HET FA-18: Use an audible countdown timer for flights

Problem: When flying the FA-18 (or any fast moving aircraft), it’s dicey to take your eyes off of it, even for a moment…  Even for, say, looking at the time left on the flight!  I would glance at my countdown timer and when I looked back at the jet, it was often rolling to one side or the other. Kinda scary. Though my radio beeps when time has expired, I like to know how much time is left during the flight.

Solution: Buy a cheap, audible countdown timer, so you don’t have to look.

I was able to google some audible countdown timers, but they were more than I wanted to pay for. These were very nice units made for the blind. Some were meant for a kitchen countertop, so they really weren’t portable for RC.

Then I got a great search hit. Turns out that paintball players use audible countdown timers. Most paintball games have a set duration before the game is over.  And you really want to keep your eyes looking for enemies rather than get a cap in your ass for looking at your watch.

Their timers are perfect because they are cheap, rugged, and very lightweight.

The one I found was $10 on eBay and called the "Talkin’ Timer" (made by Viewloader).

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A digitized voice (female) will announce the time left every minute. Eg. "5 minutes remaining". There’s one memory preset for that frequently used timer setting. There’s also a mute button.  Unit has no power switch: It just shuts-off automatically when not in use. It comes with a lanyard, which is handy for wearing around the neck (I sling it over one shoulder so it doesn’t get in the way of my radio). If you’ve seen the abuse paintball gear gets, you know this unit is built for durability.

The volume is nice and loud, which is great for outdoor use like RC.

It rocks.  Eyes are always on the fast movin’ plane.

See my other FA-18 tips:

Donn Lee

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