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Old 06-02-2017, 07:51 PM   #1
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Default Lighting Contacters On-Timers!

Hey electrical geeks, I'm looking for some advice on setting up a new lighting project I'm working on. It's for a sports field and we received a contactor box from the manufacturer that come with 4, 120V contactors that control 4, separate 240V outputs. The 4 contactors are currently switched on by one key switch and I'm trying to find the best way to have the first contactor come on when the switch is energized, then have each of the 3 other contactors energize 2 minutes apart from each other. So the key would start the sequence by turning on the first contact, then each other contactor would start 2 minutes apart after meaning the whole process would take about 8 minutes. I have some ideas but I need to make sure that when the key is turned off then back on again the sequence will start over again. Thanks in advance for your input
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:02 PM   #2
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Ice cube timers.
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:09 PM   #3
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Ok, but I didn't think a cube relay had a timer option. Thought it was just set up as a relay. I'm looking for a timer that will energize 3 120 outputs but still be able to reset itself once the key power is switched off. hum...
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:12 PM   #4
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You probably want three time delay relays with the contacts on the coils of the second, third, and fourth contactors. The coil of the first contactor and the coils of the three time delay relays will all be in parallel on the switched circuit. The time delay relays will be set for 2 minute, 4 minute, and 6 minute delay.
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:22 PM   #5
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Yes, this is on the right track. Doing some research and I think if I go with 3 solid state time delay relays they will each energize the next after 2 minutes. They will stay energized until the switch is switched off. Having them solid state will allow them to reset once the key switch is re-energized. thanks for the nudge in the right direction, I should be all set. Thanks!
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:49 PM   #6
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We want pictures ?

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Old 06-02-2017, 10:07 PM   #7
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https://www.amazon.com/Baomain-H3Y-2...on+delay+timer
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Old 06-03-2017, 12:47 AM   #8
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I'd use little fixed delay HVAC timers. Wire them to the preceding contactor coil.
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Old 06-03-2017, 03:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiatomic View Post
Ok, but I didn't think a cube relay had a timer option. Thought it was just set up as a relay. I'm looking for a timer that will energize 3 120 outputs but still be able to reset itself once the key power is switched off. hum...
They're basically an on-delay ice cube relay with a built in timer that plug into a standard relay socket. And when they lose power they reset.
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Old 06-03-2017, 03:54 AM   #10
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Old 06-03-2017, 06:30 AM   #11
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An alternative is a programmable smart relay. There's various brands available and basically what you would do is wire your key switch as an input. That would turn on output 1. Output 1 turns on your first contactor. Then have an internal timer to enable output 2/contactor 2...then another internal timer does output 3/contactor 3. Etc.

Easy to program and depending on model can be done in a keypad on the screen.
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Old 06-03-2017, 06:39 AM   #12
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You can use a programmable smart relay. There's various brands available depending on where you live. I like the Omron Zen or the IMO Smart relay. They've got various power supply voltages available and input output configurations.

You can use your key switch as input 1 which would immediately turn on output 1 (contactor 1) Output 1 + a 2 minute timer woukd turn on output 2 (contactor 2). Output 2 + another 2 minute timer would turn on output 3 ...etc.

Depending on model you can even program right from a keypad on the front.. easy peasy.

If you need help I could write something up...if you're in southwestern Ontario then I could actually help you do it.. lol..
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:24 AM   #13
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Not sure if my other replies came through.. thinking something is up with the app.

Anyway I suggest using a programmable smart relay, there's various brands depending on your area. Omron Zen and IMO Smart are 2 I like. Both are PC with cable programmable or depending on model you can program from the keypad/display and they typically come with 6 inputs and 4 relay outputs on the base model.

Basically, your key switch goes to input 1 which turns on output 1(contactor 1) and starts an internal timer. 2 minutes later output 2 turns on contactor 2 and a 2nd 2 minute timer which turns on output 3 and a 3rd internal timer.

Price is typically $150 to $250, depending on your area so by the time you buy 3 separate SS timing relays wire them up etc.. you're usually cheaper with a smart relay.

If you need help I can wrote a quick program and draw you a quick sketch to help.
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffpowell View Post
Not sure if my other replies came through.. thinking something is up with the app.

Anyway I suggest using a programmable smart relay, there's various brands depending on your area. Omron Zen and IMO Smart are 2 I like. Both are PC with cable programmable or depending on model you can program from the keypad/display and they typically come with 6 inputs and 4 relay outputs on the base model.

Basically, your key switch goes to input 1 which turns on output 1(contactor 1) and starts an internal timer. 2 minutes later output 2 turns on contactor 2 and a 2nd 2 minute timer which turns on output 3 and a 3rd internal timer.

Price is typically $150 to $250, depending on your area so by the time you buy 3 separate SS timing relays wire them up etc.. you're usually cheaper with a smart relay.

If you need help I can wrote a quick program and draw you a quick sketch to help.
That's true, if you go with good quality name brand time delay relays (which IMO is the only way to go) it is pretty close to the price of a programmable. The programmable is a bit more work and knowledge required to set up and maintain - and anything that you program can give you fits if it's a bad day. But it is a good thing to learn, and way more flexible if you want to get creative now or in the future.

The individual relays are probably more bulletproof and you could probably afford to leave a spare relay in the cabinet for a rainy day. If you go with the individual relays you can be pretty sure you can wire this up in an hour and be done with it.

So I could see doing it either way...
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:52 AM   #15
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Thanks for all your "input" appreciate the help!
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Old 06-03-2017, 08:28 AM   #16
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You can wire a bunch of ice cube relays as a counting circuit to get the time delay you want, using only a 1 minute tdr..you can wire several basic relays to get the delay you want.

each relay energizes the next relay in the chain, and cycles off the previous.

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Old 06-03-2017, 08:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splatz View Post
That's true, if you go with good quality name brand time delay relays (which IMO is the only way to go) it is pretty close to the price of a programmable. The programmable is a bit more work and knowledge required to set up and maintain - and anything that you program can give you fits if it's a bad day. But it is a good thing to learn, and way more flexible if you want to get creative now or in the future.
Now that I think about it though maybe there is no place for the programmable relay. Looking at the price of the Omron to buy the starter kit it's more like $300 for the first one you do. And there's software to learn, and keep installed on your laptop, and etc. etc.

But the Zen is well short of what you can do with inexpensive PLCs like the Click from Automation Direct, if your going to invest in tooling up for and learning a platform, why not invest in the one that can do more and solve more problems? The PLCs have more modular options available and etc. too.

And the Clicks are actually cheaper than the Zens. I doubt that they are quite as high quality as the Omron though, and the tech support at Omron might be better.

If you want to keep it simple keep it simple use relay logic, if you need more go all in and install a PLC. This one, I'd just keep it simple.
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Old 06-03-2017, 09:39 AM   #18
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I have a great love for simple solutions. There's a time and a place for PLCs or smart relays, but this ain't one of them:

Putting one of those in makes the whole system susceptible to single-point-failure that is harder to diagnose, and slower and more expensive to fix than simple TD relays.

If you use TD relays, the failure of one is less likely to drop the whole system. They could be very quickly diagnosed and swapped, even with standard octal ice cubes if necessary. And they're cheap enough to have spares on hand.

Hell, if you go with Jlarson's idea of using heater sequencer relays, four of them will cost all of $80.
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Old 06-03-2017, 10:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jlarson View Post
I'd use little fixed delay HVAC timers. Wire them to the preceding contactor coil.
I use these.
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Old 06-03-2017, 10:51 AM   #20
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Are these any good?

http://www.icmcontrols.com/DelayonMa...view.html#tab2

http://www.icmcontrols.com/ProdImages/ig_LII32-1.pdf

Like $10 on Amazon and made in USA?!?
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