OpenSprinkler Forums OpenSprinkler Unified Firmware Some eval questions: version, weather, programs, … Re: Re: Some eval questions: version, weather, programs, …



Which one? – There are a bunch of versions – 2.1s assembled, 2.1u, which seems newer but only available DIY, and pi and BB versions. I can certainly build one, but I’d rather not. Is there any functional reason to prefer the pi or BB versions? Is firmware updated on them as regularly? Will 2.1u be available pre-built? In short, if all I want is a great irrigation controller, which should I buy?

2.1s and 2.1u are based on microcontroller and have the same hardware features, the only difference is one is assembled, the other is semi-assembled and requires some assembly steps yourself. There is no pre-built 2.1u because that would be simply 2.1s. The firmware is written by me and I am actively working on the next major upgrade.

OSPi and OSBo are based on Pi and BeagleBone, and hence embedded Linux. The software for these are currently developed and maintained by Dan, Rich, and Jonathan. Based on the quantity sold, OSPi is much more popular than OSBo.

The forum also has some previous discussions on which version to get:

Firmware release notes – I see doc, including videos, for firmware 1.8. I also see, I think, that the current version is 2.0.4, but can’t find any info on the difference, even on github. Are there software release notes for the various versions anywhere? (If there are, maybe it addresses some of my other questions)

Firmware 2.0.4 is not significantly different from 1.8 that’s why I didn’t make a separate video. Most changes are documented textually in the user manual. The github does have release notes (I think I put those in the compiled folder). Also, you can check the forum topics for release notes.

The next major upgrade, numbered firmware 2.1.0, will have a bunch of changes and I will make a video for it when it’s ready.

Weather – There are a few references to adding weather forecast use to the unit, going back as far as 2011. But, I can’t find any info about whether this has actually happened, except for the external php script (referenced in the mobile app video) that can add a rain delay. What is the status of this? Ideally, it would be great to modify programmed run times based on heat/humidity, maybe even add a watering cycle on a really hot, dry day.

Weather-based control is not added to firmware 2.0.4 yet. However, it’s supported on OSPi by either using Dan’s program or Rich’s sprinklers_pi program.

Programs – I see that for each program, all stations referenced run for the same time, which is quite different than the controllers that I’m used to. In my case, I have a summer and winter program, which involves all stations running for different times. So, it would seem that I would actually need 16 programs for my eight stations, one each for summer and winter, and when I switch over I need to enable/disable all of them. Is that correct?

This is being addressed in the development of firmware 2.1.0.

With the current firmware 2.0.4, the work-around is to create multiple programs, let’s say you want a single program where station 1, 3, 5 run 10 minutes each, and 2, 4, 6 run 20 minutes each. You can create two programs, with the same start time and interval, but one selects 1, 3, 5 with 10 minutes water time, and the other select 2, 4, 6 with 20 minutes water time. This way the controller algorithm will schedule these programs together with the designated water time. The important thing is to set the same start time and interval for both programs.

Sequential operation – If I have multiple programs starting at the same time, will they run sequentially? If so, do they run in order of program number?

Yes, they will, as long as the ‘Sequential’ option is turned on.

The user manual explains how the controller algorithm works:
(scroll down to ‘Understand how the programs are executed’). I know it’s technical, but if you want to understand how it executes the programs, this is the best resource to refer to.

Wife-friendliness – I’m fine setting things up, doing firmware updates, etc. But, my non-techie wife needs to be able to use the system as well, and maybe a gardener. That would include running a loop manually, maybe putting the system on rain-delay, maybe rebooting if it gets in trouble after a power hit or something like that. Am I getting myself in trouble here, or can I make her happy?

“Am I getting myself in trouble here, or can I make her happy?” — well, this is rather subjective so I can’t give you a definitive answer. But I can tell you that we’ve sold about 2500 OpenSprinklers (including all versions), and we constantly listen to customer feedback and improve products by providing more functionality and better user interface 🙂