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on July 11, 2012
I needed this to kick a small solar pump on and off at a certain time every day. My solar panel did not have enough current to start my little pump, but plenty of power to run it once started. My solution was to use this timer on a small 12v utility battery. Works great so far, on at noon, off at 5pm with no battery drain. The good: Lithium cell backup. Small, plenty of timers, fairly flexible setup, and a decent price. The bad, it has a rating of only 85% relative humidity, making it questionable for outdoor use. The instructions are very sketchy. Setting it reminds me of setting a digital watch, or maybe a little easier. Wiring is not intuitive, but anyone close to being a techie can figure out the diagram. If you need help, let me know. It really is simple when you figure it out, but there is no excuse for the instructions being so weak. I'm working on a sealed box so it will last in the outdoor humidity. I have found this item elsewhere for 50% cheaper, but I bought it from Amazon because the shipping was free. I rate this timer switch 4.5 stars, .5 stars off for the poor instructions.
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on October 29, 2013
1 star because I was going to use this for a Halloween display and it did not work. Short time line, and so I can't get another one in time. I REALLY wanted it to work. The clock worked, the timer worked, it was easy to program, the LED worked and you could hear the relay switch ON AND OFF appropriately, ,but the SWITCH TERMINALS GET NO POWER. Useless. First time I've had to return something to Amazon, so hope it goes smoothly. Printed off the label and sending it back tomorrow.
I AM ORDERING ANOTHER ONE. Call me a gluten for punishment, but I want one to work. If the next one is DOA, I will give up on it. I promise to come back and give a review of the return process, and the new one I have to order. (there was no replacement option).

OK, update....I'm a total idiot. First off, the return process with AMAZON was AMAZING. I printed off a label, and UPS came to the door the next day (less than 12 hours later) and got the package. On the same day, I was credited to my bank account the money. Wow, now that's service.

Now, why I'm an idiot. The first switch probably worked. I was under the impression that 12v in was going to come out as 12v out. It works as a switch, as in a light switch. When the timer activates the switch, it completes the circuit on the 2 output metal tabs. I thought it would be a 12v+ and a 12v- and wired the 1st one that way. Nope, it's simply a break in the line, so you wire just the 12v+ wire to both output tabs and when the switch activates, it completes the circuit. Took my continuity tester to figure it out.

So, I hope this helps others. I was just so busy I didn't take the time to figure it out on the 1st try.

I still only give it 4 stars, as the directions are not that explanatory. It says that you can wire it as Volt-free or Voltaic-output. There are diagrams, but it doesn't explain how. It also doesn't explain one of the buttons "c/r" whatever that is.
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on March 29, 2018
I began using one of these timers 5 months ago to control an outside 12 volt light on my shed (at about 5 tenths of an amp draw). It has 16 different programs I can set choosing on/off time, day or days of the week or weekend, or a combination of both. I like the small size, the programming flexibility, the dependability, the internal battery backup feature to save programming, and that it is easily powered by a marine battery. I have now purchased 4 of these timers, 3 I’m using on my solar controller board to switch lights and fans on and off at predetermined intervals. The fourth one is a spare for future use.

From other reviews here about this product I see some misunderstandings about how it operates. First my timers do not allow you to program the timer UNLESS you have connected external power first. The internal battery alone that backs up the program is not designed to be used for setting the program. Second, this timer’s switch is not connected directly to the timer’s power input terminals so the user has the option to use it to control different voltages in addition to 12 volts.

Another thing I noticed when I wired my timer with insulated female 1/4 inch blade connectors, the spacing around the terminals to my mounting surface was too tight. So I improvised and cut some short (1/4 inch) pieces of automotive vacuum hose to act as spacers to raise the timer up from the mounting surface.

One last observation. When you buy the same timer from the same vendor from the same product listing you expect to receive the identical item. This is not what I found. Although the last two I purchased at a casual glance appeared to be the same item they were not. Electrically the power input terminals were reversed from the previous timers I ordered. It took me a little while to find they were switched (not marked on back of timer). Subtle differences between the two types I received - one has a small graphic of a hand next to the manual switch, the other does not. The one with the hand has 17 programmable setting unlike the other one with 16 programmable settings. Look close at yours to see which one you are working with, and if it does not appear to be powering up on your 12 volt supply you probably have the other type.

Don’t let any of the comments above discourage you from purchasing this timer, they are a great value. Recommend.
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on April 21, 2013
Installed a 12 volt battery operated, solar charged, chicken door. This timer runs off the battery and opens and closes the door once a day. Easy to hook up and set. Has work just as advertised for the past two weeks. I'll report back in a year or so and rate again.

It's 6 months later. The timer just chugs along. No problems. It's mounted on the interior wall of the chicken coop and seem to be able withstand the temperature variations.
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on August 18, 2015
I ordered this timer to hook up to some 12V lights in my camper on mornings when I stay overnight on the lake and want to get up early. Alarm clocks themselves don't always work to get me up, but bright lights definitely help. For $10 I wasn't too sure of the performance but once I received the clock from china I was surprised at how well it was built. Yes I said FROM china. It said 3 - 4 weeks delivery but I got it in about 1 1/2 weeks and it was free shipping. Sorry. Directions weren't the best but from the diagrams I could figure out how to hook it up. You have one pair of terminals to power the clock (pos and neg) and then another set for the load (pos) Just like a standard spst switch. Once i wired it to the circut the lights are on, it pretty much functions as your standard plug in timers do only it is designed for 12v systems. Yes you can power higher voltage on the switch side but for my application it worked perfectly. It even has a red LED indicator to tell you when the circut is on. Programming is the same as your standard light timers. The only thing that is a con is it comes with a factory installed lithium battery that is already on when you receive it. (It serves as a battery backup for the clock, it will not power the switch is there is no power present.) This means, depending on when they manufactured it a quarter of the battery life may be exhaused. I don't believe the battery is rechargable so you may have to open it up and do some soldering to replace the battery if you don't leave it hooked up to power all the time. A battery pull tab to delay activating the battery really would have been a plus but overall a good buy for the price
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on February 17, 2016
Very impressive timer for the price! I just got the item today and it works great so I can't say much on the durability and longevity of the item but the features are impressive. You can read the reviews here to hear many comments on the programming, wiring, etc.
The only negative for me personally, is that the backup battery can not be turned off when you put the item in storage. The backup battery is constantly running if you don't have the device connected to power. I plan to use this device when I go camping to control bug lights. I want them to turn on and off at certain times. However, when I'm not camping, it would be nice to turn off the unit completely to save the small lithium battery inside but there is no way of doing this. So the backup battery is probably not going to last very long in my case because it will be constantly running when it's sitting in the garage and drain down completely. When you receive the item, the clock is running and fully functional with no power connected at all. You can program it, etc.
It will be interesting to see how long the backup battery works without being connected to power.
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on November 23, 2016
3 stars, because while it stopped working after 2 weeks of 2 operations a day (to a DPDT relay), I can't say I didnt like it. It's just a cheap little timer switch that fit into the area I had available, and was pretty simple to connect and set. I should have ordered a couple of spares for backups, because now I'm having to manually complete the function, but then this one wouldn't have quit on me, and I'd have two extra on hand I'd probably never use. Oh well.
I find it humorous there must be a dozen of these timers here on Amazon, all from different resellers, with only a few even having different badging on them, but they all get different levels of reviews. That one little company slapping these together for pennies on the dollar must be loving life
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on August 17, 2016
Had to jiggle the wires & tap on it with a wrench to get it started working but now it works great. To that other reviewer who wondered about accessing time & program adjustment without having to completely reset it ever time, just depress the bottom right button (c/r) 4 times and then, when you see the "a" for auto disappear you have about 5 seconds to start entering your changes, you know, hit program if you want to change timer(s), or "manual" if you want to turn lights on immediately. Note: I had to hit "manual" twice every time for some reason. Had to hit some other things twice to get them to respond too.
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on February 19, 2015
Use this to turn on and off my 12 volt solar system. My system is activated by thermal motion most of the time. This is a tough reliable timer that has been turning on the system the first few hours of the evening for company. It is programmable for each day of the week and a couple of periods each day. Actually more than I need. It has mechanical contacts which can handle good amount of current but will probably burn out someday. To date it has worked flawlessly for over 1 year and a half on the same system with no attention. It has a manual switch that is a little confusing. I do appreciate that it has a indicator light when it is activated. More than I expected to get for this price.
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on July 26, 2013
Functions well. Tricky to program using badly written instructions poorly translated from the Chinese. I am a cum laude electronic design engineer University of California Berkeley and I spent an hour or so fiddling with the programming buttons before I got it figured it out. Also difficult to interpret: the polarity of input connections. First one had to decide which of the two unlabeled schematics (for two different models) to follow. I did it by inference from a puzzling sketch diagram which did not make clear mechanically the location of the positive terminal - and which terminal was not labeled on the body of the device. I finally gave it my best guess and hoped I did not have positive and negative reversed. The positive wire was labeled "line of fire", mistranslated from "hot wire".

The legends on the display for on-manual, off-manual and AUTO (timer) mode indication were so small a regular magnifying glass did not make them legible (it took a glass with a high power inset lens). Also one had to figure out that the lightbulb mode symbol meant "on-manual" and the crossed-out lightbulb symbol meant "off-manual."
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