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  #1  
Old May 23rd, 2007, 02:55 PM
wimaware's Avatar
wimaware wimaware is offline
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Location: Venlo, Netherlands
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What sort of valves to use ?

In my country (The Netherlands) are not so many valves to choose from.
When I look at sites in the US (e.g. smarthome etc...) choice is great. (also X-10 related)

Perhaps if I knew what type of valve (12V, 24V or 220V) I best use, I could search a distributer near me.

So what brand, type of valve is generaly used by you guys.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Wil
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 03:38 PM
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Michael McSharry Michael McSharry is offline
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Don't confuse valves with valve controllers. In the USA valves are typically provided by Rainbird, Orbit or Toro for the DIY marketplace and available at the local hardware stores. These valves are controlled by a pair or 24 VAC wires from some form of controller. These are wired with a common return wire and individual control wires. A single 24 VAC transformer is used at the controller and this controller will switch this 24 VAC to one the valves based upon a timed program.

The automation that is being added is to replace the timed controller with something that can be used with a computer. The 24 VAC transformer and all the wires to the valves remains unchanged.

What you are looking for is a set of relays that can be contolled from your computer and is able to carry the 24 VAC at approx 0.5 amps. You can use general purpose relay interfaces or you can use devices such as the Rain8 family of products that contain a little microprocessor that will also supervise the valve control so it does not remain ON too long even if the computer control fails.

First step is to go to you hardware store and find out what the electrical standard is for the irrigation valves at your location. Once you know this then you can look for relays or similiar products that can switch the electrical needs of the valves.

The connection between the "relay" and the computer can take several forms. It could be as simple as a direct wired connection, a muliplexed one over the powerline such as with X10, or WiFi as examples. Any will work.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 04:26 PM
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wimaware wimaware is offline
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Location: Venlo, Netherlands
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Hi Michael,

Thanks for your reply.

My idea was to switch a valve (no matter wat voltage) with a Appliance Module (on and off state). When module is off, no supply to the valve=close when module is on, supply to the valve=open.

When I use a 24V version valve, I plug the transformer into the appliance module witch then switches the 24V on/of, so it will result in valve open/close. I would use two wire valves.

Oké, I do not get any feed back from the module. But I my experience with HS and X-10 signals tels me that it is very trustfull. When there is a power failure, the valves would always be closed.

Because I only need one valve in my setup, I don't want to buy a complete rain8 system.

What do you think, is this an option ?

Wil
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 05:04 PM
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Michael McSharry Michael McSharry is offline
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That should be a functional solution and it makes good use of your junk box inventory. All you should need is to setup events on the Homeseer calendar to irrigate at the schedule that works for you. If you want to make it more sensitive to the weather conditions then you could add a moisture sensor in series with the transformer or use weather data from Homeseer to modulate your watering schedule.
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