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Old 06-09-2014, 08:47   #1
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Countdown Timer Recommendations?

I am planning to be singlhanding a lot next year and I am looking for recommendations for a good timer with alarm to help wake me up when I doze off. Here are my requirements and desirements:

  1. Must be loud
  2. Reset and restart with 1 (preferable) or 2 button presses
  3. Reasonably water resistant
  4. Neck lanyard (not essential, but nice to have)
  5. Non-magnetic (if there is a magnet, it should be easy to pry off non-destructively)
  6. Backlit time remaining display
  7. Cost < ~$20
Is there such a beast?
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:50   #2
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Re: Countdown timer recommendations?

I've been happy with kitchen timers. Find a simple one with a dial or something you can manage half asleep. Mechanical ones will rust but not fail unpredictably.

And you don't want it on your neck. You need to get up.

But more than $2.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:08   #3
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Re: Countdown timer recommendations?

Absolutely will not fail: water.

As a former singlehander, when offshore I would set my timer and drink several glasses of water. If the timer ever failed to wake me the bladder never would.

Cheers.

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Old 06-09-2014, 09:35   #4
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Re: Countdown timer recommendations?

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Originally Posted by Dhillen View Post
Absolutely will not fail: water.

As a former singlehander, when offshore I would set my timer and drink several glasses of water. If the timer ever failed to wake me the bladder never would.

Cheers.

Dhillen
Very true--I also find my bladder makes a good alarm clock to for anchor checks in the middle of the night. But I'm looking for something more predictable, that would go off every 15 or 20 min.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:46   #5
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Re: Countdown Timer Recommendations?

Yeah, I agree with Thinwater. Simply a wind up kitchen timer. No battery to ever fail, they are loud, they are simple to set and reset, and you don't need a lighted display as you can feel in the dark how long till it goes off. And they are under $20. Heck, you can find them at most dollar stores too. Buy two or three and keep the spares in an air tight bag with a dessicant in it. When your timer eventually rusts out and you dont feel secure with it, grab the spare.
And if you are wide awake, you can reset the time before it rings, something most electronic once won't do.
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Old 06-09-2014, 12:16   #6
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Re: Countdown Timer Recommendations?

Casio makes several watches where the countdown timers have various modes. One of these being that you can set it up so that the timer goes sounds the alarm at interval X, and then, with no manipulation by you, the countdown cycle starts all over again.
Timex makes some like this as well (as do other companies). And said chronometers have pretty good battery life (like measured in years), even when you use this & it's other functions a lot. Plus they're both waterproof, & inexpensive. Also, with many of them, replacing the battery only requires a jeweler's screwdriver & about 5 minutes.

Just hang it on a hook, wrap it around a post, or fasten it like you would around your wrist to a D-ring/small pad eye, near your head/the head of your bunk. Assuming that it's purpose is to wake you so that you can get up & check the horizon every 15 or 20 minutes.
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Old 06-09-2014, 12:26   #7
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Re: Countdown Timer Recommendations?

A simple egg timer works great. They seem to be bullet prof, don't require batterys and are spring operated. Heck at maybe $5 each buy several!
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Old 06-09-2014, 14:07   #8
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Re: Countdown timer recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
I've been happy with kitchen timers. Find a simple one with a dial or something you can manage half asleep. Mechanical ones will rust but not fail unpredictably.

And you don't want it on your neck. You need to get up.

But more than $2.
Would you recommend a specific brand? I like the idea of a simple wind-up timer, but the ones I've seen ring a short bell that's not especially loud.

I meant cost less than about $20 not $2 (and a few bucks more would be fine too if it was good quality)
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Old 06-09-2014, 14:17   #9
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Re: Countdown Timer Recommendations?

I believe this is the one I used. Lasted 3 years and then got left with the boat. $4.49 If you are on watch and couple dings doesn't wake you up... well... you're NOT on watch!
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Old 06-09-2014, 14:18   #10
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Re: Countdown Timer Recommendations?

Have a look at "Gym Boss" athletic timers. They meet most of your requirements.

The Casio watches are ok, but the alarm isn't loud enough to wake me reliably, especially if there is wind and sea noise.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 06-09-2014, 14:26   #11
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Re: Countdown Timer Recommendations?

Jim didn't mention it, but the Gym Boss has a vibrator, so you also have the buzz in your pocket, as well as the alarm.

Ann
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Old 06-09-2014, 18:25   #12
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Re: Countdown Timer Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Have a look at "Gym Boss" athletic timers. They meet most of your requirements.

The Casio watches are ok, but the alarm isn't loud enough to wake me reliably, especially if there is wind and sea noise.

Cheers,

Jim
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Jim didn't mention it, but the Gym Boss has a vibrator, so you also have the buzz in your pocket, as well as the alarm.

Ann
Jim and Ann,
Gym Boss does look like it would fit the bill
Thank you
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Old 06-09-2014, 18:35   #13
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I used to use a kitchen timer, the windup kind. The only problem is it's just one loud Bing and if you sleep through that.... I'm much happier with my smartphone I set the snooze for 9 minutes. If I sleep through the full minute of the alarm (highly unlikely) it will go off again shortly. I forget the exact math but I'm pretty sure it takes a ship cruising at 30 knots 15min to come over the horizon and be in your position. So if you have a smartphone that would be my vote
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Old 06-09-2014, 18:47   #14
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Re: Countdown Timer Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
I am planning to be singlhanding a lot next year and I am looking for recommendations for a good timer with alarm to help wake me up when I doze off. Here are my requirements and desirements:

  1. Must be loud
  2. Reset and restart with 1 (preferable) or 2 button presses
  3. Reasonably water resistant
  4. Neck lanyard (not essential, but nice to have)
  5. Non-magnetic (if there is a magnet, it should be easy to pry off non-destructively)
  6. Backlit time remaining display
  7. Cost < ~$20
Is there such a beast?
I like the look of the watch commander, haven't tried one but I like the principle. Sail Safely - The Watch Commander passage timer
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Old 06-09-2014, 20:15   #15
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Re: Countdown Timer Recommendations?

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Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
I like the look of the watch commander, haven't tried one but I like the principle. Sail Safely - The Watch Commander passage timer
I like it too, but $259 is a little more than I'm ready to spend right now.
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