Technical Studies Reference


Countdown Timer

The Countdown Timer study displays an advanced bar countdown timer on a chart. This study indicates the remaining time for the last bar in the chart. This study is highly configurable through the many provided study Inputs.

In the Study Settings window for the Countdown Timer study, on the Subgraphs tab, the Font Size of the Countdown Timer text is controlled through the Size setting of the Countdown (SG1) Subgraph.

The foreground color of the countdown text is controlled with the Subgraph Primary color. The background color is controlled with the Subgraph Secondary color.

Displaying Continuous Time Countdown: When the Countdown Timer study is used on a chart with time specific bars (Example: 5 minutes per bar), the remaining time will only advance when trades occur. To overcome this, set the Display Continuous Time Countdown Based on Real-Time Clock Input to Yes. Although when setting this Input to Yes, it will not give an accurate result if your computer's clock is not set accurately and will increase CPU usage.

The Countdown Timer can be displayed in any chart region by changing the Chart Region setting in the Study Settings window to the Chart Region you want it displayed in. However, when you set it to a Chart Region other than Chart Region 1, you need to be certain you have properly set the Vertical Position Value Input to the value you want the Countdown Timer displayed at in the Chart Region where it is displayed. Otherwise, it will not display.

The Countdown Timer is not supported on Reversal, Renko, Delta Volume, Point and Figure chart bars. In these cases, 0 will be displayed by the study.

Moving Countdown Timer

Once the Countdown Timer is added to a chart, it can be moved anywhere on the chart by right clicking on it and selecting Move Drawing. If this command is not displayed, then add it to the Chart Drawing Shortcut menu. Refer to Customizing Chart Drawing Shortcut Menu.

After right clicking on the Countdown Timer text and selecting Move Drawing, move your Pointer to the new location. As you move your Pointer, the Countdown Timer text will move with it. Left click to set the Countdown Timer text into place.

Alternatively, if the option Support Left Click to Select Chart Drawings is enabled on the Global Settings >> Tool Settings window, then it is possible to Left-Click on the Countdown Timer and Left-Click and hold while dragging the Countdown Timer to the new location.

After the Countdown Timer is initially added, modifying the Inputs Initial Horizontal Position From Left and Initial Vertical Position From Bottom will no longer move the Countdown Timer. You need to use Move Drawing as explained in this subsection.

Inaccurate Countdown Time Value or Amount Remaining

When the Display Continuous Time Countdown Based on Real-Time Clock Input is set to Yes, and the remaining time is clearly inaccurate based upon the timeframe of the chart bars and the last trade time of the last bar in the chart, then the problem is that the computers Date and Time is not set accurately.

If the computer's Date and Time is not set accurately relative to the data feed, you can also see a negative time remaining.

Refer to Help Topic 38 for help with this.

Another problem you can see when using the Countdown Timer on Number of Trades, Volume, Range, Reversal, Renko, Delta Volume, Price Change, Point and Figure Bars, is that it goes negative. In this case you need to set Sierra Chart for a Tick by Tick Data Configuration to resolve this.

Countdown Timer on TPO Profile Charts

The Countdown timer study can be used on charts that use the TPO Profile Chart study.

The Countdown Timer will display the remaining time from the start of the current subperiod within the most recent TPO Profile until it completes.

The Display Continuous Time Countdown Based on Real-Time Clock Input does not apply and should be set to No when the Countdown Timer study is used on a TPO Profile Chart. Effective with version 1644, this Input is always interpreted to be No, no matter what the setting is.

Inputs

  • Initial Horizontal Position From Left: This Input specifies the initial relative position from the left side of the chart that the countdown timer will appear at. The value can be from 1 to 150.

    This Input only controls the initial position of the Countdown Timer upon first adding the study to the chart. After that it is ignored. To later move the Countdown Timer, you need to follow the instructions in Moving Countdown Timer.
  • Initial Vertical Position From Bottom: This Input specifies the initial relative position from the bottom of the Chart Region that the countdown timer will appear at. The value can be from 1 to 100. 1 is at the bottom of the region and 100 as at the top of the region.

    This Input only controls the initial position of the Countdown Timer upon first adding the study to the chart. After that it is ignored. To later move the Countdown Timer, you need to follow the instructions in Moving Countdown Timer.
  • Display Value Only: When this Input is set to Yes, then the countdown timer value will be is displayed as a value only without any descriptive prefix. In the case of when the chart bars are based upon a fixed amount of time, the remaining time is always displayed in Seconds when this Input is set to Yes.

    When this Input is set to Yes, it is possible to use an Alert Condition Formula with the Countdown Timer study. The countdown time value is outputted to the last Subgraph 1 element for the study. For example, if you want to be alerted when 10 seconds remains on a bar and the chart bars are set to a fixed amount of time, then enter this formula = SG1 <= 10 in the Alerts >> Alert Condition box on the Study Settings window.

    Additionally, when this Input is set to Yes, the Countdown Timer value will be outputted to a Sheet when using the Spreadsheet Study. The value will be in the first Subgraph for the Countdown Timer study on the Sheet at row 3. And the Countdown Timer value will be outputted to the Chart Values windows.
  • Display Continuous Time Countdown Based on Real-Time Clock: When this Input is set to Yes and the chart bars are based on a time specific period (not Number of Trades, Volume, Range, Reversal, Renko, Delta Volume, Price Change, Point and Figure Bars), then the Countdown Timer will display the remaining time for the bar up to the current second even if there is no trading activity.

    In addition to real-time chart updating, this setting when set to Yes also applies during chart replays. However, if the replay is at a higher speed it may not always be completely precise.

    Note: In the case of real-time chart updating, this setting requires that your computer's clock to be set 100% accurately and that the trades received from the connected Data or Trading service are accurately timestamped. Otherwise, the displayed remaining time will not be accurate.

    Therefore, it is not necessarily a good option to use. For example, your computer's clock may be correct, but the time stamping from the Data or Trading service differs and you can still have an accuracy issue, assuming the external service is being used for trade time stamping.

    For information about synchronizing your computer's clock to an Internet time server for high accuracy, refer to help topic 38.

    When this Input is set to Yes, it will cause continuous redraws of the chart window until a bar completes. Therefore, it will result in increased CPU usage. Therefore, use it only when necessary and only on a few charts. It is not a good idea to use it on many charts because otherwise you may substantially increase the CPU load.

    When this Input is set to Yes, when a chart bar completes, this timer will go to 0. Only when a new bar begins will the timer begin again.
  • Display Remaining Range In Ticks: When this Input is set to Yes and it is a Range bar chart, then the remaining range is shown in ticks rather than the actual remaining value. This requires a correct Tick Size setting. This can be set in Chart >> Chart Settings.
  • Alert On New Bar: When this Input is set to Yes, then when a bar completes and a new bar is added to the chart, the selected Alert Sound number on the Alerts tab of the Study Settings window for the study will be triggered. For details to configure this particular Alert Sound number, refer to Alert Sound Settings.

    If there are multiple bars added at once to a chart, then only one alert sound will be played unless Alert for Every New Bar is set to Yes.
  • Transparent Label Background: Setting this to Yes removes the background surrounding the display of the timer information. Note that by default, the text is black and the chart background is black, therefore setting this to Yes will make the timer display disappear. To overcome this, change the Primary Color to something other than Black.
  • Alert for Every New Bar: This input only applies if Alert On New Bar is set to Yes. When this Input is set to Yes, then for every new bar added to the chart a separate alert sound will be played. Normally this is the case when Alert On New Bar is set to Yes, but when there are multiple bars added to the chart at once, only one alert sound is played unless Alert for Every New Bar is set to Yes.
  • Display Remaining Time as Seconds Only: Setting this to Yes will display the Countdown Timer as seconds only with no notations. In order to reference the amount of time left in a bar in another study or alert, it is necessary to set this to Yes in order to have a valid number to test against.
  • Use Current Price for Vertical Position: When this Input is set to Yes, then the vertical position of the Countdown Timer is controlled by the current price for the symbol and not by the Vertical Position from Bottom Input.

Examples

The following are examples that use the Countdown Timer Study in some way.

Alert When Bar Within Time

The Countdown Timer study can be used to control the timing of an alert condition when the timing is related to the time available within a bar. In order to create an alert using this kind of timing, follow these instructions:

  1. Add the Countdown Timer study to the chart. For information on how to add studies, refer to Adding/Modifying Chart Studies.
  2. Set the Countdown Timer inputs as desired, being sure to set the input Display Remaining Time as Seconds Only to Yes.
  3. Create or edit the Alert condition as desired. For more information on alerts, refer to Study/Chart Alerts and Scanning.
  4. Use one of the following examples to help create the alert that is desired. These formulas assume that the Countdown Timer is ID1 in the studies list:
    • Trigger on Time Left: =ID1.SG1 < 30. This alert formula will trigger when a bar has less than 30 seconds left to build.
    • Average Close Over Value and Time Left: =AND(AVERAGE(C[-1:-10]) > 2700, ID1.SG1 < 30). This alert formula will trigger when the average of the Closing values of the previous 10 bars is greater than 2700, and the most recent bar has less than 30 seconds left to build.

*Last modified Tuesday, 30th October, 2018.