Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

New to irrigation control - newbie question

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • New to irrigation control - newbie question

    So, I'm in the process of getting quotes for an irrigation system to be installed. One said I would need 7 zones for my size lawn/garden.

    Once it is done and they have installed whatever controller they usually deploy, is it pretty easy to change the controller to one that supports home automation?

    I assume that all the controllers are nothing more than timers that turn on/off relays that control which zones are operating so changing out the controller shouldn't be that big of a deal?

    Please correct me if I'm wrong. I currently use an Insteon/HomeSeet setup. Should I take a look at the EZFlora controller?

    If I want to use a rain sensor, how would I go about doing that?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Originally posted by ClemsonJeeper View Post
    So, I'm in the process of getting quotes for an irrigation system to be installed. Once it is done and they have installed whatever controller they usually deploy, is it pretty easy to change the controller to one that supports home automation?
    It's pretty easy. Essentially, you will just be disconnecting the zone control wires from one controller and attaching them to another. (Being careful to keep track of which wires go to which zones!) If you specify that they install their controller where you can easily locate your automated system, that will make the job much easier.

    If I want to use a rain sensor, how would I go about doing that?
    Most rain sensors are just a plastic housing containing a material that swells when it gets wet. As it swells it opens or closes a switch, depending on the design. You just need a way to sense the state of the switch. A digital input device is the most versatile, but some controllers allow you to wire it to the controller to override the control signal, so if the sensor is wet the controller will not turn on any zone relays.
    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

    Comment


    • #3
      The rain sensor is typically installed as a switch on the 24V power so that when the sponge is wet there is no power to open a valve. The timer still runs the normal schedule, but the valve does not open. If you are going to integrate as part of your home automation then you may want to consider calculating the moisture loss and gain based upon weather data from internet or your local weatherstation. Evaptranspiration (ET) is what you would google to get more info. McsSprinklers plugin does this calculation as well as timed techniques. Also do not lock yourself in on using the same technology for everything just because you are using it for lighting. IP technology is pretty widespread. Look at Quicksmart for a 8 zone ethernet based controller that has delivered excellent results. The Insteon technology is OK too, but HS gives you flexibility.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the info! I doubt I will be going for the Insteon irrigation controller. I have a couple network drops in the garage, so getting a serial connection over it to my HomeSeer PC isn't going to be a problem. I'm likely going to go for a simple rain8net/HS timer based control system. I'm not sure if I need the whole mcssprinklers package.

        Thanks again!

        Comment


        • #5
          My original Rain8net serial set up to Homeseer was an extended RS-232 via Cat5e some maybe 100 feet or so. Worked this way for many years.

          Today though its mcsSprinklers running on an Arch Linux Seagate Dockstar inside the old Rainbird sprinkler box alongside of the two Rain8nets. The OS and software are running off a CF drive and a backup USB stick. Its been running like this now over a year or so with no issues.

          I did leave the Rainbird rain sensor (sponge) connected to a DS10A and it works fine in that fashion. You can also adjust the sponge mechanism somewhat to get a bit more granular.

          I still though depend more on the tipping bucket (Davis Vantage View and Dallas 1-wire) for rain sensing. I am switching over this season to the RG-11 digital rain sensor for just rain sensing.

          [root@ICS-MCSSprinklers /]# cat /proc/cpuinfo
          Processor : Feroceon 88FR131 rev 1 (v5l)
          BogoMIPS : 1191.11
          Features : swp half thumb fastmult edsp
          CPU implementer : 0x56
          CPU architecture: 5TE
          CPU variant : 0x2
          CPU part : 0x131
          CPU revision : 1

          Hardware : Marvell SheevaPlug Reference Board
          Last edited by Pete; April 14th, 2013, 10:48 AM.
          - Pete

          Auto mator
          Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.534 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU - Mono 6.4X
          Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.534 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.4X

          X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation.

          Comment

          Working...
          X