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OK, all you engineering types...We are looking for a Short Range Cycle Timer.  Something that can do 10 minutes on and 3 minutes off, for example.  And costs less than $100!  Any ideas?  Thanks!

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I've built them using picaxe chips and relays but I've not found much suitable for under $100

Been looking too.

Can you use an irrigation timer? It is what i'll be using to trigger a bypass solenoid. The pump will run 24/7 circulating water in the fish tank.. when it's time to flood a bed the bypass solenoid will kick on and allow water to flow to the grow bed. Super programmable and cheap.

 

http://www.dripirrigation.com/drip_irrigation_info.php?cPath=34_45&...

the irrigation timer I have has 4 separate outputs and each output can only trigger 4 times a day.  Is 4 floods of your grow bed per day enough?

 

Also, how strong is your pump Chi?  Most irrigation solenoid valves require a fair bit of differential pressure in order to function properly.  (it isn't like they are mechanically opening a ball valve or anything.)  They usually have a diaphragm held in place with a spring and it requires a certain amount of pressure to push against that spring for the water to flow.  The way most inexpensive irrigation solenoids work is the solenoid is just a little plunger against a little air hole, when the solenoid activates, it pulls that plunger off the air hole which lets the air escape from behind the diaphragm to allow the water to pass but the water still has to have enough pressure to push past the spring when there is no air trapped behind it.  Most irrigation solenoid valves need between 5 and 10 psi. 

I'm not using an irrigation solenoid.

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/ALCON-Solenoid-Valve-5WNF1

 

 

  • Watering Schedules can be set according to four different programs for model C032:
    1. Standard watering cycle: 7 day programming schedule with four start time per day
    2. Cyclical watering cycle: From 1 to 30 days with one start time per day
    3. Repeat watering cycle: From 1 hour to 23 hours per day
    4. Repeat watering cycle: From 1 minute duration, 5 minutes interval with open window to start in AM or PM and a window to close in AM or PM

 

hum, very interesting.


It does still have a min. psi differential  says 10 psi.  I don't know if this will throw a wrench in your plans.

 

You have info about a timer there but you don't link to the timer?  Interested in more info on that definitely.


Chi Ma said:

I'm not using an irrigation solenoid.

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/ALCON-Solenoid-Valve-5WNF1

 

 

  • Watering Schedules can be set according to four different programs for model C032:
    1. Standard watering cycle: 7 day programming schedule with four start time per day
    2. Cyclical watering cycle: From 1 to 30 days with one start time per day
    3. Repeat watering cycle: From 1 hour to 23 hours per day
    4. Repeat watering cycle: From 1 minute duration, 5 minutes interval with open window to start in AM or PM and a window to close in AM or PM

 

thanks for this, Chi and TC.  Chi...that could be a winner!  I'll let you know what my other half thinks.
http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/controls2.shtml

Scroll down until you get to the Titan Apollo 2.

Chi, now I need to go look at my irrigation timer again since it looks just like the picture but as I recall I don't remember it having a repeat cycle option.  Cool.

 

Ryan, good link, I couldn't find those when I was searching the other day.  Those are good prices on them too from what I've discovered.

I have been looking for the same. I found his digital timer that has 14 on/off programs a day. It seems that it could work well for a cycle timer even though it has to he programmed for each time start and stop. Traditional cycle timers are much easier to use since there are dials to adjust times. The price of this timer is reasonable.

http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/itemdesc.asp?ic=TIHDDIG&eq=&Tp=

but are 14 cycles enough?  And I've been tricked by some of these things where it says it has some great number of "cycles" or "programs" per day but to turn the pump on and then back off actually takes two since a program point is really just setting the time along with an action.  So 28 programs per day only actually gives you 14 cycles.  At that point I usually find it easier to simply use a high quality mechanical outdoor timer since I can at least do 15 minute intervals.

 

that one repeat cycle timer Ryan linked to for around $76 is actually a good deal.


Chris Smith said:

I have been looking for the same. I found his digital timer that has 14 on/off programs a day. It seems that it could work well for a cycle timer even though it has to he programmed for each time start and stop. Traditional cycle timers are much easier to use since there are dials to adjust times. The price of this timer is reasonable.

http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/itemdesc.asp?ic=TIHDDIG&eq=&Tp=

 

Could you provide a bit more information about what you are trying to control?  Is it a DC or AC pump?  Or do you need to turn a valve on or off and if its a valve control, what are the power requirements?  There are a mountain of industrial timer controls out there but without the output specification I can't find a specific one for you.

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