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Creating a Better Rubik's Cube Stackmat Timer

Jerichuber

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Aug 10, 2017
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2015LEEJ02
Following the events of Seung Hyuk Nahm and Sebastian Weyer during the recent World Championships, I modified a Gen 3 Stackmat Timer and moved the reset and power buttons from the top of the timer to the front side of the timer. Implementing this into competition timers would get rid of the need for O-rings (which were unavailable during the Paris World Championships), and eliminate any DNFs or confusion following solves. Tell me your thoughts in the comments, and whether it should be used in future competitions.

Here is the creation and thoughts video of the new timer:

 

shadowslice e

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Jun 16, 2015
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This would be great to implement but unfortunately I don't think that most people will change this unless you somehow get speedstacks themselves to make the change. Given that they provide o rings I think we're stuck with that for now. :(
 

Jerichuber

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Aug 10, 2017
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Los Angeles, CA
WCA
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Yes, I do not believe most people would want to modify their timers. But maybe speedstacks could implement this design for their next generation timer, or another 3rd party seller could distribute them. But I think the biggest problem would be getting WCA permission to use these timers in actually competition, but I am not sure about the rules.
 

SenorJuan

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An alternative solution to the 'false reset' problem is to have TWO reset buttons, and you need to press both to get the 'reset'.
 

AlphaSheep

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Nov 11, 2014
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Gauteng, South Africa
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2014GRAY03
Yes, I do not believe most people would want to modify their timers. But maybe speedstacks could implement this design for their next generation timer, or another 3rd party seller could distribute them. But I think the biggest problem would be getting WCA permission to use these timers in actually competition, but I am not sure about the rules.
The only regulation that's kind of relevant here is this one:

8a7) Use the authentic Speed Stacks Stackmat timer (Generation 2, Generation 3 Pro Timer, or Generation 4 Pro Timer) for time measurement

It depends on whether after a modification like this the timer still counts as authentic. It's open to interpretation, but I don't think this is something a delegate should be making the decision on. I think it's something the board and regulations committee would have to make a decision on.

My personal opinion (which doesn't count for much) is that modifications like this on existing timers should not be allowed for competitions (for reasons like quality control, etc). But, it is an awesome idea, and I definitely think it would be good if future Stackmat timer designs used this idea.

If I remember correctly, one of the suggestions from the WCA for the Gen 4 design was to have the reset and power buttons recessed. It's a pity that didn't actually happen.
 

DGCubes

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Feb 14, 2014
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DGCubes
The only regulation that's kind of relevant here is this one:

8a7) Use the authentic Speed Stacks Stackmat timer (Generation 2, Generation 3 Pro Timer, or Generation 4 Pro Timer) for time measurement

It depends on whether after a modification like this the timer still counts as authentic. It's open to interpretation, but I don't think this is something a delegate should be making the decision on. I think it's something the board and regulations committee would have to make a decision on.
I think his modification is fine. The guidelines say:

8a7+) ADDITION Organizers should strongly consider modifications to make Stackmat timers more robust against common incidents, such as making the buttons more difficult to press by accident (e.g. by attaching O-rings around the buttons) and securing the battery more firmly (e.g. by padding the battery compartment).

The WCA encourages modifying the timers to make the buttons harder to press, giving O-rings as an example. I see his modification as just an extension of this idea.

I feel like there are three possible ways to stop 99% of accidental timer resets: moving the buttons (as shown by the OP), requiring more than one button to be pressed simultaneously (as mentioned by @SenorJuan), and requiring the buttons to be held down for longer before resetting (such as 0.55 seconds, like the amount of time required to start the timer). Of these, the least intrusive to the general solving experience is definitely the first one, and I'd totally be for SpeedStacks implementing it in future WCA timers.
 
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