I am a property manager and manage a large 69 ACRE HOA that is 39 Acres of landscape. Very large lawns and park ways with over 500 single family properties that was built in the early 70’s. It is an open community that has 19 controllers ranging from 30-50 zones for irrigation and common area lights. When I started moving to open sprinkler hardware I had quite a few conversations via email with Ray. This was in the early stage of Hardware version 2.1. With the system it was my intent to create a wifi mesh with ubiquiti equipment not only for the open sprinkler controllers, but a surveillance system capable of monitor large areas spread out over 69 ACRES in a densely populated area. I originally started to design control software to actually handle the programming of the controllers and monitors, but then Samer joined with Ray and created a much better interface. With camera, wifi mesh and some training of my crew they are able to monitor the system onsite and offsite. I am also the network admin for another large HOA(900 condos/house/town home mix) that uses the very costly CalSense system. Which they deployed in limited areas and pay a monthly fee on top of this.
The controllers that we replaced were Rain Bird, Rain Dial brands. In the past we tried master valves, I have considered flow controller as well, but these items increase maintenance costs in my opinion and do not offer great amount of return benefit.
So I have 30 Ubiquity Radios that create my mesh. 21 Open Sprinkler controllers that control on average 30-50 zones. Each controller also control area lights. Over 300 area lights using the dusk to dawn capabilities of opensprinker. We currently have over 40 5MP Serveilance Cameras through the complex and pools that record live on 3 NVR’s
Maybe you should sell the big picture to them. One of the other things that we have had to do is do watering by the minute. My property is not flat and is full of sloped lawns, and street gutters with neighbors that like to report water run off to the city. While we have done water audits with the local water authority and they agree that we are applying all of the technologies to save water and doing our part, I have 39 ACREs of lawn that has slope and only top side drainage. So we water in 1 minute increments and repeat it 2, 3 , 4 times through the night to get the amount of water in to the soils while minimizing the run off.
The Bottom Line:
Weather Base Weakness: Unfortunately I really was hoping that this would be open sprinklers strong point but it just is not.
My controllers are spread out, so the older controllers would take a half a day to go and reprogram them. Now, my Landscape Supervisor can change them all in a matter of minutes from his phone, tablet, pc.