Looking to create that sunrise and sunset effect for your special aquarium? The new Ramp Timer by Current USA for their LED fixtures has just been introduced that may be right up your alley. We were able to get first glance at the new Single Ramp Timer thanks to Aquascape Depot and take it for a spin on our setups. The question is, can it compete with the DIY Arduino and find a market for itself?
Build and Design
The Current USA Single Ramp Timer comes in a plastic hard case. This is by no means waterproof, and is directed to keep this little bugger away from the aquarium so that water and salt creep won’t be able to get inside the housing. The Single Ramp Timer does come with a nice dual-sided adhesive Velcro. This gives you the freedom to stick it pretty much anywhere and pull it from its location when you feel minor adjustments are necessary to the ramp time.
Current USA wanted to design an affordable dimmer unit that is compatible with all of Current USA’s lights. They also wanted to give other LED aquarium companies the ability work with it as well.
What’s the difference between the Current USA Single Ramp Timer and a DIY Arduino? Plug-n-play. If you’re looking for a turnkey, no hassle dimmer unit, the Single Ramp Timer is perfect. I will admit, it is a little clunky just like any clock with a digital LED screen, but once you understand the features, you’ll be creating sunrises and sunsets in no time! It took me about 10 minutes to set it all up.
Plays Well with Others
With a universal DC plug (2.5mm x 5mm), The Current USA Single Ramp Timer can connect to LED fixtures from different aquarium manufacturers, as long as it is below the 84 watt limit of the ramp timer. I personally hooked up the Single Ramp Timer to my Up-Aqua LED aquarium light for my 6 gallon and sure enough, it worked flawlessly. So fear no more about the restriction of having just one specific adapter that only works on model (X). Current USA made sure that you will have the widest selection of LED manufacturers possible to work with their Single Ramp Timer.
The Current USA Single Ramp Timer uses a pre-programmed “on” and “off” switch that you specifically set. Once the Ramp Timer hits the “on” phase, the PWM (Pluse Width Modulation) will slowly send current through to your aquarium LED light. I haven’t been able to get a direct count on how many increments it makes, but it seems to be about one every 5-10 seconds. A count of 90 gradual increments is what it takes to go from “off” to fully “on”.
I did find the first increment when switching on to be kind of bright, but it’s hardly noticeable compared to the standard “off/on” timer.
So what is F2? Current USA still wanted to give you the option of having an instant “on/off” timer as well. So they created a function called “F2”, which instead of 15 minutes of dimming, it will be either on or off. I personally wouldn’t see me using this on any application, but it’s just a nice little feature to point out.
Current USA states that the Single Ramp Timer’s MSRP is $39.95. This isn’t too bad considering DIY Arduino is $25, and that isn’t taking into account of all the tweaking and additives to get it all set up as a dimmer unit. Don’t get me wrong, I love tinkering and coding, but it is too much work for what I like. You can find out more information on Arduino here. Get your Current USA Single Ramp Timer on sale now!