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on November 15, 2007
This purchase was worth every penny. Unbelievable all the features it has wrapped up in such a tiny package. Right now I have two seperate programs going. One program turns it on at dusk, and off at 10:30pm seven days a week. The other program turns it on at 6am, and off at 7:30am Monday thru Friday just for going to work in the mornings. The directions don't explain the multiple programs very well, but it can be done. Once you get your time zone and region set up, it is very simple to program after a few practices. The other cool feature is that you can manually turn it on just by pressing the cover to the controls, then pressing it again for off. The reason I purchased this particular Intermatic model is that it is capable of working with compact Fluorescents without damaging the bulbs mini ballast. There are many timers out there, but if you plan on using them with compact fluorescents, either read the package specifications or call the manufacture to make sure it will work for that application. Hope you find my review helpful.
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on November 11, 2007
I've got it 2 weeks ago to replace EJ500C I was having for 3 months. My biggest problem with EJ500C was that I have fluorescent lights outside and had to use them with a regular incandescent to prevent the lights to constantly glow - electronic switch in EJ500C just can't cut the power off completely when there is no ballast I guess. Plus I don't know what EJ500C was doing to the power, but I had to replace that incandescent light every two weeks, which was driving me nuts. ST01C has a "real" mechanical relay inside that electronically controlled but physically switches the power. You can hear a distinctive clicking sound when it goes on and off. My biggest concern is that it's official replacement of disastrous model SS7C, which never lasted more then 6 months. Intermatic claims that ST01C was fixed and problems SS7C had are just impossible. Will live will see. For right now I'm very happy, my 6 CFLs and 300W low voltage circuit work as I want and I have plans to add more lights. I will update my feedback as soon as I have any problems with the switch (knock on wood).

Update (1/22/2009): after all the time passed I have only good things to say about the timer. Since the day one I didn't have to touch the settings, it works just fine. I have to admit that the timer's clock lost about 10 min for 14 months of non-stop work, but it is OK with me - no clock is perfect and turning the lights on 10 min earlier is no biggie. I didn't have to replace a single CFL light after starting using the timer. There is nothing to complaint about, 5 stars, honestly deserved by this switch
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on November 17, 2007
I started with the SS7C, it broke after 6 months. I then tried the EJ500C, it started flickering after one week. I now have the ST01C, hopefully it's better than the previous Intermatic junk I've owned.

Feature-wise, it's the best yet. I just worry about the reliability of the unit, given Intermatic's terrible track record.

I gave it 4 stars because the body that fits behind the wall plate is large, and it leaves little room for all the wires, and the wire-nuts etc.

If this thing breaks, then I'll be back to give it one star. Until then, stay tuned.

One more note -- the mechnical relay inside the unit makes a snapping noise when the lights go on/off. It's loud enough that my dog goes into "alert" status upon hearing it.

UPDATE ....

I really wanted to like this product. The features are great. I liked the idea of automatic DST adjustment in the spring/fall, and the self-adjusting sunrise and sunset option. And I liked the looks of this unit better than other models. I also liked the fact it's mechanical relay would switch just about any reasonable type of light.

But mine doesn't keep the correct time. The clock gains about a minute per week. THe problem is after a year, it will be off nearly an hour. Kind of makes the automatic DST, and sunrise/sunset adjustment meaningless if one has to adjust the clock for the correct time anyway. I don't expect the accuracy of the atomic clock in Boulder, but These days a $5 digital watch will keep nearly perfect time over a year. So what went wrong with this product?

So, mine is coming out of the wall again today, and getting returned to the store. For now, I'm just going to go back to a manual switch until some better product comes out.

Other than the inaccurate clock, the unit is perfect. I may have just received a lemon, and others may be fine, but after multiple trips to the store with defective Intermatic products, I'm done! I can't adjust my 4 star rating with this update, otherwise I would have adjusted the rating to about a 2 star.
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on August 11, 2008
I had to replace an earlier model that went belly-up a couple of months ago after working fine for 4 years. The replacement unit that I picked up was the Intermatic Model ST01 series. The engineers had redesigned the unit to use a camera battery (CR-2) instead of the previous models AAA batteries. Bad design!!! The CR-2s only last less than two months. I've gone through 4 batteries in about 7 months. They should never have gotten away from the AAA batteries!!! ...I've got to find another timer that uses a different battery design.
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on December 21, 2007
The timer was not working correctly for me until I figured out what they meant by a "program". I thought they meant one on/off cycle. Each "program" is an off or an on. Once that was figured out, it was easy to program.

This works just fine with compact fluorescent lights I use in my outside fixtures.

It was bit challenging stuffing all wires back into the box because I'm using it with a three way switch.
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on November 29, 2007
This improved item is much better than the item it replaces. I have had to purchase six (6!) of the previous model in order to keep just three timers in service. That's a crazy high failure rate!

However, this new model appears to be quite an improvement. The programming interface is simpler (with fewer and larger buttons) and easier to use (though still not intuitive). The backup battery is now a longer lasting photo type (instead of AAA). The installed unit is much more flush to the switchplate than the previous unit was, so it looks much better too.

The installation can still be a challenge in shallower switch boxes (often found in older buildings) or those with other wiring competing for space, but if you take your time and carefully tuck the wiring in, then you should have no problems.

Although the previous models were problematic, they did function very well other than the high failure rate. So far this newer model appears to function as well if not better. The preset sunset/sunrise information is quite accurate and these timers along with fluorescent bulbs make security lighting quite affordable.

I rated this Intermatic switch with 4 stars instead of 5 based on the track history of failures for the previous design (I've not yet owned this new one long enough to say if it will work longer), and for the still somewhat difficult to program settings. With reasonable longevity it will be a 5 star item for sure.

UPDATE: May 21, 2008. - The switch has worked flawlessly through a tough Minnesota winter. I feel it is safe to say that Intermatic has successfully dealt with the longevity issue. Works well... lasts.
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on November 8, 2008
I've had three in wall timers from Intermatic. When they work, they're great. Program them once and forget about them. No more forgetting to turn on the lights at night or turning off at dawn. The ST01C even self adjusts to the season.

The biggest problem with these is that they only last about a year. For some reason they just stop working. Changing the batteries doesn't fix the problem. With the ST01C, it uses lithium camera batteries so they're expensive compared to the AAA batteries that the previous model used. I think this one broke within the warrenty period and I got smart and scanned my receipt so I got a copy.

Unfortunately, unless I can find a better timer, I'm stuck with buying a new one every year. Hopefully some competitor to Intermatic will come up with a more reliable product.

Update 2011: I changed my review to 5 stars now. Intermatic must have fixed the problems because the current one I have installed has lasted for 3 years of flawless operations. I've actually had neighbors have me install timers on thier houses and haven't heard any problems from them either. Maybe companies really do listen to customers.
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on August 9, 2008
I am a previous owner of an Intermatic SS8C, which worked great - when it worked. The NO OP problems that plagued everyone with those finally did mine in.

Fortunately, Intermatic was generous with the warranty and sent us this new model as a replacement when they could have replaced it with the same older model (I am guessing they had a large amount of those defective models stock piled somewhere) just to get us through our warranty period.

This new model has been installed for about a year with no notable issues (other than time advancing - see below). The battery has a long life so we have not had to replace it. No NO OP message. It just works as advertised.

Features I like are the ability to work with CFL, the time adjust to account for sunrise and sunset, and the large amount of programs available.

Someone did complain in a review about it gaining time, and they are correct. Ours gains a minute or two a month. Hardly a deal breaker. When I reset the time, I put it about 4 minutes slow. So, in 4 months, it is about 2 to 4 minutes ahead. It takes literally less than a minute to reset the time, so it is a small inconvenience for all the positives this light offers. The only reason I bring it up at all is because it was knocked down quite heavily in the other review for what I feel is so minor.

Overall, I would buy this again, and have recommended it to friends and relatives.
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on October 29, 2008
I have been using an InterMatic ST01C for over two years now and have not experienced any of the problems described by some of the other reviewers. In fact, I like the first timer so much that I purchased and installed a second unit in another circuit.

I have found the clock to be reasonably accurate and that it requires only minor adjustments of no more than two minutes after four or five months of use. The adjustments are so minor and so infrequent that this just has not been a problem worth noting. DST adjustment is automatic and has been updated for the newer extended dates set by Congress. I also found that after I manually adjusted the dusk and dawn times for my exact location that automatic corrections for changes in sunset and sunrise were made by unit without problem.

Programming of this timer is not difficult either. The unit comes with a set of quick programming instructions which are easy to follow and very straight forward. It is amazing how flexible this small device is and how many different programming options it will accommodate. Once programmed, it can then be set to automatically control lights or devices or the "manual" mode can be used to discontinue the programmed events. You then control the switch (off and on) of the timer by pushing on the outside cover. There is also a "random" mode that will vary the programmed setting by as much as twenty minutes to give a more occupied look to lights in your house when you are away.

Installation of the timer is not difficult at all if you are using it in a circuit where one switch controls lights or devices. If you want to install it in a circuit where two or more switches control lights or devices the installation becomes more of a challenge. I installed my most recent ST01C in a circuit where three switches controlled outside lights. After I changed the house wiring around and changed out a four way switch to a three way as outlined in the timer instructions, everything worked perfectly. The timer became one of the switches and the other two switches worked as before.

The ST01C can be used with various types of lights and devices. It will control incandescent as well as the new energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs. It will also control small motors such as the pump on a garden fountain.

Because this timer is compact enough to fit in an existing wall switch box, the display is rather small and can be difficult to see. For that reason, I did all of my programming before mounting the timer in the wall box.

The ST01C clock, programming and relay are powered by a small Panasonic CR2 battery. Replacement batteries are available at most of the chain drug stores in the camera department. I replaced the battery in my older timer after about a year and a half but think it would have lasted longer.

I believe the ST01C to be a good value for the money. If mine breaks after a couple years of use, for $30+ I would quickly go out and buy another. If you have more questions about the ST01C, Intermatic has a copy of the owner's instructions and the quick programming instructions on their Web site in pdf format. I recommend this timer and give it a hardy five stars.
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on November 29, 2007
It was easy to install, and it seems to work. It's an improvement over the previous model (SS8) in that it doesn't stick out nearly as far. But the result is that it needs a nonstandard stubby CR2 battery (the SS8 used AAA). The battery tray is nonintuitive (you need to pry it out with a screwdriver, but if you didn't know that, you'd be worried about causing damage).

The front panel is also simpler than the SS8, which is good since it does the job.

I don't like the fact that it uses the 2006-07 DST dates and there is no documentation on how to change that and no mention of any capability to change it. These dates are temporary, they could be changed again if Congress finds there was insignificant energy saving.

Also, it uses the same wacky 'band system' as the SS8 to determine your latitude, which in turn determines sunrise and sunset. So you can't just enter the exact latitude, you have to choose one of three bands. I am at the line between the central and northern bands, so this doesn't work well for me.

Also sunrise and sunset depend on your east-west location relative to the time zones, i.e. if you are at the eastern edge of a time zone, sunrise/sunset will be an hour earlier than if you are at the western edge of the same time zone. But the device has no good way of knowing that. It (like the SS8) lets you enter today's actual sunrise and sunset time as given in the newspaper, but it is optional! In the SS8 they did something wacky with this information; it never worked correctly for any other day of year except that one day. I don't know if the new model is any different.

Actually, just knowing the date, actual sunrise time and actual sunset time allows one to precisely calculate sunrise and sunset for ANY other day of the year for the same location. But I doubt that this device has the computing power to do that. We shall see if it works any better than the SS8.
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