considering so many options, here's the planned new device - disassembled. The green LED below is lighted. The tough part here is cleaning the threaded parts.

They're the ones below the LEDs. First they had to be cut from old water bottles. Then the excess plastic is shaved off using a sharp cutter.

The plastic caps above are the dispenser cups that came with the Theraherb VCO (Virgin Coconut Oil) bottles. Another challenge is in attaching the cap to the threaded plastic.

For this, I put superglue at the edge of the threaded plastic rim. I placed the threaded plastic on a coin to raise it and then put over the cap.

And this is how the new device looks like with the caps on. Notice the 'frosting' effect that occured because of the superglue that was applied.

I don't know why this happens. I could only assume the chemical (acidic?) from the superglue is just too strong that it affects surrounding material.

Finally, the lights in action. The lights look brighter with the new cap cover. Notice also the labels I put on the box. I created these with my Casio Labeler.

Here's how the new "bulb" height compared with the old. Notice that the newer ones are just almost half that of the old. By having a lower profile, the "bulbs" won't be protruding too much hence making them safer.

I noticed that when the LEDs are faced directly to the speaker, they appear much brighter.

Again, here are the lights in action. Notice how really bright they look when faced to you.

Well, that's it! Hopefully, this timing lights device will be serving us for quite a long time in our Toastmasters meetings. Hmmm. Maybe I could even write out a speech regarding this!

Update: A bit of bad news, the electric timing lights device decided to retire and so we went back to the reliable old standby manual system, but with a twist. Here's what we now use as our new Toastmasters timing device. It isn't fancy but it does the job!

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