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Irrigation Discussion Discussion of irrigation integration with HomeSeer systems.

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  #41  
Old September 21st, 2017, 09:01 PM
Mahera Mahera is offline
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Yes,
At this point it isn’t a “irrigation controller” but a simple relay board.

I wonder if a cheap nodemcu and a relay board couldn’t to the same and even more with the arduino plugin.

This way we could hook up pressure sensor and flow sensor or what have you.
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  #42  
Old May 10th, 2018, 06:11 PM
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donstephens donstephens is offline
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Disappointed

I just got one of these and was expecting a device for every valve, and to be able to turn on more than one valve at a time.

I have three 8 wire lines going to various valves. One of those lines also controls the Main valve. I'm lost as to wire this valve. The common for the slave valves also feeds the main valve. Any ideas how to do this?

Seriously thinking of sending this back.
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  #43  
Old May 10th, 2018, 07:17 PM
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Michael McSharry Michael McSharry is offline
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On my to do list is to update Tasmota firmware for irrigation control logic with the Sonoff 4CH Pro. I want to make it so it can run its own schedule in a fallback mode and be slaved to mcsSprinklers for more optimal scheduling. I have the hardware and done enough modification of Tasmota to know it can be done. Just need to do it. I have another four zones that I will be laying the irrigation pipe and the 4CH makes for a good control solution to augment and then later replace Rain8 units I am using.
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  #44  
Old May 10th, 2018, 07:18 PM
racerfern racerfern is offline
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@donstephens - Was this previously connected to another controller? I assume so. It seems you have a pile of zones and a main valve, no? Perhaps two main valves? You should be able to move wires from previous zones to new controller.

I have two wires for each valve (8 wires total for 4 valves) and no main valve.

I also have two wires for the rain sensor which is not utilized at this time. I use a weather plugin to determine rain over the last few days.
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  #45  
Old May 10th, 2018, 10:39 PM
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donstephens donstephens is offline
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Correct, a Rain8. I suspect that has died, and thought this would be a great replacement. My old controller could control zones individually so I could turn on the main valve and the zone valve. The GoControl controller has two connections for the master valve. I had hoped that I could connect one wire of the master to one side of this and use the common for the other. That didn't work.

At this point I'm pretty frustrated, but I guess I didn't research the GoContol controller well enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by racerfern View Post
@donstephens - Was this previously connected to another controller? I assume so. It seems you have a pile of zones and a main valve, no? Perhaps two main valves? You should be able to move wires from previous zones to new controller.

I have two wires for each valve (8 wires total for 4 valves) and no main valve.

I also have two wires for the rain sensor which is not utilized at this time. I use a weather plugin to determine rain over the last few days.
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  #46  
Old May 10th, 2018, 10:56 PM
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donstephens donstephens is offline
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Hi Michael;

Interesting. I'm assuming that you don't need access to the cloud to make this work. Looking at a youtube video, it appears that the device outputs 110 volts. Were you planning on dropping the voltage, or do you have another plan?

By the way, thanks again for the help with my Rain8.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael McSharry View Post
On my to do list is to update Tasmota firmware for irrigation control logic with the Sonoff 4CH Pro. I want to make it so it can run its own schedule in a fallback mode and be slaved to mcsSprinklers for more optimal scheduling. I have the hardware and done enough modification of Tasmota to know it can be done. Just need to do it. I have another four zones that I will be laying the irrigation pipe and the 4CH makes for a good control solution to augment and then later replace Rain8 units I am using.
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  #47  
Old May 11th, 2018, 09:06 PM
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Michael McSharry Michael McSharry is offline
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The Sonoff 4CH Pro is powered from 110V (or lower DC levels), but the relay is setup with common, Normally Open, Normally Closed so you can run any voltage level through the relay. For irrigation this will be 24 VAC.

It is all local network control. I am not certain, but I do not think the 4CH has a real time clock so it will use NTP for time and it you do not have a local NTP server then this will come from the internet.
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  #48  
Old May 11th, 2018, 10:42 PM
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donstephens donstephens is offline
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Thanks.
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  #49  
Old May 23rd, 2018, 12:27 AM
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Fellhahn Fellhahn is offline
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Hi everyone, I recently purchased one of these devices and wanted to share my two cents.

It's true the device feels like it was never finished, but IMO it's still a good and useful product and a bargain at the price when compared to alternatives like Rachio.

You can still achieve many of the intended functions with just a few tweeks to your event creation.

For instance, the controller enable switch. Currently it will not prevent a "valve on" command from opening a valve. More likely this switch was intended to enable or disable the controllers internal schedule (which has not been fully implemented) and the valve on commands were supposed to be used as occasional manual run interactions.

But by adding an IF check to your irrigation events, you get the same functionality:

IF the time is xx:xx
AND IF "Irrigation System Enable" is equal to "ON".
THEN ...

This way the watering event will not run if you've disabled the system.

This opens up other options for being intelligent about water conservation.

Create an event that sets Irrigation System enable to OFF on December 1st, and another to set it to ON on March 1st. Now your irrigation schedule automatically switches off for the winter.

Using a plugin like WeatherXML, create a RainToday virtual device. When rain today value changes and rises above zero, set System Enable to OFF. When the value changes to zero, set system enable to ON. Now you have a smart irrigation system that won't run on a day that's had rain, and you didn't even have to buy a rain sensor.

The button on the irrigation controller also acts as a switch for the system enable on/off. This is useful if you need to turn the irrigation off in a hurry, when fumbling through HSTouch on a smart phone might not be the best option.

Create an event with the triggers:

IF Irrigation System Enable changes and becomes OFF
AND IF Irrigation Valve has a Value that is not equal to OFF
THEN Set Irrigation Valve to OFF

Now you can turn the system off with a button press if, say, it started hosing your wife while she was hanging out laundry. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything...

And finally that last option will also allow you to control the system with Alexa. The irrigation system enable switch is the only device that is surfaced to Alexa because it is a binary switch, the valve device is too complicated with too many values and so is ignored. The root node and notification child device are not actuators and so are also ignored.

But with the switch off event we just created you can say "Alexa, turn off the irrigation system" to stop an already running watering cycle. This could also be used to disable the schedule if say you had a garden party happening that day. Just remember to turn it back on afterwards.

If you require feedback, add notification actions to your events. For instance

IF the time is xx:xx
AND IF Irrigation System Enable is set to OFF
THEN send an email.

"Watering event did not run because the irrigation system is currently disabled."

IF RainToday changes and becomes greater than 0
THEN set Irrigation System Enable to OFF
AND THEN send an email.

"Watering has been disabled due to rainfall".

It just requires a little bit of extra logic in how you use events to control the device.

Something I don't fully understand yet is the "Irrigation Notification" child device. Mine has only ever said "No event". There's two possibilities here I think, either the notification device was only intended as a status feedback for the never-implemented internal schedule feature. Or, it's connected to the soil moisture/rain sensor contacts. I'll do some experimenting tonight bridging contacts and see what happens.
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  #50  
Old May 23rd, 2018, 07:25 PM
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Fellhahn Fellhahn is offline
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OK so yesterday I realized that pressing the user button was NOT toggling the binary system enable/disable.

At first I thought maybe I'd hallucinated the contents of the manual, but I went back and reread it and I don't believe I was wrong about the expected physical button function.

Name:  irrigation.PNG
Views: 89
Size:  17.2 KB

I'm wondering if this is related to the device being added secure vs non-secure. Also I'm using the S2 Z-Wave beta plugin at the moment.
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  #51  
Old May 23rd, 2018, 10:24 PM
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donstephens donstephens is offline
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In my opinion, this thing was a big disappointment. Hope it works for you.
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  #52  
Old June 7th, 2018, 02:03 PM
matthealy11 matthealy11 is offline
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Hello everyone! Has it been concluded that you can NOT run multiple valves at the same time using this controller? I get that I can set up an event and run each valve sequentially; however, I have several valves in my system and I cant wait several hours for the event to complete. If you cant create zones or run multiple valves at the same time, then I have to agree with @donstephens opinion. Any assistance / suggestions here is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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  #53  
Old June 7th, 2018, 04:33 PM
ascotek ascotek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthealy11 View Post
Hello everyone! Has it been concluded that you can NOT run multiple valves at the same time using this controller? I get that I can set up an event and run each valve sequentially; however, I have several valves in my system and I cant wait several hours for the event to complete. If you cant create zones or run multiple valves at the same time, then I have to agree with @donstephens opinion. Any assistance / suggestions here is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

You are absolutely right. This controller CANNOT energize few valves at the same time (it was already mentioned in some post above). I would say that all residential irrigation controllers work in such way.


If you like to energize several valves at the same time, all you need to use add-on relays and add-on power supply 24VAC with enough power for number of valves, that you need to run at the same time.


For example,

Controller Valve Line # 1 will energize your Add-on Relay # 1. This relay should be Normally Open. You can connect to relay as many existing zone valve as you wish, just don't forget about enough power from add-on power supply.
Controller Valve Line # 2 will energize another Add-on Relay # 2.


That is the only way you can run a few valves at the same time.
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  #54  
Old June 28th, 2018, 02:00 PM
grahamk grahamk is offline
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At $70 with shipping I solved being able to run 2 valves at the same time by buying another controller.


If there are valves I always want open at the same time I just wire them together.
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  #55  
Old June 28th, 2018, 02:25 PM
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donstephens donstephens is offline
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Not a bad idea. I ended up using SonOff controllers (WiFi) and the MQTT plugin.
For me a lot more flexible and cheaper. It was not plug and play, but so far I'm happy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamk View Post
At $70 with shipping I solved being able to run 2 valves at the same time by buying another controller.


If there are valves I always want open at the same time I just wire them together.
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