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"The Timer" issues again #6784012 06/05/17 12:51 PM
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titan2232 Offline OP
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Made a fill trip this weekend and found my 1500# Lamco not working AGAIN (last trip the battery was damn near dead)

As I understand it "The Timer" unit will work with a 12V or 6V battery and should show on the display what battery is connected, but when my 6V battery is connected it still shows 12V???

Also the solar panel indicator has only 1 bar.



This google image shows what I'm seeing. 12V when a 6V battery is connected and only 1 bar for the solar panel read out.

So my question. Do I have a bad timer and/or a bad solar panel???



Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6784063 06/05/17 01:42 PM
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It can take that 6/12V indicator on THE TIMER a bit to reset. I would not be worried about that yet. Your Lamco is 12V, correct? Sounds like you've got a bad solar panel and/or bad or wrong battery. How old is it?

Easy to check both with a multimeter. That solar panel should be putting out 14V or more when measured across terminals. If it is, I'd swap the battery, then charge and check the first battery with a wall charger. Battery may not be holding charge any longer.

Last edited by TxAg; 06/05/17 01:58 PM.
Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6784066 06/05/17 01:44 PM
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Is it a 12v motor? Put a 12v battery on it



Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6784126 06/05/17 02:50 PM
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No sir my Lamco has a 6V motor and solar panel. I've tried both 6V and 12V batteries with the same results (timer went bad once and I've went through 3 batteries in 2 years)

My feeder has a rain sensor on it just to throw another wrench into things. Wonder if it has a short or something???



Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: TxAg] #6784130 06/05/17 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted By: TxAg
It can take that 6/12V indicator on THE TIMER a bit to reset. I would not be worried about that yet. Your Lamco is 12V, correct? Sounds like you've got a bad solar panel and/or bad or wrong battery. How old is it?

Easy to check both with a multimeter. That solar panel should be putting out 14V or more when measured across terminals. If it is, I'd swap the battery, then charge and check the first battery with a wall charger. Battery may not be holding charge any longer.


Can you clarify a bit on checking the solar panel?

I've been told to check the solar panel leads with only the negative connected to the battery. Sound accurate?



Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6784170 06/05/17 03:30 PM
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Interesting Lamco went 6V on it.

Checking the panel is as easy as connecting your multimeter leads to the panel leads with the positive panel lead NOT connected to the battery. You can leave the negative connected to the battery if you want, but it doesn't need to be. Your 6V panel should put out several volts higher in direct sunlight, something like 8 to 9V.

If you went through 3 batteries in 2 years I'd start suspecting that panel, or you have junk batteries. Something aint right. Also, what direction is the solar panel facing? It should be facing S or SW for optimal charging.

Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: TxAg] #6784262 06/05/17 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: TxAg
Interesting Lamco went 6V on it.

Checking the panel is as easy as connecting your multimeter leads to the panel leads with the positive panel lead NOT connected to the battery. You can leave the negative connected to the battery if you want, but it doesn't need to be. Your 6V panel should put out several volts higher in direct sunlight, something like 8 to 9V.

If you went through 3 batteries in 2 years I'd start suspecting that panel, or you have junk batteries. Something aint right. Also, what direction is the solar panel facing? It should be facing S or SW for optimal charging.


Yes sir all my panels face South South/West.


I will be replacing the timer, solar panel, and will be removing the rain sensor my next trip out. 10 hour trip is worth replacing almost everything to ensure it functions correctly IMO. Thanks for the pointers cheers



Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6784266 06/05/17 05:22 PM
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Make sure your getting good contacts from the panel to the battery. Id have to imagine its a solar panel issue.

My panel faces straight east and ive never had an issue. 6v system as well.



Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6784326 06/05/17 06:27 PM
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Not sure how old your timer is but I had to replace 2 last year that went bad. They told me they had a bad batch and replaced them at no charge.

I had one doing the same thing yours is doing, check wires, changed battery, checked panel and all were good but the Timer was doing the same thing.

I think they might have a 5 year warranty.

Last edited by Stompy; 06/05/17 06:30 PM.

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Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6784363 06/05/17 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted By: titan2232


I will be replacing the timer, solar panel, and will be removing the rain sensor my next trip out. 10 hour trip is worth replacing almost everything to ensure it functions correctly IMO. Thanks for the pointers cheers


I hear ya! By the way, you can take that existing Timer to any participating dealer and they should swap you out for a brand new one no questions asked. That way you can have a backup to keep at the ranch.

Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6785038 06/06/17 01:38 PM
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There is also a battery inside the timer that you should replace. It may also be that you are simply using more electricity than the solar panel can replace in a day. How often does it run and for how long?

6 volt system will use twice the current as a 12 volt.

Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: HogBranch] #6785191 06/06/17 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted By: HogBranch
There is also a battery inside the timer that you should replace. It may also be that you are simply using more electricity than the solar panel can replace in a day. How often does it run and for how long?

6 volt system will use twice the current as a 12 volt.


The 6V battery didn't last a month with the latest setting at one throw for 10 seconds.

I swapped timers (will be getting the old timer replaced this weekend) and replaced the battery with a new 6 volt.

If I find another dead battery when I go back in two months I'll pretty much know it's the solar panel.



Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6785416 06/06/17 07:17 PM
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I may be wrong but I have always believed the bar was a measurement of the battery voltage rather than the solar panel. The panel wiring may be to small also. I put larger wire on one of mine and it really helped as to voltage output.

Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6785439 06/06/17 07:32 PM
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I have 9 on my ranch with zero issues. I do have one that says 6v but it is 12v and it runs just fine.


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Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6785471 06/06/17 08:11 PM
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I would pay zero attention to the battery meters on any of those timers. I haven't found one that's accurate yet. That's my only complaint about that unit.

I have seen it when I lift the lid and it show the batteries just about dead. You set the feeder off manually and magically they show fully charged. I aint talking about just that brand either.

Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6785489 06/06/17 08:31 PM
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According to the dealer where I purchased the feeder the indicator circled in red is the solar panel charge indicator. The spot directly above it is the actual battery read-out. confused2








[/quote]



Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6785557 06/06/17 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted By: titan2232


According to the dealer where I purchased the feeder the indicator circled in red is the solar panel charge indicator. The spot directly above it is the actual battery read-out. confused2


Think what he is trying to say is the bottom that is circled in red is the big 6v or 12v battery that is connected to the solar panel. The other battery meter reading above it is the AA batteries inside the timer. I don't have solar panels on all of mine and still get both meter readings so that's my take on it.

Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6785600 06/06/17 09:49 PM
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I'm fairly certain both readouts are completely gone when not connected to a panel or battery. Will check tonight on a spare unit



Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6785607 06/06/17 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted By: titan2232
I'm fairly certain both readouts are completely gone when not connected to a panel or battery. Will check tonight on a spare unit


I just checked one I have here at the house and you are correct. Both battery meter read outs are gone when not connected to the 6v or 12v battery. However when connected I still get both battery read outs even though this unit I have here does NOT have a solar panel. That's why I always assumed the top meter was for the AA timer batteries and the bottom meter was the big 12 volt battery.

Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6785872 06/07/17 02:06 AM
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Yea I just checked my spare timer and neither bar shows without anything connected. Really confused now of why I'm getting two uneven bars once hooked the battery.

Might call the timer manufacturer tomorrow.



Re: "The Timer" issues again [Re: titan2232] #6786307 06/07/17 04:02 PM
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My thoughts are the same as JCB's - the top indicator is for the AA timer batteries and the bottom indicator is for the 6 volt motor battery. I have also found that these indicators don't always work very well. You may have an electrical short in your wiring harness, timer or motor that is creating a constant pull on your battery thus causing the short life span. A multimeter is a helpful little tool to find electrical problems. My 1500# Lamco fed all year around with two 14 second feedings per day and the 6 volt battery lasted for over two years. I finally noticed some acid seepage around the battery terminals so I replaced it even though it was still working strong. I'm not a big fan of how Lamco ran the motor wire uncovered to the inside wall to gain access to the outside timer/battery box. The protein pellets are peppering that wire every time the unit feeds. I would definitely check that wire real closely especially where it goes through the inside wall to the outside box. Good luck!

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