Homey Community Forum

Countdown vs Countdown Timers

I’m trying to figure out the real differences between these to apps before I use them too extensively. I hope someone who have tested them both could help me fill out the blanks.

Countdown by Ralf van Dooren are simple but effective. You have to create the Timer variable in the app and you can then use it in the flows, set the number of seconds (start/update) and stop it by setting 0 seconds. You can also manually set seconds in the app for testing purposes.

The downside is that all your variables will be permanently left in the app, and it can be somewhat hard to differentiate if you change add similar names. This annoys the heck out of me.

Countdown Timers by Jerome Bos works similarly. It seems like the main difference here are a couple.

  1. There’s a differentiation between starting a new countdown timer and updating an existing one. It means that you can create new timers from the flows and don’t have to go into the app. That’s good for most people I think.
  2. When timer have been used/created it’s sorted in a neat list of used timers (since last app restart) and you can Set a timer for it and stop the timer (like Countdown), but you can also pause.

The upside of using this app is that the variable list will be clean and tidy because it removes the not used variables. There’s also the added random function.

The downside is the not so logical divide between Start New timer and Update Existing timer. If you remove all cards “Setting a New timer” and the app is restarted, then that timer variable will be removed. But if you just have one “Update Existing Timer” card which pointed to the same variable, it’s still created and used again. Even after variable have been removed from the app list after a restart. Well, I guess that’s better than producing lots of errors in flow, but sill it would be less confusing having one single “New/Update Timer” card to avoid the confusion. If it’s a brand new one, you could write the desired text and if it’s a used one you get the dropdown list of available variable names.

Are there any major differences I don’t see here? Are any of those able to for example add a certain amount of seconds to the timers? I did not find such function, even though Countdown mentions “adjust” in one of the cards.

I was wondering the same. I did find that with Jeroen’s app you can’t set random timers (yet) and I do use that with Ralf’s app.

I’ve updated my original post. I’ve been testing some more, and I think I’m starting to grasp most of the differences. The big selling point for me for Jerome Bos’s app is that it cleans it self up. No huge list with old unused Timer names. I just had to really figure out how the New/Update function worked and how it would affect the Timer name list.

Your settings up a flow with a timer, and dont have to look at it again. So why a huge list with old unused timers???

Your changing that much in your flows.

Just wondering

My personal experience was that the countdown timer works reliable and is transparent. You can look if the timer is working and how many seconds are left. I experiented some problens with the countdown timer and was not able to see what the problem was. This is ofcourse my own fault in my flows, but the transparancy of the countdown timer works better for me. Making the flows with countdown is a little bit easier because you can say, “that” turn on the lights in the livingroom. With countdown timer i gave to say turn on bulb 1, turn on bulb 2 etc etc.

You start off with some tests and have 3-4 timer variables of various names. You start doing the real thing and have many timers, but then you find out that a naming convention is a good idea and you have to use new names. I did this because it makes it easier to search, categorize by room etc. So, from my early experimentation to now, I have about 20 timers. And I’ve just done 3 rooms with a few functions. How will that look when it’s passed a few more years and when I’m done with all automation? 50-80 timers and 1/3 of them used?

This creates a lot of confusion because you can pick a variable name that you don’t really use any more. And for neat freaks like me, it’s very, very annoying with untidy lists :slight_smile:

That’s a very good point. Being able to see what’s actually happening is great. And that you can manipulate this and test things.

How do you pause a timer with the countdown timers app, as mentioned in the first post?
I did find the pause function in the app configuration but there is no card ‘kaartje’ tot use it in a flow.

I can not find such functionality my self. That’s a shame :confused:

Can anyone put up examples of flows with “countdown timers” (english). I just can’t seem to grasp how to get them to work. I can’t figure out how to make the timers stop devices after the countdown. Obviously I’m missing something very obvious :frowning:

Here is a nice example of timers used in a flow.

So i. This example it requires 2 flows. One to start the timer and one when it finishes.
Anyone have a simple movement/timer/lights?

It’s under the search button, or here.