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  • New user, several questions

    I purchased the PI in the fall when I switched to a GoControl controller and now using it in production for the first time. I've spent quite a lot of time reading the manual, but I'll admit to not reading it cover to cover. I *think* these questions aren't answered there, but happy to look again if you'll point me to the right place.

    1. I have an area (A4) set up to start at 08:15 and 20:15. Today is the first cycle. I monitored the system via HS3 from time to time this morning and all appeared to go as planned for all areas. I went to the config to adjust another area this afternoon and found A4 running--started at 14:40. Is there any way to see what triggered it? (Run log doesn't appear to show that detail). It's conceivable I inadvertently hit the manual run button although I don't recall accessing that page.

    2. I'm struggling to interpret some of the inhibit device statuses, although I'm sure they'll become more obvious over time. Are they documented anywhere? Latest confusion is why two inhibit devices show the next start time while the other 2 are blank. A2 isn't programmed to run, so that makes sense, but A3 is scheduled for tomorrow. Does it only show current day? Related, why is a scheduled start an "inhibit". Perhaps I'm not understanding the term in this context.

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    The Touch screen notification "2 Inhibits Now Active" sounds like 2 conditions are preventing actions. The only things I'm seeing on the inhibit devices are the next start times.
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    3. Also in the above clip, what are the Current and Forecast fields? Can't make sense of the numbers. On the image in the manual those fields are UV and Daily ET.

    4. Is there a general status device, or could one be added? I had hoped to find a single device that indicates the system is running. Status might be, for example, "ON: Area 1 [zone name]" (or similar), or "OFF". I would use it in HS Touch for a quick visual of system status. I'm also starting to think about a strategy to allow for simple manual zone activation by my SO (HSTouch or mobile) since she's in charge of the vegetable garden. I would use this HS device as a condition to prevent interrupting the normal watering schedule (delay the manual run until after, etc.) by an external event acting on the GoControl controller.

    5. I can't get this Area setup field to accept a value as input. If I enter, for example, 0.1 or .1, it reverts to zero when I save the page. If I enter 1, it changes to 0.01 on save (2 changes to 0.02, etc.), but on subsequent saves it reverts to zero. Related, am I understanding correctly that this field is the total of actual and predicted for the current day as of the programmed start time?

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    Thanks.
    -Wade

  • #2
    Update on #1 above. Area 4 ran (unintended) at 2:40p as noted, but then again at 3:07 (2nd half of round robin) and again at 4:05 and 4:32pm--2 halves of 3rd round robin. Should only have run at 8:15am and 8:15pm.

    Also, zone 9 didn't run at all during any of these cycles, including the intended one at 8:15am. I apparently have something awry in my config but can't seem to see what.

    And when I looked at the run list this afternoon, I'm certain it only showed the intended 8:15pm (and following) start times, as it does right now and the Area 4 inhibit device in my previous post shows.

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    Just realized, the first Area 4 run today started at 8:10am, immediately after another Area finished that started on schedule at 7:00am, rather than the scheduled 8:15am. More confused the more I study this.
    -Wade

    Comment


    • #3
      When trying to understand schedule behaviors the best place is the general debug that is enabled from the bottom of the Other page. It produces a text file in the \Data\mcsSprinklers folder. I will not help you much but will help me answer questions related to why things happened in the past.

      The General Status page, when all options enabled, (View All button) contains a H and T column. The T column is for the user to select which sensors are shown on the Touch page. Up to 6 can be selected. The H column is to hide rows in the General Status page that are of no interest.

      Settings are contains in \Config\mcsSprinklers.ini. If you email this file to mcsSolutions at CenturyTel dot net then I can replicate what you have setup and more easily answer questions.

      The inhibits are raised when something is preventing the Site or an Area from running. It looks like Area 1 and 4 are setup with explicit start times and Area 2 and 3 are not, or if they are then they were for times earlier in the day.

      Comment


      • #4
        Michael, I want to acknowledge here and extend thanks for the email support you've been providing on the above issues. I didn't immediately get debug logging turned on after your response above (apparently didn't click save) but it's on as of last evening. Will forward once the system has gone through some watering cycles if I continue to see unexpected behavior. Making sure all the auto watering duration for each zone is a non-zero value may have fixed some things. Seems to be working fine this morning, stopped by rain.


        What does "notify" indicate on the inhibit devices?

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        -Wade

        Comment


        • #5
          It means that you have setup to be notified before an irrigation cycle starts and the time for this notification has not yet elapsed. I suspect you are seeing it because there is Rain that is also keeping it from running. Had there been no rain then the notify would only last the duration at which you had it set, or perhaps not even show up since it occurs before the irrigation is actually scheduled. I would need to look to see exactly when it does appear.

          Comment


          • #6
            To clarify, setting these potentially causes an inhibit to be set--under certain conditions? If so, I guess I'm not grasping all facets of the inhibits. My present understanding is that they indicate something is preventing a watering action for a given site or area.

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            -Wade

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            • #7
              On Site Setup there is an entry of 5 minutes for Zone Starting Notification. The 5 minutes before a zone starts will have the notify inhibit set. I believe for timed control the 5 minutes is immediately before the scheduled time. For things that are not as predictable (e.g. wind will stop, ET drops below threshold) the 5 minutes will occur when the other criteria expire. Again a long time ago this was designed, so my memory may not be perfect, but should be close.

              The Log action are not related to inhibits.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks.
                -Wade

                Comment


                • #9
                  Michael, two questions:

                  1. Since areas configuration don't have separate auto and manual settings, I expected the area settings (in particular, round-robin cycling) to be respected when the area is manually started. Is it possible to have these settings apply when starting an area (not zone) manually?

                  2. Are there expected situations when the run log would not display all upcoming zones? E.g., area 4 (5 zones) ran as scheduled this morning. I looked at the run while the area was running, and only the currently running zone showed up. When I checked later, same thing. Is this expected? It looks like all zones are shown for areas scheduled to run on future days. See below. Also, I've sent my debug log by email a few moments ago.

                  First look at run list, while area was running:
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                  Later while area was still running:
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                  Run log showing all area zones ran in proper round-robin fashion (8:15a-9:25a):
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                  Thank you.
                  -Wade

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    For #1 the Area devices (e.g. S45 Area 1 Status) contains three buttons. The On is manual times and Auto is auto times. Round robin only runs in auto mode.

                    Round robin does not follow normal scheduling rules. It was added after the prediction algorithm had been developed, but I was not aware that it was only showing the first zone of the Area. What I thought should be showing is each zone with normal duration (ignoring round robin) so it would look each would be run on the same day in sequence. I will take a look into this.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Michael McSharry View Post
                      For #1 the Area devices (e.g. S45 Area 1 Status) contains three buttons. The On is manual times and Auto is auto times. Round robin only runs in auto mode.
                      Ok. I'll use the HS device control rather than the touch page for this purpose from now on.

                      Originally posted by Michael McSharry View Post
                      What I thought should be showing is each zone with normal duration (ignoring round robin) so it would look each would be run on the same day in sequence.
                      Future date Areas are (mostly) showing this way. It was just the current one this morning that only showed the one zone. But looking more closely at the run list from above (reposted below), R13 is missing from the projected Sun-8th run of the area.

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                      I seem to be seeing quite a few odd behaviors, including several other less consequential ones that I've not bothered to post about. Would you think I might have a bad install or config? Don't relish the idea, but I'd be willing to start over if you have reason to believe it might clear these things up.

                      Thanks.
                      -Wade

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        R13 is missing for the future because R13 is currently running. When I fire up the software and look at the Run List I see a 5.5 hour span between the prediction of R9 vs. R12 from Area 4. It is something that I should be able to trace. While prediction should not provide false information, it is different logic that actual execution so it should not affect the intended irrigation cycle.

                        No point in starting over. We will be able to get to bottom of it.

                        ‚Äč

                        After researching for some time I determined that the rationale for my prediction is that two of the zone are scheduled for manual operation. This is visible for the Zone Status page. If you are doing manual controls then this may explain some of what you have been observing. Take a look at Zone Status and confirm no zones are scheduled for manual control. A zone scheduled for manual control will not show up on the Auto control run list.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Michael McSharry View Post
                          After researching for some time I determined that the rationale for my prediction is that two of the zone are scheduled for manual operation. This is visible for the Zone Status page. If you are doing manual controls then this may explain some of what you have been observing. Take a look at Zone Status and confirm no zones are scheduled for manual control. A zone scheduled for manual control will not show up on the Auto control run list.
                          I have 2 zones that aren't in service yet...landscape isn't complete. They'er the ones I had an auto duration of zero to ensure they never ran. I changed it to non-zero and it seemed to (possibly) correct one of the anomalies we were seeing. I disabled automatic control instead.

                          How should I exclude a particular zone from automatically watering without ill effect on the rest of the system?
                          -Wade

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Zone Status page has a disable checkbox for each zone.

                            When I did a similar expansion I put the future zones in a new Area with day of week control with none of the days enabled. When it was time to put them in service I just used the Layout page to change their Area assignment.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Michael McSharry View Post
                              Zone Status page has a disable checkbox for each zone.

                              When I did a similar expansion I put the future zones in a new Area with day of week control with none of the days enabled. When it was time to put them in service I just used the Layout page to change their Area assignment.
                              I misinterpreted your prior comment. I have 2 zones with "Disable automatic control" checked, but none have "Enable manual for [xx] minutes" checked. It's possible I had that box checked for some when I originally sent you my configuration, but it hasn't been that way for several days. I could change them to a separate area but would prefer to simply use the Disable Automatic Control if it doesn't cause some other issue. I can see myself using it from time to time to briefly disable a zone when, say, a sprinkler head is broken or malfunctioning--until I can get it repaired.
                              -Wade

                              Comment

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