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Author Topic: Problems With Old Mini Timer  (Read 1022 times)

whitedavidp

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Problems With Old Mini Timer
« on: December 01, 2021, 10:24:05 AM »

This mini timer was among my 1st X10 devices. It is Radio Shack branded with catalog #61-2670. It uses a 9V battery (I think only for power outage backup to keep the clock running).

Over the last several weeks, it has acted up displaying only partially-lit digits. I have replaced batteries since it also shows battery low. Not sure why it might require a battery when plugged in. But maybe it does?

Is this thing dead? Possible to fix?

What is the current alternative to this device?

Thanks
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Brian H

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Re: Problems With Old Mini Timer
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2021, 01:04:20 PM »

It does sound like it maybe going bad.
The battery should not be needed for it to work on AC but may keep telling you the battery is low or missing.
My older MT13A worked fine on AC and no batteries but always gave a battery error indication.
X10 makes a MT14A Mini Timer. You can look at the web site and see if it may do what you want download the product manual.
https://www.x10.com/collections/x10-plug-in-controllers/products/mt14a
The X10Pro version is the XPMT4.
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brobin

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Re: Problems With Old Mini Timer
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2021, 06:32:05 PM »

Well at least the controller outlived Radio Shack so it's fair to say you got your money's worth.  You can spend $50 for the new model or for another 10 bucks update to a controller that does a whole lot more, can be programmed with an app and work with Alexa. Holler if you'd like more details.
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whitedavidp

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Re: Problems With Old Mini Timer
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2021, 07:49:46 PM »

Thanks all! Today I went out and got a new 9V. The others all read good on my little tester but you never know. So far, since I put it in there, the thing is working like before. I cannot ever recall this thing working without a 9V in it. But I am getting old and memory withers... It has lasted a good, long time and I can't complain. But I hate to trash things I can keep going with some effort. So far, at least, a fresh 9V is very little effort.

Cheers

PS - I have a large number of other controllers in the place including a CM-11 running on Heyu which still meets many of my needs (although sometimes it requires some effort - for example controlling a non-x10, wifi switch via Heyu).
« Last Edit: December 01, 2021, 07:51:31 PM by whitedavidp »
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brobin

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Re: Problems With Old Mini Timer
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2021, 08:23:10 PM »

Glad to hear it was something so simple! #:)
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petera

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Re: Problems With Old Mini Timer
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2021, 09:13:52 PM »

A man after my own heart. Why junk it when you can fix it. From a simple battery change to more elaborate repairs and itís back good as new. The personal satisfaction of doing it and one less piece of electronics on the scrap heap. Doing your bit for the planet too. Too many are too quick to junk and buy new without doing some basic checks. That old stuff was built to last a lifetime. Youíre lifetime that is.
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Brian H

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Re: Problems With Old Mini Timer
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2021, 05:55:43 AM »

Keep an eye on its operations.
If the controllers power supply is starting to fail. Its operation may again go south. Though I hope it is still totally OK.
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whitedavidp

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Re: Problems With Old Mini Timer
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2021, 06:14:50 PM »

Ach! The problem has returned and the "new" battery now reads below voltage. So the display is again mangled and useless. I cannot say if the battery was just crap (Kodak) or if it was OK and something in the controlled drained it out. But either way, I must conclude my ancient timer controller is now toast and in a box. Not sure what I will do. But if the new timer controllers use AA or AAA and actually do NOT need them in place to operate normally, that would be my preference. Cheers
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brobin

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Re: Problems With Old Mini Timer
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2021, 06:31:47 PM »

You have several options:

1. Buy a newer model brand new from X10 at https://www.x10.com/collections/x10-pro-plug-in-controllers/products/xpmt4

2. Buy the same one you have now used on ebay as low as $25.

3. Upgrade to something better with more capabilities.
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bkenobi

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Re: Problems With Old Mini Timer
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2021, 08:47:42 PM »

IMO, anything that uses AA or AAA batteries for long term memory is a bad idea.  Of all of the devices that I have used which use all sorts of batteries, the ones that leak almost without fail are AA or AAA.  I could say the same for C or D, but I've used so few of those and so rarely that I typically just pull the battery when not in use so even acid will only cause a mess in the zip lock and not destroy the device.  I have never had a 9V eat the device though I'm sure they do leak eventually.  Even if they did, most 9V devices use leads so they could be replaced fairly easily.  Best are Lithium which I'm not sure I've ever seen leak on their own (I had a bag of batteries with bad Li but they may have had help from another AA).

I can't help with your search for a replacement, but my advice would be avoid conventional batteries as memory backup such as the CM15A does.

whitedavidp

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Re: Problems With Old Mini Timer
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2021, 05:09:36 PM »

Thanks to you all. I am still not sure what to do. I might be able to just do without the clock and go with a plain old mini controller in this location. I am just used to having the clock there.

I agree that alkaline batteries are a PIA. Where ever I can, I am using Eneloop rechargeable units (or similar). They do not leak. But they are 1.2v and so are not good for all applications. For those requiring full 1.5v, I have been using Tenavolt Li rechargeable batteries. I did not pay full price though and would not. They provide a full 1.5v but almost zero volts when they are needing recharge. They are also great in motorized applications like razors and hair trimmers. Not that great for trickle-draw applications. But I do use them in some of those. I have tried some of the expensive, 1.5v lithium non-rechargeable batteries and, while they have not leaked, they don't last all that long.

Cheers!

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Brian H

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Re: Problems With Old Mini Timer
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2021, 06:29:41 PM »

If you are not using the timer features of the old controller.
A Mini Controller would work just as well. Except for the clock not being there.
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