Anyone Having Good Success With Compact Astronomical Timers?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by JimLewis, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. jana

    jana LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    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.
  2. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,321

    Jim, I just programmed a new Intermatic 620 yesterday. I'm pretty sure that I came across a setting that could be a certain minutes before or after dusk or dawn. So set Event 3 and Event 4 for your scenario.
    Either I never noticed that before or they've added that setting on newer models, or maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Hi Steve. Can you tell us what type of battery backup is inside? Is it Alkaline, NiCad, NiMh, LiPo?


  4. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    Answers to your questions:

    Plug in timer overnight: I agree, not ideal - a quirk we have to live with.

    Heat: Actually, we found more problems with extreme cold than with extreme heat with older timers. We tested these new timers in our chamber - cycling between both extremes - most other timers failed that test. We worked with the Tork engineers to ensure better reliability at sub-zero temps.

    Receptacles: these are on top and left side of unit.

    Turn on before sunset: Yes, it's called sunrise/sunset offset (see instructions)

    Where to buy: check our online distributor search. If none are nearby, many will ship to you.

    James, I'm checking on the battery type.
  5. Viewpoint

    Viewpoint LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    I've had issue with the dt620 of late...bad batch, though I've had good experience with them in the past. The issue was only if the timer was set to run dusk-to-dawn. It would turn off at midnight, and not turn back on until the following sunset. Quick fix was adding another start time of 12:01. It leaves a 1 minute gap at mid-night which isn't awesome, but good enough until you can get back with a replacement timer if you don't have one on the truck.

    I've had good luck with the Tork timers I've used in the past. The rechargeable battery is a big plus. My main gripe is the smallish display and buttons. I'm still young, and my eyes are fine, but if the transformer is mounted at minimum height, it's hard to get down there and read that display. The 620's display is much better, as well as easier to program IMO. If I could make a request...would it kill you to put a backlight on the display? You know we do this stuff at night, right?
  6. GreenLight

    GreenLight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    ^^^^ This x 100

    The tork button scheme and display need a complete overhaul. I honestly stopped using them for this reason alone. I also really like the roll dial on the 620. I have noticed something odd on the 620 lately. All of the "new" ones seem extremely twitchy until they are plugged in. When you put the battery in to begin programming them the interface seems to be real jumpy. That was never like that before about 6 months ago. At first I thought I had received a defective timer, but then realized it was happening everytime. Not sure if it means anything, but they changed something about this timer.
  7. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,187

    The 620's also read a code when you first pull the plastic tab off the batteries. RN 105 or 106. Not sure what either of those mean. They are definitely twitchy, but the ones I have gotten as of late have been working fine, unlike those about 6 months ago.

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