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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 expect Sylvia is going to be trying to turn a pump on and off.  Perhaps a 145 watt AC pump would suite her purposes.


Chi is going to try controlling valves so he could get by with a low voltage controller.


John R said:

 

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.

 

I think this might work:

http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&nam...

 

If you search on their home page for "cycle timer" you can find more.  This is the first one I found that looks like it will fit your requirements.

 

 

Any resolution Sylvia?
This one from
http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/controls2.shtml
That Ryan linked to on the previous page looks like a really good deal as far as repeat cycle timers go.  I've ordered one to check out.  The next on down on that page also looks pretty good though more $$.

Titan Apollo 2 Repeat Cycle Timer
Titan Apollo Cycle Timer
Instruction Manual
This cycle timer is capable of accurately cycling equipment in increments from 10 seconds to 20 minutes of "ON" time and 1 minute to 12 hours of "OFF" time between cycles. Timer has a built-in photosensor that cuts the timer off when it gets dark. Photosensor may be switched on or off as desired. It is ideally suited for irrigation, misting, drip, and ventilation controls to name a few. Solenoid valve is needed to automate most misting, drip, and irrigation systems. Timer plugs into a standard 110/120 volt outlet and has an outlet on the front for the device it will control (15 amp max)
Price: $79    qty:
   
 
Alan has ordered some industrial timers.  I'll ask him what he decided to go with and get back to you.  Thanks again for all your advice!

Chi Ma said:
Any resolution Sylvia?
The Vigoro Two Zone Water Timer that attaches directly to the hose (which is hooked to my pump) runs on 4AA batteries and has two water outlets. One is running to my beds set to run 15 minutes per hour and the other set to start after the first goes off and will run 30 minutes (back to the fish)... hopefully...

It's start time is from 1-72 hours and runs from 1-120 minutes (skipping a few increments between there).

I've decided to try this vs an irrigation timer as I don't want the pump going on and off all the time and the others look kinda scary in terms of electrical hook up. I'm and plug and go type

I'll let you know how this works. It was $20ish at home depot in the garden department near pond pumps...

Definately taking advice on this...

beware the screens and any metal in those hose end irrigation timers.  I expect those to clog just with my tap water regularly let alone fish water.  Metal not good with fish water either.

 

Have you actually tested this hose timer with your pump pressure?  Not all pumps provide enough pressure for these to work and if you are going to have any period of timer where both outlets are closed and your pump still running you may wind up killing your pump so you probably need to set it such that both outlets are never closed at the same time.

That's exactly what happened regarding the clogging and pressure issues.  I did have it set to run at different times but it clogged quickly.  Oh well.  Thought about building something out of 4" PVC to filter the water first, but that's getting too complicated for now.  Less is more.

 

 

TCLynx said:

beware the screens and any metal in those hose end irrigation timers.  I expect those to clog just with my tap water regularly let alone fish water.  Metal not good with fish water either.

 

Have you actually tested this hose timer with your pump pressure?  Not all pumps provide enough pressure for these to work and if you are going to have any period of timer where both outlets are closed and your pump still running you may wind up killing your pump so you probably need to set it such that both outlets are never closed at the same time.

The problem with irrigation timers is the start times are limited depending on timer type. A high end model will have up to 6 start times and 4 programs which will give you 24 start times to run a valve but these timers are over 380 my cost. No irrigation timer will run 10 on and 3 off continuously.

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

 

You can use a repeat cycle timer and the proper wall wart to run an irrigation valve but that only works if the valve will function under the pressure available from your pump and if closing the valve won't burn up your pump.

 

Ryan thanks for the lead. I was looking for exactly that. Mucho graciosis.

Ryan said:
http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/controls2.shtml

Scroll down until you get to the Titan Apollo 2.

Here is a repeat cycle timer with a switch to choose between day/night/always operation and it has a reset switch which I have really found helpful. 

I also have one of the Titan repeat cycle timers too and they seem to work well also, just a bit trickier to set between day/night/always operation and no re-set switch.

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