View Full Version : Just for fun, timer?

July 8, 2005, 11:42 AM
Some friends and I go out into the desert.
Place targets in different spots and have little competitions.
We use a watch, small clock or cell phone for the timing.
We set up our "course" in a few different configurations.
It usually requires (5) targets and (2) shots per target.
Or (5) targets and (4) shots per target, which would require (1) reload.
Sometimes you have to switch from your pistol to an sks or so.
Anyway we switch it up a lot and have a blast.
We add one or two seconds for every shot that doesnt hit the target.
So at the end its all based on your time.
We do this to keep it simple and fast.

Anyway I am looking to purchase one of those timers.
It can be shot activated or button activated.
If it is button activated I want it to make a loud sound
to indicate to the shooter, the time has started.
If its sound activated, starts when the first shot is fired,
does it have a button to stop the time?
I have seen these before online and they are pricy.
I am looking for a decent product for a lower price.
What do you guys recommend?

I thought the best thing would probably be button
activated so the shooter can have his gun on a table
or in his holster. He activates the timer, places it on the table
starts his course, then returns to the table to stop the timer.
That way nobody could cheat a second by pressing the button
a little late.

July 8, 2005, 10:03 PM
Most timers can be set up to time in different ways.

The usual configuration for pistol matches where a range officer activates the start button, the timer beeps, the shooter shoots the course. The time starts at the beep and ends at the last shot.

They can also be set where there is a random delay of the beep of a few (usually 2-7) seconds after the start button is pushed. This allows you to start yourself without anticipating the beep. Push the button, wait for the beep, start shooting.

You can also set it up for par time. Push the button, hear the beep. A second beep will sound after whatever par time is set into the timer. This can be pretty much any amount of time you want. Many shooters use this for practicing draws and other short courses. Again, you can use either instant or random start.

There are other features such as using a switch on a falling steel target to start and/or stop the time. I haven't seen any that use the sound of a shot to start the time.

After the course of fire, shots can be reviewed to show the time between each shot including the time from the beep to the first shot. If your are starting with a draw, this is your draw time. The timer will also show cumulative time to any shot selected in addition to split times.

I have a Competition Electronics Pro Timer IV. This is probably more expensive than what you are looking for, but there are many cheaper models available.

July 8, 2005, 10:20 PM
you could use a cheap stop watch, and build a circuit to switch it on after a sound blast. a more complicated one could shut it off too. or have the timer stop as part of the course. the shooter has to run to the table and stop it manually.

July 11, 2005, 10:31 AM
scottys1, thank you for your detailed reply.
Avizpls, I wouldn't want to make one, but curious of how it would be done.
Have you made one?

Doesn't this one (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=772064) start the time with the sound of the first shot?

So these timers record every shot, do you have to be within so many feet of the timer for it to pick up the sound of the shot?
I don't think we would be any further than 70'-0" from the timer.

How does the timer know what the last shot is?
Do you press the stop button after the last shot.
The timer then deletes the time between the last recorded shot and when you pushed the stop button?
Or do you tell the timer how many shots will be fired?

July 11, 2005, 10:37 AM
Also how does the Hit Factor work.

"With the ProTimer 4 Super, you enter your maximum stage points once. You then only need to enter your points down to get your Hit Factor"

Is the hit factor based on your time, max. stage points, and your points to determine your hit factor?

If you can explain this as simple as possible I would appreciate it.

July 11, 2005, 08:39 PM
The timer in your link doesn't start the time with the sound of a shot. I've used that model in club matches many times.

The time starts with the beep when the start button is pressed. The timer "hears" each shot and records it to memory. There is no stop button unless a switch is used on a "stop plate" target. When the shooter stops shooting, the timer has already recorded all the shots and calculated a total time for the course of fire regardless of the number of shots fired. You just look at the timer to get a total time.

70 feet is probably too far away for a timer to reliably register shots. Best is for a partner to start the shooter from a safe position behind the shooter and follow him through the course. When I practice alone, I use my timers pocket clip to clip it to my pocket and shoot as normal using the random delay. I'll review my time after the course. Works just fine.

Hit factor is easily calculated. Lets say you have a course that has a maximum of 100 points. Lets also say you shot this course with a score of 95. This is 5 points down. Lets say you shot this course in 15.00 seconds. You take your points (95) and divide it by your time (15.00) to get your hit factor. 95 divided by 15.00 is a hit factor of 6.333. Most timers are capable of calculating this as you described.

Stage points come into play when scoring matches. The shooter who has the highest hit factor on a stage is awarded all the points available on that stage, in this case 100. All other shooters are awarded stage points as a percentage thereof according to their hit factor, with the above shooter being 100%. The shooter with the most stage points accumulated over all the stages wins the match.

July 12, 2005, 12:50 AM
I havent made one for this purpose, but in the past i have made things similar.

briefly, it would go something like this.

a 'clapper' circuit which are all over the internet in various complexities would sense a noise at a certain level (and frequency for the complex ones)

The out put would be used to trip a relay which is wired in parallel with the button on a stop watch.

to make a stop one too, hook the out put of the clapper circuit to a counter circuit. at one 'tick', trigger start relay. at ten 'clicks' trigger stop relay.

(ten for a ten shot competition. or however many you do. The counters can be a bit more complicated when it comes to selecting how many triggers before switching outputs.

July 12, 2005, 09:13 AM
You and your buddies need to be going to USPSA and 3-gun matches. You should get ahold of area clubs and see if they are running any 'Intro to USPSA'-type classes. That would be ideal. Or just go observe a match and introduce yourselves.


As for a timer, the PACT Club Timer II is probably the easiest timer to use, I'd recommend that one. You can have the shooter clip it to themselves and use the delayed start feature, or you can have someone follow the shooter with the timer.

But that said, you really should get out to a USPSA or IDPA match and see how this is done before you spend alot of time trying to re-invent the wheel here. This type of shooting (known as 'practical shooting') has been going on in structured competiton for many many years now, and what you need to be doing is getting involved. If you guys are already gravitating towards this type of competition, you'll find your home in either USPSA or IDPA and/or 3-gun.

July 12, 2005, 10:21 AM
Thank you guys for the great replies! :)