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Picture of Timer Extension Cord
With Christmas coming up, I decided that it would be a good time to upgrade that run-of-the-mill timer that I used last year. So here is my timer!

Why? Because I was shopping at walmart and noticed they had timers on sale so I picked some up, and decided to use one for this. It also gives the added benefit of having a GFCI for extra protection of your outside lights and helps protect in the event of a short of your lights.

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any of you killing and/or hurting yourself or others while attempting this project. This should only be done by someone with some experience in electronics.
 
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Step 1: Parts & Tools

Picture of Parts & Tools
I got all my parts at Walmart and Home Depot.

You will need:

1X Digital Timer ($17.94)
1X GFCI ($14.99)
1X Outlet Cover ($2.59)
1X Outlet Box ($2.09)
2X Romex Clamp (bag of 5 $1.69)
1X 40 FT Extension Cord ($7.78)
2X Wire Nuts (my timer had several in it) ($0.00)

TOTAL: $47.08


Tools:

Wire Cutters
Strippers
Screwdriver

Step 2: Hack some metal off

Picture of Hack some metal off
My timer wouldn't fit in the outlet cover out of the box. I had to use my wire cutters to snip parts of the timers mounting bracket. After snipping parts of the tabs off it fit without a problem.

Step 3: I had to snip the screw tabs off the GFCI too

Picture of I had to snip the screw tabs off the GFCI too
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The GFCI wouldn't fit in the outlet cover either, so I had to snip some off of it too.

Step 4: Get to some stripping

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Cut the wire in a convenient spot, I selected a spot near the beginning of the extension cord, and cut it. After you have cut it strip it and insert it into the box. I used a Quick-con for the ground, but you can just wrap the wires on the screw, but the Quick-con provides a cleaner look.

Step 5: Connecting things!!!1

Picture of Connecting things!!!1
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I connected the incoming power directly to the GFCI that way if something goes haywire in the timer it will trip. From the GFCI the hot wire is connected to the timer and the neutral comes from the GFCI and goes directly to the output. The blue wire from the timer connects to the hot of the output. And the Grounds are all tied together.
globrite1 year ago
Good use of timer. For your next AC power control project, please take a look at:
A nice and safe alternative is to use a Wattstopper power unit which is UL approved, has zero voltage switching and as a bonus has DC output at about 150 mA to power your controller. One such unit (B-120 EP) is available from Amazon for about $15. - Enjoy.
eyesee2 years ago
Circuit diagram
would you be able to add a diagram of how the electrics are wired up?
Nice ible. I have done similar for my lights as well. The set up you have currently would only be good for indoor use though. For outdoor use you would want to use a weatherproof box with a cover to keep moisture out of the electronics.