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 DIY 50 Amp Timer Box/ Sub Panel/ Flip Flop w/ (8) 240V outlets & (2) 120V outlets Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-15-2010, 09:01 PM   #1
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DIY 50 Amp Timer Box/ Sub Panel/ Flip Flop w/ (8) 240V outlets & (2) 120V outlets

So I’m posting this for a little help from the community in creating a DIY thread. I have an idea on how to make one of these but I need a little help. I’ll buy the materials and post photos of the progress but I need help in what materials I need to get and how exactly to wire the components. They sell these 50 Amp Timer boxes for $429.95 in the Sunlight Supply Catalogue which I’m sure many of you have access to but I’m sure we can build one ourselves for much less. I’m posting a picture of the box that I’m talking about below . I don’t believe that their box has a flip flop built into it but I’m sure that’s an easy upgrade. Nothing a few relays won’t fix.

Click on the picture to make it larger.
50 Amp Timer Box.jpg



So anyone interested, please contribute. I’ll be taking a trip to the Home Depot later today so I’m hoping to get some responses quickly. From the catalogue description, I’ll start with the following:

  1. (1) 50 amp range cord
  2. (1) 20 amp 240V quad breaker (I’m sure that you could substitute (2) 20 amp double breakers or (4) single breakers)
  3. (1) 10 amp 120V breaker
  4. (4) 240V duplex receptacles (this will give you 8 240V outlets for your ballasts)
  5. (1) 120V duplex receptacle (for fans, pumps etc.)
  6. (1) standard 120VAC grounded power cord (used to connect to the timer)
  7. (1) plug in timer box or heavy duty contractor Intermatic timer
After I go to the Depot, I’ll edit the list to show prices as well. The items above are the things that I know that I’ll need to get. The items that I don’t have details on that I know I’ll need to get as well are:

  1. The electrical panel box
  2. Metal outlet boxes
  3. Miscellaneous hardware
I’m sure that I’m probably missing a few things so if anyone can think of anything, please fill in.
I’m not an electrician by trade but I went to college for electronics and I’m very mechanically inclined. I have a huge respect for electricity and anyone willing to work with it should as well. People need to understand that working with line power can kill and it would best to have a professional electrician handle the installation of these devices. I’m posting this thread for informational purposes only.

So let’s begin!
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:16 PM   #2
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Interesting.

I'm no electrician either but shouldn't the timer be operating a relay for the lights?. I didnt see that mentioned in your parts list.

Mebby a 40 amp relay in there?
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrowerGoneWild View Post
Interesting.

I'm no electrician either but shouldn't the timer be operating a relay for the lights?. I didnt see that mentioned in your parts list.

Mebby a 40 amp relay in there?
Right. That's why I mentioned relays. I didn't put it in my parts list because it's not listed in the catalogue and I don't know which relays to get. I'm hoping to get some help from guys like Madpenguin and Phillthy. There are 2 ways to build this. One way is just to build it as a timer sub panel only and the other is to build it as a flip flop sub panel. I might be using the wrong verbage but I think you guys get what I'm trying to say.

Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:58 PM   #4
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I think Kung POW!!! did a thread or few on this, nearly identical... also there is a (copied) tutorial from some online hydro store that shows similar.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by grow nerd View Post
I think Kung POW!!! did a thread or few on this, nearly identical... also there is a (copied) tutorial from some online hydro store that shows similar.
Nerd,

Kung POW!!! did a DIY on a flip flop and it's here https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=35561 unless you are talking about something else. All of the DIY's that I have found on ICM have been on flip flops only. They are installed in a basic metal component box. What I am trying to build is a sub panel that can also act as a flip flop. The difference is that i want to have overload protection, hence the circuit breakers. I would be using an actual sub panel box that has bus bars. All of the flip flops I've seen don't have any circuit beakers or bus bars. I really don't even need a flip flop at this time but since it would probably be an easy addition (just add a few relays), I figured why not show how to add that feature.

If you look at the picture below, you'll see the circuit breaker right on the front of the box. I haven't seen this on any of the flip flop tutorials that I have seen.



I guess I could be overcomplicating this. Maybe I could connect a flip flop directly into a breaker in my main panel but my intent was to run a wire to a standard range outlet that install in my grow room and from there, I can connect the sub panel that I've built. That way if one of the breakers trip, I don't have to go to my main panel to reset it.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:31 PM   #6
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Excellent. Looking forward to it.
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:02 AM   #7
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Well no responses yet so I'm on my way to Home Depot to get what I can. Hopefully someone will jump in here soon!
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:39 AM   #8
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one of the pieces of misc hardware you will need is a couple 2 pole contactors with a 110 coil, something like this ... http://www.auberins.com/index.php?ma...roducts_id=129

These will be between the 240 quad breaker & the 240outlets, your 110 trigger cable will control the contactors.
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pimpjuice View Post
http://www.auberins.com/index.php?ma...roducts_id=129

These will be between the 240 quad breaker & the 240outlets, your 110 trigger cable will control the contactors.
You sure about that? Seems like they should be after the outlets and ballasts if they're being used for a flip.
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:11 PM   #10
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I'm sorry I'm looking at the pic at the top from the catalog, no flip-flop on that one.
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:33 PM   #11
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here's a pic of my sub-panel box. i ran 6/3 wire from my main panel to a 100 amp main-lug sub-panel. in the panel i made sure to disconnect the neutral bar from the ground bar. then i installed a 40 amp 220 braker (for lights) and two 15 amp 120 breakers (for misc.). from the 40 amp breaker i ran 10/3 into my intermittent timer. Then from the intermittent timer i ran the wire into a nema juctiontion box where i used split-bolt connectors to splice the wires coming from the 3(220) receptacle's into the main line from the timer box. My standard (120)15 amp receptacle's are simply tied together then tied into a 15 amp breaker. hope this helps.
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:37 PM   #12
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I think all you have to do is run the 220 line to ur flip-flop instead of timer. Then use a timer on one of the 120 lines to control flip-flop.
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:39 PM   #13
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*edit. unless your running your lights on 120. But 220 will run your balasts a little cooler becuase your drawing half the amps.
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnedout View Post
You sure about that? Seems like they should be after the outlets and ballasts if they're being used for a flip.
Burneout,

I think at this point, I'm going to to do without the flip flop. I have 3 4x8 trays so I'll have 6 1k lights. Kinda hard to divide 3 tables evenly so I just need to be able to set up a sub panel to bring in at least 8 240V outlets that are a single timer. I'm planning on getting another 4x8 so the extra 2 outlets are needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lid View Post
here's a pic of my sub-panel box. i ran 6/3 wire from my main panel to a 100 amp main-lug sub-panel. in the panel i made sure to disconnect the neutral bar from the ground bar. then i installed a 40 amp 220 braker (for lights) and two 15 amp 120 breakers (for misc.). from the 40 amp breaker i ran 10/3 into my intermittent timer. Then from the intermittent timer i ran the wire into a nema juctiontion box where i used split-bolt connectors to splice the wires coming from the 3(220) receptacle's into the main line from the timer box. My standard (120)15 amp receptacle's are simply tied together then tied into a 15 amp breaker. hope this helps.
Lid,

This is pretty much exactly what I was looking for. You should have done a DIY on your set up! It would have saved me some trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pimpjuice View Post
one of the pieces of misc hardware you will need is a couple 2 pole contactors with a 110 coil, something like this ... http://www.auberins.com/index.php?ma...roducts_id=129

These will be between the 240 quad breaker & the 240outlets, your 110 trigger cable will control the contactors.
Pimpjuice,

This is pretty much a relay right? I figured that I would need to get a relay as well so that I can hook up the timer trigger to it. I went to home depot and few other hardware shops yesterday and non of them carry these types of relays. I'm going to check out a few electric supply companies today. Hopefully they're open on a Saturday. I'd like to get this set up as soon as possilbe so I don't really have time to order from the net.

Thank you all. I'll update again shortly.
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pimpjuice View Post
one of the pieces of misc hardware you will need is a couple 2 pole contactors with a 110 coil, something like this ... http://www.auberins.com/index.php?ma...roducts_id=129

These will be between the 240 quad breaker & the 240outlets, your 110 trigger cable will control the contactors.
I was thinking about this and wanted to make sure this is correct. If the trigger voltage is 120 and the voltage that the relay is switching on and off is 240, is this the correct relay? Also, it shows that this is a 25amp contactor. If I'm running 6 1kW lights at 4.75amps each, that 28.5amps total. Will this contactor handle that? I noticed that you said "a couple" so I couldn't achieve the desired result with only 1 relay?
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