I found a low-cost timer

Discussion in 'Test Kits, Controllers, Reactors and Dosers' started by Nomad, 3 Mar 2012.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad

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    Just a heads up, that there is Voltex 24hr timer plug-point on special at Builder's Warehouse, at R29.90 I doubt we will found cheaper timer elsewhere.

    I could think of using it to switch on/off the lights

    Picture of the thing dully attached.

    cheers


    [​IMG]
     
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  3. erratiC

    erratiC

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    Thanks dude, been wanting to get a couple of these... hopefully they're here in DBN too.
     
  4. toppdogg

    toppdogg

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    cool price
    i have 1 and only thing i dont like is power off timer off to
    i rather got digitals as they have battery back up
    just my 2c
     
  5. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    Agree, rather spend the extra R100 and get a decent digital timer.
    The MajorTech timers are great, I have 4 of them. Big investment, but worth every cent!
     
  6. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    Yea these get stuck etc.... rather go for the digital one.
     
  7. Quintin

    Quintin

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    Only problem with those timers is they stop working when you have a power failure.
    Rather build yourself a DB board with small times that fit into it.
    They cost about R125 at makro and have a battery built into it that runs off the mains to charge it.
    Let me know if you want me to post pics.....
     
  8. erratiC

    erratiC

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    Lol, yes please Quintin.... :p
     
  9. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    So many differing opinions, the digitals can also be problematic if they come into contact with moist salt air so make sure they are in a open area when in use. I have personally opted to use the analogues as all 7 of my digitals went at the same time.
     
    Last edited: 4 Mar 2012
  10. erratiC

    erratiC

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    I've been using an analogue timer for the past year and haven't had any problems. I haven't had any power issues in that time either though.
     
  11. Quintin

    Quintin

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    OK.
    Here is the setup.

    This is the DB Board that I purchased, mounted on the side of the tank.
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see the 3 timers plus other 15A switches.
    The timers are programmable with 9 on and off times per day.
    Each day can have a different setting, if you really want to get complicated....
    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture of the DB Board open showing the wiring.
    Everything runs off the mains with earth leakage.
    [​IMG]

    Get the DB Board from Voltseng for about R150.
    Timers each are from Makro at R125 per timer.

    Gives you a much neater look with all the switches, timers and stuff in one place....
    Nice thing about these timers is, it runs on a battery backup powered by the mains.
    So if you have a power failure it will still keep all the settings for up to 2 months.
    If your lights where on and the power went out and the power comes on it will put your lights back on again automatically if they are still in the time limits.
    You can also connect something else to the closed circuit - So if you want your sump to run in a opposite cycle you can connect that here and it will automatically go on when the tank lights go off with only one timer module...
     
    Last edited: 4 Mar 2012
  12. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    Oh WOW Quintin...you are DEFINATELY living in the wrong Province...!!!:p..:lol:
     
  13. Quintin

    Quintin

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    Ha,ha,ha
    Looks more complicated that what it really is...
     
  14. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    With all timers, you should not switch multiple banks of lights etc. It is best to switch a contactor that will handle the required amperage.

    On a down side to those battery backup timers is that the recharging mechanism seems to be reasonably short lived. I find about 12-18 months then the timer has to be replaced. APITA
     
    Last edited: 4 Mar 2012
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Thread Starter

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    I am new to aquariums, but quite experienced with automation systems.

    The KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) generally allows to build more robust system for less in comparison to a more complex, admittedly more capable system.

    The mechanical timer will not work when the power is down, it is not designed for that, but would not the interruption of power cause more serious problem (like loosing control of temperature, flaw etc.) compared to the mildly irritating de-synchronisation of the timer?

    So, if I have to design a simple, low cost aquarium automation system, I will get the lowest adequately sized UPS, modify it by removing the the built-in small gel battery and replacing it with a nice car battery (say 55Ah, the common type).

    The output of the UPS I will connect to a power-strip, to which I will connect the various aquarium related loads, some directly, some via the timer-power-point.

    The resultant system is relatively small (the total of the loads connected to the strip should not exceed 16A or +/- 3.5kW), but in aquaria world, that's more than enough.

    methinks
     
  16. Quintin

    Quintin

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    OK.
    Then get yourself one of these.....
    It can handle 2000W and has a built in charge for a deep cycle battery.
    2000W inverter with charger
     
    Last edited: 4 Mar 2012
  17. Quintin

    Quintin

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    You need to buy a charger that can handle the load of charging a battery.
    A cheap UPS built for a 12V 7Ah battery will never charge a 105Ah battery - You will most likely burn it out before charging the battery or simply charge for yonks ruining the battery with a constant charge through it.
    A car battery won't work either as they are designed for cranking power only (to start the engine), so look at something like a lead acid or silver calcium deep cycle battery as they are designed for this kind of thing.....

    Been through the same process myself a couple of weeks ago in my build....
     
  18. Quintin

    Quintin

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    Hence the 3 timers on my DB.
    One for moon lights, one for T5's and one for midday lighting.
    These timers are actually designed for putting geysers on and off in order to save money at home so I think they are rated for something like 5000W each, not sure how many AMPs a geyser takes but I'm sure it is more than a lighting system.
    :yeahdude:
     
  19. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    The relays/contacts on the timers are rated for current draw which is amperage. When building electrical DB boards this is very important. You can have 500 timers. If the current draw is too much the contacts inside the timers will burn and or stick. If they stick say goodby to reef tank. @Yuri @Electrician24 @lIghty
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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  20. Quintin

    Quintin

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    Hence the trip switch in the DB board with earth leakage.......
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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  21. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Bud your trip switch will not protect your timer.

    Give me a link to the specs of the timer or post them. It may save you some stress later.
     
    Last edited: 4 Mar 2012
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