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Timer Question

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by etchinaway, Sep 13, 2011.

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  1. etchinaway

    etchinaway

    5
    0
    Sep 13, 2011
    now im new to the whole electronics thing but i have made a few LED arrays and have enjoyed the entire process from etching the boards to placing and soldering the components.

    heres my quandary;

    i want to make a LED array that has a 24 hour programmable timer on the board for a fish tank light

    i would like the light to come on for lets say 12 hours then be off for 12 hours

    to be perfect it would be programable so that i could have my blues come on an hour before the whites then stay on an hour longer then them

    i kinda figure that im gonna have to run 2 circuits and 2 timers but im ok with that

    any help would be greatly appreciated

    im just trying to make a simpler mouse trap that doesnt have to have 2 cords and 2 plug in wall timers and look all messy!(wifes words not mine)
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,501
    2,841
    Jan 21, 2010
    You could investigate the PICaxe series of chips.

    You could program one of these to turn the lights on and off as desired. You would need to use a transistor or mosfet to do the actual switching, the PICaxe chip can control them.

    The hardest part is deciding how you will synchronise the device with real time. You may need to have battery backup to keep the chip running when the power is off and maybe a button that when pressed sets a particular time (say 6pm) -- so if you need to reset it, you press the button at around 6 pm.
     
  3. etchinaway

    etchinaway

    5
    0
    Sep 13, 2011
    ok so i need to read up on these chips and how to use them


    got it


    like i said im a rookie other then making 1 LED light
     
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,501
    2,841
    Jan 21, 2010
    Do you have any experience writing software? If you do then that will be a great help in using this chip.

    If not... it's probably one of the simplest devices to program.

    Getting long delays can be tricky, but Google will be your friend.

    I've had another thought about accuracy. Probably the easiest way is to program the chip to (say) turn on blue LEDs, wait an hour, turn on white LEDs, wait 8 hours, turn off white LEDs, wait an hour, turn off blue LEDs.

    Then just turn the thing on using a timer on the wall for (say) 12 hours and let it run through the sequence whenever it gets power.

    Programming is easier too :)
     
  5. etchinaway

    etchinaway

    5
    0
    Sep 13, 2011
    thats what im looking for steve!

    simple and easy to use

    no im not a programmer but im sure ill get the help i need here!
     
  6. etchinaway

    etchinaway

    5
    0
    Sep 13, 2011
    ok so ive read up on the different chips and now i fear i am even more lost :(
     
  7. jackorocko

    jackorocko

    1,284
    1
    Apr 4, 2010

    Here is a hint, set your wife down and explain to her your answer is here and let her figure it out. Once she gives up, let her fiddle with the 2 cords and timers to make them look pretty. :rolleyes: I got $20 that says it will work first time!
     
  8. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

    3,827
    524
    Jan 15, 2010
    Possibly unhelpful trivia:
    I had a tank I kept an exotic specie in that was not near sunlight source.
    Used LED's for lighting. Was losing them, went to a different type of LED and had
    better luck. I believe it's possible different wavelengths of LED light might be helpful
    or not, if your tank is in a room that doesn't have outside sunlight access.
    I'm no expert on fish biology, but wanted to mention this in case you have an expensive
    specie. Something to consider if need be.
     
  9. etchinaway

    etchinaway

    5
    0
    Sep 13, 2011
    thanks for the concern and yes i have done the research and have gotten the proper 465nm blue and 20,000k white LEDs that i need for the corals

    now i just need to figure out this switching since its become personal now with the electronics!
     
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