Countdown Timer

Let’s make a countdown timer and see the seconds tick by on your micro:bit watch.

Make the time variable

We need a variable to keep track of how many seconds are left on the watch.

1. Go into Basic in the toolbox and pull an ||basic:on start|| on to the workspace.
2. Ok, in Variables click on Make a Variable. Name the variable as seconds. Drag out a ||variables:set to|| block and change the name with the dropdown to seconds. Place the variable into the ||basic:on start|| block.
let seconds = 0

Set the time with buttons

There has to be a way to set the time on your watch. We’ll use the buttons to set the amount of time by adding both 10 seconds and single seconds. We’ll use one button for adding 10 seconds and another button for adding just 1 second.

Set seconds by ten

We’ll use button A to add 10 seconds to our time count. The time count of seconds will increase by 10 each time the button is pressed.

1. In Input, find an ||input:on button pressed|| an put it somewhere on the workspace.
2. Get an ||logic:if then|| block from Logic and put it in the ||input:on button pressed||.
3. From the same Logic category, get a ||logic:0 < 0|| and replace the false condition with it.
4. Change the left 0 in the condition to the seconds variable. Change 0 on the right to 50. This limits time to just one minute.
5. In the ||logic:then|| section, put a ||variables:change by|| there. Select the seconds variable name from the dropdown and change the 0 on the right to 10.
6. Add a ||basic:show number|| below the ||variables:change by||. Change the value to the seconds variable. Then, put a ||basic:clear screen|| under that.
let seconds = 0;
input.onButtonPressed(Button.A, () => {
if (seconds < 50) {
seconds += 10;
basic.showNumber(seconds)
basic.clearScreen()
}
})

Set seconds by one

Now, we’ll use the B button to add just 1 second the time count. The time count in seconds will only increase by 1 when this button is pressed.

1. In Input, find an ||input:on button pressed|| an put it somewhere on the workspace.
2. Get an ||logic:if then|| block from Logic and put it in the ||input:on button pressed||.
3. From the same Logic category, get a ||logic:0 < 0|| and replace the false condition with it.
4. Change the left 0 in the condition to the seconds variable. Change 0 on the right to 60. Again, this limits the time to just one minute.
5. In the ||logic:then|| section, put a ||variables:change by|| there. Select the seconds variable name from the dropdown.
6. Add a ||basic:show number|| below the ||variables:change by||. Change the value to the seconds variable. Then, put a ||basic:clear screen|| under that.
let seconds = 0;
input.onButtonPressed(Button.B, () => {
if (seconds < 60) {
seconds += 1;
basic.showNumber(seconds)
basic.clearScreen()
}
})

Shake off the time

Ok, now we’ll get the timer going and show how many seconds are left. This will happen when the watch is shaken!

1. Get an ||input:on shake|| block and place it in the workspace.
2. Pull out a ||loops:while|| from Loops and put it in the ||input:on shake||. Replace the true condition with the ||logic:0 < 0|| conditon from Logic. Make the < go to >. Change the 0 on the left to the seconds variable.
3. Take out another ||basic:show number|| and put it inside the ||loops:while||. Change the 0 to the seconds variable. Put a ||basic:pause|| under that and set the time to 1000 milliseconds. This means our timer will count down by 1000 milliseconds, which is actually one second, each time through the loop.
4. To change the number of seconds left, get a ||variables:change by|| and place it below the ||loops:pause||. Find the ||math:0 - 0|| block in Math and put it in the ||variables:change by||. Set the 0 on the right of the minus to be a 1.
let seconds = 0;
input.onGesture(Gesture.Shake, () => {
while (seconds > 0) {
basic.showNumber(seconds);
basic.pause(1000);
seconds -= 1;
}
})

Be alarming!

Add a few ||basic:show icon|| blocks at the bottom of the ||loops:while|| to make an alarm to show that the time is up! We have some diamonds and the ‘X’ symbol for ours right now.

let seconds = 0;
input.onGesture(Gesture.Shake, () => {
while (seconds > 0) {
basic.showNumber(seconds);
basic.pause(1000);
seconds -= 1;
}
basic.showIcon(IconNames.Diamond)
basic.showIcon(IconNames.SmallDiamond)
basic.showIcon(IconNames.No)
})

All Done!

Nice! You’ve got your timer coded now. Go press the |Download| button and put your code on the micro:bit. When you shake it, it counts down from the time you have set.

At first, there are zero seconds set. To add ten seconds to the count, press the A button. To increase the count by one second, press the B button.