Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995
From: Jonathan Yuen
Subject: Re: Dimmer Kit

Hello Lou,

The kit I bought was a Velleman Kit K2657, 'Slow on, slow off dimmer'. It can be wired either as a slow switch (turn it on and it comes on slowly, turn it off and it goes off slowly), or as a timer dimmer (turn it on and it's on immediately and after a while it starts to dim out). I think the kit is from The Netherlands since the first language on the instructions are Dutch. It costs me (guessing) about $40, which I thought was a lot at the time, but we do have high sales tax over here. [See Note below about the Velleman Kit availability.]

It wasn't that hard for me to put together, but I've built radios and things so soldering irons are no stranger to me. It was a printed circuit board that you just solder all the components to, and then you mount it in a box (that you have to supply). I mounted mine in a plastic box with two outlets mounted on it, and I connect it to the wall with a cord. You adjust the 'delay range' when you build it (you can choose which capacitors to install), and I chose the longer delay, from 5 minutes to 1 hour (variable). The final timing is done with a potentiometer (variable resistor). It will handle 2 amps as is, which will control 800 watts on 220 V and 400 on 110 V (it can be wired for either voltage).

I use mine with a normal wall outlet timer. When the timer goes to 'on' (about 6 AM right now), the lamp I have connected to the 'slow timer' starts to get brighter. After about 30 minutes it's at full brightness. This time is variable up to an hour, but I find 30 minutes works well for me. I have a normal 60 watt incandescent lamp on it right now, and I've been looking around for something a little more powerful.

I started playing around with using lamps to wake up over 20 years ago. I used to use normal timers but I've always found the abrupt transition from dark to light very disturbing. I had been planning to build a similar device for a long time but it wasn't till I read about the Velleman kit that I saw the solution to the 'slow on' problem. We just started using it for the 3rd winter now, and I am quite pleased with the results.

I've heard of commercial units that do the same thing, but to my knowledge nothing is available here, and certainly not at the price I paid to put this thing together.

Let me know if there's anything else you want to know.

Jonathan Yuen......................... phone: 46 18 663944
Department of Cancer Epidemiology......fax: 46 18 503431
Uppsala replies to:
S 751 85 Uppsala

NOTE ADDED 4 Apr 99:
The dimmer kit K2657 that Jonathan used is available from Jameco for
$22.95.  The part number is 127589.  See their website at:
from which you can ftp-download documentation on the kit,
or write them at:
	Jameco Electronic Components
	1355 Shoreway Road
	Belmont, CA 94002-4100
	1-800-831-4242 to order
	1-800-237-6948 to fax