Digital Timer Gurus Please Help! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Digital Timer Gurus Please Help!

One of my analog timers failed over the weekend so I picked up one of these at Home Depot - IT's a GE Digital Heavy Duty Timer:



I am confused by the directions.... I setup the timer to go on at 1700 (5:00PM)and off at 2030 (8:30PM). The current time is 1345 (1:45PM). When I plugged it in the light was on. It should not turn on until 1730 (5:30PM).... Why would that happen?

But wait there is more.... The manual override button has the following options:

ON= Always ON
OFF = Always OFF
AUTO ON = Timer is ON and ON/OFF program is activated
AUTO OFF = Timer is OFF and ON/OFF program is activated

Maybe I am just not understanding the AUTO ON and AUTO OFF feature. What is the difference here. Should the default setting be:

AUTO OFF = Timer is OFF and ON/OFF program is activated?

I am an old geezer so please cut me some slack on these new fangled devices.

TIA

Ed
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 10:03 PM
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i have several of these, and you are right about them being a little confusing. i try to think of the AUTO (scheduler) and ON/OFF (relay) features as independent functions. my interpretation is as follows:

the ON and OFF states are pretty clear.

ON-> relay is on
OFF-> relay is off

When you add the AUTO to them, it activates the scheduler. So at the next scheduled event, the timer will execute as you have specified. if it's already ON, then it'll stay on. the scheduler will only doing something on the next state transition. well, that's the way i think it operates.

AUTO-ON-> relay is on, scheduler is on
AUTO-OFF-> relay is off, scheduler is on
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 10:05 PM
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Yes, just set it to plain Auto, and set it on auto for everything. Mine i have to go through all of them and set it auto
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 10:47 PM
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I think I know what you're talking about when you say "AUTO ON" and "AUTO OFF." I was confused by that when I started using digital timers. Basically, if you are tweaking the settings during the time when the lights are off, you will leave the timer on the AUTO OFF setting. This means it is set to auto, and right now the lights are meant to be off. But if you were in the middle of the lights-on period, then you would leave the timer on AUTO ON.

On my timers, it cycles from ON > AUTO ON > OFF > AUTO OFF. Is that what you were talking about? Or am I blathering?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 10:53 PM
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I just picked up 6 of these from our local HF store. 4 for me, 2 for the wife.

Same sequence. On/Auto/Off/Auto.

I like having the red indicator light showing what's "ON".

Makes me think they all use the same "chip", just different "packaging".

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 11:23 PM
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Ive had a few of these goofy digital ones too. But these guys seem to have already hit the nail on the head with what the issue is.

Although if interested take a look at the analog ones at Harbor Freight they use push down pins for on and off instead of a single peg that way if it doesnt hit the others will catch. I had lots of issues with the other style not turning on and off. These are also dual outlet...great if you need a co2 solenoid along with lights.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=40148
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snafu View Post
i have several of these, and you are right about them being a little confusing. i try to think of the AUTO (scheduler) and ON/OFF (relay) features as independent functions. my interpretation is as follows:

the ON and OFF states are pretty clear.

ON-> relay is on
OFF-> relay is off

When you add the AUTO to them, it activates the scheduler. So at the next scheduled event, the timer will execute as you have specified. if it's already ON, then it'll stay on. the scheduler will only doing something on the next state transition. well, that's the way i think it operates.

AUTO-ON-> relay is on, scheduler is on
AUTO-OFF-> relay is off, scheduler is on
OK I think I get it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nue View Post
Yes, just set it to plain Auto, and set it on auto for everything. Mine i have to go through all of them and set it auto
There is no AUTO setting on these....just AUTO ON and AUTO OFF

Quote:
Originally Posted by Church View Post
I think I know what you're talking about when you say "AUTO ON" and "AUTO OFF." I was confused by that when I started using digital timers. Basically, if you are tweaking the settings during the time when the lights are off, you will leave the timer on the AUTO OFF setting. This means it is set to auto, and right now the lights are meant to be off. But if you were in the middle of the lights-on period, then you would leave the timer on AUTO ON.

On my timers, it cycles from ON > AUTO ON > OFF > AUTO OFF. Is that what you were talking about? Or am I blathering?
I was blathering when I set it up! LOL!

But I think you and SNAFU got it right...at least it makes sense logically. I will see at 1730 and 2030 this evening. Right now I have it set to AUTO OFF because when I set it up and plugged it in the lights were on. So I set it to AUTO OFF and the lights went off. So if they come on at 1730 and go off at 2030 it should be OK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smp View Post
I just picked up 6 of these from our local HF store. 4 for me, 2 for the wife.

Same sequence. On/Auto/Off/Auto.

I like having the red indicator light showing what's "ON".

Makes me think they all use the same "chip", just different "packaging".
Yeah a red LED on mine would be nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justshoe View Post
Ive had a few of these goofy digital ones too. But these guys seem to have already hit the nail on the head with what the issue is.

Although if interested take a look at the analog ones at Harbor Freight they use push down pins for on and off instead of a single peg that way if it doesnt hit the others will catch. I had lots of issues with the other style not turning on and off. These are also dual outlet...great if you need a co2 solenoid along with lights.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=40148
I have one of those already but I need to make the move to digital becuase when I do a water change I shut everything off at a switch on the wall. So I need a battery backup so that the timer doesn't loose time. I also think that the analog timers can not handle loss of power too well or at least not on a frequent basis.

I do use a similar timer on my main banks of lights which never gets turned off. I like the fact that the tabs are more accurate timewise but I do not like that I can not turn off the lights manually once the timer switches on. At least that is the way mine works.

Thanks for all your help guys! You're the best!!!!!!!!!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdTheEdge View Post
There is no AUTO setting on these....just AUTO ON and AUTO OFF
Oh, opps. lol. Well i have no idea then. Is confusing!
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