Sharing my own success story.
I’ve known I wanted an internet-controlled irrigation controller for years. But, every time I’ve looked in the past I found super-expensive commercial solutions or hobby ideas poorly executed. This spring I saw an ad for a very sexy looking device but unfortunately it only supported 8 zones. Good thing, because it caused me to renew my search and I stumbled into Ray and his very well executed design. At first I was into the Arduino OpSp, but when I saw he had an RPi version that would be easier for me to program, I knew that was the right one for me.
I ordered it up, plus one of the new 16-zone expansion boards and waited impatiently. 😀 I wasn’t comfortable trusting the mini-Wifi adapter in the RPi because I had heard of so many problems with it. Like others, I elected to use an out of service wireless router converted to a wireless bridge thanks to DD-WRT. I’ve used these things all over my house in the past, so this was done in a couple of hours.
When the OSPi finally arrived, I pulled the old Rain Bird unit out of service by removing the control panel + the circuit board behind it. I was honestly surprised at how easy it was to wire up the OSPi to the existing wiring. No stripping or rework was required, and I was able to remove a zone and connect it to the provided connection blocks very easily without forgetting which wire was which zone. When I was done, I excitedly stood in the garage, powered it all up, then used my phone to connect and manually turn on a zone. I was grinning from ear to ear when those sprinklers came on without a hitch.
Here is a photo of my setup. It’s nice that I can just close the door on that wiring mess. But, eventually I would like to add a small display to show status plus a button that will execute either ‘Stop All Stations’ or maybe a ‘Pause’ function. Having a button that the lawn guy can use might be helpful.