Register free!
Search
 
     

Click for Weather
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-11-2013, 12:30 AM
JimLewis's Avatar
JimLewis JimLewis is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 6,281
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?
__________________
Jim Lewis
Lewis Landscape Services - Oregon
"kickin' grass and takin' names"


www.lewislandscape.com - Portland Oregon Landscaping Company

landscape design Portland Oregon

Last edited by JimLewis; 09-11-2013 at 12:37 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-11-2013, 07:33 AM
Lite4's Avatar
Lite4 Lite4 is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 2,870
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.
__________________


Tim Ryan
Lite4 Outdoor Lighting
www.lite-4.com
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-11-2013, 04:53 PM
bcg bcg is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tx
Posts: 1,714
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.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-11-2013, 05:11 PM
starry night's Avatar
starry night starry night is online now
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Ohio's North Coast
Posts: 2,014
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.
__________________
Phil Bauer
Starry Night Lighting


"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine."
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-11-2013, 05:51 PM
JimLewis's Avatar
JimLewis JimLewis is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 6,281
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.
__________________
Jim Lewis
Lewis Landscape Services - Oregon
"kickin' grass and takin' names"


www.lewislandscape.com - Portland Oregon Landscaping Company

landscape design Portland Oregon
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-11-2013, 08:02 PM
starry night's Avatar
starry night starry night is online now
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Ohio's North Coast
Posts: 2,014
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.
__________________
Phil Bauer
Starry Night Lighting


"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine."
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-24-2013, 07:31 PM
jana's Avatar
jana jana is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Dallas Texas
Posts: 55
Any feedback from users of ControlScapes offering CS-ART? Here
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-24-2013, 08:23 PM
Lite4's Avatar
Lite4 Lite4 is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 2,870
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.
__________________


Tim Ryan
Lite4 Outdoor Lighting
www.lite-4.com
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-25-2013, 09:06 AM
steveparrott steveparrott is offline
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hawthorne, NJ
Posts: 923
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.
__________________
Steve Parrott
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-25-2013, 01:44 PM
JimLewis's Avatar
JimLewis JimLewis is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 6,281
That sounds pretty good Steve! A few questions / comments about that timer:
  1. I like the fact that it has a rechargeable battery. That's super cool. That's one thing that's been a PITA with the Intermatic one is that the little watch batteries go out over time and need to be replaced. That's cool that the backup battery stays charged as long as it's plugged in and then only comes in in a power outtage scenario.
  2. What's not cool about this timer is I have to plug it in 24 hours before I program it. That's annoying. I'm sure there are ways around that. Like programming it while it's plugged into the transformer. But how annoying is that?
  3. You say it has improved heat tolerance. That would be great. As I am suspecting that that is what is causing problems with the ones I'm using now.
  4. Where are the prongs located on the back of that unit? Near the top? Or Near the bottom? Because that makes a big difference. Ones with prongs on the bottom do not fit inside transformers that have the outlet near the top - i.e. Kichler Transformers.
  5. A scenario that often comes up with my customers is they want their lights to come on 1 hour before sunrise. But as you know, that time changes daily. You can't just tell the timer "come on at 6:00 and off at sunrise. Sunrise could be earlier than that some parts of the year. Other parts of the year, that might only come on 20 minutes before. So is it possible to create an on-event that is Sunrise Minus X?
  6. Where can I purchase these? Online would be preferable, as there are no dealers for CAST in the Portland area anymore. I'm sure if I started liking these more, I can get my main distributor to stock them for me. They'll usually bring in whatever I ask, as long as it's something I'm going to continue to buy. But to try a half dozen out, where could I buy them now?
  7. Is there an outlet on the bottom too? Or just on the left side?
  8. What's list price? (maybe PM me if that's not something you can post publicly.)

Thanks for your time. This looks interesting!
__________________
Jim Lewis
Lewis Landscape Services - Oregon
"kickin' grass and takin' names"


www.lewislandscape.com - Portland Oregon Landscaping Company

landscape design Portland Oregon
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump






Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:36 PM.

Page generated in 0.07172 seconds with 9 queries