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OT time clock alarm/horn ideas

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  • #16
    To use your PC to control a mains circuit you should search for a "USB mains relay" or if you are using low voltage to the horn you just need a "USB relay", either way I would suggest the mains relay as that will more than likely come in a finished box rather than being a naked electronic component. Of course the old PC must have a USB port spare?

    For the software, may I ask what operating system your PC uses, Windows version? The other important detail is what times do you want the horn to sound? A simple program is just a evening during commercial breaks, more or less.

    John

    P.S. The back 9? I am damned near circling the plug hole and I have enough projects to last me a whole new lifetime but sometimes taking a break and working on something different is a rest in itself.


    [LATER] Ooops! I see you have ordered a timer, however is you want to review the PC option I will be around here somewhere.
    Last edited by The Artful Bodger; 09-02-2017, 05:20 PM.

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    • #17
      John, it is definitely an area that is of interest, so not at all scoffing at the fun of learning something new. But I know how these things go - I'm unconsciously incompetent (don't know what I don;t know) in get a signal out of the computer the horn. It just means lots of learning and side trips and delays, whereas I want to give my plant manager a solution in a day or two.

      ok, so given that, the pressure is off, and I pursue this just for kicks.....A program sends a signal via USB. What programing language, what software to I need and how do pull up the time and send it to the USB? It would be at the start of day, break, lunch, break, end of shift. Each duration maybe 2-3 seconds. Signal out if its USB needs to be worked on before its a simple hi/low, correct? After that I can probably muddle through, 12V power supply that gets switch on as the signal hits some transistors or fets.

      I did a lot programming 30 years ago in extended basic but haven't done much since. I get program flow, but its so darn frustrating starting over learning all kinds of endless syntax and rules etc.....its taken away the appeal. so I'm pretty much a beginner at writing the program
      in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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      • #18
        Ummmm, I was thinking maybe I could write something for you. It is what I used to do.

        John

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        • #19
          Hard to figure out what passes muster these days in the peoples republik unfortunately. Maybe this programmable relay would be better suited. https://www.mcmaster.com/#programmab...llers/=197p52w
          At an old job we used a stand alone unit to operate a break buzzer, I can't recall who made it though,sorry. Jim

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          • #20
            Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
            Ummmm, I was thinking maybe I could write something for you. It is what I used to do.

            John
            that's generous of you - thanks. What do you need? the box will be windows 7 or windows 10.
            in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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            • #21
              Hi, I wont need anything, you just need to acquire the hardware. See if you can by a USB mains switch from a local dealer, meanwhile I will look online and see if I can find one (but not until later today, it is 0900 here now).

              The Windows operating system already has a comprehensive time clock control system built in in the Task Scheduler. We just need to write a program (a simple command really) that the task scheduler can call at the required times.

              While we are at the beginning stage you should consider if you require (or would even just like) some variation in the horn sounds, I suggest one duration of toot for routine break times and maybe something like a short toot to signal start of end of day clean up and of course the all important and hopefully never needed 'abandon ship' sequence of 7 short toots followed by a long blast. I am sure you get the idea.

              I expect the hardest part of this project will be training someone how to add entries to the Task Scheduler which you will want to do yourself rather than rely on me to make changes in the future. It is standard PC stuff.

              John

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              • #22
                I re-read the opening post and I see you are using a 12V horn so really anything that looks like this
                http://www.dx.com/p/011801-usb-relay...0#.WayoFcgjGUk
                will probably be adequate for the job.

                My suggestion is buy something like that and when you get the details I will write a few commands for the Task Scheduler.

                It should be a simple project but one never knows!

                John

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                • #23
                  Just go get a beer when you're tired of working instead of having an alarm horn wake you up when it's time for the beer.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
                    I re-read the opening post and I see you are using a 12V horn so really anything that looks like this
                    http://www.dx.com/p/011801-usb-relay...0#.WayoFcgjGUk
                    will probably be adequate for the job.

                    My suggestion is buy something like that and when you get the details I will write a few commands for the Task Scheduler.

                    It should be a simple project but one never knows!

                    John
                    Excellent, I've order some of those USB relays you linked to....will let you know when they arrive. I'm sure I wouldn't be only one interested to see how the software works, so to the extent that it doesn't increase the burden on you, please 'tell us how you did it"
                    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                    • #25
                      Thats good, let me know when they arrive and what information comes with them.

                      Agreed, others might like to see our progress on this one so I suggest we do it all on this topic, it is a bit off topic but still related so I think we will OK to do it here.

                      Meanwhile you should take a look at how to set up the Task Scheduler, I expect you will be needing to set up a task for every time you want to toot the horn. Just Google 'Task Scheduler' and the version of Windows you want to use.

                      John
                      Last edited by The Artful Bodger; 09-04-2017, 04:39 PM.

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                      • #26
                        I have made a little program to test the first stage of this project and that is putting my program somewhere where you can download it.

                        To test please click https://www.dropbox.com/s/om70m85acu...5Sept.exe?dl=0 and see if you can download a file called test05sept.exe and run it.

                        It will open a little window with a button for you to click, when you click it will shut down.

                        I have heard that url will not work so would you please try https://www.dropbox.com/sh/02x53dvfh...LQndmFP-a?dl=0

                        Thanks
                        John
                        Last edited by The Artful Bodger; 09-05-2017, 04:16 AM.

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                        • #27
                          You could program an Arduino using a real time clock, and even a simple GPS receiver to get an accurate time, and program an IO pin to activate a relay that can operate say a steam whistle hooked up to shop air.

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                          • #28
                            Do neither of my Dropbox links work or do no one try?

                            John

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
                              Do neither of my Dropbox links work or do no one try?

                              John
                              Your first link wants me to create an account, the second link tells me that I can't preview it.

                              Steve

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                              • #30
                                I used a dark room timer at my shop years ago. So I looked at eBay and they have used ones for less than $ 20 bucks. And they can be set up too an hour. And they have an alarm when the time is up.
                                Jimsehr

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