timed outlets anyone?

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dr_when
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timed outlets anyone?

Post by dr_when » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:26 pm

Hi,

I am looking for something that probably does not exist and if it indeed does not maybe I will make some. I am looking for a plug in module or outlet strip but instead of having a switch would have maybe 2 or 3 buttons and matching leds. You could press one button for 1/2 hour on-time, another for say an hour, and the third for say 2 hours. The led would light and the outlet(s), which would be triac controlled I would assume, would be powered for that time. In other words, just a timed outlet that is simply turned on by one of three buttons (or all buttons pressed for accumulated time).

I could use something like this in numerous places. On my soldering station so it is only on for a short time in case I forget. Also for NiCad chargers that should only be on for a short time for topping off a battery. I know there are outlet timers for lamps but they are not simply... press a button... but have to be set and such. I just want a time delay then off.

I will probably throw something together with a PIC, a few leds, and maybe a cheap SSR instead of going the triac route. Just thought I'd check to see if anyone has heard of such a thing.

Thanks,

Bob
"Who is John Galt?"

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MicroRem
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Re: timed outlets anyone?

Post by MicroRem » Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:19 pm

i have electronic delay switches on my bathroom fans, they fit in a standard wall box, and have about 5 different buttons you can push for on times from 5 minutes to 1 hour, or a constant on. Would be easy enough to put in a box and do what you want. I think they cost about 25 bucks at home depot.

Tom

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philba
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Re: timed outlets anyone?

Post by philba » Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:33 pm

I have a bunch of those timer controllers - they are great. No more fans left on for hours.

You can also get plug-in timers. The have a little LCD display for the time, some buttons to set the time and an outlet. I think they are in the $30 range. A lot more flexible

Finally, you can get mechanical outlet timers. It has a timer and an outlet in a single gang unit that you replace a normal single gang outlet with. We have them at work for the coffee pots. Dunno the costs.

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jollyrgr
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Re: timed outlets anyone?

Post by jollyrgr » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:02 pm

Intermatic makes what you want in a wall switch. Be careful as they have some that are "lighting only" loads (read incandescent) and others that will work for motors and lighting.

Look at this device as an example of something that can control lighting and inductive loads:
http://www.intermatic.com/Default.asp?a ... d=53&did=5

From my reading of their site you want the EI200 series if you want single button control and LED indicator. (You didn't want a programmable timer which is understandable. They also have timer switches that you push an ON button and they count down the pre programmed time.) The EI2xx series has 2, 4, 8, 12 hour range or 5, 10, 15, 30 minute range. Some will also have a HOLD override so it will stay on until you turn it off. Depending on the model you can have other time ranges such as 10, 20, 30, 60 minute, 15 minute 30 minute or 1, 2, 4 hours. Operation is simple, push the button until the LED lights next to the amount of time you want, it shuts off after the time is expired. Hitting the button several times will turn the switch off.

Here is a brochure for these:
http://www.intermatic.com/images/misc/300EL10000.pdf

Scroll down and examine their EI 200 series switches.

There are a couple ways to do this.
  • Put switch in single gang box. Splice the cord of a power strip through the box and have it control the strip.
    Put this switch in a dual gang box; switch on one side, duplex outlet on the other. This could also be expanded to a triple gang or higher box with more outlets.
(If you go to the local hardware store note the models as some are "sunset on" for a certain amount of time. Avoid these unless this is a useful feature.)

If you don't want to build something they DO make one that will ALMOST do what you want. This is strictly for lighting loads. It has several modes; ON at sunset, off after 1, 2, ... 9 hours (your choice). Manual ON/OFF, or ON, off after 1, 2, ...9 hours. This device plugs into an outlet and is a box with a timer and outlet on it. One button control. There is a drawback, the cycle repeats every 24 hours as this is a SET IT AND FORGET IT timer.

Here is the device:
http://www.intermatic.com/Default.asp?a ... 44&sid=116

Here is its manual:
http://www.intermatic.com/images/instru ... /hb61r.pdf




Hope this helps.
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Dave Dixon
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Re: timed outlets anyone?

Post by Dave Dixon » Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:47 am

Not very cheap, but I have used MAGNECRAFT - 821TD10H-UNI multifunction timers in some test equipment. Probably over the top for your use. 0.2% accuracy and settable from 0.1 second to 10 days!!!!! Also has a ton of switching options i.e. on delay, off delay, one shot, repeat cycle, and more. Really fun to play with, but probably overkill for you. I didn't have time to see if they have anything available that is cheaper/simpler. You might give a quick look at their website.

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dr_when
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Re: timed outlets anyone?

Post by dr_when » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:13 am

Thanks all for some good ideas. Especially liked the Intermatic stuff suggested by Jollyrgr that just may fit the bill. I will check Home Depot and Lowes to see if they have anything like that in stock. I should have thought of that as I do recall seeing the bathroom fan timers some time ago.

Bob
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haklesup
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Re: timed outlets anyone?

Post by haklesup » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:24 am

You might also want to look at an Occupancy switch. These look outwardly like a motion detector switch but they operate a bit differently. For these switches, you press a button to turn the light or whatever on and the PIR senses that you are present. When you leave the area, the PIR senses no occupancy and after a preset delay, turns off the load. Some models you can adjust this delay and some you cannot. This switch does not automatically turn on, only off.

The advantage over a timer switch is that you will not need to reset the switch if you stay longer than you planned.

BTW, this kind of switch is required in new construction in a lot of states in bathrooms and other select locations. I use them for my garage lighting and for portable space heaters as well.

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