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BlueSpray configuration for mcsSprinkler plug-in?

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  • BlueSpray configuration for mcsSprinkler plug-in?

    I have been a HS2 and HS3 Pro User for 10+ years. About 2 years ago, I bought a BlueSpray 24-Zone irrigation controller, with a hope that someone would develop a plug-in. While I am a newbie, I have messed around with Postman and their API documentation with limited success. I can get responses showing current configurations, but haven’t successfully modified settings, or initiated manual commands.

    Their API documentation is available under support.bluespray.net, and I suspect their API is probably very similar to that of other irrigation controllers, thus might be easy to add support for BlueSray as an option, e.g. within an existing Plug-in like mcsSprinkler. Have you explored this, and/or are you aware of anyone working on a BlueSpray plug-in, that you could refer me to?

    Thanks for considering,
    Jerry Rayburn
    214-912-4400

  • #2
    I was not aware of BlueSpray. Looks like their API can only be obtained via email exchange with the company. What I can see, however, is that it is an irrigation controller and not just an interface to control irrigation valves. In essence it is a traditional irrigation controller with a browser interface.

    mcsSprinklers contains the irrigation schedule which can be based on weather conditions or time. To use BlueSpray it would need to be configured without any schedule. mcsSprinklers would control valves based upon the manual mode of BlueSpray. In essence it would bypass the BlueSpray setup and user interface. It would then be no more than a set of internet-controlled relays. This would likely be awkward and some shortcoming would result.

    The idea of having a primary intelligent controller and a secondary simple controller is what I find to be very appealing. I do not think BlueSpray could be easily configured to operate as the secondary. What I have done is used Sonoff 4CH PRO units which are WiFi relays and programmed them to run a backup irrigation schedule if the primary schedule has not occurred. Similarly it monitors the run time of the primary and will turn off valves that have been on too long. The downside with this approach for most is that the 4CH Pro has only 4 relays so multiple units would be needed for many users. It is also somewhat DIY with the need to flash my updated firmware to replace the stock firmware. The positive side is that it is only around $30 for each Sonoff 4CH Pro.

    There are other intelligent irrigation controllers that have been interfaced to HS such as Rachio, Rainman and OpenSprinkler. In these cases the plugin author just provides visibility by HS into whatever capabilty is provided by the irrigation controller. This is more in line with what would be done for BlueSpray. Since there is not much value added with just providing an interface the author would likely be doing it because he has a BlueSpray and wants HS to know what it is doing.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the detailed response. I was, in fact, thinking more of functionality along the lines of what you describe as the plug-Ins/interfaces that attempt to sync HomeSeer with a commercial irrigation controller, like BlueSpray or others.

      Specifically, I would like to be able to schedule manual commands, tied to one or more conditions that the irrigation controller does not offer. This might be as simple as a JSON script, using the BlueSpray API, though to date, I haven’t gotten such a command to successfully complete. I am a newbie in 5his realm, for sure.

      Thanks for providing a more comprehensive understanding for myself, and perhaps others.

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      • #4
        Another interface that has an attractive $/valve value is the 16 channel GoControl Zwave unit sold by HST. You can use is with HS events or you can use it with the mcsSprinklers UI. A combination of both is also possible. When you run irrigation under HS then you are depending upon HS and it’s host computer to be reliable as there will likely be no backup monitoring operation.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Michael McSharry View Post
          Another interface that has an attractive $/valve value is the 16 channel GoControl Zwave unit sold by HST. You can use is with HS events or you can use it with the mcsSprinklers UI. A combination of both is also possible. When you run irrigation under HS then you are depending upon HS and it’s host computer to be reliable as there will likely be no backup monitoring operation.
          How does one integrate the GoControl unit into mcsSprinklers? My wife HATES the new GoControl events I had to create. ….I do, too, honestly. I have a basic (or maybe standard) license of mcsSprinklers, but I would go Pro if it made the GoControl events easier to create and run. ???
          .

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          • #6
            GoControl is setup just like any other interface where zones are defined and an irrigation strategy setup. The HS events are not used. There is only one mcsSprinklers version since 2018. I have no issue with running the Pro version with your earlier Std license, but that is something you would have to negotiate with HST as I have no control of the licensing.

            The only constraints are that if irrigation periods are greater than 60 minutes then you need to enable round-robin so each continuous period is under an hour. The other is that multiple zones cannot be run simultaneously.

            The GoControl is a good value for those who use Zwave.

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            • #7
              I have a basic (or maybe standard) license of mcsSprinklers, but I would go Pro if it made the GoControl events easier to create and run.
              I put a Standard executable in the Professional Updater download starting with 2.19.1.2. If you have Standard then you will be able to use that license with GoControl. There will be on more updates for Basic, but it is likely that if you have that you can take the mcsSprinklers_2009.dll from whatever is in the updater and it should support GoControl. This can be done by using updater to install mcsSprinklers Professional. You still selected Standard/Basic from Plugins page for the one you want to enable.

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              • #8
                Thanks Michael. I had a heart attack the day after I posted this question, 3x bypass a week ago and am just now getting back to HA. I will ask HST if they would give me another 30 once I get my head above water. Much appreciated!
                .

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