My first underwater swim timer lasted about 9 months. Then, the vacuum sealed bags got a leak. Water damaged the inexpensive kitchen timer. It should be noted that I left the whole set-up underwater most of the time, only removing it when we vacuumed the pool. After it broke, I managed to track my swim times with an old-fashioned looking alarm clock sitting on the cement wall just above eye level when I was horizontal in water. The clock face was large and I could reasonably read the numbers when breathing on that side. Since I had already developed the ability to relax and swim for longer periods in the Fastlane current, this was not a strain, though I missed having the large digital display available right in front of me while I swam, even though I don’t look at it constantly. I think my temporary arrangement would have been more frustrating earlier in my swimming experience.
Then, I got a new iPhone. The 99 cent, older version iPhone 4, mind you. But I still wanted to find something waterproof for it. That is how I found my new underwater timer waterproof bag. (7.9-inch Plastic Tablet Waterproof Sleeve Dry Pouch Bag) Greg was impressed with my find. For $11, it was hard to beat. I had already ordered the same version of kitchen timer after reviewing more expensive underwater timers. Those expensive timers didn’t seem to be rated any better or longer lasting than our original attempt. (I ended up with a LIfeproof case for the iPhone)
One of the things that had lead to the demise of the earlier version timer, was that the water current flow pushed the bag around. This finally ripped out a couple of the zip ties. The motion resulted in a hole in the bags. So this time, we were looking for a way to make the waterproof bag more secure to the PVC pipe stand. There was also no place to punch holes or use zip ties. New methods would be required.
First, he removed the clip on the back of the timer. Then, a knife sawed off the 2 small protrusions also on the back of the timer. They were checked for sharpness and filed as necessary. Now, the timer was ready to be placed inside the waterproof pouch. The triple ziplock – fold over snap top seems sturdy and like it will stay closed.
What Greg decided was to use some thin pieces of strapping that he had around, such as is used to hold boxes shut for shipping. Don’t ask me why he has these things. Somewhere along the way they become available to him and he takes them home to his workshop for that unknown day when he will want to use them.
Some duct tape was pressed firmly to the strapping and then both were pressed to the PVC stand. Next, the cut strapping ends were taped together with a longish piece of duct tape. (see video below) The bag was held in place well, but the timer was slipping down the the bottom of the bag so that the display was behind the line of strapping. More duct tape was used to tighten the whole bottom end of the bag, up next to the strap, so that the timer was held to the clear middle section. I think the strapping will still be good as a support, to keep the whole thing more rigid.
Even though it was raining, I was ready to try it. With the camera running, I swam up to set the timer. When I watched the video, I was surprised at how loud the machine sounds came across. Although I can hear the Fastlane working, it is nothing like what the camera microphone picked up through the water!
Next on the agenda is finishing work on the garage cover being made into a winter swimming pool house so that I won’t get headaches swimming in freezing temperatures.