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Looking for Hardware/Software combination for irrigation renovation

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  • Looking for Hardware/Software combination for irrigation renovation

    I am hoping to get some advice from forum readers on an irrigation renovation. I currently have a 24 zone Hunter system. With a planned landscape renovation I will probably have additional zones and would like to purchase hardware that enables HS3 control. I tried searching this board for "Hunter" but nothing came up. There is a new Hunter system that allows wifi control but I can't tell if any of the existing HS3 irrigation plug ins are compatible.
    I'm a power Insteon user, but I can easily run ethernet cable or a serial connection to the irrigation controller. I would really appreciate recommendations on hardware (maybe 36 zones) and compatible plug-ins for a new set up, ideally using all my existing wiring for the Hunter system, thought I'm happy to replace the Hunter controller with something else. Thanks for any thoughts you can share.

  • #2
    I'm not sure what you are looking for, but mcsSprinklers is powerful and works with several valve controllers. I'd recommend that you look at that forum to see if it is of interest.
    Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
    HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548

    HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF, Rain8Net+ | RFXCOM | QSE100D | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | X10: XTB-232, -IIR | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3

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    • #3
      I looked at the Hunter for integration with mcsSprinklers and concluded that it was not a good fit due to the level of UI maintained with the Hunter that did not fit well with the UI provided by mcsSprinklers.

      For a Zwave-based system the GoControl is a very cost effective device with 15 zones per module. HS Store https://shop.homeseer.com/collections/z-wave-products has then on sale now for under $50.

      For IP control the EtherRain is a good unit but a higher price point of what I think is $150 per 8 valves.

      For WiFi Sonoff 4CH Pro flashed with mcsTasmota provides increments of 4 valves at around $30. DIN rail mounting of these units and is a little more DIY that then above two units designed explicitly for irrigation.

      mcsSprinklers handles the above as well as some others. mcsSprinklers can be used for weather-based (Evaptranspiration) or for timed control and ability to mix the two on a valve by valve basis.

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      • #4
        Thanks for these responses. I don't currently use Z wave, so would prefer to not have to delve into a new communication platform. EtherRain uses ethernet or wifi, which is great, but it doesn't appear to allow local control by the landscapers (it would be nice if they could just walk up to it and turn it on/off). I have up to a year before the new zones are up and running, so perhaps there will be some additional entries by then.

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        • #5
          You might want to look at OpenSprinkler.com. The base unit (wi-fi and ethernet models around $166 ) supports 8 zones, each zone expander adds 16 zones. Total system can support 72 zones. Has a browser interface. There's a free HS3 plugin for it, but there is some question as to whether it's still supported by the developer and whether it will work with the latest models of OpenSprinkler.

          I've had mine for almost five years and it's worked flawlessly. I never tried the plugin, though. Just didn't see the need.
          Fred

          HomeSeer Pro 3.0.0.478, HS3Touch, Zwave 3.0.1.252, Envisalink DSC 3.0.0.40, WeatherXML, Z-stick, HS phone, Way2Call

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          • #6
            @juno
            you can put the 24VAC transformer on a extension plug with on/off switch. Without power the valves will never open.

            The UI for mcsSprinklers provides the means to pause. This means you need to provide a touch panel or something on the network that can use a browser (e.g. smartphone) to use the pause button.

            In the past couple years there has been crowdfunding of multiple irrigation controllers. Some are still around but typically have a limited number of valves per controller. This means you or your landscaper will need to interface with multiple controllers to turn them off. With something like mcsSprinklers you have a single action to take and it handles the communication with everything it is managing.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ITguyHS View Post
              You might want to look at OpenSprinkler.com. The base unit (wi-fi and ethernet models around $166 ) supports 8 zones, each zone expander adds 16 zones. Total system can support 72 zones. Has a browser interface. There's a free HS3 plugin for it, but there is some question as to whether it's still supported by the developer and whether it will work with the latest models of OpenSprinkler.

              I've had mine for almost five years and it's worked flawlessly. I never tried the plugin, though. Just didn't see the need.
              OpenSprinkler.com yeah. This is a good one!

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              • #8
                Or a sonoff 4CH Pro ? You'd have to do the decision making in HS than ...

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                • #9
                  With Sonoff 4CH Pro using modified Tasmota firmware it is programmed as a stand alone interval controller. When integrated with mcsSprinklers this program is modulated to provide an optimized control, but if communication is lost then it reverts back to interval control.

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