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EtherRain MCS Setup

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  • EtherRain MCS Setup

    So I got my Etherrain in and am going through the interview. It asks for the IP of each module and the port. So does each zone module have it's own port, and how do I determine what the ports are?
    And also, on the GPS Coordinates there was not a negative in front of the latitude, should there be?

    And where do I find the documentation? That may be helpful.

  • #2


    • #3
      So I got my Etherrain in and am going through the interview. It asks for the IP of each module and the port. So does each zone module have it's own port, and how do I determine what the ports are?
      I recommend that you setup your EtherRain modules to use a static IP address. I believe that a config utility is available from Quicksmart. It has been a long time since I did the configuration (or even if it is needed). Using Static IP allocations via DHCP in your router should be another way to get a static address. It is also possible to discover the devices using UDP and then they become identified by module name. It just adds complexity when doing it this way. Each module uses one TCP port. The default port is fine. I know I changed mine to use the same port as the last octet of the IP address just so it would be easy for me to remember.

      And also, on the GPS Coordinates there was not a negative in front of the latitude, should there be?
      North America has a positive latitude and negative longitude

      And where do I find the documentation? That may be helpful.
      The documentation is available via sticky at the top of this forum which is just a link to
      It is also already on your computer in the \Docs\mcsSprinklers folder for pdf format and in \HTML\Help\mcsSprinklers folder which can be accessed from the menu links


      • #4
        I'm not getting anything back when I run the weather site download test. I signed up for an OWM key and have entered it in the OWM key entry.
        Also, how do I get the UV data?


        • #5
          1) at some point the weather data started showing up, but not everything is there yet. I'll give in a day or two.
          2) In the devices, the Room for the valve devices is Rain8 and not EtherRain, I deleted everything that said Rain8 and restarted the plugin, but I still have Rain8 as the valve controller.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            There should be no latency in the weather data showing in the Evaluate button.

            OWM can be used for either (or both) current conditions and forecast. NWS is for forecast. I know it does not provide UV or Solar Radidation. If I select both OWM then the following is the download for your location. It appear that for this specific location there is no provider for UV, nor for Solar Radiation. EPA was a reasonable fallback, but I do not see now how to select it. I need to look into that. Looks like it got lost in 2019 when APIXU and the WU purchase by IBM was accommodated.

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            mcsSprinklers provides two device types. One for control and and one for status. The control one was titled Rain8. It seems reasonable that the valve interface name be used for the control. I will look into it to see what the implications may be.


            • #7
              I looked into EPA and see that during my test I did not enter your zip code on Weather Setup so EPA, which uses ZIP to identify location, did not show up. When I did this and then selected EPA as the UV sensor the following is what I get in the download. While it is evening and UV is 0, the UV is available.
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              • #8
                I tried my Weather XML UV, but it apparently doesn't support UV either. I think the Aeotec Multisensor 6 does UV, i'll try putting one of those outside. So anyways, the system is sitting on my bench acting like it's running, and I had rain all day Saturday, and I think Sunday morning, so the soil is saturated and the MCS says that on all but two zones that are running. I also have a water sensor outside that hasn't dried out yet and is set up as an inhibitor, but I still have two zones running. And come to think of it, I think I have it set up to only run one zone at a time. And, every time I look it's a different zone running, so I don't think is the proper 10min cycles I have set up either.
                Maybe this is the syringing cycle and I have it set up incorrectly.? Should it say somewhere watering normal schedule, or watering syringe?

                Also, if I was to add a feature, I'd like a notes page where I could put grub treatment in October, Preemergence in February etc, and have email notifications on those items.


                • #9
                  You can use a local UV sensor, but EPA is also a source. It will be zero until the sun angle is sufficient.

                  Manual control, including syringing which is done as a manual cycle, ignore inhibits.

                  mcsSprinklers has a mode to use soil moisture sensors, but otherwise soil moisture is based upon calculation. Use Zone Status page to initialize the moisture to your actual moisture state.

                  Notes is a good idea.

                  Post or email to mcsSolutions at CenturyTel dot net your \config\mcsSprinklers.ini. This contains your settings so I can understand what you have setup. On Other page at the bottom is the debug checkbox. That should be enabled while you are trying to get things setup. It will provide a history of internal logic that I can analyze to understand the behaviors you are experiencing. It is available from the Other page or from the \html\mcsSprinklers\Data folder. Also in this folder is a file called StartupTrace.txt that is a log of the startup sequence. This one is useful if not able to get past initialization.


                  • #10
                    I’ll send you the data tonight. It knows it’s saturated, because of the rain, so it was something that was immune to inhibit, and I didn’t do a manual, so I have to have the syringe set up incorrectly if I was guessing. It should be set up to afternoon around 1300. I’m sure the heat at 0800 was hot enough. Is there a way to inhibit syringe on a cloudy day or something?


                    • #11
                      I set up the U.V. to use my weather XML Dark Sky feed, and it’s showing a 6, and epa is showing a 10. I’ll try getting epa again. And, there’s zone stop and start devices, and the start shows ten seconds before the stop of the stopping zone. I have it set up for no delay; one zone stops and immediately the other zone starts, so the starting ten seconds before the other zone stops is slightly odd behavior.


                      • #12
                        I believe EPA reports the max UV for the day and mcsSprinklers profiles it to get hourly readings.

                        Again, the debug file and config file are what is needed so I do not need to guess as to what may be happening.


                        • #13
                          Sorry, I had to work late, I compiled and sent you an email. Thanks for the help.


                          • #14
                            I have been working with your setup today. The following are initial observations:

                            Layout: Syringing setup for same duration as a normal cycle. It is intended to just cool the leaves so expect it to be just a few minutes
                            Area: Zones setup to run independently in each area. This implies that Area1 and Area2 zones can be running at the same time. Most users setup to run zones as part of master sequence as water pressure may not be sufficient for parallel control. Since you have specific start times of 8 AM and 10 AM you are effectively running as part of a master sequence.
                            Weather Setup: ET is based upon history rather than based upon current weather. Since you are not using ET for control it will not matter, but likley you will want to use calculated values to at least observe the ET in your status.
                            I did a Weater Download evaluation with your settings and see EPA does and see that EPA does deliver hourly readings. I confirmed in the source that both max and hourly formats are decoded by mcsSprinklers.
                            I also realized recently that OpenWeatherMap API does not provide rainfall. I confirmed it with your download. I need to remove rainfall as an option for OWM in the source. Same for UV. I switched over to APIXU for my own use, but now see that it fails to return current conditions. I submitted ticket to APIXU. Surprised to see a response in a few hours

                            "We have found the bug and have implemented a fix to our API. It should fix itself within next 2-4 hours. Thanks so much for your taking the time to share your feedback with us.


                            Apixu Team"

                            No database has been setup on Other page so history and charts will not be available. This includes the Run Log amd restrictions that you have for average temperature. SQLite is the easiest. mySQL or MSSQL are the most robust, but require setup of the database.

                            I made updates per you suggestions for Notes and change of naming from Rain8. I am now in the middle of testing everyting out. Should be able to post by tomorrow.


                            • #15
                              Forgot to mention that I was not able to replicate your observation of out of sequence starting and ending zones. The debug you provided had no valve control actions. When I tried with your config, after changing the run times to one minute to minimize test time, I was able to see proper operation. The middle one in the screen shot is a left over from a prior evaluation so should be ignored.

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