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Can I make a home-made timer?

Opy Yutts

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There has got to be some way to make an inexpensive timer. One that is adjustable and can do something like 1 minute on and 3 minutes off. These are Darn expensive in the store. McGuiver where are you?

What about water dripping, then when a container gets full enough a float switch starts the on cycle, which fills other stuff and an off timer.

Or how about one of those bobbing birds, or Japanese garden water-activated noise makers that tip slowly back and forth.

Or how about something that heats up slowly and a cheap thermostat turns stuff on when it gets warm enough.

Somebody please help me. I know this is probably a very simple problem.
 

spook313

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i'm usually the one to try to find the cheapest way out of things, but i went out and spent ~$3.50 on a timer. i didn't think about making my own. let me know if you do though, 'cause i'm going to need another one soon. ;)
 

Opy Yutts

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Spook313, I'd be very interested in knowing where you got a timer for $3.50. That is, one that will do a continuous cycle of 1 minute on / 3 minutes off. I thought these were in the hundreds of dolllars.
 

Opy Yutts

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Ogof, thanks. But It's been over 25 years since I took my beginning electronics class. I was thinking more of some mechanical (mostly) device rather than electrical. I thought I saw some things like this on Overgrow.com. Man that place had a lot of good info.
 
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Stoney Bud

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Opy Yutts said:
There has got to be some way to make an inexpensive timer. One that is adjustable and can do something like 1 minute on and 3 minutes off. These are Darn expensive in the store. McGuiver where are you?

What about water dripping, then when a container gets full enough a float switch starts the on cycle, which fills other stuff and an off timer.

Or how about one of those bobbing birds, or Japanese garden water-activated noise makers that tip slowly back and forth.

Or how about something that heats up slowly and a cheap thermostat turns stuff on when it gets warm enough.

Somebody please help me. I know this is probably a very simple problem.
The least complicated and most dependable timer I've found for a 1 on 3 off type application is on this web page: [font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]C.A.P. NFT Recycling Timer[/font]

They've got a 1-4 and a 3-5 timer for $85. These are digital, not mechanical timers. Very dependable devices. They either work or not. If you use one, I would suggest having at least one backup on hand.

If I'm guessing correctly, you're using it for a 100 psi pump to drive a fogging pump? If so, I've got to tell you, aeroponics of this type does get expencive. If you find this type of timer for anything less than this, please, please let me know.

You could use a timer IC to do the same thing, but you'll find that in the end, it'll cost you almost the same thing once you've finished building it.

The price tag on this type of device is set on demand. If and when the demand increases significantly, the price may go down. Then again, it may go up. Who can tell?

For ease of use, the one I've linked you to is a plug-and-play type device for 120 volt household use. You plug your pump into it and plug it into the wall socket and you're done. It's not adjustable.

Good luck to you.
 

Eggman

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Ogof, I think that's 12Volts? My light takes more than that.
 

spook313

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Opy Yutts said:
Spook313, I'd be very interested in knowing where you got a timer for $3.50. That is, one that will do a continuous cycle of 1 minute on / 3 minutes off. I thought these were in the hundreds of dolllars.
garage sale. :)
 
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Stoney Bud

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Eggman said:
Ogof, I think that's 12Volts? My light takes more than that.
You would use a 12 volt power supply with it. That power is what runs the timer. Your 120 volt household current is what would still run your lights.
 

Opy Yutts

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Stoney Bud: I looked at that $85 timer in the hydro store yesterday. It was $100. I was going to buy it but they were out of stock. I ended up buying a little better brand for $150, which also has a photo sensor (disables or enables cycles in the dark). It seems like these are way overprice. I bet the electronics cost about $5.

tallslim: I have several of those $30 timers and they are great for what they are intended for. I think that I have bought 5 of these over the last 3 years, and so far 1 has ceased to function. They have 14 events, so without doing math, I think I can get cycles as short as about 40 min on / 40 off. Incidentally those timers are $20 at Home Depot and $35 plus shipping at the web site Stoney Bud mentioned.

Everybody: thanks for all your input.
 

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