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Old 11-10-2003, 12:38 AM   #1
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Timers-Suggestions

With the number of lights on my tank and refuge, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestion on which timer to use. Maybe one that you've had luck with.

Any info would be appreciated.
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Old 11-10-2003, 01:02 AM   #2
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how many lights we talking about here?

most of your household timers are rated at 15amps, yes, even those that claim they are "heavy duty".

to get amps, you take your watts and divide by 120 ... this gives you a rough idea of how many amps you're dealing with.

most of the sw people I've spoke with recommend leaving the fuge lights on 24x7 or having them reverse what your display tank is. for this, you need two timers.

I've got several different brands of timers, and although they all are working well, GE and Radio Shack are my favorites.

most of your timers out there of the analog flavor use little stops that you plug into the timer to set the ON and OFF times. That's fine for granny wanting to make her huge old house look lived in, but not for the demanding science that fish husbandry is

the GE heavy duty analog timer uses little switches instead of plug-in stops, and each switch accounts for 15 min time. It's also neat because if for some perverse reason you wanted to schedule a 30 min "storm" in the middle of the photoperiod, you can just flip two switches and the lights will go out and then back on

the Radio Shack heavy duty digital timer users a microprocessor to control the power, and runs off a pair of AAA batteries. I got this timer on clearance sale for $7 and it's the "cats meow" ... not only doesn't it mind getting unplugged, but it's percise down to 1 min intervals. your regular analog timers are good to plus/minus 5-10 min and get screwed up when you unplug them. only downside is the radioshack timer does not know about daylight time, so my tank is an hour off the others right now... I'll fix it sooner or later
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Old 11-10-2003, 10:12 AM   #3
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I would reverse light the fuge simply because if you use your fuge for nutrient export and maintaning of PH you dont want your algae going sexual. Leaving the lights 24X7 could cause this much faster than doing a reverse light schedule. If your using your fuge for growing pods or nitrate removal via rock and a DSB in the fuge then you dont need to light it at all.

I go to walmart and buy the cheap timmers that are like $4/each. They have a big dial on the front and a on tab and a off tab that you set when you want the lights to come on/off. You set the timmer on the front to your clock and then plug it in. If they go bad I just toss it and buy a new one. This kind uses your house electric to run the timmer but I dont see a problem with that since if you have no power at home your lights cant work anyway.
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Old 11-10-2003, 11:31 AM   #4
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Thanks for all the advice. I really appreciate it.
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Old 11-10-2003, 12:15 PM   #5
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Intermatic model # DT11 from Home Depot. $17.00. Digital timer with battery backup...best timers I've ever used.
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Old 11-10-2003, 03:32 PM   #6
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seen one at menards allows for 6 plugs with 2 on and 2 off switches for $20 just an fyi
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Old 11-11-2003, 10:23 AM   #7
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Awesome.

I went to HD last night and picked up to heavy duty Intermatic timers with 3 on and offs. Why, because is was the only one of the litter that allowed for a grounded plug.

I have to go back tonight, so I'll check out the DT11

Thanks, again.
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Old 11-11-2003, 11:16 AM   #8
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The DT11 is a heavy duty timer and is grounded. I can't remember what amperage it's rated though. I've got them on all my tanks and on all my maintenance customers tanks...they have been great so far. The great thing about the battery backup is that a power failure doesn't affect the lighting schedule. The timer will keep it's program as long as you change the battery once a year.
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