Astrological Timer to Fit Inside FXL Transformers?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by JimLewis, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,870

    Can anyone recommend a good [small] astrological timer that has the prongs on the TOP of the timer, so they could fit inside an FXL transformer? The ones that intermatic makes have the prongs on the bottom. So you need to have several more inches of clearance ABOVE the outlet for this timer to work. In the FXL transformers that isn't the case. In order for a timer to work inside their transformers, the prongs have to be on the top half.

    I really love these astrological timers. Definitely the way for me to go from now on. But the damn things don't fit!!!
  2. Viewpoint

    Viewpoint LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    I've made them fit, but you have to turn the outlet upside-down. You can pop that outlet out of the cut-out and flip it around then pop it back in. I use a flathead screwdriver.

    It can mangle the outlet plug or the powdercoat around it working it out, but it is a no-cost fix. It probably voids the warranty on the transformer, so be careful.

    I've had only 1 issue, and that was on an older Vista transformer. I took out the oultet and shorted it out on the case because the plug module had bare contacts on the back, not insulated wires like FX and the new Vista transformers. Not a big deal, just make sure you unplug it before working on the line-voltage side.

    As alternative, use the controlscape astro timer module. It should fit better, they're just a bit more pricey than the intermatic astro timers.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,870

    Wow. Yah, that Controlscape one looks nice. But does it fit??? Looks kinda big. And you're right about being pricy. $108???? Holy Cow!

    BTW, killer idea to turn around the plug. I never would have thought about trying that. I'll check that out! Thanks!!!
  4. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    I needed one not long ago and wasn't able to come up with anything so I ended up using the outdoor version of the Intermatic, which runs me about $35.
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,870

    Yah, I have two of those at my house on my transformers. I like them. But I hate the fact that it's outside the box..... Looking to keep it claener for jobs we do for customers.
  6. sprinkler guy

    sprinkler guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223


    I take a small lamp extension cord, a 3' brown one, cut it down, splice it back together, heat shrink the connection, then plug the timer into it. This gets around the timer plug being on the bottom instead of the top. It also makes it easier to program when the transformer is down pretty low. This works for me when I also have to plug in two things inside the trans box, like a remote receiver module and control module.
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,870

    That's an easy fix. I don't know why I didn't think of that.

    Anyway, I found an easier fix. Viewpoint's idea of turning the plug around worked perfectly. It was a ***** to get it out. But now that I see how they come out it will be easier next time. That worked perfectly.
  8. Tim R.

    Tim R. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I always pull the plug and turn it around as needed inside the trans. Word of warning on the controlscape astros, I have had 5 of them meltdown on me this year so I am steering away from them. The intermatic astro is ok, but I have had a few of those go belly up also this year too. I am looking for a more reliable astro. I hate to say it but I had much fewer service calls with plain old photocells and sequencers and they cost a whole lot less than those astros. The ABT systems I have installed with the Dawn to Dusk seem to be operating fine so far with no issues to report, but it is still early.

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