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I am wanting to use a marine battery with a solar charger hooked to it to run some 12v lights in the chicken house so they might lay a little better. Is there a cheap timer out there that I could put between the the battery and the lights that would come on like at 4 or 5 in the morning then go off about 7:00 in the morning or am I just dreaming ?? Everything I am looking at goes from 120 to 12v. The few 12v to 12v timers I have found are expensive and if I do this I want to do it on the cheep.:p This is my first foray into something like this so if anybody has any better ideas please tell me. I just don't want to have to run a extension cord all the way down to the chicken house.
 

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I am wanting to use a marine battery with a solar charger hooked to it to run some 12v lights in the chicken house so they might lay a little better. Is there a cheap timer out there that I could put between the the battery and the lights that would come on like at 4 or 5 in the morning then go off about 7:00 in the morning or am I just dreaming ?? Everything I am looking at goes from 120 to 12v. The few 12v to 12v timers I have found are expensive and if I do this I want to do it on the cheep.:p This is my first foray into something like this so if anybody has any better ideas please tell me. I just don't want to have to run a extension cord all the way down to the chicken house.
Cheap?? Ok get a free battery operated clock(quartz movement) that runs on a AA battery----cut the metal top out of a small can of beans or corn etc---drill a hole dead center of the top---remove minute hand from clock and toss---remove hour hand and glue it to can top being careful to line up holes in hand with hole in center of can top--let dry and put back on clock movement---now go to Radio shack and for a few bucks--get a micro switch with a wire tripper and a decent size relay dc 12volt(you might have this already)--attach clock to something--and attach micro switch where the "trippers" that you make and attach to the can top will press the wire to turn on the micro switch---let the micro switch turn on and off the relay---let the relay be the switch that will turn on and off your lights. Cheap, but your lights will also turn on the same time in the evening, but you can order a high torque 24 hr movement and the game feeder kit which will have the round metal dial(can top) with some trippers from www.primexusa.com, but those things would probably cost you 20some bucks--so get another free clock and make another deal that will be set to switch off the wire going to the relay in the evening times so the lights don't come on.

Now what will happen is as the clock turns the round can top during the night--at the time you choose the tripper will press the wire on the micro switch to turn on the relay which will turn on your lights. You add enough trippers to keep the switch on as long as you need the lights on.

Hey you said CHEAP!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys, I think it might be quicker easier and cheaper just to run an extension cord from the shop down there it's about 150 foot, I can get a timer to plug in pretty cheap.. Just thought if there was a cheap, and easy(not over my head) way to do it I would.
 

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I did this set up earlier this year and have had very good success with it. The timer I bought was from super-feed.com (direct link to time: http://prostores1.carrierzone.com/servlet/super-feed_com/Detail?no=88 ) and was a little pricey ($85.00) - but is a 12v timer (actually can work between 6v to 24v), and has worked perfect to date. The timer is connected between the battery and the light fixture - and the clock has stayed very accurate. You can also set the timer at 5 minute intervals allowing you to gradually extend the light's time - or even set multiple times of on and off (although that's not needed for this situation). At present all three hens are still laying here on 12/21. I used a standard 2 bulb 12v Travel Trailer fixture which has 2-8w incancescent bulbs in it. I tried to switch to LED's, but the options for the fixture were not going to work. You may want to look at other fixtures that allow for better LED bulbs as this will stretch out your battery.

I was pretty much a novice at this and successfully had the system set up with few 'duh' factor moments.

Our Chickens are further away from power compared to your situation - and a quality extension cord might be the easier route.

Best of luck to you.
 

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I'm wanting to put a light in the chicken house, too. What I want to know is....can I use the solar fence charger and wire a lite fixture to it ??? If so, can someone tell me how?????????
Thanks, P.J.
 

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An LED camp lantern with 2 lithium rechargeable batteries will burn 7 days before needing recharging. Lanterns are $30 but bulbs last virtually for ever.
 
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