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  • EtherRain valve controller Scripts...

    The EtherRain irrigation controller is now available for use with HomeSeer HS2.

    The EtherRain irrigation controller provides reliable irrigation, is easy to setup, configure, and access. With newly available HS2 scripts, EtherRain provides solid, dependable irrigation with easy one command programming. EtherRain units have been working in the field for over 2 years.

    Potential benefits of using EtherRain for HomeSeer users include:

    1. Enhanced reliability. EtherRain is connected to your HS2 server via Ethernet for reliable connectivity. In addition EtherRain hardware and internal software was designed with reliability as the number one design criteria.

    2. Dependability. EtherRain was built specifically as an irrigation controller. It was designed to irrigate based on cycles, and will not turn on without turning off. Once a command is accepted you can be sure the cycle will run as you have programmed it (unless interrupted by a power outage).

    3. Low Maintenance. EtherRain is maintenance free. It has no clock to set and contains no battery.

    4. Easy to Program. Using the provided scripts, only one command is required to run a complete cycle. Comprehensive log entries notify you of command or command delivery errors.

    5. Easy to Access. EtherRain is addressed by name, so you don't have to worry about complex network addressing.

    Here is an example EtherRain event parameter string on HS2 using the EtherRain.vb script:

    ("runCycle", "irrigation1; pw; 5; 7; 0; 15; 19; 0; 0; 0")

    This command sends an irrigation command to the EtherRain controller named "irrigation1" with password of "pw". This example command turns zone 1 on for 5 minutes, zone 2 for 7 minutes, zone 3 is not turned on, zone 4 is on for 15 minutes, and zone 5 for 19 minutes. Zones 6, 7, and 8 are not turned on. The controller must be on the same network as the HS2 server.

    A stopCycle command is also provided within the script.

    More information about EtherRain is available here: http://www.quicksmart.com/qs_etherrain.html

    The available HS2 script provides basic level control. I'm not sure if these scripts can be extended with other available control plugins (like maybe the "sprinkler plugin") to provide a more convenient interface. If not then it might be possible to write a more involved plug-in that would let a user name zones and save multiple programs given that a high enough level of interest exists amongst HomeSeer users.

    comments invited.

    cheers,
    jim

  • #2
    EtherRain Experience

    I recently installed two of the EtherRain controllers and they work great. Jim quickly answers my questions and he knocked out the HS2 script in a day when I mentioned I'd like to be able to control my sprinklers within HS2.

    The free Lawncheck web site provides a nice alternative to controling them from a program running on a local PC (either HS2 or the free OptiRain software).

    Comment


    • #3
      Can you post a working EtherRain.vb script?
      Why I like my 2005 rio yellow Honda S2000 with the top down, and more!

      Comment


      • #4
        http://www.quicksmart.com/qs_software.html#homeseer

        Comment


        • #5
          Follow the link in Jim's posting and you'll fine it.

          Comment


          • #6
            enhanced scripts and web pages...

            Hi zoomkat and btanner,

            I've been working on an enhanced interface for HS2 consisting of some ASP pages and a beefed up EtherRain.vb script. The interface provides some needed foundational functions like virtual controller, cycle building, manual cycling, monitoring, and temporary suspend/disable. Users will then be able to use the HS2 event building process to implement customized schedules using their controller names and cycle names and then maintain the events through the web pages.

            The interface is done and is in testing for a few days. I'll post here and provide a link when it's ready.

            With this interface most people will be able to implement a satifactory irrigation system using EtherRain, though there will be a lot of room for pro plugin guys and individuals to improve or extend it.

            Thanks for your interest,

            Jim

            Comment


            • #7
              I took a look at the etherrain.vb file. Are the device query_string commands available for the DIY types?
              Why I like my 2005 rio yellow Honda S2000 with the top down, and more!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jiml@quicksmart.com View Post
                Hi zoomkat and btanner,

                I've been working on an enhanced interface for HS2 consisting of some ASP pages and a beefed up EtherRain.vb script. The interface provides some needed foundational functions like virtual controller, cycle building, manual cycling, monitoring, and temporary suspend/disable. Users will then be able to use the HS2 event building process to implement customized schedules using their controller names and cycle names and then maintain the events through the web pages.

                The interface is done and is in testing for a few days. I'll post here and provide a link when it's ready.

                With this interface most people will be able to implement a satifactory irrigation system using EtherRain, though there will be a lot of room for pro plugin guys and individuals to improve or extend it.

                Thanks for your interest,

                Jim
                Jim,
                I don't know how you feel about someone else using your code, but maybe the two of us can come up with something based on my sprinkler control package (posted here: http://board.homeseer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1002). I can pretty easily make a custom version for your devices. Seems like a win/win, but I don't want to go there unless it is OK with you. (I also would need someone else to test it, since I don't have EtherRain)
                Steve

                Comment


                • #9
                  Can this be scripted so that each zone shows in HS as a simple on/off device?
                  If so, then the device can be quickly integrated into Maestro Irrigation.

                  Thanks,
                  Dave

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Steve,

                    All of the scripts that I post for EtherRain for HomeSeer 2 (asp, and EtherRain.vb) will be open text readable and the code base, including outtakes and functions can be used or extended by by HomeSeer 2 plug-in developers and individuals. In addition, plug-in developers can incorporate and resell any code or code snippets posted. The code does not carry a copyright.

                    For all practical purposes, developing software most likely requires an available EtherRain unit. If you are a HomeSeer 2 developer I can provide a unit to you at a developers program price. You would have to decide if the costs you would incur could be made up with the sale of your plug-in (with profits, hopefully!). In looking through the available plug-ins it looks like there are products with quite a broad range of features, you'd have to decide if the EtherRain device would provide a benefit to your customers compared to currently available solutions. If you are interested, please contact me via email for more on the developer program.

                    Thank you for your interest.

                    Jim

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jiml@quicksmart.com View Post
                      ...
                      You would have to decide if the costs you would incur could be made up with the sale of your plug-in (with profits, hopefully!). In looking through the available plug-ins it looks like there are products with quite a broad range of features, you'd have to decide if the EtherRain device would provide a benefit to your customers compared to currently available solutions. If you are interested, please contact me via email for more on the developer program.
                      Jim,

                      I'm one of those strange animals here who does everything I do for free, so as the old saying goes, if I lose money on every sale it's hard to make it up on volume! Anyway, since I don't make any money on it I can't afford to be buying an EtherRain just for development.

                      As Dhanford said above, it would be best if someone did a plug-in to directly interface the EtherRain to HS. If that plug-in provides device on/off control and feedback, it would directly work with my web pages and scripts with no modifications. I think I'll wait and see if someone wants to take up the task of doing a plug-in.

                      Steve

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        query strings

                        Originally posted by zoomkat View Post
                        I took a look at the etherrain.vb file. Are the device query_string commands available for the DIY types?
                        By device query_string commands do you mean the commands that are actually communicated to the device by the EtherRain.vb script?

                        If so, yes. There are only three however (xi - for irrigate, xs - status, xr - for stop). A complete device interface API is available, though support for questions about the API would be limited. Using functions incorporated into an interface script (like EtherRain.vb) would be preferred. The current subs within the script can easily be called by HomeSeer Events (action: run script) and the current functions can easily be accessed through ASP scripts using the hs.runEX command.

                        Jim

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          EtherRain as on-off device..

                          Originally posted by dhanford View Post
                          Can this be scripted so that each zone shows in HS as a simple on/off device?
                          If so, then the device can be quickly integrated into Maestro Irrigation.

                          Thanks,
                          Dave
                          Dave,
                          This is a part of HomeSeer that I dont fully understand. If it were possible, then I guess one EtherRain would be divided into 8 individually controlled devices (and this would be possible, with one script function per valve), and of course, you don't generally need to send an "off" event to the device, because when you send an "on" signal to the EtherRain you actually send a number representing the number of minutes that the valves is to be on, the "off" happens automatically.

                          I think it would be possible, however, it might be "shoe-horning" a new device type into a different control model (ie, a cycle-based device vs. an on-off device) and so the benefits in doing so would have to be carefully weighed, versus, taking a more cycle based approach. Please take a look at the new script set (which will have ASP web pages for a user interface) when I post it in a few days, it may give you more insight.

                          Jim

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Jim,

                            I noticed your "408" area code. I'm in San Jose.

                            I've sent you a PM about purchasing at the developer price.

                            Thanks,
                            Ken

                            Steve, Check your PMs as well.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jiml@quicksmart.com View Post
                              Dave,
                              This is a part of HomeSeer that I dont fully understand. If it were possible, then I guess one EtherRain would be divided into 8 individually controlled devices (and this would be possible, with one script function per valve), and of course, you don't generally need to send an "off" event to the device, because when you send an "on" signal to the EtherRain you actually send a number representing the number of minutes that the valves is to be on, the "off" happens automatically.

                              I think it would be possible, however, it might be "shoe-horning" a new device type into a different control model (ie, a cycle-based device vs. an on-off device) and so the benefits in doing so would have to be carefully weighed, versus, taking a more cycle based approach. Please take a look at the new script set (which will have ASP web pages for a user interface) when I post it in a few days, it may give you more insight.

                              Jim

                              A fairly easy shoe-horn may be to setup virtual devices for each zone the trigger the appropriate script on that zone device ON or OFF. In the script that sets the controller zone set a time longer than you would use like 60 min. The zone would run untill you sent the off command from the virtual device OFF event.This would allow control from any of the HS device oriented sprinkler controlers

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