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Lesson 32 Using Timer

Timer is a control in Visual Basic 2017 that that can be used to create Visual Basic 2017 applications that are time-related. For example, you can use the timer to create a clock, a stopwatch, a dice, animation and more. The timer is a hidden control at runtime, just like the engine of a car. We shall illustrate the usage of timer using a few examples.

32.1 Creating a Digital Clock

To create the clock, first of all, start a new project in Visual Basic 2017  and name it MyClock. Change the text of the Form1 to MyClock in the properties window. Add the Timer control to the form. Next, insert a label control into the form and change its font size to any size you wish, and set the text alignment to be the center. Next, set the Interval property of the Timer control to 1000, which reflects a one-second interval(1 unit is 1 millisecond). Set the MaximizeBox property of Form1 to false so that the user cannot enlarge the clock. Lastly, set the Enabled property of the Timer control to True so that the clock starts running as soon as it is loaded.

Label1.Text = TimeOfDay

*TimeOfDay() is a Visual Basic 2017 built-in function that returns the current time today based on your computer system time.

Click on the Timer control and enter the code above, as shown below:

Private Sub Timer1_Tick(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Timer1.Tick

LblClock.Text = TimeOfDay

End Sub

The digital clock is as shown in Figure 32.1

Figure 32.1

 32.2 Creating a Stopwatch

We can create a simple stopwatch using the Timer control in Visual Basic 2017. Start a new project and name it stopwatch. Change the Form1 caption to Stopwatch. Insert the Timer control into the form and set its interval to 1000 which is equal to one second. Besides that, set the timer Enabled property to False so that it will not start ticking when the program is started. Insert three buttons and change their names to BtnStart, BtnStop and BtnReset respectively. Change their texts to “Start”, “Stop” and “Reset” accordingly. Now, enter the code as follows:

Private Sub BtnStart_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles BtnStart.Click
Timer1.Enabled = True
End Sub

Private Sub Timer1_Tick(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles Timer1.Tick
LblPanel.Text = Val(LblPanel.Text) + 1
End Sub

Private Sub BtnStop_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles BtnStop.Click
Timer1.Enabled = False
End Sub

Private Sub BtnReset_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles BtnReset.Click
LblPanel.Text = 0
End Sub
The Interface of the Stopwatch is as shown in Figure 32.2
Figure 32.2

 32.3 Creating a Digital Dice

We can create a digital dice easily using the Timer Control. To create a dice, you need to generate random numbers using the Rnd function. Rnd generates numbers between 0 and 1. The following statement generates random integers from 1 to 6.

n = Int(1 + Rnd() * 6)

In the code, we introduce the variable m to control the length of time of the rolling process. If m is more than 1000, then the rolling process will stop by setting the timer enabled property to False. Set the timer interval to 10 so that the number changes every 0.01 second.

The Code

Public Class Form1
Dim n, m As Integer
Private Sub Timer1_Tick(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles Timer1.Tick
m = m + 10
If m

Running the program produces a dice with fast changing numbers which stops at a certain number. The interface is as  shown in Figure 31.3

 Figure 32.3

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