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To Automate or Not to Automate....

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    To Automate or Not to Automate....

    I have a 25yo 4 zone Rainbird mechanical sprinkler controller. The thing is rock solid. Set and forget. Turn it off in the late Fall and Turn it on in the early Spring. Works like a champ. HOWEVER..... The house is now more of a second home. Many miles away. Droughts are causing the city to come up with creative watering schedules that seem to be changing weekly. Trying not to bother the neighbors to turn off the water. SO....

    Looking for something similar that I can turn off myself remotely. Would rather not have something that needs the internet to run local control (like Alexa...) but rather WiFi or Ethernet to the home network. Homeseer control would be cool down the road, but not a requirement.

    Who has what and which system do you like best??



    I made my own and use Z-Wave to kick on the MAIN valve. Then the 24VAC powers up a relay board I got on E-Bay. Lastly, I use DTR and the other single control pin on 25pin serial ports to toggle a relay that was designed to hook into an Arduino (also from Flea-bay). The relays on the board act like pressing the button on the remote that came with the unit. To confirm that everything is working, I have cameras around the house, which I access through VPN and either HSTouch or direct access using IPCamViewer...most of the time it is HSTouch.

    Lastly, the software, in HS, as I recall, I only had to open the port to toggle the pin. If I closed the port everything went to a safe state (maybe I only used 1 of the flow control pins? I can't recall, it has been a while).

    A bit of hardware hacking, but it all worked.

    *note, the DTR and D?? pins can swing like all RS-232, so can be 5-14V and positive or negative anyone who wants to do something similar needs to put a diode in series with the pin and thus hook it into the drive circuit that way.

    **note 2, the relay board I found had optical transistors driving the relays with all inductive kickback circuitry placed on the board. Was really noted above, I only had to add a diode because of HOW I was driving it.
    Tasker, to a person who does like walking up to a Crack Treatment facility with a truck full of 3lb bags of crack. Then for each person that walks in and out smack them in the face with an open bag.


      I'm using Open Sprinkler. It will run without an internet connection, but needs internet for remote control and weather control(optional).

      It has worked well here in Texas for last two years.


        Here running mcsSprinklers on a Seagate Dockstar. Today you could run it on a RPi-1-2-3.

        It is running without Homeseer. You can though manage it remotely or even use Homeseer to manage it remotely if you wanted to.

        Add a cheap weather station and Cumulus software; it would run itself will little user or no user interaction.

        Here removed the old Rainbird ESP boards and replaced them with two Rain8Net serial devices and one Dockstar inside of the old Rainbird box.

        I have another irrigation set up with a Rainbird ESP board and it's been fine now for 16 years. Only issue is lightning strikes which burn up fuse; easy replacement.

        Lightning strike has taken out my two Rain8Nets before.
        Last edited by Pete; August 27, 2016, 12:34 PM.
        - Pete

        Auto mator
        Homeseer 3 Pro - (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb
        Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro
        HS4 Lite - Ubuntu 20.04 / VB W7e Jetway JBC420U591
        Fanless IntelĀ® Celeron N3160 SoC 8Gb
        HS4 Pro - V4.1.18.1 - Ubuntu 20.04/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb
        HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets

        X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant


          I had a Rainbird but it went flaky on me so I bought an OpenSprinkler.

          It's been running solid for a week now.