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    0.5.2 • Public • Published

    Stop Timer (Variable Delay) for node-red

    General usage

    Sends the msg through the first output after the set timer duration. If a new msg is received before the timer has ended, it will replace the existing msg and the timer will be restarted, unless the new msg has a payload of 'stop' or 'STOP', in which case it will stop the timer. The second output allows you to send an additional payload of a number, string or boolean. If the timer is stopped, the second and third output will automatically send a payload of 'stopped'. The third output will send the time remaining, in HH:MM:SS format as time ticks away. The status below the node as well as the third output can be configured to update:

    • Never(default)
    • Every Second
    • Every Minute, Last minute by seconds

    The last option works as follows:

    • While there is more than 1 minute remaining, the timer will decrement every minute. At the 1 minute point, it will switch to reporting every second.
    • The exception to this rule is if your duration is not a minute increment. In that case, the first update will be for the partial minute, after which it will operate as noted above. (for example: 2.5 minutes will decrement to 2 minutes, then 1 minute, then every second down to zero)

    This is like the built in delay function of node-red, but with the ability to not only restart the timer, but to stop it as well.

    Overriding the node via incoming messages

    If the input contains msg.delay, then the delay will be 'msg.delay' units of time, where the units are whatever the units are defaulted to in the node iteself. In the absense of a 'msg.delay', or a value in 'msg.delay' that can not be converted to an int, the value configured within the node will be used. If the value of 'msg.delay' is less than 0, then 0 is used.

    If the input contains 'msg.units', with a value of "Milliseconds", "Seconds", "Minutes" or "Hours" then that will over-ride what is defaulted in the node. In the absense of a 'msg.units', or an unknown string in msg.units the units configured within the node will be used. In the case of an unknown string, a warning message will appear in the Debug logs.

    Special Note on Milliseconds

    While you can set Milliseconds, I would not rely on the accuracy for anything critical. For the purposes of the node status and output 3, except in the case where Reporting is set to None, the milliseconds are not displayed or provided on the 3rd output as it wouldn't make sense based on the available reporting rates.

    Resume timer on deploy/restart

    This option is DISABLED by default. If you ENABLE it (check the checkbox) then if the stoptimer is running and you re-Deploy the flow, or restart Node-RED, then the timer will automatically restart itself where it should be. What does that mean? A couple of examples will help here.

    • If you had a 10 minute stoptimer running, with 6 minutes elapsed (ie: 4 minutes left) and you hit Deploy, normally the stoptimer would no longer be running, but if you have this feature enabled, the timer will continue running from the 6 minute mark (ie: counting down 4 more minutes and then trigger).
    • If you had a 10 minute stoptimer running, with 6 minutes elapsed (ie: 4 minutes left) and you stopped Node-RED for 2 minutes and then restarted it, normally the stoptimer would no longer be running, but if you have this feature enabled, the timer will continue running from the 8 minute mark (6 minutes from the original run + 2 minutes of Node-RED downtime) -- counting down 2 more minutes and then trigger.
    • Special Case If on restart or re-Deploy, there is less than 3 seconds remaining on the stoptimer (or if the stoptimer should have elapsed already) then the stoptimer is set to a random amount between 3 and 8 seconds. This helps to ensure than anything else that needs to initialize before the stoptimer triggers, has a chance to initialize, it also helps so that if you happen to have a lot of timers, they don't all trigger at once and flood unsuspecting nodes/devices.

    This persistence is not related to "Persistent Context" (the contextStorage option in 'settings.js'). When the "Resume timer" option is enabled in the node, the node will store timer related information in a 'stvd-timers' subdirectory of 'userDir (where userDir is defined in 'settings.js'). If userDir is not explicitly defined, it defaults to a directory called '.node-red' in your home user directory. The files in this directory will be created/destroyed as needed by the node.


    What is _timerpass?

    _timerpass is a property added to messages exiting the 1st/top and 2nd/middle outputs of stoptimer. _timerpass is set to true when the timer expires.

    What does _timerpass do? If stoptimer has at any point been stopped using message.payload=stop (or STOP) AND If stoptimer has not received a message with _timerpass not set since that time THEN any incoming message that has the _timerpass=true property will die within stoptimer with no output.

    This can be problematic if you want to chain multiple stoptimers together. It is not insurmountable, but it can be irritating.

    Why does this behavior exist? It is a legacy thing, it was part of the original stoptimer whose code I forked. Not sure what exactly the original intent was, but I'm sure there is some rationale.

    How does Stoptimer-Varidelay handle this? Ignore Timerpass in the node config dialog. If enabled in a given stoptimer-varidelay node, it will ignore the presence of the _timerpass property on an incoming message and will process the incoming message as it does every other message.

    By default, this option is not enabled in order to preserve compatibility with any existing flows. Note that you may need to refresh the web ui after updating the node in order to see the new "ignore timerpass" option.

    Release Notes


    • Initial Release


    • Fixed an issue with using the timer in a repeating flow which caused it to either send an additional msg after being stopped, or, in some cases, not allowing a new msg to pass through after the node had been previously stopped.


    • README.md update


    • Updated icon for less confusion with other nodes


    • As per request, I have included a second output. You can set the payload for the second output to a number, string or boolean, however, if the timer is stopped with an incoming msg, the second output will send the payload of "stopped".


    • Forgot to update the "info" panel instructions inside of node-red to include the new features.


    • Clarified the instructions with respect to the what happens to the existing message when a new message arrives.


    • merc1031: Simple support for setting time from environment to allow parametrized use in subflows


    • putch: Simple support for msg.delay field to set the delay duration


    • putch: Added support for msg.units field to over-ride the units set in the node.


    • putch: changed the way that time is shown in the node status (from text Seconds/Minutes/Hours to HH:MM:SS)
    • putch: Added support for 3rd output indicating time remaining
    • putch: added option to define the rate of updates.
    • putch: Cleaned up internal references of node name
    • putch: Fixed milliseconds timer setting
    • putch: Fixed icon


    • putch: Fixed,3rd output should output 'stopped' if the stoptimer is sent 'stop' command


    • putch: Fixed time output when time is greater/equal 24 hours


    • putch: Optimized code which displays the countdown
    • putch: Fixed missing 'Units' label in node config screen.
    • putch: Added stoptime countdown persistance across Deploy/Restart


    • putch: Changed location of saved persistent data
    • putch: Remove persistent data for node if node is deleted


    • putch: Move location of saved persistent data to a subdir of userDir
    • putch: Added additional documentation clarify no relation to persistent context configuration.


    • putch: Fixed a logging issue if there is an issue reading the persistent data on restart
    • putch: Switched from parse/stringify to decycle/retrocycle to handle JSON with cyclical data


    • putch: Fixed an issue where if the delay was longer than 24 days, the timer would fire immediately


    • putch: Fixed issue where the restarting of the timer after NR restart broke in NR 1.2.x.


    • putch: Fixed issue where the 2nd output would always output True when set to boolean


    • putch: Fixed issue where if the node was directly configured to a delay of 0 (regardless of units) in the dialog box, then the node would actually delay 5 (whatever units).
    • putch: Fixed issue where if the node was directly configured to a value with a decimal (for example 10.5) in the dialog box, then the node would actually truncate the fractional part (10.5 becomes 10).


    • putch: Fixed an issue where if the node was in a subflow, it was exceedingly unlikely that it would successfully resume after restart/redeploy.
    • putch: Fixed an issue where if the node status was "stopped" and a new message came in with _timerpass=true, the node status was cleared (but the node was still in "stopped" state so it could be unclear why it may ignore a new message. Now the status "stopped" remains.
    • putch: Added an optional feature to ignore incoming _timerpass=true flags. See README or Node help for details.
    • putch: Added a node status (expired) for when the timer expires.


    • putch: Corrected documentation omission.


    • putch: Fixed issue where if the node was in a subflow of a subflow (ie: more than just in a flow or single level deep subflow) the restart/redeploy functionality would not work. This fix breaks the solution in 0.5.0. Upon inital restart after upgrading to 0.5.2, nodes within subflows won't restart if there were in progress (and you will have orphan node state files). Solution as suggested by tobi-bo.


    npm i node-red-contrib-stoptimer-varidelay

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