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Old 09-11-2013, 12:30 AM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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Anyone Having Good Success With Compact Astronomical Timers?

I've been using the Intermatic units. The compact indoor unit we have had a lot of problems with. Seems to overheat or something when kept inside the transformer and then it just goes off earlier than it's supposed to. Weird thing is this is really spotty. I haven't had it happen on any of the systems I've installed where to total wattage of all the fixtures was fairly low (e.g. under 200w) but I've had it happen several times on systems where the total wattage was over 200 watts. So that's what makes me think the issue is related to heat or amperage. Regardless, with a failure rate of about 10%, in my experience, it's totally unreliable.

We've had good success using the outdoor Intermatic astro timers. But I really prefer to have the timer INSIDE the transformer.

Anyone got one they use that you have installed a lot of them with good success?
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Last edited by JimLewis; 09-11-2013 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:33 AM
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Lite4 Lite4 is offline
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Jim,

I had a few spotty ones a few months ago, but they have always been great for me and I have used them for years. You may have just gotten into a bad batch. They have had a few as of late.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:53 PM
bcg bcg is online now
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I've had the same experience, Jim. The externals work great, the internals not so much. I just use the external, I like it better anyway.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:11 PM
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starry night starry night is offline
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Jim, I wonder if your suspicion about total wattage might be valid.
I have not had any issue with the inside-the-transformer Intermatics that I have used in two years. But my systems are all LED and I have never done any projects of more than 120 watts or so.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starry night View Post
Jim, I wonder if your suspicion about total wattage might be valid.
I have not had any issue with the inside-the-transformer Intermatics that I have used in two years. But my systems are all LED and I have never done any projects of more than 120 watts or so.
Yah, I'm starting to notice a pattern. Like you, I've done dozens and dozens of jobs with built-in LED lamps and total wattage/amperage was fairly low and never a problem. We liked them so much we started up-selling them whenever we came across ANY lighting system - LED or not. And I've noticed that on the systems that have a lot higher total wattage/amperage, those are all of the ones we've had the exact same problem with. Namely, the lights come on every day when they are supposed to, but then instead of staying on until the time their supposed to turn off, they just turn off several hours earlier.

I've ever had jobs like that where we just replaced the timer with a brand new one and it starts out working just fine then the new one starts doing the same damm thing just a few days or weeks later.

Their website says these things are rated pretty highly. But I seriously doubt it, with the troubles we've been having.

I guess if there's no better alternative, I'll just keep using the indoor ones on smaller systems and the outdoor unit on my larger installs.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:02 PM
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starry night starry night is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starry night View Post
Jim, I wonder if your suspicion about total wattage might be valid.
I have not had any issue with the inside-the-transformer Intermatics that I have used in two years. But my systems are all LED and I have never done any projects of more than 120 watts or so.
I just re-read my own post and thought I would clarify (probably no one cares)
that I have done larger jobs but with multiple 150-watt transformers in different locations.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:31 PM
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jana jana is offline
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Any feedback from users of ControlScapes offering CS-ART? Here
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jana View Post
Any feedback from users of ControlScapes offering CS-ART? Here
Terrible timer. Every single one I installed literally melted in the transformer within 2 years of install.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Lite4 View Post
Terrible timer. Every single one I installed literally melted in the transformer within 2 years of install.
Thanks Tim, will avoid.


Steve, that timer looks pretty nice. Also curious about it's tolerance to heat. The 24 hour charge time is not a killer imo. Just have a few on a gang strip charging ready to go. Will the timer hold the program input from shop charge to job site? That would be a plus to pre-program. Plug and play.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:06 AM
steveparrott steveparrott is online now
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CAST introduced a new Digital Astronomical Timer (CTDTC) several months ago. This is a recently developed model from Tork that has improved reliability (especially at extreme temperatures) over previous models.
Visit web page and watch video.
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