BigTimer 2.06 update questions answered

I’ve been asked questions about output from my Node-Red-Contrib-BigTimer in the 2.06 update and also the new(ish) “timer X” option. Here is a working demo, I’ve added a timer to my desk with a Sonoff BASIC attached and a lamp to test. Output 1 is as you can see working fine in this demo.


There it is. Set to come on at dusk (it is currently morning). I can do a simple manual override (using an inject for test purposes) until the next ON time or just have a quick 15 minute burst.

Here is the setup in the node itself… set to work all months and days by default.

Bigtimer code

The injects have “1”, “0”, “auto” and “timer 15 mins” in them, respectively.

And the short answer is, yes you can see the remaining time in the "timer" option and you now have a "timeroff" alternative.

I also tested the second output to ensure that 00:00/00:00 works as does a short morning burst.

Incidentally, second output – msg.precision – tells you how much time in seconds is left before the "timer" and "timeoff"  modes runs out.

And YES, in 2.07 I’ve added “timeoff” so now you can have a temporary burst of on OR off time and YES I’ve also added the countdown to the visual status.

I wonder how many realise the amount of work and concentration these “little” changes take to put in and more importantly test and re-test. That’s the entire morning gone. Done.


Big Timer

tmp17DBBig Timer is (probably) the best-ever timing node for Node-Red, providing a general purpose timer as well as  handling summer/winter correctly as well as (importantly) lighting up time (for which you should provide longitude and latitude). After all you probably don’t turn the outside lights on at 6pm!! You turn them on when it gets DARK.

As always - available at node-red-flows and at

Latest (Dec 16, 2018) additions/changes include timestamp on outputs, additional on/off inputs, improvements to "timer" input option (default secs) example:

timer X (mins)

timeoff X (mins)

Short extract from the readme file:

The ultimate Timing node for Node-Red


BigTimer is a powerful timing node offering a range of timing facilities for Node-Red. BigTimers can be used singly or in groups. Full support for dusk/sunset dawn/sunrise and variations also day/week/month (and special days) control. The node offers outputs suitable for MQTT, speech and databases. You can also manually over-ride the UTC time setting on the host computer if required.


Suitable for general use and very powerful (yet simple), BigTimer has 3 outputs, the first of which triggers when there is a change of state and presents one of two messages (for, for example, MQTT or other control mechanism), the second output is a simple 1 or 0 every minute in the payload and also has additional outputs reflecting the status message in msg.state and message time and others. The third output presents a message which could be used for speech or debugging.

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T12 Digital Temperature Controlled Soldering Station

Another potential winner from Banggood, or rather would be, if I’d had my act together when ordering. The V2.1S T12 Digital Temperature Controlled Soldering Station is a small, neat soldering station complete with iron and combined bit/element – it looks good and well built.  I would advise getting spare parts – see below.

T12 Soldering Station

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Bakeey Fabric Protective Case for Pocophone F1

Christmas could well be arriving early, I got more post this morning… first off the new case for my Xiaomi Pocophone F1 which, I may add (and thanks to Antonio for reminding me to upgrade) now also has Android 9 Pie.

Bakeey case for Pocophone

I didn’t have high expectations as many of these cases look great in the ads but then look like crap in reality. This one really looks nice and feels solid. Link over the break.

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EleksMaker Pro Laser Engraver

Update December 12, 2018
Earlier this year I put together this excellent A3 laser engraving machine. Originally, a 500mW laser module arrived complete with its own power supply (the laser which was not included in the basic kit). It turns out that was the wrong laser and now I have the 2300mW violet laser complete with upgraded 2.5A power supply. In the photo you also see the (important) green protective glasses that came with the kit.

Cutting door signs with Eleksmaker

With help from my friend Aidan who has extensive experience with 3D printers and similar, we’re now putting together some Perspex door signs for bedrooms at Willow Cottage using the Eleksmaker engraver (Sylvan Azure and Occitane are the bedroom names for the door signs).

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Acrylic RPI Case + Twin Fans

This recently turned up for me from Banggood.. a great new case for the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, complete with coated copper heatsink and DUAL fans. Something new every day!!

Case and dual heatsink for RPI3 Model B

The dual heatsink is great if a little bit of a tight fit, I like the case and already it has the job, it is now protecting my main Pi3. The fan connector plugs straight into the PI.

In case you were wondering, the Perspex IS clear, in the top photos I’d not yet removed the thin protective covering. I did eventually but not without some wear and tear on my fingernails.

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K2 OLED HD Colour Display Bluetooth Smartwatch

K2 SmartwatchThis item turned up for me on my return from the USA: The K2 OLED Bluetooth Smartwatch.

It has magnetic charging and an App for iPhone and Android – I used the Android version.. called “iband”. The app is referred to in the 12-sided booklet that comes with this inexpensive watch and it all works well. I had no difficulties at all pairing the watch to my Pocophone F1, a process which thanks to the use of a QR-code took moments only.

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Digital Breath Alcohol Tester

Not so much a stunning new development as a quick Christmas gimmick, this one. Well, I had to have one.

Alcohol tester

This pocket gadget should not be used for medical purposes – more for having a laugh this Christmas – and that’s something we should be doing lots of. So here’s the reference… stone, cold sober – I’ve has no alcohol for days and it shows in a reading of 0.00%

This pocket gadget takes a pair of AAA batteries and is easy to use. The unit has 4 buttons and two displays. The upper display runs constantly and shows the actual time and ambient temperature. The second display, once you breath onto the device, momentarily shows % BAC and g/l alcohol.

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Seeed Air602 WIFI Module

Seeed Air602Touted as an alternative to the ESP8266, the Air602 WIFI is a tiny module from Seeed Studio in Shenzhen. Also available is a development board with USB and Flash memory.

The basic 2.4Ghz WIFI module is based on the W600 embedded WIFI SoC chip with a simple 12-pin interface. at 2mm pin spacing The unit overall is 12mm by 10mm and supports IEEE802.11b/g/n and AT commands.


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