12 Volt Switch


Old 08-31-11, 08:44 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: usa
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12 Volt Switch

Hi, a newbie with a question for bigger brains than mine:

I am hooking up a solar panel to a 12 volt water pump to water a garden. Everything works great, except I now need an automated 12 volt switch to turn the pump on/off when I away from home (frequently).

I have an Orbits hose timer that I would like to modify. The timer works great and trips a separate solenoid unit that attaches between the faucet and a hose to open the valve and let water thru. This works great when hooked up to your home faucet with water pressure, but what I need it to do instead is open and close a 12 volt circuit to the pump.

So, the big question is: what can I hook my momentary-on timer to that will open and close a 12 volt switch leading to the battery that powers the pump? If its a "solenoid" switch then where can I find such an animal? And oh, this all has to work outside.

Any ideas that a total electrical novice can make work?

Thanks for taking the time to consider my situation.
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Old 08-31-11, 12:57 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: KS
Posts: 1,896
How many amps does the pump draw? You're not going to find any plug n play solution to use the Orbit timer, due to the way they work. As you already know, it doesn't energize the valve constantly when on, it sends pulses. To make a 'switch' that would cycle a relay based on momentary pulses is going to require a fairly complicated circuit.

Your best bet is to get a cheapo 12v 24 hour timer off ebay, if the amp draw isn't too high. This one is $15 and has a 16A max (given its cheapness I would say dont go higher than 10A). If you need higher you'll need to use a standard automotive relay.


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