Tag Archives: automation az

Century 24 Hour Mechanical Timer – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day Century 24 Hour Mechanical Timer.  Recently I purchased and installed a very high end aeration system for my small pond.  The compressor is in my duck house and 100′ of weighted air line is run down to the pond.   The compressor is a 1/4 horse power system and it really boils the water with wonderful oxygen.

Problem?  Well, you don’t want to run that thing 24/7 so a timer was a must.  Gets more complicated though.  See we run the electric fence off the power to the duck house, I have a mater switch on the pool deck right next to it.  This means when we are working with the ducks and letting them out during the day we just kill the power.

So now what we need to do is unplug the fence charger during the day and turn the power back on for the compressor, not to mention my new boats charger for the trolling motor!  So a normal timer is going to end up resetting every time you kill the power!  Enter the mechanical timer, set it to run 15 minutes every hour and you are good to go.  Frankly it does not matter what time it is set up that way, it just runs 15 minutes out of every 60.

This gives some good water agitation 6 hours a day but nicely spread out and reduces over heating risks to the compressor.

Okay so now the real problem, my buddy David pointed the above out to me this weekend, really obvious when you think about it but I HATE timers.  It amazes me how something that should be so simple is often so damn confusing and unreliable.  So I went on Amazon and found the Century 24 Hour Mechanical Timer. Wow, where has this thing been all my life?

Look when I say I hate timers let me be clear, my hatred of times is only over shadowed by my hatred of network printers.  (NOTE THAT LINK IS NOT WORKPLACE SAFE) Well, that has changed I love this timer, so simple there are two steps to using it and it is pretty fool proof and very easy to see how you have it set.

Step one each hour has 4 small pins you can push down, simply push down the pins for each 15 minutes you want the power to be on.  So say you wanted your time to run from 8AM to 10AM every morning and 7PM to 9PM every night.  Okay just push all the pins down for 8, 9 and 10AM and 7, 8 and 9PM.  Step two turn the dial so the arrow points to the current time.  That is it!

You then simply plug it in and plug the device you want to control with it, done.  In my case I pushed down one pin for every hour in a 24 hour period.  So my compressor runs 15 minutes per hour which again is 6 hours a day.  The pins are a bit small I used the tip of a pocket knife to depress them but it was very easy.

I love this timer and its simplicity so much I am trying to figure out what to automate with another one.  About the only complaint I read in reviews (from thinking humans anyway) was that it is a large device and it takes up so much space as to block the second outlet.

There is a simple solution to such things, I have covered it before and it applies to any large plugs, just get some of these one foot extension cords and it keeps all outlets open.  Or is my case I am using what Jon Dowie calls, “a fricken orange, three way, fricken Steven Harris fricken thing“.

Anyway I absolutely love the Century 24 Hour Mechanical Timer and think you will too. So check it out for any of your power automation needs.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Check out this quick video of how I am using this product.

Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch – Item of the Day

lightswitchesEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch Kit.  These things are just awesome and for only 30 bucks they provide a lot of convenience.  The set comes with two remotes and 5 individual switches.

They are pretty intuitive but here is how they work.  You plug one of these into an outlet, then you plug in what ever you want to control remotely into it, you just installed it, you are done.  Now if it was unit one, when you push “on” for unit one, what ever is plugged into it comes on, when you push off, it goes off.

I know some of you are thinking, oh gee another gadget so people can sit on their ass and not even walk across the room to turn on a light.  Now hold on, here are a few uses that make a lot of sense.

For one we have a floor lamp that is behind the couch, to get to it you have to walk around the back and contort yourself in an odd position to get to it.  It isn’t a huge deal but it is a pain in the ass and it is also the best place for the lamp.  Install one of these and no more contortionist activities to turn on the lamp.

Our Grandson is too short to reach the wall switch in the bathroom, install a small light, pop in one of these.  No more, “I’m scared to go to the bathroom alone” stuff.

I shoot videos at my desk and I have some pretty heavy lights that make the room work well for that.  Say I want to shoot a video on the fly, push a button they come on, then off.  Not a big deal but when it comes to my work with as much as I do I try to be as efficient as possible.

How about your annual Christmas lights?  For us our tree is one of those pre lit jobs.  Dorothy has some weird form of OCD around lights on Christmas trees, that is unsettling. So I got a pre lit job to end it!  Thing is you have to dig under it to get to the master switch every night.  Not with one of these.

How about a shop with a light on the far end?  I also have a friend that uses these for his extensive aquarium set up.  He has the lights wired to them and can turn on and off the fish tank lights without reaching around the back of the hoods.

Some of you likely have older parents with mobility problems, hey 30 bucks and make their life a little easier right?

Okay you electric Nazis that hate phantom loss of electronics that are plugged in but not on.  This can really add up, but if you put one of these in the connection and test it with a Kill a Watt, you will find they draw 1/10th of a watt in standby which is almost nothing.  Over a year that would cost about 10 cents in electricity, where some devices can cost 20-30 dollars a year in “vampire draw” or even more.  With that alone they can pay for themselves. 

So if you have any lights or other electronic devices you would like to be able to turn on and off as easily as you do a TV, check out the Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch Kit today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.