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Sprinkler controller opinions; total newb to irrigation

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  • Sprinkler controller opinions; total newb to irrigation

    So after this drought here in NE I decided to spruce up my front lawn by de-thatching, pouring on 5 yards of topsoil, seeding, and trenching two parallel zones/6 head irrigation of a 30x50ft lawn. 45degree at the corners and 180 degree in the middle. I think I've settled on Hunter I-20s to reach the 25 feet between heads, fueled by 3/4" poly lines.

    So now i'm looking at controller options. I am requesting opinions on the two hardware offerings (or others) I have seen mentioned on HS forum; OpenSprinkler and EtherRain. I am an open source supporter by default, but will not hesitate to throw money at a good company - bought HS3 pro kit and kaboodle, love it and hope they don't sell-out to google or Microshaft

    I understand mcssprinkler can interface both, that's great, and i think I will have a metric tonne of fun playing around with the plugin.

    Now, I would like to get some input from ya'll regarding pros and cons of each hw controller. My needs are somewhat limited as this is two zone, which will expand to 4 for shrubs, but would like to have as much versatility as possible. Software or hardware wise.

    I'll need to connect it via wifi as I can't easily run ethernet down to the basement main, if that's of any consideration. I'm really uncertain of what questions to ask in my case, as I have no experience with irrigation, and newly minted w HS3. But I get the technology bit, HS3 will be an esxi win7 guest on server grade hw. ECC, ZFS and all

  • #2
    We have a system with just four zones. I had access to power (AC mains) near the current controller, and also wanted a Z-Wave solution. Unfortunately, there are no Z-Wave sprinkler controllers (!). Further, I'm running Linux, and there are few irrigation plug-ins compatible with Linux for HS3.

    So I ended up installing a Remotech ZFM-80 relay for each zone. The relay is hard-wired, and does a closed contact connection. A bit overkill, but works great. I installed them in a project box. Each switch has a button for manual control, too.

    If you do searching on this forum, I posted a picture a year or so ago.


    • #3
      I'm pretty sure I read yours or another post regarding no native zwave controllers, and using the relays is a cool solution. Just wondering what different experiences people have had using one or another hw controller.


      • #4
        I've used Rain8Net for years with good results (with mcsSprinklers plugin).



        • #5
          Rachio built in Wifi. Soon to be Homeseer plugin.

          Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk


          • #6
            OpenSprinkler. HS plugin is free. Watering times can be adjusted automatically from weather conditions. Stand alone - works even if your HS box is not. Programming via web interface or smart phone app.

            Does not have built in wifi.

            I have been pleased with mine. I have 23 zones and have never had a problem.


            • #7
              Here have utilized mcsSprinklers and two Rain8Nets now for over 10 years with no issues.

              Went to running it in Linux a few years before HS3 came out. (Seagate Dockstar is inside of Rainbird box).

              That said optionally it can be monitored and managed by HS3 and here have remote controlled it via cellular since the early 2000's. Never really play with it these days.

              I have heard good things about Opensprinkler.
              - Pete

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

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


              • #8
                Thanks for the input fellas.
                I just noticed that Opensprinkler will only control 24V AC valves, not DC valves. Didn't know about the difference. I guess that's pretty much a standard now.


                • #9
                  Just ordered an Opensprinkler DC Looking forward to trying out Mattyjee's plugin