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Mike M
01-22-2008, 09:01 PM
Okay, I'm popping in those upside down timers in upside down receptacles. What is the transformer wattage max I should avoid going over? 300? 600?

Feedback on how anyone's success in the field with intermattic timers is much appreciated.

Also, any word yet on Unique, Cast, Kichler, etc. coming out with astronomical timers (module, built-in, or plug)? I think the intermattic is not very good quality for the amp loads we use, plus it's a little silly when you pop open the trans cover and the timer is upside and impossible to program that way.

Radio Shack charges 5 bucks each for the battery that fits them, and they take two. This is very humorous, considering intermattic's unit is just over that.

irrig8r
01-22-2008, 09:08 PM
I used an Intermatic one a few years ago in a Vista transformer... It didn't seem to have an off time setting... sunset on, sunrise off was all it could do as far as I can recall... in fact, I pulled it and I have it in the shed I think... brb..

Oh well, didn't find it.

Mike M
01-22-2008, 09:16 PM
Greg;

Billy had to explain to me how to set it for a set time off, like 11 or so. It's a little tricky at first. But before you can do anyting, you'll probably need to find those batteries. I checked around retail spots, but only Radio Shack had them on the shelf. It will cost you ten bucks for two energizer batt's repackaged individually in R Shack colors.

Hey, it's a cool way to tell customers you offer high tech controls that track the sunset for your regional lattitude. It also saves you the cost and potential call backs relating to photocells.

SamIV
01-22-2008, 09:29 PM
Yea, and they don't work when the batteries die. The breaker tripped on one I installed and was without power for 24 hours , the batteries went kaput.
I just replaced the whole thing. Just think of all the clocks we have to go and reset when all these batteries start going out. They don't work even tough you have AC power when the batteries die. I just can't understand why someone has not produced an astronomical timer for the LV industry.

I know James, there is one for the NS trans, but it will not fit in an MDL transformer.


Burt Wilson
Accent Outdoor Lighting

irrig8r
01-22-2008, 09:45 PM
That's interesting, brcause the way i understand it, the one made by AUbe and sold by Nightscaping has a non-volatile memory... and so far they continue to plug away...though sometimes a little fast (maybe because my line voltage is a little high at about 122 VAC?)

I find it very easy to program.

Anyway, that one is available as a stand alone in a stainless steel outdoor box with a receptacle to plug in two transforners. NS calls it an ETC-400.

Pro-Scapes
01-22-2008, 11:29 PM
Really you should push x10 on smaller houses (I would say 3k ft and less) and upb on larger ones. This provides a clock inside someone can set but it also means they can screw up the program.

I have had no issue with the astro timers yet. Look at a battery website source for the battieries in bulk. I pop the batteries out when i yank the timers and the back ups i carry in my truck. You should always have 1 or 2 extras stashed under your back seat new and in the package. If there is a battery issue or someother issue swap it and be gone and reset the other one at home.

Mike I think your forgetting that the mdl transformers your using are relay controlled. Your timer plug is not carrying the full rating of the trans and only the relay current. Its that CLUNK you hear when you fire it up.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-26-2008, 03:39 AM
That's interesting, brcause the way i understand it, the one made by AUbe and sold by Nightscaping has a non-volatile memory... and so far they continue to plug away...though sometimes a little fast (maybe because my line voltage is a little high at about 122 VAC?)

I find it very easy to program.

Anyway, that one is available as a stand alone in a stainless steel outdoor box with a receptacle to plug in two transforners. NS calls it an ETC-400.

I like the AUBE timer unit much more then the Intermatic unit. It is a bit more expensive, but very stable and easy to use.

Regards.

Mike M
01-26-2008, 10:03 AM
James;

I owe you for that tip, thanks!! It's a matter of time before Unique and Cast catch up. Nightscaping beat them on that one.

Az Gardener
01-26-2008, 10:26 AM
Forgive my ignorance but I don't understand the attraction of these astronomical timers. I am guessing it is to have the lights come on at dusk and off at a set time?

Can't that be easily achieved with a photocell / 24hr timer combo? We set our timers to come on at 5:00 and go off at the desired time. The photocell wont allow the transformer to come on unless it is dark. 2 simple 7-8 dollar parts.

Ok I know you light guys have a reason this is old school and no longer acceptable so let me have it? :hammerhead:

Pro-Scapes
01-26-2008, 10:38 AM
photo cells are one more thing to fail.

On the external timers I dont like having more wire and boxes showing on the side of a home than need be.

no reason someone cant make a compact mdl sized timer with astro capability.

Advantages to astro... auto adjustment of ON time so weather or external lights wont fake it out..Auto adjust for DST...ASTRONOMICALLY controlled sounds better than timer controlled.

Astro is a great solution but I agree that there needs to be something done. Perhaps someone should write intermatic and let them know our feedback and see what they are willing to do about it.

Timex has a timer out too that fits but I have yet to play with it or use it.

I think just about all my systems from now on will include clocks mounted inside the residence. X10 is pretty reliable for us on smaller homes.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-26-2008, 01:39 PM
Here is the link to the Aube unit I use and recommend.

http://www.aubetech.com/products/produitsDetails.php?noProduit=78&noLangue=2

Mike M
01-26-2008, 02:51 PM
That's the one. I just had one put in for a customer. Indoors, the client has manual control to turn on or off. It looks real sweet and if you can use that switch to control multiple receptacles, the switch is rated 2400 watts.

Also, For the price of two of those (shipped), you could opt instead to get a timer enclosed in a stainless steel housing to use for two plugs outdoors, made by Nightscaping.

I agree with Billy, it's slick having control indoors. But why pay for x10 or UPB if you can just pop in the Aube switch for a particular install?

AZ, compare the price of using 2, 3, or 4 timers along with the same number of photocells, vs. 1 switch with the astro chip. I got mine for 50 bucks, including fedx ship. Also, all those timers and cells eventually become service issues with new batteries, re-setting clocks, parts failures, etc.

James gets 10 karma points for this contribution.

Pro-Scapes
01-26-2008, 05:17 PM
Mike this is not the same so you cant compare it to a UPB or x10. Clients needs will differ so you should have an offering to suit individual needs.

The Aube switch even to cool is a wired solution. Its not always feesible to wire a control switch in a convient location. House we just completed would of been unable to use this but we were able to control 4 transformers easily with a UPB solution.


Dont forget. This also requires an electrician and more labor which helps offset the cost of a upb or x10 solution. This is a very slick switch and definatly has its time and place but I wouldnt consider it on EVERY job. I know I got one I can deffinatly use this on to replace a timer that goes dead now

Mike M
01-26-2008, 09:05 PM
Okay Billy, one Karma point for you.



:laugh:

irrig8r
01-26-2008, 09:50 PM
Okay Billy, one Karma point for you.




Mike, what about me? I mentioned the Aube first.... as part of the NS ETC 400... (how soon we forget)

And yet no karma points?

And BTW, are those US karma points or Canadian karma points?

:rolleyes:

Mike M
01-26-2008, 11:49 PM
Mike, what about me? I mentioned the Aube first.... as part of the NS ETC 400... :

Did you? Or did your subconscious mind trick you in to believing that? Gosh, the things people will do for karma points. Aube was originally mentioned months ago by James, and it's a Canadian company.

Next thing you'll be wanting my cool avatar guy.

:nono: No karma for you! lol. When I was teaching, I'd give some food or candy away to some kids, then turn to the others and yell "No candy for you!!" A little fourth grader said he was gonna tell on me.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-27-2008, 01:24 AM
Dont forget. This also requires an electrician and more labor which helps offset the cost of a upb or x10 solution. This is a very slick switch and definatly has its time and place but I wouldnt consider it on EVERY job. I know I got one I can deffinatly use this on to replace a timer that goes dead now

Hi Billy

The installation of a UPB system will also require the services of a licensed electrician in most cases. If you are using in wall switches, controled receptacles and the panel phase coupler then you need an electrician to do all your line voltage connections.

If you are opting to use a desktop controller, no phase coupler and installing the controlled switch into the modular bay of a Nightscaping Powercenter, then you can get away without the EC.

Regards.

Pro-Scapes
01-27-2008, 11:05 AM
Hi Billy

The installation of a UPB system will also require the services of a licensed electrician in most cases. If you are using in wall switches, controled receptacles and the panel phase coupler then you need an electrician to do all your line voltage connections.

If you are opting to use a desktop controller, no phase coupler and installing the controlled switch into the modular bay of a Nightscaping Powercenter, then you can get away without the EC.

Regards.

Like I said. Different applications will use different things. On a basic multi trans install you can get away with no EC besides your outlets if you use plug in components. That switch is a great solution when things are switch controlled and you do not have multiple transformers within reach for a sequencer.

irrig8r
01-27-2008, 11:51 AM
Did you? Or did your subconscious mind trick you in to believing that? Gosh, the things people will do for karma points. Aube was originally mentioned months ago by James, and it's a Canadian company.

Next thing you'll be wanting my cool avatar guy.

:nono: No karma for you! lol. When I was teaching, I'd give some food or candy away to some kids, then turn to the others and yell "No candy for you!!" A little fourth grader said he was gonna tell on me.


Posted on 10-27-07:

If for some reason you don't like Nightscaping transformers (Powercenters) or already have an existing transformer of some other brand that you'd like to convert, you can order the stand-alone version of the PS.

It's called an ETC-400. List price was $138.00 last I checked, but you can plug in two transformers, and it is contained in a SS box about 6" x 6".

There's no breaker or fusestat with it. But I'm assuming you're plugging into a GFCI and your transformer has some built in breaker. I've used these with existing Intermatic, Vista and CLL Cal Series transformers as well as the old NS green boxes. Never had a problem.

BTW, they do not self-adjust for DST.

No, I didn't mention Aube specifically, but had you looked into it, you would have discovered the details....besides, James has a vested interest in promoting Canadian made products :canadaflag:


That's a minus 15 karma points for you Mike.... ;)

You...you... avatar thief!