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By KategoricalKarnivore
Posts:  1725
Joined:  Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:00 pm
#289501
I was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions for a good astronomical timer that's not too outrageous on price. Pros/cons etc. Thanks in advance.
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By Shadowtski
Posts:  4089
Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
#289502
I have two varieties. I use both of them. I love the sunrise/sunset feature and so do my plants. They seem to follow their natural rhythm of growth, flowering, and dormancy, even growing indoors under artificial lights.

The first is from Menards. It's about $15. It's self-contained with a 3-prong single outlet on each side. It works great with one caveat. Sunrise/sunset programming sets up by selecting one of 3 USA zones, North, Central, or South. To match your particular location, you have to edit Sunrise or Sunset time for that day. Once you do that, it tracks your local time nicely. This would be my first pick.

The other is a Leviton VPT24-1PZ Vizia, recently discontinued. It was available at Home Depot. It is still available at Amazon. It costs about $33. This one is not a standalone unit. You have to put it in a box or wire it into your house, add one or more outlets, and wire it up. It fits in a single gang switch box.The good thing about this is you can wire in more than one receptacle, giving you the ability to plug in multiple lights. For someone with a dedicated indoor grow room, this can be wired into your house wiring to control the outlets your lights are plugged into. The bad thing is that this should only be done by an electrician. There are safety issues and national, state, and local electrical codes that should probably be followed. This one is much easier to program but I don't recommend this for the average CP grower, unless you're an electrician.

There was a third one but I was very dissatisfied with it and returned it after a week. It did not work, even after multiple contacts with their customer service department.

That's my two cents worth. Sorry if I got too involved and long-winded.

Good growing,
Mike
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By KategoricalKarnivore
Posts:  1725
Joined:  Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:00 pm
#289504
Thanks that's great info Mike and not too long winded. On the first one is there a way to have the lights come on an hour before actual sunrise and off an hour after?
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By Shadowtski
Posts:  4089
Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
#289508
KategoricalKarnivore wrote: On the first one is there a way to have the lights come on an hour before actual sunrise and off an hour after?
Unfortunately, no. Or if there is, I haven't figured it out yet. I'd also like this ability. You know what would be neat? Get a Raspberry Pi or one of those micro DIY units, program in the Sunrise/Sunset alogorithm with user defined Lat/Long and add tracking or constant offsets to ON and OFF times. There is probably an AC switching module to tie in your lights to this. I think the formula is available at some astronomical website or the US Navy Observatory site. I played with this idea years ago, thinking about programming an old surplus PLC. But the math/trig needed was beyond the capability of that old antique.

Anybody out there play with Pi?

Good growing,
Mike
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By Shadowtski
Posts:  4089
Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
#289512
Sorry, here's an addition and correction to my postscript. This is about the Leviton unit. There IS a workaround to the offset problem. It involves multiple programs each day. I found this solution at Amazon in the Q&A section. I never noticed it there before.

For example, you set Program 1 to turn ON one hour before Sunrise and turn OFF at 1 PM. Then you set Program 2 to turn ON at noon and OFF one hour after Sunset.

I'll try this, see if it works, and get back to you in a couple of days.

Good growing,
Mike
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By KategoricalKarnivore
Posts:  1725
Joined:  Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:00 pm
#289588
Ok thanks for your help Mike. I really appreciate it. So does anyone else have any suggestions?
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By boarderlib
Posts:  1639
Joined:  Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:13 pm
#289711
I got my astro timer at home depot for fifteen bucks, in the lighting section.

I was able to change the sunrise sunset times when I set the timer up. When you are setting the initial time/date and time zone functions.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
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By KategoricalKarnivore
Posts:  1725
Joined:  Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:00 pm
#289713
boarderlib wrote:I got my astro timer at home depot for fifteen bucks, in the lighting section.

I was able to change the sunrise sunset times when I set the timer up. When you are setting the initial time/date and time zone functions.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
Ok thanks. You wouldn't happen to have the name/model number?
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By boarderlib
Posts:  1639
Joined:  Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:13 pm
#289714
I can check tonight when I get home, and let you know for sure.

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By KategoricalKarnivore
Posts:  1725
Joined:  Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:00 pm
#289737
boarderlib wrote:Oops, almost forgot. Hers the exact one I have. Setup is kind of a pain, but once it's set you're good to go
Thanks bud. I went ahead and picked up one of these to try.

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